Late one particular January 1st evening, in which everyone lies down for a break, well deserved or not…
Skeleton: Happy New Years!
Flesh: Thanks! Happy New Year, Skelly! Good job holdin’ up the fort, I really appreciate it!
Skeleton: Thank you, I suppose. How are you hanging out there?
Flesh: Crazy. But ‘tis winter, what else would ja expect?
Skeleton: One wouldn’t know if one has only been in here.
Flesh: Well, consider yourself lucky. The snow might look all soft and innocent, but earlier, when Brain decided to play with it and in it – something about a snow-ball-man – it hurt like a nerve bust. It was so cold, I almost turned blue!
Skeleton: At least you can see such a thing as snow, feel such a sensation as coldness, and do such a thing as play. At least you’re experiencing something to be proud of.
Flesh: Proud?! Ya don’t have time to feel proud when freezing wind charges at you as if you’re a waving red cape. Or when rain pummels down on you and raises Goosebumps. Brain always forgets to bring an umbrella at the most critical moment, causing an incoming of cold, sticky sliminess of drenched skins. And the most disgusting of all: the prickly, tainting stompin’ of insects. Gross! You should be grateful to be sheltered inside here.
Skeleton: You only say that because you don’t reside in here and you do not understand enough to visualize what it is really like here. Compare to here, outside is a bright, colorful, and cheery paradise. The nerves admit it too.
Flesh: Outside’s overrated. In reality, outside’s a double edge sword. Take the sun – that’s what’s making it appear “bright, colorful, and cheery –” for example. Sure, it’s shiny and dazzling. It’s also an ignited oven that just keeps stabbing atcha. Even standin’ still makes ya sweat, but ya won’t feel any cooler. The results: the cutting burn of being seared at all sides, skin darkenin’ and turnin’ charred red. But wait! There’s a final bonus to the deal, a sharp stinging pain for days. You tellin’ me, you’d enjoy that?!
Skeleton: But there’s sun and warmth out there. There’s sensation, reaction and emotion. There’s freedom and opportunity. There’s not much of anything in here.
Flesh: But you’re safer here. You have everyone workin’ to protect you. Trust me, you don’t want to be at the front lines of the battlefield. You won’t believe how many times I’ve ordered for patch-up jobs for black-and-blue injuries or ripped-and-torn wounds, just because she stumbles or scratches too much. And every time, she’d scrape away all our hard work. It’s a miracle I don’t have any ugly scars on me.
Skeleton: When she breaks you, I’d feel it too. And sometimes, I’d break a little too. She can apply a bandage or some cream on you, but she can’t see where I’m hurt. She can only hope that I’ll simply heal with time.
Flesh: But ya strong and sturdy, and all the White Cells are at ya beck and call. Sometimes, they ignore me because they don’t detect the damage on the other side. Inside, they’ll notice it even before you do!
Skeleton: Please! Don’t think life is glamorous in here or that you’ve got it worst. At the very least, you can see colors and shapes out there. You can feel the cold, the wet, and the heat. You can’t do any of that in here. You can’t feel anything — well, okay, unless you’re about to break apart because the White Cells aren’t doing their jobs or a huge bone-crushing pressure threatens you backbone. All other times, you can stand atom to atom next to a Red Blood Cell and you won’t even know because it’s the same feeling every second, every minute, every day of your life. There’s only numbness.
Flesh: That’s better than cracked skin, itchy rashes, acne, eczema, cold sores, allergies, and more!
Skeleton: And the eternal darkness! As if I am blind. I don’t know what anything looks like. Not myself, not the Nerves, nor any of the Red Blood Cells flooding by. And Brain might complain it’s too loud, but really, it’s terrifyingly quiet. I don’t know what’s going on in here or out there, ever! Can you comprehend the concept of not knowing what you’re actually doing when you move for no apparent reason! Why? Because nobody tells me anything. Nobody wants to talk. I don’t know what anything in here is so preoccupied with every second of every moment. It’s always “Shh, I need to concentrate,” or “Sorry, how about later? I promise.” It’s extremely lonely in here!
Brain: Don’t you hear that ringing?! She’s about to wake up! Today, she’s going out. Flesh, get back to your station immediately!
And so, this conversation must wait until next year to resolve.
Copyright © 2015 by Beti Y.