Lauryn Maleski


Place Writing Intro (Draft 1)

Shower Hour.

I stepped through the doorway and stood upon the warm brown bath mat. I smiled as its soft fibers tickled and warmed my cold feet, essentially, my whole body. I turned around and with a small click, the dark wooden door shut behind me. My fingers crept to the center of the dull, gold door knob, twisting the middle tab to the right with another soft click. I was locked in my own little world. It may have had vomit colored tile on its floor. It may have had a porcelain white toilet, lightly coated with dust and a fake tree that tried too hard to make the room seem natural. I'll admit it wasn't the ideal place to be. But it was still mine, for the time being. No one would dare bother me here. That thick, wooden door closed off the stresses of the day only to open the gate of my imagination and fantasy.

Alone for now, I slowly turned to wall mirror. Lightly layered with dust and dirt, its frame was a fake, yet beautiful, gold trim, built to look rustic and real. Just for a moment, I smiled slightly at the girl in the mirror who studied me just as hard as I studied her. She grew prettier and stronger and more confident with each passing day. I was proud of her. And she was proud of me.

My eyes fell from the mirror to the cheap stereo on the countertop. I snaked its black chord of the stereo through my fingers as they frantically crawled to the plug. I aligned the metal prongs with the outlet in the paint-chipped walls, and with a spark, the blue clock dimly lit itself. I pressed the play button on the speaker and let my eyes meet again with the happy girl in the mirror. The sound of Michael Jackson, seconds later, ricocheted from wall to wall of the room. With a quick breath, I joined the King of Pop in song. Let "Shower Hour" begin.

That five-by -eight space suddenly wasn't a bathroom. It morphed into a packed high school auditorium. No vomit colored floors, no dirty, porcelain toilet, or no fake tree, only a wide open stage, surfaced with hopes and dreams and talent. The spotlight hit me, like a halo around my body. One hand gripped the microphone as the other explored my knotty hair. My eyelids parted slightly to scan the crowd for the few people whom I know I had just impressed. Their beady little eyes stalked me like a predator on its prey, envy apparent in their eyes.

The song progressed, and at center stage, I belted the final note of the descant, the one that ended the show and caused every person in the house to leave their jaws behind. As my tank of air emptied and silence filled the room, I opened my eyes that had closed themselves in fantasy. They studied the girl who reappeared in the mirror, her hair tousled, her pupils wide, and a toothy smirk plastered on her lips. Her chest rose up and down with a tempo faster than walking. Other than that, the girl did not move. That is until the next song came up on the playlist, when she was gone again.

Still blinded by the limelight, my playlist started over again as I hazily dipped into the shower. The cruddy white walls and leaf-patterned shower curtain created a box around me. And while I was still surrounded by dirt and textured fish stickers, I was never fazed. All I saw was the stage. The red curtains. The packed house. The white lights. All I saw were my dreams and my fantasies.

Water droplets raced down my bare shoulders, to my midsection and to my toes, their heat slowly tinting my skin a rosy pink as I sang along. Steam rose up like a wispy cloud and blanketed my body. I rubbed my hands through my dripping hair, my fingers working to wash out the dirt of the day. Though focused on the important, my heart and my lips never missed a beat of the rhythm that boomed through the little room. The happiness I seemed to radiate was more uncommon than common sense; it was real.

With a flick of each wrist, the water from the shower head ceased. I had to convince myself to return to reality, so reluctantly, my imagination dragged its feet as it walked back to the real world. Only a few stray beads of water fell to the with tiny plops. The metal rings of the shower curtain screeched like nails on a chalkboard, my hand sliding them to the side. I daintily stepped out of the tub and reached for a fuzzy towel to warm me.

I quickly patted myself dry and rung out my soaking locks, my towel absorbing the water like a nerd absorbs Algebra lessons. Making sure my hands are extra dry, I unplugged the stereo set, abruptly halting the sound of the music. Fingers slipping on the condensation covered knobs, I twisted the lock on the door knob. Click. Before opening the door, I turned to the hazy mirror once more. I stepped closer to it and let my fingers glide across the surface, clearing the condensation. Though still slightly blurred, I saw the face of the girl again. And she was truly happy. With a slight nod exchanged between her and me, I flickered the light switch off.

The air of reality hit me as I pushed the door open, cold like the chill of death's hand. In retrospect, opening the door was like death; the death to my fantasy, which was only to be resurrected again tomorrow.