exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: TIme



Date: December 17th, 2017

Name: Jam

Pronouns: They/Them

Age: 25


How often do you bathe or shower?

Mostly once a day, but it’s because my acne gets so bad if I don’t. But I tend more towards two days [laughter]. I mostly shower, but I don’t know. When my body feels weird, I take a bath if I feel like I need it. If I feel like I need to chill out. Just to make my brain calm down.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

A manta ray. They’re beautiful. They look like– I used to dream about them a lot. And I just like how they move. And not very many things are shaped like that. It’s a very unique body design. And I think it’s really funny when they jump out of the ocean and belly flop [laughter] to make those giant booms under the water to attract mates. I think that’s great.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about bugs [laughter]. I’m a teacher and I am passionate about– I was talking to my partner about this yesterday, about how there are two things that I want to get across. If I could narrow it down to two things that I want to get across when I’m teaching kids, it’s that you shouldn’t be afraid of dead things and bugs are amazing. Yeah, that’s what I’m passionate about. I’ve always been fascinated with biodiversity, different kinds of creatures. And I found that the most insane variation in what creatures look like and how they function is in the insect world. And we know so little about it and there’s so much of it. And I don’t know when I realized that.

I mean, I hadn’t always loved bugs. I was diagnosed with OCD in fourth grade. And for a while, it manifested as really intense germophobia for a year. My hands were scaly because I washed them so much. It was really bad. I just had panic attacks if I thought that something I was going to eat was in any way tarnished or something. And that definitely did not help the bug situation. But I don’t know. I think looking at a lot of really close up images of bugs, being able use– there’s a lot of really good bug Flickrs [laughter]. I spend a lot of time on the internet looking at pictures of bugs, really close up pictures of bugs. And I think that a lot more people would like bugs if they were larger because you can’t really see all of what’s going in there because they’re so small and when you look at macro photography you’re like “Wow. That mouth has so many individual moving parts. That bug that looks like it’s all smooth and shiny is actually like a big hairy creature when you look at it up close”. I think that helped me figure out how awesome they were. And I also am passionate about drawing and bugs are my favorite thing to illustrate.

What is something you feel accomplished with?

I feel really accomplished because I moved here. I lived in Washington my entire life until a little over six months ago. A year ago I came to visit my friend in Chicago who lived in this apartment. And I knew I wanted to move away from where I was because I did not want to do Washington anymore [laughter]. A lot of it is that it’s just really homogenous. It’s ecologically beautiful but in terms of belief systems and culture and ethnicity even, it’s just so homogenous. And everyone is scared of that but they’re also scared of anything else. So there’s a lot of tension because people don’t talk about things. And I didn’t think I could move. I didn’t think I could do it because I’d never done it before. I’d never moved across the country. And I wanted to live in the city and I wanted to live in an environment that was more challenging. I guess I had done it before. I lived in the Andes for four months in Peru for a class and I noticed that that really– it was a catalyst in my brain. It evolved me. I felt I was so out of my comfort zone and so in such a completely different situation because I’d never spent very much time outside the country before that it just triggered all these changes in me and most of them were very positive. Or they weren’t even positive or negative. I just became a different person. And I felt like that person was more operable in the world and so I wanted to do that again. And that’s part of why I wanted to move. And I feel really accomplished in moving here because it was really hard. But I feel like I’m making it work.

What is something you still struggle with?

I have a lot of problems around just the way that I think about time. I constantly worry that I’m wasting time or that I am misusing time or that I am stuck. I’ll find myself spending time with someone I love and I’ll just be like, “We’re not doing anything. We’re doing nothing. We’re being unproductive”. And then I’ll go, “Wow. That’s a horrible thing to think about spending time with a loved one. No.” But there are some– I notice that ebbs and flows in different periods of my life and I’m definitely in one of those periods right now where I feel I have to be working on things all the time in order to feel good about myself and in order to feel like I’m not wasting or just eating up time. So that’s the thing that I struggle with is berating myself about that and comparing myself to like, “These people have accomplished this thing. I have accomplished this thing. They are incomparable. I am not doing the things that I should be doing at this point in my life”.  My anxiety has gotten significantly better since I moved here. But yeah, I struggle with not necessarily time management but time over-management [laughter].

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual, familial, and otherwise?

What kind of thoughts? I think they should be constructive. What is that sound [laughter]? Oh well. I think that they should be constructive and positive and build something because I feel like a lot of relationships do not do that. And I see a lot of people in relationships that are not– I don’t want to judge what people’s lives are like because I’m only seeing a little bit of it. But I feel like most people who I interact with who are in relationships that they feel really committed in in terms of you’re my partner relationships. They seem like they feel trapped but they don’t want to acknowledge it. And I feel like any relationship at some point you’re going to feel trapped. But responding to that and talking about it with the other person is really important.

Adrienne Peters

Adrienne Peters


Date of Interview: August 3, 2016

Name: Adrienne Peters

Age: 24

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC


Do you feel like you are your age?

I do and don’t… You know how you go a month, and at the end of it you think “Ughh, I did nothing”? And you look back and think that the month just flew by… then you think about specific events and think “OH! I have done a dozen different interesting things, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve lived that time”. That’s how I feel about being 24. When I think of my life as a whole it’s easy to think that I haven’t done anything. But I feel a little bit older at the same time. I think it really wigs me out, seeing people much younger than myself acting in ways I wish I had. Younger people that I’ve met recently who have interesting and engaged ways of interacting with other people.

Do you think someone’s age can impact your relationship to them?

Not generally. I think ways of thinking matter. You can have friendships with people at any age, but for me to relate on a deeper level it’s easier to have people who are at MY stage of life, understanding the problems and the joys that I go through. We can relate to many things, but it’s harder if they’re having a kid, or worried about retirement or passing high school.

What matters to you in relationships?

That they’re dependable. Not because they would show up for doctors appointments on time or that you could depend on them to get the milk, but because you could trust that their emotions would be the same day to day. You never have to walk around on eggshells around them. That you KNOW that they don’t have mercurial mood swings. That you can depend on them… That you can depend on you KNOWING them. They won’t change suddenly without notice. This is very important to me, absolutely important to me. I feel like romantic relationships are a special social contract where you have to respect and trust the other person. You can trust and respect a person but if they have mercurial mood swings, or you change on a whim, it’s harder.

What are you passionate about?

My personal  relationships with people. I remember a long time ago, I had this goal of being happy and that was my life pursuit. And of course, sometimes that’s unrealistic. I think a more valuable goal is to put time and energy into people I care about and making sure to be around. I’m also passionate about art. Not just making, but looking and learning about it. I wish I had more passions for things ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I’m generally an anxious person when it comes to self reflection. So I’m afraid of a lot of things. I’m afraid of being narcissistic, I’m afraid of not using my time and energy on people I care about. I’m afraid of being stagnant.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Overpopulation. I am deeply afraid of overpopulation, like any person should be. I’m afraid of the rampant anti-intellectualism that has gripped this country, obviously. Also afraid of the education systems not being as powerful as it should. Of unions degrading.

What do you feel is one of your biggest accomplishments?

I don’t know how accomplished I was with doing this, but I’m very proud of my undergrad senior thesis. I’m very proud of that. As an art history major I wrote my thesis on an artist, Lenore Thomas Strauss, who was a self taught stone sculpture artist in the 1930s. And she was nearly unstudied. I did a lot of first-hand research and I felt… euphoric while working on it. And when it was done I felt very satisfied with my work.

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith - May 9, 2016


Date of Interview: May 9, 2016

Name: Christopher Smith

Age: 27

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Location: Washington, DC


What made you interested in being part of this project?

I’ve known you (interviewer) for a little bit know and you know, you’re passionate about art and I really love to be a part of people’s passions. It seems like a really cool, new idea and I never thought that anyone would do an interview in a bath tub, where you’re so vulnerable. And here we are, both vulnerable and clearly, vulnerable in the bathtub and you know, I’m prepared to answer the questions you got. You know, it’s a very new spot out of my comfort zone, but it feels good nevertheless.

Do you try to push yourself out of your comfort zone often?

Nowadays, yes I do. Because remaining in your comfort zone, you’re never going to get anywhere. You’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. You know, how are you going to experience new things? You know, see new places, you know. I’m not still in Plainsfield, New Jersey and I don’t want to stay in Washington, D.C. for the rest of my life.

Are you afraid of death?

No, I am not. In no way am I afraid of death. You know, it’s a part of life. If you fear it, you’ll waste the precious time you have alive, fearing death. I’m not afraid of death because it’s going to happen, one way of the other. You know there’s a good ol’ parable that I’ll try to quickly summarize, of this man who tries to run away from death. He wouldn’t drive his car, he wouldn’t go outside, he wouldn’t do anything outside of his house that could kill him, but it had been told to him that death was coming for him that day. So he locked himself in his house, closed the windows and said, “you know, I’m going to sit in this house so death can’t come for me.” And his roof caves in. So why are you going to be afraid of it if you know it’s going to come for you anyways?

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

What I am most afraid of for myself is wasting time because… I’m not afraid of wasting money or possessions like that because at the end of the day all we have is time. You think about it right, they put people in jail, ’cause the only thing you truly have is time. That’s the only thing that can be taken from you or given away, that you can’t get back. And that ties into my relationship views too, because when you put time into somebody, you are putting your life into them. As I said, I don’t fear death, but I fear wasting my life. Because when death comes, it’s permanent, but your time here truly is limited, and I want to spend it doing the right thing with the right people. You know, for the right reasons of course, you know, and I fear losing time because its outright irreversible. I actually fear wasting time more than death.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

Donald Trump. ::both laugh:: Truly what I am afraid of for the world is the lack of unity and brotherhood that we have on this world, because there are only X amount of people and in multiple creation stories, multiple religions, whatever you may or may not believe, the fact of the matter is that we are all human being, we all share that one basic thing in common. Why would we hate each other because of the color of our skin? Why are we going to hate each other because of religion? Maybe if we could purge away all that bullshit, and differences and just be happy about it, we could build a world, and I know I sound idealistic, and it is very idealistic, but I would love to believe John Locke that we as humans know love and are taught war. That we are taught hate, you know, you see a little kid and they’re flipping somebody off, you look at the parent and they are also flipping somebody off. The kid learned that. You know, if you take a KKK born baby and you raise that child with a different family that doesn’t hold those views, that child is going to have the views of the family that raised it. You know, I have yet to see a Ku Klux Klan baby that is raised in the KKK, go to a new family that isn’t KKK and all of a sudden, what is it, doing all the shit that they do, it wouldn’t make sense. This is man taught stuff, and I’m a strong believer in what a man can make, a man can break.

Who loves you?

Who loves me… to death ::slight scoffing laughter:: May real loves, are truly my family, but not just my family that is alive, but my family that has passed away. My grandmother Mama who I was born on her birthday, January 12th, and my uncle Gary, who you know was taken from us when I was 13. They had such loving hearts and were such loving and caring people that I think of them because I feel their love is eternal. and sometimes I believe and have to believe I hear their voices from the grace. more often when I was in bad spots or in a compromised situation, or anything like that I feel as if I had heard my grandmother, my Mam talkin’ to me. And almost guide me in a way, you know. People might say I’m crazy for that, but you know, I think our loved ones are out there looking out for us. To hit on another parable that I can quickly sum up that says our loved ones are the stars in the sky at night. Which, partially, is why I wanted to be an astronaut as a child. Go figure.

Who do you love?

Obviously family, relationship love, you know Greeks have so many different words for love, you know? Looking at this as I want, uhh of course as I said, I love my family to death, for what it’s worth we are a really close knit family we like to get on each other a lot, you know, coming off Mothers Day ::laughter:: we like to get on each other a lot. I haven’t had any really romantic loves in some time, I’ve been taking a break from them.I’m in a spot of life where I’m finding myself, because at times I don’t feel as if I love myself. That’s why it didn’t, you know, ding to the top of my head, saying I love myself, because you know, I’m still working on that. and before I can love or be in a relationship and a loving relationship with someone else, I gotta love myself. and I’ve really gotta find that inner peace and inner serenity before I can share that with someone else.

Do you fully believe in the saying “You must love yourself before you can love another?”

Absolutely. That’s one of the truest sayings, I feel. Before you can truly, unconditionally love someone because, especially in this country right now, there’s a whole lot of love going on. There’s a whole lot of love. Think how long Kim Kardashian was married to Chris Humpfreys – a few hours? You know, it’s a good example because marriage is supposed to be an act of love. It’s supposed to be something you do with somebody, mainly who you love, and I feel as in this day and age, that love has become cheapened. You now, I don’t want to walk down the aisle with some girl I’ve just been hooking up with for a little bit, you know? I wouldn’t even want to walk down the aisle if a girl who had my child was the one willing. I want there to be love. I want to know that if I turn to the right, this person is right next to me. If I look behind me, she’s back there too, and I want her to know that too. As in, no matter what, through think and thin, sickness and health, happiness and sorrow, all those things. I want that. It means something, you know? I’ve had my run around the block, hooking up, sleeping around and all that, you know what people may call a crazy life or whatever, and it got me nowhere.

%d bloggers like this: