A.T.M. Exercise : Lost In A Moment

A ‘This Moment’ Exercise

Saturday October 18, 2008



At this moment I am lying in a hot bubble bath. The leak in the faucet drips several drop a second. I left the door cracked so I can see my son, who is running a slight fever, watching Garfield on the TV. My Daughter sits on the floor coloring a princess in her Disney’s Princesses, coloring book.

Lying back in the tub, hot water and suds make an island beach around my stomach and chest, while tiny bubbles crackle around my bald head. I have to stretch my feet up the wall to submerge the upper half of my body. A compromise I willingly and consistently consider necessary.

My senses are becoming more alive; as if awaken by my quiet motionless rest in this liquid universe. I push my head down further into the tub; the water rises above my ears, filling my canals with thick hot warm, like warm honey. The heater kicks on; I feel the light vibration in the tiles of the wall.

A low, base sounding, mechanical humming confirms that the heat-breathing beast has awakened

from his slumber in the laundry room.

A tiny finger touches my forehead.

I open my eyes, my body flinches, cringes, and then becomes stiff, tightly contracting

in my icy wet crypt. I am submerged in freezing water. My daughter looks at me and giggles. “You’re taking forever.” She twirls back and forth, no longer in jeans and long sleeves, but in her pretty pink princess dress.

I suddenly remember. “Dang it!” Ray Bradbury and all the ink-scar characters that affliction the body of the Illustrated Man lay, frozen in time, in a watery grave on the bottom of my tub. I kick the drain release with my foot as I jump out of the cold water.

I grab the yellow towel hanging on the wall next to the sink and wrap it around my chicken-skinned nakedness. Yea, I know it’s the towel that Mom tells the kids not to use, but a towel for ‘looks’ is still a towel.

My daughter points at the puddle on the floor around my feet, I look at the puddle – it turns into a small pond feeding from the water accumulating on my body and running down in small streams. “Oooooo, Daddy, you did that on the floor.”

My son sleeps on the couch; Garfield has been replaced with a Japanese cartoon. I look at the atomic clock that hangs on the wall above my desk. It reads: 2:47am.

“You took for-ever, daddy.” My princess says again with a smile and sleepy eyes.

“Yep” I say, smiling back.

I slip my underwear on. Put the kids in their beds, kiss their soft foreheads, and go to my room. But I’m not tired.

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