Inspired by a self-portrait photograph featured in an exhibit at the SCAD Museum in Savannah, Georgia, by an artist who's name I forgot to write down. (Dangit). Submission for SCAD Art Words Competition 2007 & received Second Place in Fiction Writing
The man simply refused to come out of the bathtub.
“Please, sir,” begged the elder woman from outside the bathroom. “Couldn't you hurry it up a bit?” She was in charge of the boarding house. “I've got a line of other people out here that need to use the bathroom too.”
“Piddle on them!” barked the man. He wore dark sunglasses and balanced a camera carefully on the edge of the tub. “This is the only way I can get inspired!”
“Sir, you've been in there for three hours,” begged the woman.
“Exactly! I've only just begun! You people couldn't possibly understand,” he said with a wave of his hand. “Genius takes time and concentration…”
He shifted his position slightly left of the camera, then slightly right. The composition for this would be a delicate one. If he expected to receive any respect from the Photographer's Guild, his entry form must be perfect. The “Attach Photograph Here” might be considered a simple task for most, but he knew it was a test of the art of self-portraiture.
He giggled to himself. “No one else would think to photograph themselves like this! Pure genius!”
He shifted his weight again, lifted one arm, then the other. He had to be sure not to look too posed, or the idea would seem trite.
There was another knock at the door.
“C'mon man, my daughter's really gotta go!” said an angry father's voice.
“What do you suppose outside is for?” demanded the man. Honestly. People had no sense these days.
“Sir, if you don't come out of there, I'll have to fetch the bathroom key,” said the woman's voice again.
“I don't suppose you mean these keys?” asked the man, holding up a key ring and jiggling it through fits of giggles. “I thought of everything to insure my solitude, so you all might as well leave!”
There were sounds outside the door, a few choice words. The man ignored them and moved his camera to the opposite end of the tub and leaned back to face it. Full figure might be considered bold, but he was more than capable of boldness. Adjusting his sunglasses, he scooted forward and pressed the camera's timer. Now, all he need do is wait while the camera captured the perfect moment.
There was a loud crash and the bathroom door fell to the floor. The man let out a shrill scream as the angry boarders marched in and began to forcibly remove him from the tub. The man fought back, waving his arms about, kicking and screaming.
The camera clicked quietly.
Later, as she reviewed new submissions, the head of the Photographer's Guild shook her head sadly at the image of a flailing Japanese man in the bathtub fighting with an angry mob.
“Can't they do anything other than bathtubs these days?” she muttered, tossing the submission in the reject pile.