I read this brief news bite a while ago about an old lady who couldn’t get out of a bathtub for three days until someone finally found her. She had nothing to eat, but survived by drinking water out of a rubber ducky. This story left out a lot of important details and I have many unanswered questions about it and find myself thinking about it often.
The news story didn’t say if the tub was empty or full of pee pee water or what. And why the hell couldn’t she reach the faucet? Why did she have a rubber ducky? She obviously played with it since it was full of water. I wonder if she had a towel within reach to keep her warm.
I have this vision of a naked wrinkled little old lady lying in a bathtub sucking on a grungy rubber ducky’s ass. With a teeny little washcloth to keep her warm. Peeing in the little bit of water left in the tub. The brown rings of soap scum her only amusement as she scratches lines to mark the days into the filth with her jagged yellow nails. She passes the time by singing “rubber ducky, you’re the one… you make bathtime so much fun…” in a sad ironic quavering old lady voice.
She thinks she hears something.
“I’m in here!!!” Her weak thin voice cries out in desperation. It was one of her many cats. The cats come in and out of the bathroom. One sits on the blue fuzzy toilet seat cover staring at her coldly.
“Go get help, Mr. Muffinpants” the cat blinks as it’s tail flicks back and forth. It licks it’s ass, one leg up in the air. The old lady looks at the dried cracked little sliver of a bar of soap stuck to the porcelain soap dish. Maybe she could eat it. It might not taste so bad. She nibbles on the end of it. Spitting it out quickly and dry heaving.
She uses one of those puffy foofy sponge on a string thingies as a pillow. Dried skin and dusty soap residue flakes off of it into her flattened old lady curls. She squints and tries to read the labels on the shampoo bottles over and over. Not easy without her reading glasses. She hears the mailman put mail in the slot. She cries out but the sound just bounces around off the tiles. The phone rings and rings. One of those with a curly cord.
Finally someone comes, they shake their head and cluck their tongue at her pathetic state. Her happiness clouded by embarrassment at being found naked in the tub clutching the ducky and washcloth and pouf. Eyes wild and full of madness. P.T.A. (pits tits and ass) “showers” only from now on. The thought of a taking a bath making her shudder with the horror. Waking in the middle of the night in terror. Now she keeps snacks handy in the bathtub. She sleeps with the poof under her pillow. The rubber ducky gets filled with fresh drinking water every day, just in case. She buys extra washcloths to hit the hot spots when the smell and crust get overwhelming. She stinks and doesn’t care. She kicks poor Mr. Muffinpants with his kitty-poo-ass-breath out of her bed because he didn’t do anything to save her.