Skin Deep: 4
Seeing the nurse’s face reminds me even more strongly that something just isn’t right. She looks so familiar. I know I’ve seen her somewhere else before, but it’s just not coming to me. It’s just beyond my reach. She shows me to a room and before she leaves tells me to undress completely and put a gown on. I undress. My heart starts pounding when I look down. It got worse in the last hour. I’m starting to feel nauseated. I have to lie down. The doctor comes in to examine me. This time I feel no attraction to him, just repulsion. There’s something about him that I didn’t notice before. It’s as if there is an aura of decay around him. I can’t even speak, I feel so sick. While he’s examining me he mumbles to himself and seems pleased with what he’s seeing. Finally he tells me to get up and go over to the mirror I didn’t notice before. Looking into it I start to cry. There are huge patches of black rotting tissue all over my body. Then anger overtakes me and I start to threaten him. He just laughs and tells me that the surgery came out exactly they way he had planned. Then he says something strange. He says there is a riddle that I haven’t solved yet. As he’s saying this his face begins to change. He is the client from the club. Now he’s the nurse who called me in. Now he’s the TV anchor from the news show. Finally he is a woman with a bullet hole in her chest. Without knowing how, I know exactly who she is.
I’m in a nightmare. I run out of the office, past the nurse, into the waiting room. I glimpse the magazine I was reading: The National Journal of Embalming. A wave of nausea washes over me. I keep running. I know if I can just make it home I can wake up from this dream. Somehow I do make it home and my boyfriend is waiting for me. I’m so happy to see him I collapse in his arms. He asks me what’s wrong, but I can’t even form the words. He takes me upstairs to my room and puts me to bed. As he looks down at me, his face changes and he becomes the most vile thing I’ve ever seen. He has patches of black rot all over his body. His hair is falling out even as I look at him and pieces of his skull are becoming visible. Then he speaks to me with my own voice. I don’t know what he says because I can’t hear him over the screams. I scream until I pass out again.
And that’s how I came to be here. Every time I wake up I feel good. I know I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I know that things are coming together for me. In this world my mind completely forgets what happened to my body. Until I get to the mirror that is. But sometimes, just sometimes, He likes to mix it up. Sometimes I make it as far as my car and get on the freeway where some one crashes into me and I end up on the shoulder. Then he comes along in one of his many disguises and shoots me in the chest only to have me wake up in my room and start all over again. The worst part is I can’t get used to it. Whether I go only as far as the mirror or as far as the shooting, I keep forgetting what happened right up until the moment I see him. Right up until the moment I see the mirror. It’s the same difference because we are now part of each other. I think that’s what makes me scream. He likes to hear me scream.