Written by Skews Me
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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

image for Hot and Cold Running Water

The shower in my apartment has got me thinking about people; specifically what seems to be many women's all or nothing attitude towards the one's they love to hate, or is it hate to love?

My shower works into this in a number of ways. To begin with, the hot water is not very convenient to my abode as it is piped in from a boiler located a full block away rather than a heater in the next room. Like a long distance relationship, it may be quite a while before the hot water gets to me, and even then, even longer before it reaches full steam; but all the while, the anticipation of feeling once again that lovely hot water is always there and hopefully well worth the wait.

That so many resources are poured into just having warm water, a steamy hot shower is a luxury I don't often enjoy. All that cold water down the drain reminds me of much of the wastefulness that goes into maintaining a distant relationship. In modern times before the Internet, friendships across continents meant writing letters on dead trees and then using dead dinosaurs to propel those letters across the vast distances. It takes days before snail mail reaches the person, and just as long if not longer to receive a response. Telephones vastly improved upon communications, but the price tag to hear a familiar voice is often too costly in terms of accessibility and windows of opportunity. The logistics of a half day time zone differential can be quite tricky, and an automated voice mail response inherently loses the human touch.

I'm reminded of a high school sweetheart I was forced to part with because of a move from my hometown in the New World to across the pond in the Old. Through no fault of my own or her's we had to break up, and while I tried to write letters and call, their frequency diminished as the heat between us faded. I did eventually return to my hometown only to discover that the relationship was ice cold. When I ventured to call her to wish her a happy birthday she ended up attacking me insisting that I never contact her again. (I recently learned she was heartbroken when I moved away as was I, so receiving such a cold shoulder upon my return hurts more now than ever.)

My shower's just like that too. Once the hot water finally starts coming, I'm forced to add cold water to find the comfort level. The problem with my shower is that the slightest nudge in either direction changes it from too hot to too cold without the utmost care taken in its adjustment. It's often an unbearably grueling process to find a temperature that's just right.

While it seems human nature to jump from one extreme to the other -- an all or nothing give or take -- others strive to maintain a delicate sense of balance that would be lifelong friendship. As a note circulating the Internet describes: while a pair of eyes never meet, like good friends they're usually pointed in the same direction. Unfortunately, in the real world, conditions such as so-called lazy eye may develop requiring drastic measures as a patch to block the view of the good eye in the hopes that the errant one heals. Sometimes the loss of an eye altogether must be accepted as the result of our frail animal nature.

The next time I start to run the water to begin what I hope to be a long, hot shower, I can't help but dread to realize that in this modern day of instant access some people enjoy if not demand, the water I'll eventually be bathing in is also contaminated by all crap people have pissed down the drain.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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