IS THERE anything more relaxing than slipping below the still surface of a hot bath on a winter day… when clouds — too lazy to even shift in the sky — hang low and gray, bringing on night before your day seems to even begin? Coming in from your evening commute, you peel off your outer layers like a woolly onion, your cheeks, cold and firm, feel ruddy with the sudden warmth of the indoors. You’re barely through the door before walking to the bathroom, flicking on the lights and turning the metal knobs of the bath and stopping the drain. Somehow you’re schedule is wide open tonight — no drinks, no dinners, no work and nothing on the tellie.
The water drums against the tub floor as you puncture the steady stream with up-turned fingers to test the temperature. It’s a few degrees too hot. It’s perfect. When you step in, big toe first, steam curling up from the surface, sweat droplets form instantly on your upper lip. Incrementally you lower in, supported by your hands grasping the lip of the tub. First the feet. Take them out and re-submerge them. Then the calves and the backs of your legs as you gently sit down. The water envelopes your body right up to your belly button and you sit back letting it swallow you whole.
Salts added under the running tap massage your muscles into submission. The fragrant slick of oil on the surface eases your mind with each inhale....
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