Consciousness

She stands on top of the moon. There is no scientific explanation for how she arrived there.

One day, she was sitting on a curbside smoking a cigarette. She shut her eyes firmly. The trash trucks vanished. The gravel no longer imprinted into the bottoms of her feet. The children at play were calmed; the jelly ball in their possession deflated faster than time would normally allow. She opened her eyes quickly once she realized the world was prepared to leave her.

Just like that? She thought. Just like that, I’m nothing?

She had heard in a Psychology class that bonobos are self-aware.

Is it all of this self-awareness that causes such feelings of embarrassment and shame?

She was tired of her skin. Not the color of it. Not the deeper coatings, but the outer layers. The kinds you can feel – the skin you can see. She was tired of the world seeing her skin and identifying her as human. She wished the world didn’t know what she was. She wished the world would shut their eyes, let the surroundings fade, let her rest a minute from all of this awareness, all of this language that quickens paces of knowledge and understanding that digs deep into the layers of her skin and shows how incredibly ugly she is inside. She doesn’t want the world to see her guts. She doesn’t want the world to know.

A car drove by and tossed a bag of Taco Bell out of its window. It landed next to her feet. She shut her eyes again. Everything vanished at quick speeds. She thought of a place where humans weren’t. She thought of a place where her body was foreign, where feelings weighed less, where everything weighed a little less.

When her eyes opened, she stared straight at the skin of the earth.

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