there have been a lot of times in my adolescence where i was sent away. usually to my cousins house. it was an old house, full of feces, urine, and lots of hoard. the bathroom was my favorite place. there was one section of support beam that had been eaten away by mold and water rot, and there was a big hole. the bathtub was huge, i remember you could sit down in it and only the top of your neck would be poking out. and behind the tub on the wall, was an entire collection of dollhouses, doll hospitals, doll restaurants. the old plastic kind, with bright colors, light up buttons, and multi stories that you could open up the plastic walls. when it was bath night, you'd fill up the tub once with hot water, and each person would get to take a bath in that water. you came out feeling, smudged. like you had a film of dream on you, like a plastic or silicone coating you. they had so many soaps in all different scents, and by the final bath it was slightly brown and very soapy. but it still felt like you were so clean, like a dollhouse baptism, you were covered in a thick layer of cucumber, rose, cherry blossom. the window by the bathroom was so caked in dust, as if it wore a veil, with the smallest lace curtains all bunched up. and you'd open the window, so dark and blue outside, the night air so cool agains the cocoon of hot soap, and look out over the endless sprawl of abandoned plastic playtoys, the trailer that hadn't been touched in years, the swingset that your legs would brush the thicket thorns if you swung too high, and over into the impenetrable greenery. the midnight, so watery, stained everything. the mirror had two beautiful lampshade lights haloing it, cream and yellow light that swaddled you. then, once you left, all you could smell was urine again. the bugs would start crawling over you, and the leering narrow hallway called you back into the house. i remember holding my knees to my breast, my chin being lapped at by the soap logged water, laughing, and feeling i had escaped it all. i was clean.