One day, not too long ago, I sneezed too hard and my body turned completely inside out. My organs, unprotected by skin and muscle, felt the cold outside air like thousands of icy needles. All was dark as I peered inward. Enough light entered through my throat and interstitial crevices that I could make out some details in my new interior. My skin was on the inside, all shriveled up. So was my hair. So, I thought, this had been the exterior that I had been showing to people. Nothing much to look at now, was it?
I decided to go for a walk deep within myself. I headed in past the bones and skin, down a narrow cobblestone street. It led directly to a swanky looking nightclub with a flashing neon sign that read, “Lou’s Place.” Odd, I thought, I don’t remember my name being “Lou.” I entered the club. There was a $5 cover charge that I knew I couldn’t pay since I was bodiless and completely without pockets. I asked if I could just peek in for a minute. The bouncer at the door agreed to let me in on the condition that I not eat or drink any of the customers. I quickly saw that the clientele at Lou’s were all things that I would eat on a normal day, when my body wasn’t inside out – apricots, chocolate, pumpkin seeds, things of that nature. I didn’t want to arouse suspicion, so I stayed in the back, hidden in the shadows.
I noticed somebody was near me in the darkness. At first I tried to avoid him, but he kept inching toward me. Finally, I turned and looked right at the guy. It was Ned Sharp, my first grade teacher! I hadn’t seen him in 50 years. “Hey,” I shouted over the fruit smoothie band, “You’re my old teacher!”
“Yes,” said Ned. “I retired years ago and took up residence in your body. A lot of the stuff in here came from me – this nightclub was from a story I read to the class. Only you changed it a bit – it was ‘Lou’s Fruit Stand,’ not a swinging nightclub.”
“Oh,” I said. One can always respond with, “Oh.” “Well, I think I have to get out of my body, or I’ll die.”
“That’s fine. It’s been great seeing you. I hope to see you again some time,” said Ned.
I would have hung out longer at the club, but being there with my old first grade teacher seemed strange. Plus, I hadn’t paid the cover charge. So, I split. Outside, it was getting light. Must be morning, I thought. I headed back up the street toward the outside of my body, which was facing inward. I was thinking that my organs and such were much more attractive than my skin and hair and that maybe I would leave my body in this inside-out condition, but then the inevitable happened. Some of my hair got caught in my throat and I reflexively coughed, flipping my entire body back to its previous right side out state.
How boring, I thought. I should just rip all this skin off – it’s presenting a very untruthful picture of me to the world. It covers up everything that is true and interesting about me. But I didn’t rip my skin off, because I had a dentist appointment to go to. At least my dentist wouldn’t would be stuck with my uninteresting exterior. My dentist will look into my mouth, hopefully past my teeth, and get a look at the real me.
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