I don’t know why, or if I read about it somewhere, but I decided to try showering in complete darkness. Door shut, and when I shower around 5am there is minimal to no light coming through the small opaque window with a scrap of black curtain in front of it.

The concept of TOTAL darkness, of course, is not attainable under civilian circumstances. That would be utter darkness that swallows the human soul and takes its body along for dessert. I was not aspiring to tickle that sensation or emulate the experience of disintegrating into a non-returnable state of dark matter.

I just wanted to see if it changed anything. At first I felt my innards a little more than before. Or so I thought. In time it just became an annoying jumble of fumbling around, making sure I dispensed shampoo and not lube to wash my hair because the two bottles feel very similar. The only light I had was from the camer recording all this, a blinking red and blue that seemed to respond to my movements.

I did keep the full lighting on for entering and exiting the shower. That seemed like a reasonable safety measure. I also kept the light on to be sure I took the morning batch of meds I have to take now. A visual confirmation that all the pills left the lid from which I deliver them to my mouth seems reasonable. But from the shower I can turn off the light with an otherwise stupid “smart” app that can turn the light off or on from anywhere on the planet, but I choose to do it from 5 or 6 feet away because it is easier than standing up.

I shower sitting.

I sower shitting.

I found myself repeatedly tapping the screen of my phone, which sits on the neighboring sink, just to get some quantity of soft light in the space. Darkness is overkill. But I do keep my eyes closed much of the time.

I don’t run water on my face much. Less than 1% of the time, I would estimate. The shower head spends most of its time warming the back of my neck, from whence warmth seems to most efficiently spread to the rest of my body.

The water supply has always been unpredictable with respect to heat. Turn the dial a full 2 inches toward hot and nothing will happen. But turn it an additional fraction of an inch and it scalds. Unlike most men (or so I’ve read) I wash all the way down to the extremest extremities, and I scrub clean behind my ears. The former should prevent foot fungus, the latter is said to prevent certain kinds of acne or skin conditions on the face.

The shower is as close as I come to meditating. I don’t have the peace of mind to fully do that, but the shower is where I feel most alone, and the the most safe. I have had moments where I swore a light turned on in a room outside the shower, and I imagined I was about to be intruded upon at my most vulnerable state. I would be dragged from the shower and masturbated by strangers with weapons and blades to torment and torture me, not because these marauders arrived with sadistic intent but because I have no possessions worth stealing so they had to make their arrival look like it had some pre-planned purpose.

It is cold in this room. The warmth I spread throughout my external wrapper and which seemed to penetrate to my internals has been squandered. I need to go to the other side of the place and eat some triscuits, and maybe even go out for coffee.

I just yawned like a Serengeti Lion.