I took the stairs up to the third level and found the bathroom always as it had been. Gran had always been eccentric, but I never understood why she liked to sleep in the bath tub. I know it's not comfortable. Maybe it makes her feel secure and safe. Sure enough, a quilt was placed ever so gently and arranged ever so meticulously around the porcelain.
I stood their wondering why she had decided on this tub instead of the other. Obviously, she'd have to bathe in one, but how did she choose? Was it the floor of the house? Was it the plumbing? Was it a reason that was beyond my comprehension? I knew for sure that I would never find out. I was not one to ask many questions, especially to Gran. She and I have a great deal in common and the inability to be honest with ourselves is one of them. It's just too difficult to say certain things out loud. I imagined why she sleeps in the tub would be one of those things. I had heard of people drying their clothes in the bathroom. I had heard of dogs looking for shelter in a tub when they were sick or afraid. I hadn't heard of people using a bath tub for a bed unless they were sick and too worn out to kneel at the toilet.
Upon greater inspection, I realized the quilt was not so meticulously placed as I had first thought. There were three little bumps slightly linked to a larger lump underneath the fabric. I slowly walked to the tub's edge and adjusted the blanket, but discovered that the lumps did not dissipate. I sat on the edge of the tub contemplating my next move. Why do I even care?
I decided not to give it a second thought and go find the others downstairs. Having previously tried to escape the fluttering relatives, I was suddenly looking forward to the distraction. I abruptly turned my seated self and accidently tugged on the quilt. It slid this way and that as I rushed for the bathroom door. I hurried down my grandmother's outdoor carpeted stairs afraid to look behind me. As I reached the bottom and turned to enter the back hallway that led to the kitchen, I saw four furry beings following me close behind. I stopped and laughed at myself for being so fearful of such sweet creatures.
The largest possum sat down on the last step as I laughed and peered at me through her confusion. Her three possum babies stopped short behind her and waited for their next instruction. I reached over and put my hand palm up on the step next to the first baby. He was sitting closest to the possum mother and also to me. He sniffed me and blinked. I smiled at the possum family one more time. I then popped awake, wondering what it had all meant.