I don't particularly like my body. I've said all this before, so I'm not going to complain about the bits I don't like, although the red patch where my thighs rub together is beginning to get really rather irritating, as are the callous calluses on my feet (but I have cream for those, even though it doesn't appear to be working much). Truth is, I haven't been taking good care of my body recently, especially as I've been doing that course for the last four weeks, followed by a very confused weekend of perpetual motion. I just haven't had the time for more than a quick splash or a comb of the hair before I dash out of the door. And last night I looked in the mirror...
...wow. Something had to be done.
First in the agenda was my facial hair. I'd grown my beard so long that you couldn't tell my Movember 'mo was deliberate. I grabbed my loyal, long-suffering electric trimmer and tidied up the aforementioned 'mo - although this made it too short. So I shaved my beard off. The sole presence of moustache sans anything to hold it up was weird, but at least it looked deliberate. I did feel the urge to put on some ragtime music and tie someone to a railway track, though.
I stripped off and despaired at my flabby bits, but decided to put an end to the dry skin and turned the shower up to "you sure?". I stood there... just stood there, naked, under the hot rain. Reflecting for a moment, I smothered myself in tea tree oil from head to toe and limbered up for the grand assault, sidestepping back into the water and feeling it throb down, cleansing my skin and making my muscles scream with relief. I did the same with my head, covering the brutally short stubble, corners of my neck, nose, forehead, backs of ears and the incongruous three spots which have appeared in the same generic area (I know not why) in the same Myrtacean substance. And on went the shampoo and conditioner, so much so that I could coat my pubic hair in it as well.
I'd trimmed my pubic hair too, by the way. Not with the electric shaver, though. That's just a bit too wrong. I just tidied it up with nail scissors... mostly for my own amusement.
I dripped onto the bath mat as I finally stepped back into the dry world, the steam of the bathroom billowing around me, obscuring my vision, kickstarting my other senses. I felt the smooth sensation of the water droplets running down my skin, heard the trickle of water running down the marble, could sense the tea tree hanging in the air. I ran through what was left to do in my head. Cleaning my teeth... drying my hair... towelling off. Yes, I could do all that. That was achievable. After the rest of yesterday, wherein everything I tried seemed nigh on insurmountable, this was good. This was something I could do.
Skip forward an hour.
I lay myself down. I was clean and dry. I'd looked in the mirror and grinned at myself, even if I did still look like a silent movie villain. I'd had a bit of toast and even some hot chocolate. I'd even given myself an orgasm, just to take the edge off things. And as I wrapped my arms around Oxford, pulled the duvet over my newly soft skin and felt the blood pulse repeatedly through my limbs, I let out a breath of contentment at last. After all the strain, for a while, at least, I'd managed to love my body.