I don’t eat. I don’t mean caveman diets or paranoid religious practices. I mean ever since a month ago I have ceased to eat completely. I can’t seem to recover the urge to eat even when I try, and in fact would very much rather not eat or mention the act ever ever ever again. Oh, just the thought of launching into my stomach some measurable mass petrifies and jars me in riveting hysterics.
A month ago the celestial spill deloused my vision.
My theory: I’m trapped in either my unfastened mind or an altered state.
Sitting lithesome, I imagine all the plates here were bred out of a junkyard. They would be put to better use as home adornments and hard hats. The cafe windows absorb a lot of heat and overlook the west coast. I keep thinking I’d rather be by the ocean I’d rather be by the ocean I’d rather be the ocean be the ocean. Dink! A tuna casserole is placed before me and the tip of my nose attempts to push its way out through the back of my skull. Get in line my skull says. It’s the finest recoil I’ve ever performed in public. Only it wasn’t performed, and this unhinges me.
“Just the water, please,” I say. “I’m not very hungry.”
A month ago I felt the walls of the world wash over me.
The doctor finally sits to discuss my digestive condition. Or lack of one.
“You’ve got a city in there.”
He clears his throat, his austerity graspable. “You misunderstand; there is an actual city located against the head of your pancreas. It appears to be some unidentified self-sustaining metropolis, not unlike our own. There are streets, inhabitants, traffic, schools, libraries, amusement parks. Sir, you carry inside you a—a civilization.”
“To put this into better perspective,” he continues, “we observed a man looting a liquor store, women being fitted for their bridesmaid gowns, and a four-truck highway collision.”
A month ago I woke to find my edges swallowed, and the world looked new to me.
“… so due to the relative minuteness of the city there could very well be hundreds if not thousands more. All within you.”
The tear slips sporadically. It feels like a runaway star.
“If you don’t mind me asking, sir, what exactly have you been eating?”
Thomas L. Winters hopes to stimulate human connection through often surreal but vividly relatable stories. He recently finished his first collection of poetry, and is brainstorming for his first novel. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in OCCULUM, be about it zine, Indicia Lit, Corvus Review, and The Sandy River Review, among others. He is on twitter @tomxwinters