If you’re self-conscious about your body, take a bath. You may not have done so in a long time. If you’re feeling strange about getting older and the thing you once saw in the mirror is now something plucked from the future and implanted here, take a bath. Remember when you took baths as a child? Maybe mother had stopped bathing you and let you do it yourself. That’s where your memories begin. Let yourself slip into the hot water again. Your body won’t fit so amiably anymore, but it will fit. Take a bath.
And then, think of someone you know. Not a person you’ve been to bedlam and back with. Someone you only know the outside of. Maybe someone you’d like to know better. Someone you trust but don’t know why. Someone who shows it in their eyes.
Think of the conversation you’d have with them while they watch you bathe. They could sit on the counter or even crossed-legged on the closed toilet seat. Let them see you soaking in the water and feel no shame, no sheepish, inner cowering. Let everything be as it is, calmed by the warmth of water and the salts – menthol – eucalyptus – lavender – citrus.
What would you talk about? Take a bath and think about it. Play it out in your head as you peer down across the surface of the water toward your feet. Let them darken the doorway to the bathroom and then let them enter.