“there must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but i don’t know many of them. whenever i am so sad i’m going to die, or so nervous i can’t sleep, or in love with somebody i won’t be seeing for a week, i slump down just so far and then i say: i’ll go take a hot bath. i mediate in the bath. the water needs to be very hot, so hot you can barely stand putting your foot in it. then you lower yourself, inch by inch, til the water’s up to your neck. i remember the ceiling over every bathtub i’ve ever stretched out in. i remember the texture of the ceilings and the cracks and the colors and the damp spots and the light fixtures. i remember the tubs, too: the antique griffin-legged tubs overlooking water taps and the different sorts of soap holders. i never feel so much myself as when i’m in a hot bath. i lay in the tub on the seventeenth floor of this hotel for women-only, high up over the jazz and push of new york, for near onto an hour, and i felt myself growing pure again. i don’t believe in baptism or the waters of jordan or anything like that, but i guess i feel about a hot bath the way those religious people must feel about holy water. i said to myself...they are all dissolving away and none of them matter anymore. i don’t know them, i have never known them and i am very pure. all that liquor and those sticky kisses i saw and the dirt that settled on my skin on the way back is turning into something pure. the longer i lay there in the clear hot water the purer i felt, and when i stepped out at last and wrapped myself in one of the big, soft white hotel bath towels i felt pure and sweet as a new baby.”

- sylvia plath, the bell jar



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