There was a small bathroom inside of her office. Inside the bathroom was a full-sized porcelain tub with paws at the bottom. They were paws, not claws, grasping little brass balls.

“That’s a tub,” I said.

She wanted to know the results of my research. We might very well have a basis for joinder, I told her. “What is that,” I asked, “on the rim?”

“It’s my Barbie,” she said, “can’t you tell?”

“No,” I said. That’s not what it looked like.

“Good,” she said.

I couldn’t block out the noises any longer. “What is that?” I asked. All the steam was unsettling.

“Please,” she said, “don’t pay it any mind.”

“Pay what–”

“Don’t worry,” she said. “It’s only my husband.”

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