On Thursday night I ate chocolate in the bathtub.
I had taken a shower to get clean and then decided that I deserved a moment to just be. And so I filled the tub with all the hot water in our water heater; I mixed in the lavender bath salts I got for Christmas; I put on the anti-stress face mask I bought on a whim in the cosmetic aisle of WinCo last week; I turned on Pandora and climbed in and soaked until my fingers and toes turned to raisins. And I reached over the edge of the tub and broke off bits of chocolate to eat.
It was dark chocolate, 86% cocoa, Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie, almost too bitter but in the way that coffee is sometimes almost too bitter when it’s brewed good and strong.
I focused on that bitterness, and the sweetness that tempered its edge.
I focused on the water cooling around me by degrees, and the way it cushioned my limbs.
I focused on the lyrics of the songs echoing off the linoleum from my laptop, and the swelling chords of harmony behind the singers’ voices.
I breathed for what felt like the first time all week. Sensations, rather than racing thoughts, filled my consciousness. And I thought, I probably needed this. I needed a little peace of mind, and a piece of chocolate. But the latter is usually easier to find on a college campus than the former.