by Alan Smithee
A man finds a creative way to make himself where it matters most: on the outside.
|He looked into the mirror embedded onto the wall above the sink. The drain was closed and the sink was half filled with water. He found this to be the most effective method of keeping stains to a minimum.
He had a pair of pliers in his right hand, which he held with some difficulty due to the fact that he was missing his fingernails. He had removed those two days earlier with the very same pliers (cost effective. He felt that his insanity was duly compensated for by his frugality and efficiency.) Of course, he had some help from a razorblade he kept around for the tougher tissue. Today was a big mission: he was going to remove his teeth. He had a wrench nearby in case better leverage was needed. He slowly approached his mouth with the steel utensil and placed its rigid mouth against his tooth and tightened the grip so that it had a firm grasp. He then began a twisting motion. Blood surrounded the gum. He started to grow angry at his mother for making him floss all of those years. It was this insistence on dental hygiene that made his current task so difficult. Still, with all of the strength he could muster he managed to force the tooth out of it’s socket leaving a bright red canal naked and bleeding from the trauma. The blood diluted as it hit the water in the sink.
Even though his job wasn’t finished yet he was too excited to wait. He pulled out a piece of paper which detailed the human anatomy, complete with a picture of the male human body. He proudly marked off the teeth. He had marked off other body parts before, but the excitement never dulled. “Almost there” he said to himself.
He had been ridiculed by almost everyone he had ever met, even his parents. He felt that statistically speaking so many people couldn’t be wrong. Thus, he began to plan how to change himself when it hit him: God was no fool. He knew that eventually man would come across an undesirable. He gave man a way out though. If you lose your nails they grow back. If you lose some skin it grows back. Armed with this knowledge he made his plan: he was going to remove every part of the offending flesh and let a newer, better version grow back. Some parts might not grow back but all offending articles must go. He had removed most of the skin from his arms and it was growing back beautifully. The rest was just a matter of time, which he had, in spades. Soon he would be a new man, on the outside at least, which was most important.
He had started on the next tooth, which broke in half making a loud cracking sound like porcelain chipping. Now all of his remaining teeth were covered in cherry shaded blood that got darker in the cracks. Soon they would all be removed leaving a smooth blanket of gum.
After some time he had finally finished with the water now thick and red, except for the crusted rim which was brown as the iron in the blood oxidized. The veins once housed in the security of the teeth were now hanging freely from the gum like wires from an electric ceiling. He clipped those off using a rusty set of nail-clippers. He had only recently grown to appreciate nail-clippers when he was removing his skin and couldn’t find scissors.
He smiled at the mirror and then began to examine his shaved head, which still had the scar his father had given him when he broke a bottle over his head. It was an accident, though, and the bottle was empty (his father had seen to that earlier.)
He finished the productive night by going through his photo album and blackening out the old pictures of himself. This had become a ritual, and he was halfway through the book. He was at his wedding photos now with his wife who had recently left him claiming he was unstable. She hates him now, like so many do, but in the photos she is happy. He’ll show her. He ran the black blade of the marker over himself. “I’m going to be a new person soon” he said in a somber tone as tears filled his eyelids (he made a mental note to remove those with the nail-clippers next.) “Soon I will be like new, and everyone will like me. Just wait and see.”