The water hits my upper-arm hot and prickly, runs down my forearm hurriedly and, finally, cascades off my finger tips slowly, softly and warmly. I cannot separate myself from the water. I am a a waterfall. My heart beats more gently and yet, somehow, more loudly. I place my entire body under the water to stay warm, close my eyes and begin to smell.
The scent of the body wash sends me back to the moment my friend and I were at the drugstore; that moment of being in complete agreement that the scent was just right. I smell the lavender from my bar of face soap–strong but not overpowering. There is a perfect mixture of masculine and feminine in the combined scents. They are undeniable but not overpowering. I open my eyes.
I look at the hairs on my arm; the way they are curling and moving in different directions under the water. I flex an arm and touch the steeliness of my own bicep. And then I look down at my big hairy belly and rub it with my left hand. I imagine it is a furry animal belly (I am, after all, an animal, am I not?) and my muscles relax somehow. Suddenly it does not matter what I look like from the outside–I just like how I feel.