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Luci Moody

Showering in Regret

The Bridge by Jonas Lie

Living with you, there were so many things I loved. I loved the way the outer world ogled us like we were some kinds of cretin, to be talked of in whispered fear but never approached, our presence only to be felt. I loved the way your unquenchable odor flooded my nostrils, better than any flower or perfume or spray. Your sweat smelled like home at a time we had none.

My stomach sunk when you would leave the YMCA showers smelling of hard tap and detergent. It wasn’t the same you I grew accustomed to. I would hold your hand, snuggle you tight, as I always did, but I was not there. You weren’t, either. You talked of feeling clean, feeling normal again, you spoke with high-pitched satisfaction. I always skipped my showers knowing I would have to rebuild the layers of comfortable grime I built up. I kept my voice low, a whisper almost, and I missed my home.

My home was in your dirty flannel shirt I never washed. My home was in your crusted socks. My home was in our sleeping bags and tarps. When you finally found a place to stay, I thought I would never find another home again.

I find my thoughts drifting to those days, under the bridge. I am two states away paying rent, but I don’t feel home until I wear your flannel, stained and unwashed.


About the writer:
Luci Moody writes and resides in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up in Seattle, Washington. Her interests include history, current events, and conspiracy theories, though she writes mostly from personal experience.

Image: The Bridge by Jonas Lie (1880-1940). Oil on canvas. 25.3 x 30.5 inches. 1914. Public domain.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporationsupporting writers and artists worldwide.

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