If only you could store baths-you-have-taken in a bank to draw on when you simply can’t manage one, I find myself thinking as I lie in my second bath of the day. Oh it seems so easy now: running a bath, slipping into it, sinking under the bubbles. Those long winter weeks of depression and cold and being unable to face taking my clothes off because then I’ll get wet and then I’ll have to get out of the bath and be cold and have to pull more clothes on seem inconceivable. However, life is cruel, and there is no bath bank, and no matter how many baths I achieve this week, they’ll all count for nothing by next week.
In the unlikely event that I do ever ensnare a boyfriend, I will have to keep up some level of what the psychologists term “personal care”, rather than taking three baths a day when I feel like it, and one bath every two weeks when it’s winter or my mood is low or both. It’s almost the second week of August. The good bit of summer is over. Winter is just round the corner. I need some sort of Plan.
Every time my mood is up I can’t remember what depression feels like. It seems impossible that my mood will ever drop. It seems impossible that I will ever again wake up in the morning thinking “I can’t face getting out of bed, I just want to sleep for three months till my mood comes up again”. And yet all too soon the panther will be sitting on my chest, licking my face with his sandpaper tongue, nuzzling my ear with his wet nose and refusing to let me even sit up in bed, never mind actually leave the house. He won’t let me talk to anyone – not even on the phone. He certainly won’t let me leave him at home when I go to the gym or the office.
On the plus side, I will see my plastic surgeon soon I hope. He always cheers me up.
And I have A Date to look forward to: a chap aged 36 – I don’t think I’ve ever been out with someone that elderly before. He’s a historian. We might even have something to talk about. And surely he won’t mind if I don’t feel like washing too often: throughout most of history people only had a bath once a year after all.