I set my laptop at the end of the vanity counter and step into the jacuzzi bathtub. I’ve never owned or wanted one. At least it’s small, oval, nicely placed in an alcove under a skylight. As the water rises above the jets, I am tempted again to try it out. I wonder if the water should cover all the jets before I turn them on, but I can’t see why it should matter, I press the button. Not a lot of noise. That has been my great fear: taking a bath in a windtunnel.
The jet to my right, still above water, is running strong. The left jet, underwater, is dribbling. I turn to examine the two jets behind me: they’re spurting feebly. The jets at my feet are also underwhelming. Then I notice the water has filled with debris—dead bugs and dark swirling things. I hop out. Yesterday it occurred to me that this tub in this house built nine years ago but rarely inhabited might not have seen much use. We moved into a very clean house, but I did find small spiderwebs around the tub drain.
Towel wrapped around me, I turn the cold water back on. The faucet arches high and has the interior diameter of a garden hose: perfect for filling a tub. As I lean down to dry my legs, water explodes over my head—the jets that had been at my back, still above water, have broken loose their obstructions. Confused, I turn off the faucet. No, that didn't fix it. Ducking under the spray, I push the button that controls the jets.
Water is streaming down the glass block window, the plaster walls. My clothes—on the floor because we have no chairs; no, on the floor because I always step out of my clothes and leave them where they fall—are soaked. The water missed the laptop, left only a few drops on keys and screen.
Mike arrives, grins immediately at my soaking wet hair. He is used to me.
“I thought you were going to try the tub when you weren’t in it.”
“I wasn’t in it. You should have seen the water arc. It hit halfway up the wall.”
He’s looking into the tub. “I don’t think you’re supposed to turn on the jets until they are all underwater.”
“I wondered about that, but they were clogged anyway.”
We have no mop, no rags, but after a while Mike remembers the big sponge he bought to wash the cars. I wipe walls and windows with a washcloth. I drop my clothes into the washing machine. The laptop is nearly dry, which is why I get to tell the story.