Friday, September 20, 2013

The Head and the Body

I live inside my head and inside the head of the old woman that lives on the corner of Elliot Street and Walker Road. Walker Road is very busy early in the mornings and the old woman wakes up with the susurrus of traffic. I only every see her face when I look in the mirror. I pinch her saggy cheeks and the flap of skin that hangs from under her chin, like some odd reminder of a turtle. This is how I know I live inside her head because sometimes she is in the mirror looking back, as surprised as when I look at her.
            We go for walks sometimes. She casts sidelong glances at my freckles, and I wonder if she wonders what it would be like to wake up looking out of my head instead. If she'd see my chest of fluffy auburn hair, and the mound of my morning desire beyond it. Would she run through my veins as I have passed through hers, meet my enzymes and dance with my hormones and breathe in the sweet smell of my blood. She wonders all these things and I know she wonders these things because as she wonders these things I am inside her mind and I feel the heavy echoes of her thoughts pounding into me like waves on a drowning swimmer.
            I have never spoken to her while inside her head. I do not know if it would even work. Or how. But somehow I feel I ought not to. That there is some sense of decency that says I may peer into her mind's grey folds but I am not to touch those silver currents of thoughts that flash like lightening in the sky.
            I am only ever fully myself insider her mind.
            One day, I talked to myself inside of her outside of myself, while looking at myself in her eyes looking into me. We found a lot in common, and many things we could agree about. We avoided politics and religion, though, so there is that.
            I have watched from her mind while she has gone about her day. I've watched from her eyes as she folded laundry and made love to herself. I have watched through her eyes as she climbed a tree, in a fit of childhood's green shoots remembering themselves. Mostly I do not mean to go into her head. Mostly I mean to go about my business only to find the scenery has changed and so have I.
            There was only one time I needed to be inside her head. That I tried so hard to be in her mind and see out of her eyes. She recalled the day we first moved into the apartment. She recalled meeting my family for the first time. And she recalled the way that I had looked at her when I saw her take the knife and slash a smile across my mother's stomach, her pale hand gripping to keep her intestines from spilling out of the abdominal sack.
            She knows that it was wrong. That she must not do such things to friends. But she also does not regret it. Because there is so many things she wants to do but doesn't. That really, she says to me in those silver veined thoughts that wrap like anacondas around my groin, she deserves to have her fun at least sometimes.
            I live inside her head and expect it to be colder. But I find it to be much to my liking. I find it to be warmly familiar to my other mind in my other body. But I have started to spend more and more times walking the wide avenues of her imagination, and have seen things no other person will see. No, not even if you were to cut her eyeballs out and hold them up to the light and look at the colors that come through the murky, misty, milky miasma inside, you still would only catch a spark of the lightning bolts she holds.

            Sometimes I come to my senses, which is to say, she kicks me out. And I find myself sitting in a rocking chair in my apartment, smelling of dead flesh and knowing I have not moved or eaten in days. And I tell myself there is no way that I can live inside two heads at the same time. There is no way that I can experience life through two bodies. And the smell of my decay tells me I am right. I can only live inside one head and with one body. And the shudder that then runs through my system comes from knowing that I have already chosen which head and which body I want for mine. 

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