I watch as she cuts her hair.
Grabbing handfuls and savagely chopping it. Letting the strands fall to the ground.
She’s already discarded her clothing.
As she chops she keeps her eyes on me. She’s talking softly in a sing-song voice.
Chop. Chop. Remove. Remove. How much longer until I am I no longer?
Now she has broken the scissors in half and is using one blade to shave the remaining hair from her scalp.
Something from nothing. Something from something. Something to Nothing.
She stands in front of me, fully nude and bald.
Her movements seem stiff but imperceptible – as if a statue was moving.
I’m a woman. If I remove everything that makes me a woman. Am I still a woman? What happens when I enter into the uncanny valley? Am I still a woman. Am I still me? Am I still real?
She looks down at her breasts, runs her hands over her stomach, then sits down.
She runs her fingernails over her shoulder, drawing blood and hiding freckles.
She sighs and leans back.
How much can I remove? Where do I end and nothing begins? How little of me can I leave? If I were turned into a statue would I still be myself?
She begins to turn blue as she holds her breath, keeping perfectly still.
She lets the air out, exaggerating the noise, and sits forward.
The essence. That’s what I want to show. That’s what I want to be seen. My essence. The pure me.