A pink bicycle helmet lays in the middle of my bathroom floor next to a crumpled up towel. On the side of the helmet are the letters LGS, the initials of my youngest daughter, the one who tore my towel rod from the wall several months ago, which now forces me to keep my towel crumpled on the floor next to a bicycle helmet.
In the bathtub I find a small orange squirt gun and a large magnifying glass. If you had to guess which one of these resulted in the biggest argument between the little girls that shared the bathtub last, you would probably guess wrong. Children are very possessive of their magnifying glasses. I place these aside. They were on top of the hand towel I had been looking for a few minutes earlier. It is sopping wet, and I drape it over the side of the tub. It immediate starts to drip a waterfall of cold water at my feet.
As I do this the heater begins to blow warm air into the room from a vent in the wall. This results in a horrible metallic rattling sound which, upon inspection, turns out to be caused by a large sheet of aluminum foil that is leaning up against it, obviously intended for the trash before it became side tracked and misplaced here in the no man’s land of the downstairs bathroom. This limbo of forgotten souls.
On the counter, woven among the cords leading to my electric razor and electric toothbrush, is a single white sock. A sock that had been sweetly brought here by my oldest daughter when I had sent her on a quest to replace the ones that had just stepped in a puddle of water. A puddle conveniently spilled precisely where i stand to brush my teeth. She had misunderstood at the time, apparently forgetting that her father had two feet, one for each leg, and this sock had remained here ever since as a strange reminder of imbalance. A monument in an ongoing revolution against the oppressive teachings of Feng Shui. The Ying sock without a matching Yang.
I am pondering these things as I stand staring at myself in the mirror. I suddenly realize that leaning against the mirror is a commemorative box set of state quarters. How long has that been there? How long have I combed my hair over this scene of fireworks and American flags, and $12.50 in coin? A week? A year? Eternity? Yes, eternity, I conclude. This is where these coins were born. Right here on the counter, in the fires of creation. All things are exactly as they have always been. These coins, regardless of the date stamp on their sides are the age of the earth itself. The age of the universe. They are as old as chaos. And here in the land of chaos they are the only currency.
I adjust my collar, gather everything that is meaningful to my life, and carry it with me to where my family is waiting in the living room. I leave the coins behind, a small payment for the spirits that will no doubt return to haunt these forsaken plains in my absence.