I was lying in the tub the other morning, trying not to contemplate the ever increasing amount of water I displace, when I chanced to look up at the bathroom ceiling. Believe me, this was the best of my chance-looking options.
And glancing at that ceiling I remembered as a young boy fantasizing about walking on ceilings in general, as if this would be the greatest of supernatural powers: to look at the world anew all upside and excitingly foreign. In my youth I could imagine happy day after day strolling along the ceilings of the family home, surprising my sister, freaking out the mail-man, finding out what all that stuff was that my mom put on top of the refrigerator.
But looking up that ceiling as an adult the other morning, from the self-esteem crushing waters of my bath, all I could imagine were the smoke detectors and light fixtures I would be stubbing my toes on; I thought about tripping over the tops of doorways as I gracelessly entered rooms. What sort of exciting power was that? Floors were made to be walked on, ceiling were made to be looked at suspiciously, scanning for the tell-tale signs that the upstairs neighbors have overflowed their kitchen sink again.
And I don’t even want to see the stuff I keep on the top of my refrigerator—that’s exactly why I keep it on the top of the refrigerator in the first place.
So, after the bathwater had grown sufficiently cold around me, I shaved and dressed and walked upon all the floors and sidewalks between home and the dingy basement office I work in. Which, I might add, has a drop ceiling that could never support my weight.
And thus another dream of youth has died.