Summer Soap episode 6: Kate’s happy memory and a stranger at door

Summer Soap is a daily fictional serial which runs over 12 parts. Called Moving Along, this story was written by Nejla Gaylen, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC. Catch up on previous episodes at echolive.ie
Summer Soap episode 6: Kate’s happy memory and a stranger at door

“Okay, the bath itself wasn’t the good stuff but the two bottles of wine they poured in were...”

Episode Six – Wine Bath

“I’M used to the rain in Cork going on forever, but these ringing bells are starting to make me think I hit my head on something. Did I hit my head? I don’t think I hit my head.

“You know what I need right now? A wine bath. I have to confess I thought that was a crazy, stupid idea when you first asked me if I’d ever heard of it, and then told me we were going to get one, but it turned out to be quite fabulous.

“It was also quite fabulous that you were paying for it all.

“I’m not sure how you had heard of a wine bath since you’re the least likely person I know to come up with an original idea, especially a particularly good original idea.

“The even better question is how I had not ever heard of it. I’m the queen of particularly good and original ideas.

“I wonder if they have wine baths here in Cork. Or anywhere in Ireland. I need to add that to my list of things to investigate.

“At least if I can’t find a wine bath in Cork, I know they have wine baths in Italy. I’m not that far from Italy. It’s just a bus fare to the Cork Airport and a handful of euros on Ryanair.

“What did they call it again? Oh yeah. Vinotherapy. I like wine bath better. It is what it is, which was me in a tub of the good stuff.

“Okay, the bath itself wasn’t the good stuff but the two bottles they poured in were. It was supposed to ‘slim, illuminate and revitalize the skin’. I’m not sure it did all that but it’s possible that it did do all that and I just don’t remember what exactly it did as a result of the less than sober state I was in when we left. And not because I drank a tub full of wine.

“I did think about it, but the foam that was accumulating reminded me of the body grime that floats on top of a really good spa bath. Feels good but it’s kind of nasty too.

“Also, I was not the only person who had sat in that tub that day or a whole bunch of other days, which would have made drinking from the tub kind of like drinking from an old trainer from the Mardyke’s lost and found.

“The aroma was intoxicating all on its own, but mostly I got good and tipsy from the bottle and a half of Chianti Riserva I consumed while I was in the wine bath.

“And then the wine bath lady got a little cranky with me when I protested getting out at the appointed time.

“In my defence, I would like to say, ‘a bottle and a half of Chianti Riserva’. It would have been two bottles if the first wine bath lady hadn’t called the other wine bath lady to come assist her in assisting me in exiting the tub and the establishment.

“Anyway, it was indeed a wonderful celebration and I appreciate you for the experience and I want you to know that I will always remember it fondly.”

There was another loud knock at the door. Kate hurried across the room to open it before whoever was on the other side could run away.

Despite her haste, she had still half-expected to find the hallway empty again, but there was a diminutive woman standing there in a soaking jumper. The woman moved to step inside.

“Whoa,” Kate said, putting her hand out to block the woman’s entrance into the apartment. “Where are you going? Are you 2B? You’ve kept me up more nights than I can count with your parties. Is that what’s going on now? Another one of your parties?”

“2B? What are you blathering on about? I’ve been trying to get to you for a minute now. We need to get on.”

“What?” Kate asked as she watched drops of water fall from the woman’s perfect elf-like nose. “You’re dripping water on everything.”

“Yeah, well it’s bucketing down out there.”

“Are you here to invite me to your party?”

“Party? There’s no party.”

Kate closed the door in the woman’s face. There was more knocking, but Kate didn’t answer.

“What a disappointing day this has been,” she said.

ON MONDAY: “I actually have a bad history with buses. The year before moving here to Ireland, my friend Danielle invited me on a trip to Costa Rica...”

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