shower sounds

00:00 / 01:07

a warm shower / a plastic bottle of conditioner / the writer singing quietly

    My favorite sound is the shower. As I grow older I grow more and more enamored with the shower, the way the water pinpricks my skin, setting off every synapse at once so that I can feel nothing else but water. Some days I run through neighboring streets (the slapping of sneakers on pavement, the irregular sputtering of my lungs) and when my muscles turn gelatinous the shower dissolves them in scalding heat.

     To me, hot and cold water have distinct sounds. Cold sounds like rain, fat drops bouncing off the tile. Hot is a high-pitched whine, the strain of the water-heater, a hissing like a tea kettle. Hearing the sounds of the shower from outside feels strange and inverted. Being outside suddenly feels cold in comparison. It’s not me in there, instead it’s someone else– real, living, shampooing, and sometimes singing, always with the stinging of water on tile. 

     

     The water is carried through a veinous system of pipes that slosh behind the drywall. Sometimes it wakes me up in the morning. More often, it isn’t the dancing of water that rouses me but the absence of it, the abrupt turning of a knob and sealing of a faucet. The shower itself is what we call white noise. Gentle and warm and drowning out the discomfort of quiet. It is impossible for a shower to end in an un-sudden manner.