Sometimes we find ourselves in hot water.
Thoughts on the transformative powers of heat, by:
It was a rough night, tonight. I had written a lengthy email to Rachel, explaining in rather harsh words exactly why I couldn’t be with her anymore — or at least why I had to move out. She wrote back:
Thank you for sharing. How miserable it sounds like you have been. I thought I understood how things have been for you but I did not realize it was to that extent. I hope you can get over me and find a healthier place. I would have liked to start over w you but I see now how impossible that would be on your end.
I cant wait around for you. The best I could have offered you is casually dating once a week and working hard on reconnecting with you and being able to trust again. But after your email I see that maybe it is I who should tell you that you are free so you stop holding on to something so terrible and painful and unrewarding. I say this with sincerity and a sadness in my heart for what you have been through because of me. I never meant to hurt you and many of the things I have done are my childhood patterns but that is no excuse. All I can do is work on myself so that I can be healthier for the next person I someday connect with. Or stay away from people. I don’t know.
A few hours later, she offered to meet up with me to hold me if I wanted, and suggested that maybe in a few weeks we could get together and say nothing, communicating only with our eyes and bodies, and just “seeing what happens”.
Pretty sure sex would happen, if we’re only communicating with our eyes and bodies.
Just a guess.
Part of me really wants to fuck her. Even our bad sex was good. I find her so attractive. She could literally render me speechless, walking around in my kitchen wearing nothing more than a bra, panties, and nylons on her long legs.
On the other hand, sleeping with her would give her some kind of power over me. Like I’d lose something — all this uncoupled ground I’ve secured.
This is my second night in my new place. I wanted to take a bath here. I haven’t taken a bath in months.
It’s an older tub; I cranked the “H” all the way up and left the “C” off.
I should call Rachel up tomorrow, and I should tell her to come over tomorrow morning after her girls are in school so that we can fuck.
I don’t know about you, but I like my baths really, really hot. Like hot enough that it’s painful to get in, commanding your full attention like a noseful of good Scotch.
Testing the water with my hand, I found that the bathwater was even too hot for me, so I ran some “C”, swirling it until my hand only hurt from the throbbing of blood flow.
She would probably do it, if I asked. She might be a little smug about it, but I bet she would come over.
Bracing myself against the rim of the tub, I slowly set my foot in. There is that initial tingle, like the prickling pins-and-needles feeling you get when your foot falls asleep, followed by the stampede of a deep throbbing pain.
Foot…ankle…top of ankle…calf… and now my foot has touched the bottom. The shift of weight onto that foot was painful; hasty movements are a bad idea. I slowly leaned onto that foot, and did the same slow entry with the other. As my body acclimated to the temperature (120 degrees? Maybe hotter), the transitions became easier.
Both feet planted firmly, I slowly lowered the rest of my body into the water. This took a while, but once my hips were submerged the rest went in easily.
I’m not going into work tomorrow, we could fuck all day long.
I sat there, legs fully extended, and just soaked in the heat. My whole body was throbbing, and the eddy currents in the water occasionally singed my skin like being brushed with a burning feather.
I should email her tonight.
Staring straight ahead, my breathing slowed. I felt my body become sluggish and heavy. I settled in to the bath. Even the slightest movement was a scorching reminder.
Remain. Absolutely. Still.
My body has “tan lines” in the parts that are submerged.
There is a chemical procedure called “calcination“, referring to the use of intense heat (typically in a crucible or calcinator) to vaporize the volatile impurities in another substance. Alchemists would do this, and modern chemists do it, though they use different equipment now. The intense heat separates the unstable from the stable; the ephemeral from the substantial.
Hot baths like those are like that. I felt my body absorb the heat; I felt like a battery was being charged in me, a fire stoked; I was energized. Bad feelings were cooked off, cast aside as the painful sensation of the hot water commanded my full attention.
My brow beaded with sweat, I slowly submerged my chest into the water. The safety-drain croaked steadily as my mass displaced more of the water. Shoulders are underwater. Neck. Hair. When my ears reached the water line, they made that familiar noise as they fill with water; a light “pop” right at the end when they are full and the last air bubble escapes. My arms were bent upwards, my hands resting on the back of my neck, nose and mouth above the waterline.
The vibrations of the heater in the basement below passed through the water and I heard a low humming noise. This hum blended with a rhythmic swishing noise of my heartbeat. *FWISH FWISH FWISH FWISH FWISH FWISH*
My hair floated freely. My body slowly melting.
I laid there, pulled the drain open with my toe, and felt the water drain away. Staying still, I felt the water level slowly descend down my skin. My favorite part is when the water level drops past my ears, and my ears drain out.
As it passed down the back of my head, and neck, and then back, I oozed into the bathtub floor. I remained there, motionless, until the water was completely gone.
Drying off, I exuded heat. There was no shock here. I was well insulated.
I have always been a physically “warm” person. Past partners have complained that I am too warm to sleep next to.
I like being warm.
The last 4 or 5 months with Rachel, though, I felt very cold. I shivered in bed on multiple occasions, before winter, even! My hands lacked circulation and were uncharacteristically cold, even indoors.
My furnace had died; the embers turned black.
After this bath, my whole body radiated warmth. No blanket. The furnace had been stoked to life again, quietly roaring.
That desire is gone, for now. Burnt away. It might come back later, and I can deal with it then.
But for now, it is gone.
And I am again warm.