Every morning and every night, I get down on the floor and stretch. I do it in the morning because I’m stiff from so many strenuous hours of sleep; I do it at night because by then I’ve shrunk to three feet. If I was unable to stretch, I would just be a head with arms and legs.
And then there’s the pain. You would think that my house was constructed of Wailing Walls for all the guttural and faith-based pleas I make. Jesus God help me get up from this chair. Jesus, why are my elbows on fire? Lawd Jesus, don’t let this mean I can’t walk for three days. Don’t leave me this way.
It didn’t used to be like this. When I used to walk around with a skip and a smile, that’s how I was feeling. Now it’s all fake; I don’t really feel that way. I walked into the pet store today with a shooting pain in my right shin, pretending that I was fine. I wondered, Are other people my age walking into pet stores with shooting pain in their shins, pretending that they’re fine? Are we all falling apart, or is it just me? Nobody talks about it. It’s hard to admit that I want someone to apply moist heat to all of me, all of the time. I would wear an astronaut suit of moist heat if I could.
I looked in the mirror today and saw the ghost of Katie Past. Yes, that was my forehead, but it had the hoof of a cloven-footed animal. The skin underneath my eyes folded over itself like sheets and blankets turned down for an overnight guest. My pores said their first words.
I needed a shave.