Friday, January 9, 2015

33. Showers

We are vegetarians, but living in Tiny House has nonetheless brought death to one innocent creature:

A mouse, who drowned in my shower water.

Our 2 gallon shower drains directly out a 12 inch PVC pipe to a 4 gallon tupperware underneath the house. After my shower, I have to go around outside the house, pull the tupperware free, and walk back around to empty it into a dry well. I forgot to mention a crucial step, in that I typically get dressed in between the shower and walking around the house. I shower in the morning, and it's possible that it could slightly upset the neighbors to have a brazenly nekkid lady attending to her hippie plumbing. The other night it was near midnight, below 0 degrees, and DT ran outside in nothing but his skivvies and hiking boots to dump his grey water. Never have I heard such screams from a grown man.

I have to remember to always dump the shower water promptly, for several reasons. The first reason is if I take a shower the next day, 2 showers worth of water will overflow the tupperware, and then I have to delicately skid my way across the lawn while holding a 32-pound bucket of dirty sloshing liquid at arm's length while wearing fancy work clothes. The second reason is now that it is blisteringly cold here in Maine, the water begins to freeze almost immediately. The third reason is that if I don't remember to empty it, a mouse might accidentally fall in and drown.

But it was an accident! I am a perpetrator of mouse manslaughter. Mouslaughter. It's punishable in 12 states by the removal of all cheese privileges for a year.

What's funny is that the process of taking a shower (boiling water, pumping up a weed sprayer zillions of times to keep up the pressure, taking a ship shower, using less than 2 gallons of water total whereas the typical American uses around 20 gallons, feeling the freezing cold jet of air rocketing up on my bum from the open drain to outside, having to carry my own dirty water across the lawn, etc), literally doesn't bother me at all. Wanna know why?

Showers, of all shapes and sizes, water flows and temperatures, ARE A GIFT FROM HEAVEN.

When we have the privilege of the luxury of plumbing, we can easily take for granted the fact that we are wasting a limited resource (fresh water) on cleaning our butts. OUR BUTTS, I SAY. But when, for whatever the reason may be, that luxury is taken away from you, you learn to appreciate the heck out of it.

For me, long distance hiking taught me the invaluable lesson of appreciating showers. When I was filthy and sweaty and could start to see the distinct layers of grime on my face like geological strata, I would spend hours fantasizing about just standing in someone's backyard and getting blasted with a garden hose. 

The true shower I got once a week or once every 10 days was like being dunked by Thetis into the River Styx, being granted total immortality. I didn't care if the skeezy motel tiles had black mold creeping in at the edges, or if it was an outdoor, freezing cold gravity shower. It was the sort of glory only akin to being the dinosaur bones that finally are unearthed after millions of years wallowing in dirt. 

In this metaphor I am a velociraptor.

Appreciate your shower, if you have one. Seriously.

Appreciate your water! 

And if you can help it, don't murder mice.

Love,
Clever Girl

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