now in first-person, as originally written
Lying in the water, semi-dozing. I've just finished the book he sent me. At the end, I cried down the sides of my face.
Feeling the water swirl against my skin when I move. My knees and my breasts and my face above the water. Underwater. I can hear my pulse in my ears, like the rhythmic thrum of a generator.
I can feel my skin is waterlogged. Maybe if I lie here long enough, I will dissolve into the bath. Maybe if I lie here long enough, my skin will soak clean off my body. Suddenly I long to slough the soft shell of skin off, shed it like a snake. To emerge raw, and tender, and new.
So i stand in the bath and I scrub myself from head to foot. I can see swirls of soap bubbles on my side as I work my way up one arm, across my shoulder-blades and down to my other wrist.
Then lean back in the water, feel the too-hot sting and smart. I imagine hundreds of tiny abrasions on my skin. Thousands of nerve endings pricking, firing.
I have lain here so long I can't feel the difference between the water and the misty air. I lower my heel, trynig to guess when it hits the surface. I mis-judge, and open my eyes only after my toes are submerged. Then I watch ripples appear with the rise and fall of my stomach.
I cried a little into the water, my heart is still pounding in my throat.