TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER
an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: profile
11.30.07, friday afternoon
The Old Phil was waiting for me at the table, with a plate of cold fried eggs and congealed baked beans, surrounded by books. Her pale sallow flesh was gelid, like cold tapioca pudding, and her head wobbled just so, for no one had lived inside the Old Phil's skin for two months and five days, exactly.
I combed the Old Phil's hair and brushed her mossy teeth. I squeezed those pallid cheeks for color and kissed the forehead. Hi, friend.
The Old Phil did not respond. Typical. I sighed, slipped her on, zipped up. I could feel the zipper quivering, before it melted. In its place was a spinal column, or a steel brace.
I peered out of the Old Phil's eyes at the remains of my old life. The view was filmy, but everything had familiar names. I thought, for an unbearable moment, I can do this again. Only the skin was itchy over my new one, tight and acutely uncomfortable, like an ancient hair shirt that I had outgrown.