Store Bought Bones

Store Bought Bones

Zoe Migicovsky

The song title rolls lazily across the brightly-lit screen of my iPod. Portable music device. Little tiny creature, held safely in my hand. It is strange to imagine the importance I place on this metal box. It is almost a safe, each song carefully selected, uploaded and chosen, tells a secret. Store bought bones: this is my marrow, pulsing from up the wire to my bulky headphones. I can escape; I just turn up the music.

I sit in the corner of every room, even the circular ones. I paint my nails, and then chip it off. I claim to be an anomaly, but I am really just confused. I say this because self-awareness is almost as impossible to contain as methanol, evaporate, diffuse, spread.

You can smell it in the next room.

When the water temperature gets too warm, coral will expel their little inhabitants. The zooxanthelle will survive elsewhere, but without their carbon the coral will not be able to properly feed itself. Growth will slow. Without the pigment, the coral will become bleached. It will die.

I don't think you understand, I thought I was saving myself.

I sold my bones in pieces. Take a femur, enjoy a phalange. A human being amounts to nothing. Without our bones we have a hydrostatic skeleton. Basically, we are a jellyfish. This is how you made me feel. You melted my insides.

Let me try again, another pronoun, this isn't personal, I do not know you. His name was Matthew. I only ever write love stories. That is okay. I play the same song every time I see him. His face needed to be shaved, but it was coarse against my cheek. Tiny bristles against my lips. It was like kissing a paintbrush. I cut him open; put him on a slide under my microscope. Little slivers of intestines, the cartilage in his throat. Every cell in your body has a heartbeat.

I can only tell this story from the middle, because that is where the passion is. I will not wait for the climax, there is no rising action. The introduction is short: it begins with me dancing in metallic high-heels until my feet blister. He's wearing a tie. I am awkward. "Just have fun." I am more awkward. End scene.

Did I ever really know who I was?

At the age of twelve I believed I would be happy. I did not date because I thought I had time. A few pints of vodka later, I press the veins in my arms just to remember that there are arteries below them. That there is more than the dead, drained, coursing through my body.