"Sometimes, during the winter, I like to take hot showers. Maybe not the kind that you, the reader, think of when you imagine ‘hot shower.' Sometimes, I go into the bathroom, and I strip off all my clothes. I look at myself in the mirror, right in the eye, and take in that hazel gaze. A mystery wrapped in sorrow lies just beneath the surface. Then I take in all my features: Black hair, scorched with tips of silver at the age of twenty-one. Hereditary, or stress? Both? Round face, large nose, shaggy facial hair, cut in places from the scars accrued over time. At times I believe myself to be good-looking in my own unique way. Otherwise, I hate every inch, every detail. Then I turn the shower on. I don’t use any cold water. I twist the knob as far as it will go. Water spills forth, its very existence choking the room with its heat, fogging up the mirrors that I use to hate upon myself within minutes. I step inside, and let it pour down my body, from my head into every shape, every contour, to the tips of my toes. Its very touch burns how I imagine the flames of Hell, as if it could wash away the imperfections that I find in myself. As if it could melt away all the fat, burn away the earthly sins I indulge, day in and out. My skin turns tender, and pink. It hurts, but not as badly as I do on the inside. It damages me, but not as badly as society has, with its ideals of the perfect person. The perfect man I’ll never be. Never good enough, so what does it matter what I do to myself in here? When I am finished, I turn off the water. I step out, and I look at the mirror. I can’t see myself, so I smile. That’s all I’ve wanted. I leave the bathroom and walk through the cold house to my bedroom, and lie wet on my bed. Sometimes, during the winter, I like to take hot showers."