Thoughts from the Bottom of a Bathtub

By Madison Alvarado, TIWP student

There are no monuments for the German soldiers who fought during World War II in Holocaust museums. There are no memories of the quiet, brave soul who hid refugees in her home. There are no bad American soldiers, who piss on corpses and rape people’s daughters or shoot and kill the enemy. There are no friends on the other side of the gun barrel. There is no innocence in a child soldier who has been handed a machine gun, a bomb, and orders from a commanding officer. There is only combat, duty, country, enemy. There is only target, fire, run. There is no love lost here. Only lives.

So I sit in the bottom of my bathtub, watching the water whorl down the drain into nothingness. My skin is wet and the hair sticks to my back like watercolors blown across a page. Water from the faucet gathers around the ring. The droplets slip around grooves to join together and hopefully make a water droplet that finally becomes heavy enough for gravity to decide to exert its force on it, to pull hard enough until the droplet echoes plink plink plink as it lands on the smooth white bone of the bathtub.

And I wonder if that is all humanity is. A conglomeration of tiny water molecules that slowly gather until they finally have enough energy to simply fall and splatter across a wet ground, leaving on a sound before it is sucked into the pool with the rest of them, spiraling down a metal grate to some unknown pipe.

Humanity. It is a grotesque thing.

And I am cold and wet and the draft brings goosebumps bursting from my skin like land mines. My whole back curled over my knees, an expanse of milky white spreads across curved shoulders and vertebrae that wriggle like cockroaches all the way up to my pale, tender neck.

A drop of water in an ocean. A star in the middle of the Milky Way. A grain of sand on the beach. An electron in the light of one thousand bulbs. What is humanity?

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