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Shower Daze

November 8, 2013

“Those dreaded Wednesdays and Saturdays, also known as shower days, I hate them” – Shower Daze, NOFX, Ribbed (1991).

Sometimes when I try to explain a part of my neurosis I can see the change in Windy’s eyes. Not scared or about to runaway, but that she really can’t understand it. Which I understand. Which is probably why it feels so good to write it out. No one looking back at me. No stressing out over how anyone thinks of what I am saying. So here is the problem with showers.

Actually, the problem isn’t showers, it’s bathrooms. Bathrooms, closed bedrooms, long hallways, etc. One of my sensory issues is sound. Considering I make so much of it you would think this would not be the case. It’s not all sound. Mostly loud unexpected sounds, higher pitched whines and echoes. And, fuck, does Kadie love making echoes.

While I have Z-E-R-O problems with fingernails on chalkboards, the absolute worst noise in the world, for me, is nail cutting.  Finger and toes, I am an equal opportunity hater. I have to cut my toenails under running water in a full bath. The tub of water dulls the sound and the running water cuts it off almost completely. I have a nasty habit of fingernail biting. Well, chewing. Quietly taking the nails off one at a time, like reverse interrogation.

And it’s not just the nail cutting. I don’t like any of the sounds I make in a bathroom. I don’t care about others. Bodily noises are just biological reactions. I mean I can hear myself shaving and I obsess over the sounds, find patterns, break them, try to hurry-which makes it louder, try to go slow to be quieter and all along I know that no one can hear anything over the running water. I cut my nails, brush my teeth and do all my shaving (head, face…other) in the shower. Under running water and the fear that everyone can hear everything I am doing. I have never thought about what anyone would think if they could hear me. I just freak out that I think they can.

If I know they can here me, if someone is home and in a room next to the bathroom, it’s worse. If I am in a public restroom all bets are off. I work in an office building and we are but one office. Each floor shares a restroom and our floor is all “Professional” offices. But I will spend my entire lunch break in the restroom stall until there is no one in there just so I can take a whiz without fear that someone is going to hear me do it. And I just sat there for 30 minutes listening to all of them.

So I go to work unshaven. I use excuses like I am tired, busy or right after I do something else. You know the drill. If I get home and no one in the rooms adjacent to the bathroom are home, I will take an extra but unfortunately my neurosis leaves me with only two days a week where I know I have to get in there. No matter who hears, no matter who might possibly yell (in my mind) “Hey keep that fucking teeth brushing to a minimum”.  It is a painful experience where I often try to figure out what I can put off until next time to get out of earshot now.

But if we ever meet in person, don’t hesitate to shake my hand, I wash my arms up to my elbows all the time. Just please, no tickling. It hurts physically (but that’s another post).

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