M. Giant's
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Wednesday, December 18, 2002  

Remember these words from last week?

Every shower is a game of Russian Roulette in which the front halves of our feet are at stake. So I need to find some of those little guides posthaste, or, failing that, buy a whole new shower door assembly complete with new hardware. Or, failing that, look forward to the inevitable day when the pleasure of a morning ablution is somewhat marred by the sudden presence of millions of tiny, transparent knives and spears burying one of us to the ankles.

The good news, as it turns out, is that the door was made of safety glass, so 99.99% of it turned into comparatively benign chunks the size and shape of crushed ice. Trash and I are still picking the other .01% of it out of her epidermis.

Yes, she was the big loser in the Russian Roulette game this morning. I was still in bed when I heard a crash and a scream of terror. I was in the bathroom before she could even call my name. She was standing on one bleeding foot in a bathtub that appeared to be filled ankle-deep with a blue-raspberry Mr. Misty™, with a look on her face as if she’d just had a near miss from a tankbuster artillery shell. Which, in a sense, she had. I threw a bath towel down on top of the crunchy shrapnel on the floor and helped her to the living room, where I cleaned the blood off of her and applied Band-Aids™ where necessary.

The nurse at the Urgent Care Center told her she wouldn’t need stitches, but there were some things she’d need to look out for that might indicate bigger problems. These included rashes, skin irritation, itchiness, and coughing up neatly sliced sections of lung.

She’s having the itchiness, all right. She describes it as the feeling you get after you get a haircut, when the little hairlets poke your skin until you shower them off. Except in this case, it’s all over her body and instead of little hairlets, they’re wee little crystalline knives. Fun. Every few minutes or so, she’ll feel a concentrated itch or sting somewhere, and one of us will bring the tweezers and a bright light to bear on the spot until we fish out a barely visible sparkle.

Obviously neither of us went to work today, what with the recovery and cleanup and the PTSD and all. Like I said, the safety glass did its job by breaking into two sizes of fragment: too dull to maim, and too small to maim. The dull pieces were easy to deal with, the smallest ones about the size of a large Nerd™. It was the glittering dust that was a pain. But at least now the bathroom is cleaner than it’s been since…well, two days ago, which was when we cleaned it last. And I’m going to need to vacuum the whole house again, just in case we tracked it around. I wish I’d known this was going to happen. I wouldn’t have bothered vacuuming on Monday. On the other hand, now I know how many gallons make up a shower door panel (about three, judging from the size of the wastebasket I filled).

I feel responsible in a way. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I’d gotten around to fixing the shower door track days ago. On the other hand, maybe it would have. Trash said it didn’t fall off the track; it was already closed when her own personal ice storm went down. That happens sometimes, you know. One day, at my previous place of employment, someone gently nudged a mailcart against a swinging glass door to open it, just like he did every day. One nanosecond later, shattered glass covered most of downtown Minneapolis. Just one of those things, like today. That sheet of glass hung in our bathroom for over nine years, sliding back and forth against the frame several times a day, and all it took to break it was a bump from an elbow that Trash didn’t even feel herself. Frightening. Whatever the cause, I wish it had been me in there when the glass was flying. I hate that she had to go through that blinding fear, and that she’s hurt now. I somehow got a wee little spur lodged in the skin next to my nose, and as I tweezed it out I was just happy that it meant one less stuck in her.

Trash is pretty sure she had the worst scare of her life today, and this is a woman who was once locked in the back seat of a police car with a suspect. I asked her if she wanted to write a guest entry today about her brush with death, but she declined, saying that all she’d be able to say about it would be “AAAAAAAHH!”

It’s a gray, rainy day here, perfect for pondering one’s mortality. After we got as much glass out of her as we could, she wrapped herself in blankets and curled up in an armchair. Orca, as if sensing her distress, crawled up to be next to her and offer the benefit of her fuzzy, comforting presence. She purred a couple of times, gave Trash a few affectionate head nudges, and vomited on her. Just to make the morning complete.

Later I’m going to go to the store to buy a shower curtain, but that’s going to be much later.

posted by M. Giant 2:41 PM 0 comments


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