1. There were not enough beds. We were young and did not think of this potential dilemma when we agreed, all nine of us, to spend the night in a rich family friend’s apartment in the city.
2. I thought maybe it would be cozy.
3. I thought it could be kind of fun.
4. I had tried to sleep in a bathtub once before, when I was nine, just to say that I had. Halfway through the night I got uncomfortable and moved to the floor, a relocation that had stayed with me as a great failure. This was an opportunity to redeem myself.
5. I was a little bit drunk.
6. I was being sort of difficult.
7. I wanted to be near a toilet because there was more vodka in my stomach than there had been in a long time. I had taken the first few shots along with everyone else, but he still wouldn’t look my way, so I took a few more on my own. Even then, he just kept sitting there on the couch, his lanky arm draped behind her. The vodka didn’t help me in the way I thought it would. I just got a little mean and a little nauseous.
8. I don’t like sleeping in beds with other people, platonically.
9. It seemed like something a fun person would do and laugh about in the morning.
10. I needed to get up earlier than everyone else and I did not want to wake them when I did so. They did not have class on Friday morning, but I did, and so I knew I would have to flop out of the tub at seven to get back to campus by nine, while they would probably sleep until at least ten forty-five.
11. I wanted to be in a room by myself in case I started to cry. I don’t remember if that actually happened or not.
12. I had originally wanted to sleep in the big closet, but the big closet was next to the bed where he was sleeping, and it was common knowledge by the end of the night that she would be spending the night in that bed too.
13. Sometimes I do things for the sake of distinction.
14. I knew it would give me permission to complain the following morning, even if I would only be able to get away with lamenting my physical soreness.
15. I was signaling my surrender.
16. It was a tangible action I could recount the next day, curious enough that maybe people would ask me why I did it.
17. It was a beautiful bathroom.
by Emma A. Hill
Emma A. Hill is a dance educator, writer, and Britney Spears enthusiast originally from Anchorage, Alaska. She recently graduated from Northwestern University, and currently lives in Chicago, where she works to increase young people’s access to dance. Her work has previously been published in Permafrost Magazine.
About the Artwork
The accompanying artwork is by contributor Stefan Hengst.