I remember taking refuge in the sound of the hot water crashing on to my skull. It ran to the front of my face, to the tip of my nose, to my lips, to my chin. I drank from it. I could feel a trickle going down at the back of my neck, down my spine. Then I stepped in all the way.
God, this was good. The hot water hurt where my face was bruised. Also on my wrists and knees. But other than that, what a relief. My whole body responded with gratitude and it relaxed. This was so good. Had I been religious, I would have prayed. After washing thoroughly I let the water run over my skull, along my neck, my shoulders and back. I could not cry although I felt like crying. It was as if I vanished with the filth that washed down the drain. I went numb.
I closed the tap. I had nothing to dry myself with. I picked up my clothes. Damn, I could not wear this. Now what? I opened the tap again and started to wash them as good as possible. That only worked half of course. I tried harder and better and still it looked like shit. After a while all I did was let the water run over the clothes and watch how that did not do a thing for them.
I was feeling cold. All of a sudden I burst out into a loud laughing. What the fuck was I thinking! What was I doing here?
I grabbed my wet clothes in a bundle and headed back to the editors room. I could not stop smiling while walking. “I am walking naked through my school, you know.” kept going through my mind. As I passed by the auditorium the smile opened up. I duck into the catacombs, walked through the dressing rooms and then up the big stage. I slipped through the big, red, thick curtain. I slowed down as I approached the high edge of the stage.
I dropped my bundle of wet clothes and spread out my arms in a theatrical pose, my left hand still holding on to my shoes. I imagined myself an audience. I desperately wanted to say something ultimately deep, bright and brilliant. Funny than, witty, smart? Oh, come on!
But I could not think of anything. I noticed my face go to a frown, then I smiled. And then I bowed a deep bow to my imagined audience. And I bowed again to thank them for their curtain call, and as I came up I picked up my clothes. I walked off the stage at its front end and through the auditorium made my way to the editors room, still smiling.
I carefully laid out my clothes to dry and wrapped myself into one of the stuffy old curtains. I was cold and tired, but felt fulfilled. Happy to some extent. I made myself comfortable on the mats. It was well before dinner time, but I could do with some sleep. I had to be careful not to be found out though. The double hinged door to the priests residence was located only some twenty feet opposite the stairs up to the editors room, so dead silence on my part was required.
I lay there in that familiar and obscured editors room located right overhead the porters lodge of my beloved school. I heard the city. I felt the cloth on my skin. I felt the bones in my body rest on the hard mats supporting my tired muscles. Oh, that shower was so good. If I just close my eyes a bit. Just to rest a bit. Just rest. No sleep… Just… rest…