the bath tub = not unlike the womb
the warm water = not unlike the protective amniotic fluid
I found myself starting to quote one of my favorite passages from Douglas Coupland, this one in Life After God:
As suburban children we floated at night in swimming pools the temperature of blood; pools the color of Earth as seen from outer space. We would skinny-dip, my friends and me...We would float and be naked- -pretending to be embryos, pretending to be fetuses--all of us silent save for the hum of the pool filter. Our minds would be blank and our eyes closed as we floated in warm waters, the distinction between our bodies and our brains reduced to nothing--bathed in chlorine and lit by pure blue lights installed underneath diving boards. Sometimes we would join hands and form a ring like astronauts in space; sometimes when we felt more isolated in our fetal stupor we would bump into each other in the deep end, like twins with whom we didn't even know we shared the womb.
Fitting for the Wachowski Brothers to use the womb as the design metaphor for their "pods" that housed the human machine batteries. Another pod, but why this name??
Coupland's writing is so beautiful in its almost too saccharine nostalgia, and for the imagery it evokes...I think now of a photograph by Maria Friberg at Conner Contemporary
The suburban children have all grown up. Through their acclimation to the "adult" world, their individual identities have been erased:
[quoting Coupland again -- this is the porition I left out of the previous quote]
my friends and me--hipchick Stacey with her long yellow hair and Malibu Barbie body; Mark, our silent strongman; Kristy, our omni-freckled redheaded joke machine; voice-of-reason Julie, with "statistically average" body; honey-bronze ski bum, Dana, with his non-existent tan line and suspiciously large amounts of cash, and Todd, the prude, always the last to strip, even then peeling off his underwear underneath the water.
No more Stacey, or Mark, or Todd, or Julie...Names are erased and a common persona is assummed, put on like a black suit and white shirt -- Life's agenda is now set by Another, just as nameless and faceless as its offspring.
But these suits still swim, still float and bump into each other aimlessly...do they still form a ring, or do they compete? Do they share the silent hum of the pool filter, or are these waters the ocean --- cholorine has turned into salt, salt that stings wounds, is thrown over left shoulders for luck, salt that is much more closer to the compounds that make up the body, that are a part of our internal liquids. Regardless the body of water, we are more aquatic than our everyday lives remind us of --- and so I return to my bath, hoping my body will elevate its temperature again, a happy medium.