Monday, February 3, 2014

The Body, by Heidi Wangelin


The Body
The body blushes as it thinks about the silver gray of her shoulder length hair reflecting in the sunlight as she walks the stone cobbled steps, her little red jacket looks like a welcoming sign to the body on this old campus where the body barely knows anyone. It thinks that she doesn’t notice the body; after all she is older, way older than the body. Her body is beautiful and tall, slender and she moves slowly with her hip replacement but still elegantly to the body, her necklace shining against her neck and the collar of her pink shirt. Her eyes are grey and blue like sea glass behind her black glasses- it is so damn beautiful to the body. So damn close yet so far to the body. It is trouble, it’s a sin to like her and her body and the body knows it will be laughed at or scoffed at, maybe even abandoned if the body told her. 
 [Image: woman in autumn landscape wearing red dress, jumping, long hair swept up in the wind in a striking fast snapshot. She holds leaves.]
The body has small almond shaped, gentle eyes like its father it has been told that it hides behind its red and black glasses with the gold nose bridge and longer eyelashes. The body hardly ever takes the glasses off because it doesn’t like how naked the sun feels against its eyes, how that someone may actually find it beautiful which scares the body and how its vision blurs.
The body is neither tall nor short so it is a bit awkward at times and it moves klutzily but yet it is advantageous at times since it can slip into places undetected. Like when she’s there in front of the body as long as the body doesn’t speak it can get away with it, as long as she doesn’t look back, the body only comes to about her hip. The body can quicken at the idea of love yet be repulsed at the same time as its mind wanders and stares over at her.
The body shakes its legs often to the point the desk hums and rattles in time annoying everyone in sight and sometimes at home shaking the kitchen table. The body loves to write but also hates how its hand aches when it does. The body almost always has pen or pencil ink on its hands because it never goes anywhere without a notebook in public or draws too much. The pencil or pen always hardens against its skin. It prefers mechanical pencils so it doesn’t have to refill it often and it writes smoother. It also only writes in cursive since it is faster but it has been told over and over again not to do it but its print is slow and childlike so it hates to do so, its hand scraped and bleeding that it has to put a bandage on. Once the body hurt its wrist by almost being run over, lying in the street, helpless and scared.
The body hardly ever feels pain; sometimes it is apathetic to it like when it bleeds from the shaving bumps it picks at. It is really quite dangerous and it when it does complain then everyone it knows worries. The body likes the sting of too warm coffee against its mouth yet not on its skin you can say it is a bit of a masochist that way. The body’s ears are sharp to the sound of music and conversation yet it can be totally lonely as it all jumbles into its eardrums and its own voice scares it because it is deeper and older sounding than it should be yet can be like a child’s when excited or scared. The body’s mouth is small with what people call freakish teeth which the dentist calls one in a million teeth- born perfectly straight like a movie star’s but it hardly ever shows it.  It has been told it even smiles when it is sad or angry but no one can see it because it looks down when embarrassed, sad, angry etc. The body never makes eye contact when it can get away with it. Sometimes it gets so bad that others worry. The body is autistic. The body has long hair that is almost as dark as coffee that it has never been dyed and almost down to the waist. It does not like its hair short and how the only sign of aging is its hair.
The body is often contemplative to the point of unfriendliness. The body hates the smell of people on the bus who use too many cigarettes, the pot sweet and tangy smells, gasoline and rubber, the piss from homeless people gone stale, the bitterness of alcohol smells and perfume or cologne on the college students who sit next to the body when it tries to zone out or sleep, yet cigarettes can smell good if it is attached to the right person which it only knows a few of so it is comforting. The body has been told it has a very sensitive nose. The body likes the smell of old books and certain people when they are close by. It can associate people better by smell including friends and family especially the smell of her. It should not be thinking of her again.
The body shivers in nervousness because it gets anxious easily. The body loves the feel of warm water against its skin until it turns red and plays with it in the shower letting it wash over its legs and between them before anything else comes out of the faucet. They call it stimming.
The body feels like it has gotten no respect and looks like a child to itself, it has been told it does not look a day over sixteen. The body has pierced ears and no makeup. It is 23 now. The body really hates its huge chest and sometimes contemplates surgery until it realizes it would be painful and expensive to do so, and sighs as it swells and changes it the most of any body part.  The body has been told it has a nice chest yet always covers it both for modesty and out of self-disgust.
The body cringes at the thought of sex yet it can’t help but wonder what the smells would be like, what touch feels like, and the noises, the sighing of another in its ear, the pain, and the ecstasy of someone to be with. It should not be thinking about that again, it is the only time it feels pain, real stabbing pain that makes the chest and stomach knot in aches, sadness, and anger. The body has been thrown against walls, slapped, and made to feel what it should not do like being slapped on the thigh, and being crushed before and the body has fallen down stairs and broke its back but no one sees how it throbs in pain and how sharp that pain is.
The body is now as disabled as its mind is and realizes that the world is cruel to the disabled and better suck it up instead of crying or getting angry like a child since because it never gets it anywhere. The bus drivers hate how slow the body is and no one understands why it hates stairs and is forced to use wheelchair ramps but feels guilty since it is not in a wheelchair, it makes it feel selfish and guilty. The body likes when people understand and even open doors for it. The body has a weak back yet is strong everywhere else.
The body thinks it is fat as it goes on the scale cringing at the numbers yet refuses to go on a diet and has a rounded stomach another sign of the pain from last year hidden under its best dress or sweater usually. What a stupid body.  The body almost died once and has a scar on the belly button to show where they took out the appendix. The body almost died again, this time as the result of drowning and intentional hate.
The body hates him yet can’t help but boil and cry at the same time when it thinks about him, it always has attracted trouble. The body can go mute and turn white as it does and it is too damn passive as it has been told many times and even mutters it to itself. The body has screamed a couple times but no one has heard it. The body almost smashed its fist into a mirror just hoping to see how it feels after its world came crashing down. The body has thought of ending it all at times yet is too strong or cowardly to end itself however you look at it. The body has slammed its head into walls and thrown things. The body has fainted twice during a medication black out only to sleep walk it off later, its eyes glazed and milky, blurry almost like it is drunk. Its left eye is sleepy when it does this.
The body should not be thinking of her or him again, it is too risky, too sad, and too dangerous. Its eyes glaze over at the thought and stares up at the ceiling light praying for a miracle that maybe it can fly away from here or maybe it will work out but it probably won’t and then sighs. The body tries to run but never gets far even when it ran track it was strong yes but always came in last place. The body should relax but can’t. The body sleeps pleasantly. The body hopes it can make it through again tomorrow. 

-Heidi Wangelin

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