Facial Mask

March 26th, 2009

If my hand had a mouth it would be saying ouch right about now. Instead, I’ll just pull it from the hotplate and try to remember next time. Not so close.


Next time I burn my hand like this, I’m going to punish myself by dropping a bar of soap down my trousers and keeping it there until it starts smelling of oatmeal. Really, anyone who’s ever had a go-round with a hotplate will tell you that it is primarily motivated by fear of burning, desire to burn, and willingness to burn. It is especially beholden to the sweet romance of corpuscles des mains.

I’m not suicidal or masochistic. Not even an idiot, for the most part. You know how when you hurt something, you have a tendency to re-injure it while it’s still tender and vulnerable, even though you’re injuring yourself in ways you’ve never before done? Say you drop an bellbar on your big toe, then for weeks after, you’re stubbing your toe on bookshelf ends, clumsily kicking a door closed, tripping in the middle of the night over a sweatsock, ad lapsus ellipsis…

The same thing is happening here. Almost. Ever since the time I tried to sleep, I’ve been burning my hand on the hotplate.

(I don’t get it either)

But it was worth it, to try and sleep like that. Worth every last blister and nearly worth the cost of bandages. And even though I convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly sleep and miss a beat of the microtuft of that minipuff of a near-snore causing my nape to register seismographically; I couldn’t bear to doze off and think I might miss that deep down-winding exhale which was nothing short of song. It was somehow the best sleep there is, while only rarely slipping into a more literal acknowledgement of the act. The sort of act where the effort itself is the reward. Where the means are ape-chosen right along with the ends, where wakefulness is wittingly surrendered, no more wanted for the self than a freshly-baked birthday chocolate-angelfood-swirl. Where it’s quiet.

But ouch!

The knowledge of inimitability costs some shut-eye, maybe. Or it’s just a reminder of what it was when sleep was nearly here? Either way, I’ll let you know when the oatmeal’s ready.

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