Sometimes when my skin starts to itch or feel too tight, I’ll slip it off, hang it in the closet, and go for a walk.
There’s nothing quite like the feel of a summer breeze running its long fingers up and down your spine. It tickles the arteries and butterfly kisses your spleen.
One time I was caught in a rainstorm and each drop felt like it was tapdancing on my brain. It was invigorating. The soft shoe routine rattled all my worries loose and swept them down the storm drain.
Today my chest felt tight, as if the skin had been stretched beyond its capabilities, so I slipped it off quickly and ran outside. In the sunlight, I noticed a tumor on my heart the size of a peach pit. It was black and shriveled, with a couple stray hairs and something that resembled an incisor. There was something written on it, so I plucked it out to take a better look.
I tossed it over my shoulder and took off down the street, eager to put some distance between us, but when I got back there was a golden retriever sitting in my driveway with the ugly little tumor hanging out of its mouth like a tennis ball. He dropped it at my feet, like he wanted to play fetch. Instead, I picked it up, now covered in slobber, and threw it in the trash can at the end of my driveway where it belonged. I hope it’s not toxic to dogs.
I gave the dog a nice long belly rub then headed inside. My skin was lying in a heap on the floor, so I shook it out and slipped it back on. It no longer felt tight through the chest, but there was a tiny wrinkle that hadn’t been there before.
These things are delicate.