Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Long and Happy Life: a dream memory

An old woman is giving me advice about how to take a proper bath. She instructs me to get into the tub and let the water come in on the gentlest cycle. There are two cycles, she explains, gentle and hard, and I can adjust them by the way I turn on the faucets. She says the water can be as hot or as cold as I like, temperature doesn’t matter; the important thing to remember is to use the gentle cycle. When the water is as high as it can go without spilling out of the tub, I should shut the faucets off, hold my breath, and sink down into the water until I am totally submerged. I can stay under for as long as I like. When I’m ready, I should just come back up and breathe. I can repeat this — sinking under, coming up, breathing — over and over again. The woman assures me these directions come with a guarantee: if I follow them, I will live a long and happy life.