And then all was well for about twenty-four hours or so, until I attempted to once again partake of that daily cleansing ritual called a shower. I noticed immediately there was a problem. The tub wasn't draining, and soon I was standing in tepid, soapy water up to my ankles. Right after no hot water and poor water pressure, I think lack of drainage has to be one of the more annoying first-world shower-related problems known to man. I have lived here for months and this was the first time this had happened. And I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was. And so I toweled off, removed the drain plug, and looked into the eye of the beast. Usually I would tackle a job like this with an old toothbrush, but although there are many toothbrushes languishing in our bathroom in various states of disuse, I wasn't sure which ones were the castoffs, and I didn't want to take the chance of guessing wrong. And so I went in barehanded, reaching into the drain and pulling out a veritable never-ending rope of slimy, wet hair. Now, is the proper way to measure slimy, wet drain hair by weight or by volume? Did I pull out a pound of hair, or was it a cubic liter? In any case, it was a hell of a lot of hair, and more importantly, it wasn't my hair. Jesus Christ, she only washed her hair here, what, twice? Three times? I thought. How could there be all of this? I threw the offending hair in the trashcan, washed my hands, and did a little dance of ick before I noticed that my finger was bleeding. Now I suppose I could assume that I cut it on the drain, but I know better. This was powerful hair, hair that breaks brushes and blocks up metal pipes, and it sliced my fucking finger. This hair was a force to be reckoned with. But reckoning would have to come later. For the moment I bandaged myself up and went on my way.
Several hours later I came home from the préfecture, where I had finally retrieved my precious carte de séjour. As I walked up the stairs to my room, I heard the sound of a blow dryer (my blow dryer) going in the bathroom. Once in my room, a quick glance showed that my brush, my new, eight euro brush, was missing. Well, just come right in and help yourself! I thought. In other words, I was slightly annoyed. You might think I would be in a good mood, having just gotten my carte de séjour and all, but actually, you would be wrong. I had just spent an hour and a half in the préfecture with no reading material (my own stupid fault), and then two hours taking two buses to get home when it should have only taken thirty minutes (but almost never does). It was raining, I had a broken brush and a cut on my finger, and I was in no mood, if you know what I mean. Back downstairs, a quick glance in the newly vacated bathroom showed that the brush was not there, either. I headed to the living room just in time to see the girl, freshly coiffed, rolling her suitcases towards the front door. I hurried to catch her before she left. "Lilia?" I called. "Um, hi! Do you have my brush?"
"Oh, yes, it's right here," she said, pointing to Patrice's desk. "Patrice actually went up and got it for me. I hope that's ok?"
"Oh, yeah. You know, actually I had to buy a new one, because the last one broke," I said for some reason, probably because I was still annoyed.
"Oh, did I break it?" she said. "I'm sorry..."
"Oh, no, I mean, it just broke after you gave it back to me, so you know...whatever."
And then I tried to cover up my bitchiness with forced polite conversation in an act that fooled exactly no one. "So you're moving to a studio in Paris?" I cooed. "Oh, you're so lucky!" And the poor girl stood there nervously responding to my questions until finally making her escape.
"Well, goodbye, and sorry about the brush, and have a good...a good..." (Oh just say 'life', I wanted to say, you know you want to) "um...a good afternoon," she finally settled on.
And this is exactly what happens every time I try to stand up for myself, or whatever you want to call it. I immediately feel bad, and so I go from a raging bitch to a smiling, passive-aggressive bitch, which really is the worst kind, isn't it? And now this girl is thanking her lucky stars she's out of this house and away from this raging lunatic making such a big deal out of something when really, it's just a brush. God.
I don't know if it's the completely dismal weather lately or if it's hormonal craziness, but I did just go off of birth control a couple weeks ago (due to lack of health insurance or money to buy more and not out of any desire to produce human life, although that would also require having what one might call "intercourse" and others might call "sexual relations,"
*(bastardized) Alexander Pope