W. P. Johnson

One Page Story

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Posted below is another last minute addition to the exhibit this week at the James Oliver Gallery. Apparently Morimoto will be providing food as well, so if you aren’t busy today, Sunday, you should stop by and check it out.

I’ll be honest I felt kind of silly submitting these to the gallery. The guy even asked me if I wanted to charge anything for the works. Seriously? If someone feels like buying them, go for it, but to be honest I’m just putting them up for the sake of exposure. You never know who might see it…

Side note- a friend of mine who took note of my blogging, as well as the blog name, said to me, “Dude, you’re Patrick Blogman.”

Well, I’m glad somebody got the joke…

Without further ado:

One Page Story

By

W. P. Johnson

“Skin.”

It was the sensation of skin that had troubled Franklin.

At a bar he would stare at his hand while drinking, unaware of its location otherwise, “Clothes, socks, shoes… even my hair kept me awake, like the nuisance of a hundred hands brushing up against me.”

Nodding along, I noted the scars on his arms and face, like the notches in a human calendar, the oldest faded and pale, the newest still drying of its blood.

I asked him why he thought that was.

“Physical memory,” he rose the beer to his lips, spilling it slightly. It continued to drip down his face without notice.

Franklin’s first attempt was crude and only a temporary fix. During the coldest of winters he joined the Polar Bear Club of Coney Island and swam through the frigid ocean, feeling the plate glass crack of ice smack over his shoulder as his body slowly went numb. He walked the beaches after and for several minutes, his mind was at peace as the last physical memory fell from him like the drops of ocean.

“Of course… it was only a matter of time before it returned… this sensation of touch.”

He sought the help of doctors, therapists. At the height of desperation he had even approached an occultist with this troubling condition in hopes that there would be some mention of it within the canon of witchcraft. But no, nothing.

“I even let someone hypnotize me!” He laughed and ordered us both another round despite my glass being full. Two beers in front of me, I grew agitated by how much of my time he had already consumed without a single mention of the process which rendered his body completely numb; it was day three of my investigation.

“For a short time a dominatrix that specialized in sensory deprivation sold me large quantities of novocaine. But it was an expensive solution, and quite—

Agitated, I slapped my beer glass down on the bar, “What is this process you developed?

He frowned and after my own attempts at an apology, he shook his head dismissively and requested a pen and paper. It took several minutes for him to write it all down, the pen falling from his numb fingers again and again. After, he held out the paper for me to take.

A chill overcame me as I read the process.

“Wait, you did what?” But when I looked up, he was gone with little evidence of his presence aside from a crumbled up twenty on the bar.

“Franklin?” I looked everywhere, but he was no where to be seen. Returning to the bar, I quickly ordered several shots of whiskey while reading over the last lines.

I have never regretted the risk. There are still nights when I dream of sensation and the persistent nature of memory. While others are able to ignore the self awareness of touch, I could not help but feel as if I was buried alive and the world was my coffin. You would have done the same thing…

Without thought I loosened my tie, realizing in that moment how tight it had been, like a pair of hands choking me.

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