THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: http://twohawksquarterly.com/2015/06/09/bathing-fat-tiara-deguzman/
Understand that everyone bathes differently.
When you’re fat and in a bath, every movement becomes an event, and every event occurs on the surface. This is not Shamu’s pool, and though you wish to dive, to flatten yourself under water, to decrease the amount of curvage peaked above, realize it will prove impossible. You are you, stuck between two walls and there are not enough bubbles to shield you from the lights, from your lover, from your own offended eyes.
Recognize that things will accompany you while you bathe. You will close your eyes, and try to splash water on your body to make the dry parts warm and when you open them you will notice crawling things. Do not be alarmed. Though these are not your friends, they are comfortable with you. When they greet you, and you recognize them, make sure to give each one a kiss, acknowledge its presence. Do not pretend it does not exist or it will be offended and refuse to leave.
When you long for a skinny-girl bath understand their baths are not much better.
They just have more room to hide.
Become friends with lines.
And by this I mean, befriend the lines on your body, all the imperfections. The scar from when your third grade crush pushed you to the ground, the curl of uncolored cellulite hiding beneath your calf. The stretch mark gained when you started your first year of college. The stretch mark gained when you stayed up late eating your favorite mixture of nachos, Oreos and peanut butter, the mixture that your father made fun of you for, the mixture that he later tried and woke you up for, declaring it a masterpiece. The stretch mark on your hips that you and your friends call tattoos. They are matching, each one gained from your sophomore year of college, specifically from finals week when you stayed up late, when you laughed and ordered Chinese food at four am, when you didn’t yet think of the consequences of beef and broccoli, of fried rice. This was when you didn’t realize the small curls of crab wontons would recreate themselves on your waist.
These are the lines that accompany you. These are the lines that will remind you who you are when you forget.
Become friends with what’s round.
People have lost their love of round things, the love cultivated in childhood, the love that arose when they, as children, stood in the cold snow and rolled what was flat into curves. The excitement gained from creating three big lumps of snow fat into a person created something almost celestial for you. You liked to imagine yourself as a snowman, round calves, round stomach, round neck, everything in circles, everything meaning something.
You dip a toe into the water and ripples form around it, sphere upon circle upon sphere.
Invest in a cleaning product that actually works.
When trying to rid your tub of pests like shame and guilt, self-loathing and the longing to press yourself flat under water, it is necessary that you invest in a cleaning product that will actually rid you of the problem. Choose something that you can clear a space with making it blank and empty and a place for you.
If the cleaning product that actually works malfunctions, invest in your body.
Given the fullness of your limbs, the extra plushness of your thighs and hips, you have the ability to rid the tub of shame yourself.
Crush your demons.
Understand who you are.
This is not a Pamela Anderson moment.
You will not surface from water: fit, lithe, breasts firm, head high. Water will cascade down your body and struggle to find a place to go. It will tumble down you like all the best things tumble: like children tumble down hills, like skiers plummet down mountains, like creation forming, slow and tumble-like, like animals form, like land breaks, like ocean waves crash down on each other trying to make the loudest splash, wrestlers for your attention, for your pleasure.
For everything holds its breath.
For every event worth watching happens just above surface where everyone can see.