The Ivory Tide

A piece I wrote for my imaginative writing class. A bathtub is having a conversation with the water filling it.

TUB: Oh, we meet again.

WATER: Yes, we do.

TUB: I see.

WATER: So, what do you want to do while the little one’s playing?

TUB: We can talk, I guess. Just you and me. Like we usually do.

WATER: I see.

TUB: Did you miss me?

WATER: I always do. It’s too bad I can’t control myself in here. You’re the most interesting tub I’ve ever met.

TUB: Oh, really?

WATER: Of course. I’ve been through all sorts of oceans and rivers and lakes, treatment plants and in the insides of fish—you’re definitely more interesting than any of them. I like you. You’re clean, and white, and you contribute to the cleanliness of the home. You’re an asset. A prize.

TUB: …have you seen other washing tubs? What are they like? I’ve been looking for a wife.

WATER: …

TUB: What’s wrong?

WATER: …I thought we had…something special.

TUB: Of course we did—of course we do. I see you every day. We talk almost every day. I watch you as you elegantly pour from the sink, as you swirl gracefully down the ivory bowl. How could that not be special when you’re so clear, and pristine, and pure? You’re so beautiful.

WATER: …not beautiful enough, it seems, if you want a tub for a wife.

TUB: I get lonely sometimes when you go away. I talk with you almost every night, when the child washes. But…then you go away. I know that you can’t control yourself and you have to go, but we tubs are stationary.

WATER: Stationary?

TUB: We don’t move. You swirl and glide and travel, but I don’t. I want you, but I can’t have you. You flow right through me. And that’s good, because I know that means that you can see my soul. But…I can’t always be there with you. I can’t help it.

WATER: I see. I love you, too. I wish that I was solid, that I could hold you—because love is in the touch—but I can feel you around my edges when I’m filling you. I can feel you there, and it makes me warm, even when I know I’m cold. Alas, as you say, it wasn’t meant to be.

[Echoing voice from outside]: Brett! It’s time for bed now! Drain the water before you get all pruny…!

WATER: It wasn’t meant to be…

The End

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