I’ve been in bed for about five minutes and my body’s just starting to relax, with my incredibly soft duvet wrapped around me. But just before I slid into bed I had an unexpectedly emotional moment.
I’d been feeling quite sore so I decided to have a bath before bed. Leftwing Idiot’s supporting me tonight and periodically he shouted through to check that I was still alive. I wanted to get my hair wet but I didn’t want to dunk my head and make it impossible for me to hear Leftwing Idiot, so I did something that quite unexpectedly triggered a load of sensations and memories.
I have a blue shower puff, which without thinking, I soaked with water. Then I leant forward, and squeezed the water up and over my head and neck. The moment the lukewarm water touched my hair a set of deep and familiar feelings flooded through me. The sensation of the water running down over my head took me instantly back to bath-times when I was a child or, technically, not bath times but sink times.
Each night, after tea and as the light began to fade, my gran would let me know that it was time to have a wash. She’d pop me in the sink and rinse me down – pouring water gently over my head. Occasionally I’d get washed in the bath, sitting in less than an inch of water, and gran would again tip water over my head, letting it cascade down through my hair.
It’s not something I’ve thought about for decades but tonight, as the water flowed over my skin, I was taken back to those intimate experiences of washing. I felt simultaneously comforted and saddened and, though it’s three years since she died, in that moment the sense of love and loss felt very fresh.
I was a bit taken aback by this rush of memories. I told Leftwing Idiot about this after my bath and he comforted me with a gentle squeeze.
I felt loved, and I adore the fact that this sensation is stored in my brain and body, and that I now know of at least one way that I can feel close to my gran whenever I want to.
I hadn’t expected to find a time machine in my bathroom but I’m very glad I did.