“Why would you do that Havana?” I asked, slumping beside the bathtub. She threw her long tail back and forth, made a noise like someone rolling her r’s. “Do you know how much mommy wanted to soak in Epsom salts tonight?” Her head cocked sideways. “Do you have any idea how tired I am?”
She actually looked kind of proud of the dried little turds she’d left in the tub. She continued to ‘rrr’ and flip her tail.
I looked down. Poor people don’t have the option to feel this queasy, I reminded myself. Nor do they – we, sorry – have the leeway necessary to declare ‘I shall never use this tub again, it has become soiled beyond comprehension.’
“My stomach hurts,” Amelia told me, grimacing like a gargoyle. I don’t quite like the look of your face, I thought.
But I have pneumonia – my kindness reservoirs (yes, plural) are running, well, low. Still – “What’s wrong?” I asked, chiding myself a little internally. “I don’t know, I just have this really sticky poo, you know? The kind that feels like you’re never done pooing . . . hey Lola, are you coughing?”
“No,” I choked out, “I’m gagging. Remember how I told you my stomach’s off? As in, I’m nauseous, as in, good God why do I have to hear about that at work?” She stopped grimacing. “Well, it’s not like I was talking about something really gross, like you and ‘oh, poor Clary has mucus in his lungs’. Mucus is disgusting!”