This evening my wife poked her head into the office doorway to tell me she was done in the shower. As I was getting ready to take my turn she mentioned that the pink mold in the shower stall was getting out of hand and said it was time for a good cleaning. “That stuff grows fast if you don’t keep up with it,” she said, emphasizing “you.”
Once I confirmed that the “good cleaning” part referred to the shower stall and not to me, I stepped in to see for myself. I didn’t think the mold was all that noticeable. There was a touch of pink in the corner of the stall that is always shaded, and that was about it. But these things tend to bug her more than me for some reason. It’s a shower stall, in North Carolina, and the weather is getting warm. Mold here is like bugs were in Florida. You can hold them at bay, but you never win the war. I accept the occasional appearance of mold here or a bug in Florida as a fact of life. Odd what my autism fixates on and what it lets pass. I quickly put it out of my mind and continued with the shower.
There’s a mirror in there, along with my shave kit, so my normal shower duration includes time for the shave. Even counting for the shave we are talking less than 10 minutes total. Let’s just say that it’s not a very long time, even when measured against the life span of a mold.
So you can imagine it came as a bit of a surprise at the end of my shower when I happened to look down and noticed the bottom of the stall was now very pink. A lot. As in “this would have been impossible to miss” pink.
Holy crap, how aggressive is that mold? What is it, “instant mold”? You just add water? It must be all over me. All over my feet at least. Does it attack humans? What if it splashes into the cuts and scrapes I got working in the yard last weekend? Is there an antidote for it? Do I have time to get the antidote before this thing reduces me to jelly? If I re-wash can I get ahead of it, or will that just give it time to double or quadruple again? At this rate, how come we don’t see entire houses reduced to jelly mounds overnight? “Whoops, lost Marlon and his family last night. Too bad, I liked them.”
I recognized the signs of a panic attack coming on. That upward spiral first of concern, then anxiety, then fear, then if it gets far enough panic and physical symptoms. I forced my brain to stop and reconsider all of this. The scenario playing out in my head was straight out of a psychotronic B-Movie. There had to be another explanation. A rational explanation.
I took a deep breath. I glanced in the mirror to see if I looked as scared as I felt. It was at that moment I realized the problem wasn’t a super-aggressive, drug-resistant, parasitic megalomaniacal slime mold that breeds faster than tribbles.
I just need a fresh razor blade.
And maybe a styptic pencil.