Sheila Heti

Self Portraits

photo-8 copy

I have a vision of myself in my head. It is from my point of view, looking down a bathtub at my legs rising out of the water, covered in suds, my feet propped on the bath faucet. It is the cover of a chick lit book or a stock photo in Seventeen Magazine, but for the present moment, this image is me.

What you cannot see in this vision is the bottle of wine reassuringly half full next to the bathtub, or the book I’m reading, or the pen I use to take notes in the margins, or the ruler that I use to underline because even in the bath I can’t bear the idea of a wobbly line. These are the the off-stage props, the creative directors to my mental self-portrait, but the image itself is really just soapy legs and badly chipped toenail polish, my feet squirming about a bit, if the image can move. It’s because this is the context in which I am closest to just being myself.

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