I turned on the tap for the bath, perching myself on the side of the porcelain with a sigh. In some ways, I enjoyed this part of the process more than the bath itself – just sitting there, with the sound of the water, the steam beginning to caress my face. Nothing to do, nothing to take care of while I waited; just sweet, luxurious waiting.
The door burst open and I squealed like a caught mouse, jumping for the towel rack on pure instinct to try and shield my naked body from whoever was barging on my bath time.
My left foot landed on the tiles beautifully, but my right foot – wet from dangling in the water – slid out from underneath me as I slammed it down.
‘Dad, yikes, are you alright?’ my son rushed over to me as I lay on the floor, groaning.
‘Why’d you burst in for?’ I grunted at him, annoyed and in pain.
‘I needed to use the bathroom!’ he defended himself, throwing a towel over my lower half.
‘You didn’t hear the bath?’
‘What’s going on?’ another voice echoed from down the hallway.
‘Nothing!’ I yelled back.
‘Dad’s fallen over!’ my son called out to them. Within seconds, my whole extended family – sons, daughters, spouses and grandchildren – were gathered around me on the tiles.
‘I told you we needed to get him one of those bathtub cut outs for elderly people living in Sydney,’ my oldest daughter insisted.
‘He always said no!’ my youngest defended herself.
‘I’m not dead,’ I growled, unable to get up without help.
‘Brian, just let us do this for you,’ my middle son’s second wife pleaded.
‘Let us modify your bathtub for safety, please.’
‘I didn’t slip because I’m senile,’ I huffed. ‘Junior tried to frighten the life out of me!’
‘Did you see Mum?’ my son asked, eyes welling with tears.
‘That’s it!’ I threw my hands in the air and climbed to my feet, discarding the towel.
Everyone left me to my bath pretty quickly after that.