I like hot showers--not warm, not cold--It's hot. Burning hot. I cannot take the hot water when I first step in to the small, marble-floored shower. It has to be in intervals. First, it is lukewarm—I adjust the knob---then, it is warm—a small twist—finally, it is right where I want it to be. It gets so hot that I get light-headed; in a daze, I stare at the steam that whirls up into the ceiling and sigh when it disappears.

The hot water burns itself on me, and I imagine that I'm out in the rain. My face is right under the shower head, and I don't move for a really long time. I forget to breathe. I convince myself that if my head is under the water long enough, it will wash away the intensive, throbbing headache—ultimately, it will wash away the haunting memories that I vigorously attempt to scrub away with my shampoo. It smells of herbs. Calming—but the smell is too sweet and it instantly brings back my headache.

I twist the knob until the water comes to a stop. The drip, drip, drip of the water irritates me. Each drip sounds like a bomb exploding on the cold, marble floor. Smack, smack, smack. I quickly put the palm of one hand under the dripping, so it dulls the sound. My head continues to pound.