now is the shower of our discontent

Not to be a big flaming fuck you to the recently celebrated Earth Day but I’m going to come right out and say it: I love a long hot shower. And not just the “Ooh 10 minutes instead of 3 minutes” long shower. I like the kind of long shower where my skin starts to prune up and where you can practically hear California go into another drought. I like my shower so long that I soon forget why I’m in there and what I have to do later which let’s face it, it is my MO for just about anything. I mean, why have a normal activity when you can turn it into something that border lines on compulsive addict behavior?

So whatever. I’m a showerholic. This addiction can get in line with the others and at the very least it won’t be lonely. Ooh look! My chocolate addiction brought snacks and my Netflix addiction brought something to watch– PARTY!!! In my defense, (says every addict ever) I don’t own a car, I walk everywhere and I try to recycle. I mean we can’t all be Ed Fucking Begley Jr. Despite my pig behavior I do try to give a rat’s ass about the planet without giving myself some white ulcer or turning into a preachy douche. Also, I’ve had worse addictions (said by every addict ever, part deux). I mean I’m not smoking crack or drinking everyday. Or for that matter I’m not smoking crack and drinking while taking a really long hot shower. For today, I’m not, anyway. Never say never. So comparatively, I’m a saint.

Besides, my time in the shower is really productive. Some of my best ideas come to me while I’m in the shower. Some of my most profound spiritual revelations happen while steaming my face off and rubbing myself big gobs of shower gel. Some things that my mind cannot make sense of in the normal outside world can untangle themselves when I’m alone with the noise of running water. Okay, fine most of these revelations go down the drain with the soap bubbles. But at least I had them and maybe they’ll come back or manifest while I’m walking or writing. Or maybe not until tomorrow’s shower?

The point is the shower is kind of this sacred, space where nothing can interrupt my mind (i.e. my social media addiction). It’s hard to tweet, check page views on my blog, text and cook while I’m in the shower. When it’s just me and the shower, everything else that turns me into a human hummingbird in real life can’t come in. They all have to wait outside the bathroom door and give me a damn minute while I try to work out my shit under the shower head. When I was writing my second full length play four years ago, lots of the dialogue from that show showed up while I was in the shower. Does that mean I was talking to myself in the shower? Perhaps but you’ll never know because I was in the shower! Which is also the genius thing about extended remix showers. I feel more free to blurt out ideas or work ridiculous thoughts out in my mind because I’m alone.

The other thing is I get closer and closer to middle age (weeeee!) I sweat a lot more. Sorry to be gross but fabulous gay men who like glitter and show tunes sweat too. I know. I’m really pulling back the curtain here. But yeah sometimes I’m a sweaty mess and I stink like the giraffe house at the zoo on a hot summer day. Therefore, showers are a good thing. So really by taking long hot showers I’m actually being of service to you and the rest of humanity by not smelling like rotting Hot Pockets. You’re welcome, world.

If all of this sounds like a 800 word justification for a behavior I know isn’t great but I’m going to continue to do anyway that’s because it is. However, I will say this: yesterday during my morning hot shower (which is important to distinguish as sometimes there are multiple showers) something happened. As I was working out my thoughts and feeling water hit my back, it occurred to me that I was really happy. Despite feeling shitty a few days ago and working through emotional pain, I was happy. I think I was even smiling. By myself in the shower. I know. But it took me being alone and away from my thoughts and distractions to realize I was okay and I was even better than okay: I was really happy. When I get out of my dramatic thinking and look at the truth, I can see that my life is actually fantastic. I’m sober, I’m loved and I get to experience life, the good and the bad and my shower yesterday helped me get there.

But don’t worry. I’m not on my way to becoming a self-help guru preaching the gospel of long hot showers (Emshowerment- by Sean Paul Mahoney. Now in paperback!). And I am sure there are a lot of valid reasons and arguments why I should ‘t take long showers but I’m sorry I can’t hear them right now over the sound of running water.

3 thoughts on “now is the shower of our discontent

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