“Pink Tiles” by D. Kirk
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A woman regrets not remodeling her bathroom sooner.
Please enjoy our Feature Story: “Pink Tiles” by D. Kirk
My bathtub’s small for how many times a week I use it. Sometimes I add bubbles, sometimes lavender oil to make it feel special, a little treat. I usually read while I’m in there too, smutty stuff with tight bodices and bulging thigh muscles. They make me laugh and cry and feel which to be quite honest, is a little treat too.
When I was puking all last summer and hanging onto the sides of the ancient toilet, I’d stare at the dingy tiles on the floor with the cracked grout lines and stained caulk and wonder, “why the hell have I never redone this bathroom?” I mean I redid the fireplace mantle when I first bought the place ten years ago. Then there was the kitchen remodel which now has walnut cabinets and beautiful salt and pepper countertop. For some reason, the bathroom never got done.
The tub matches the toilet, pink from the fifties. It’s shallow but long enough for my tiny frame. My new boobs poke up above the water, which I don’t really mind. I’m still shocked by these puppies, shocked that my forty year old body is now driving through life with two melons bigger than I had in high school. A silver lining in an otherwise messed up couple of years.
If I had to do it all over again, yes this bathroom would have been remodeled before. I would have
made the tiles on the floor a warm color, something soothing like cinnamon or pumpkin. Something I
could’ve laid my head down on and NOT seen how dirty the floor was. I’d grout in a dark color,
comforting like the color of chocolate drizzled over cheesecake.
Ironic after a life filled with Weight Watchers and lowfat cookies, I was told I could eat as much cheesecake as I wanted. Chocolate cheesecake too, maybe stuffed inside of a cherry pie baked into a huge cake drizzled with more chocolate. Because why not?
Nobody was watching. Well except my doctors who had also prescribed “marijuana” so I could get the food down.
“Carol, you need to up your calories, gain some weight back. You need your strength.”
They were right. None of my clothes fit anymore. I’d lost my hips, my tits, my ass, my curves, my uterus but not my life. Aren’t I lucky? Which is why I got the melon sized new ones. I think my reasoning was if my boobs were so big, nobody would notice that I’m too young to be hard of hearing now. More side effects or they should be called managed effects. Because now I’ve got a whole damn list of things to manage for the rest of my life. Yeah, super lucky.
If I did it all over again, I think I’d get a pedestal sink. Something strong, something that could hold my body up if I ever had to limp, drag or crawl out of the bathroom again. But maybe I should get something strong enough to hold my body up in case I make that online dating ad I’ve been thinking about for six months? Maybe I’ll find somebody that can take showers with me and we could christen my new sink while playing damsel in distress instead of remembering the old memories of a damsel in distress.
I already had it written. It was just sitting there on my computer.
Buxom tart searching for her develish rake. Must have a life worth living, a zeal for breathing and a desire to keep going forward.
If I would have known back then, what I know now, I would have posted it before the tumor. Before
the day I had to tell my one friend in the world, my elderly neighbor, it was back. Before the day I remembered my mother in the hospital, withering away herself. Before the day my long dirty blond
curls fell out and I looked up wigs online.
Maybe if I’d posted that ad and had a date and then a lover and maybe a husband, this bathroom
would have been remodeled before I slept on the floor almost every night. Maybe he could have carried me to bed and back to the bathroom when my muscles ached and wouldn’t move MY withering
Maybe he would’ve liked my egg shaped head. Maybe he would have shaved his own in solidarity
and hung blankets on the windows to shield my eyes from the sunlight. Maybe he would have packed
me a bowl with hands that weren’t shaking, hoping it would soothe the nausea long enough that I could suck down some broth for the day. Maybe.
The light fixture is ancient too. Tarnished brass surrounded by curly glass like a grandmother’s doily. That needs to go too. I’ll get a new one with softer lights to hide the new lines around my mouth. Forty watts might dull the scars away. Still pink like the tiles.
Yes, a new light.
That’s what I’ll start with.
It’ll set the scene for my new bathroom in warm colors like the low autumn sun I now welcome
through my windows. I’ll need a new mirror too, uncracked that will reflect my new pixie cut I’ll blow dry into place. Then I’ll pour on a tight bodiced dress, way too revealing for a woman my age, and head out on that date with that develish rake.
D. Kirk spends her winters with her three good looking sons and husband, across borders where it’s
warmer with beaches and shrimp tacos. When not traveling, she uses Portland, Oregon as a home base
and writes little diddies to avoid running her real estate companies. Pink Tiles is her second published short story and was inspired by a hilarious late night conversation with an Australian breast cancer survivor. Rum may or may not have been involved.
Tags: d kirk, metro fiction, short stories