|Giulietta Masina, La Strada|
Do you think about things while you're showering or focus on your shower? he asked. She was combing out her wet hair, already anxious about going to bed too early. With wet hair. What? she asked, as was her wont. Or what. She had a hard time picking up the lower register of his voice, of any voice really. It was one of those things that she'd noticed in the last year or so along with the tiny age spots at the base of her right thumb. She wouldn't do anything about it. Do you think about things while you're showering or focus on your shower? She leaned over, picked up her clothes from the floor and dropped them into the hamper. I don't focus on the shower, she said. She felt vaguely irritated at the question. She wondered if she wanted to be unknowable. But I don't really focus on much these days anyway. He asked, What do you think about? What did she think about? The peeling paint at the top of the tiles, the gray spots on the ceiling that she couldn't reach to clean, her perpetual disappointment, the way the tile felt on her forehead where she rested it, the water streaming down her back. I cry in the shower sometimes she said. But not tonight. He put his phone down and turned to his side. She didn't tell him that she'd been thinking of Giulietta Masina's face in the Fellini movie, her devotion to the strongman, however cruel, how she climbed into the back of the carnival truck with the mermaid on the side to serve him, how she ultimately went mad, her love and devotion abandoned, all the magic and superstition and miracles.