Curing the infection. 1

A heavy sigh is expelled into the air as I throw the now empty tube aside and clutch the back of my thighs, throwing my legs into the air above me. I look over my right shoulder to see myself upside down in the mirror, the right side of my face pressed into the bed so half of my view is obstructed by covers. But I look at my wonky L shaped body and giggle just because.

The door opens, and he comes in. He walks straight past the bottom of bed, his legs inches from my face that hangs off the edge. I feel the breeze of him striding into the bathroom without looking at me. “What are you doing?” His question comes from a face turned away, collecting toiletries in the echoey en suite.
“It’s this treatment for BV. I have to put gel in my vag and it’s kind of better to let it, like, soak in for a while?” He emerges, his eyes scanning my shape, digesting the logistics.
“Ah. Nice.” He laughs to himself as he puts the bottles in his bag. I watch him in silence. My toes clench in the air.
“What time do we have to leave tomorrow?” I ask, turning my head to him. His back is to me again when he answers.
“Like, 9?”
I nod in response even though he can’t see it.
The silence is comfortable, understandable.
“Will you put something on for me to listen to whilst I lie here? The ceiling is boring.”
“Yeah sure.” He immediately drops his packing and leans over the bed where my legs should be lying, to grab the laptop. The lid opens and his face is illuminated with cold, harsh, white light. His eyes dart around the screen that I cannot see. His face is suddenly moving, lines and shadows forming all over it in countlessly different ways. The moisture on his teeth is suddenly exposed by the light. He’s smiling. “Here you go, have a listen to that.” He drops the laptop back on the bed and returns to his bag, just as poorly recorded guitar strings escape from the computer. “2, 3, 4 -“

“Raindrops keep fallin on my head. And just like the guy who’s feet are too big for his bed, nothin seems fit, those raindrops are fallin on my head, they keep fallin, so I just did me some talkin to the sun-“

I bolt up. My legs fold at the knees and my feet hit the mattress. “Is that you?” I ask his back over the music. His shoulders shudder slightly. He’s laughing. “Yeah, I recorded this when I was like, 19.” He gestures to the noise. I pull the laptop towards myself to see it. A SoundCloud page full of phone recordings is open, “raindrops keep falling on my head” playing. “Oh my god…” I say loud enough so only I can hear, scrolling through the list. The sound of him singing and strumming plays out uninterrupted until it’s finished. The song is bookended by the sound of him scrabbling with his phone to turn off the recording. “Oh my god.” I say again, this time at him. He keeps looking over his shoulder at me. His head hangs as he stares at the pile of messy clothes, selecting one, repetitively folding it then pushing it into the corners of his bag.

“You can fucking sing.” I pair my accusation with a stare. He shrugs. “Roll them, don’t fold them. It’s easier and you get more room.” He takes the folded t shirt in his hands by the neck and lets the doubled up fabric fall back out, before rolling it and putting it away. “You can fucking sing.” I flick my hair over my shoulder and look down the list of other recordings. “What the fuck, are you secretly talented?” He laughs again, and turns. Arms folded, leaning back against the wall. He doesn’t actually answer me.
“I bet you can sing as well.”
“Nah.”
“Definitely can. You have the face.”
“The face for singing?”
“Yeah, the face for singing. You have the face of someone who knows they can sing.”
“That sounds like smugness. That sounds like you’re saying I have a smug face.”
“You do have a smug face.”
“But I can’t sing. So my smugness must be for something else.”
“You’re smug like someone that’s currently curing themselves of a vaginal infection?”
“Oh fuck!”
I look down and pull my dress aside. The remnants of the gel, a wet patch on the bed.
“Oh fuck.” I push the word out as I clamber off the bed and storm to the bathroom.

 

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