Ah, Mabel – what have you done to yourself – your skin is shrieking. You have burnt yourself in the oven of an English summer – two weeks of unaccustomed sun. Your alabaster’s plastered with red, but still it tries to claw its way back out.
Tiny scales of ripped and torn skin fall from the towel onto the bathroom floor. Later – compelled by who knows what madness, you will tear whole sheets of skin from your shoulders and arms.
You are a lobster, woman – escaped from the sea and fallen into the pot.
I knew you as a child. I know that all you ever wanted was to be loved as you were. Your several shaded hair was to be as golden as the doll you cradled. Your glittery threads were to be a simple dress that revealed your body in all its coltish splendour. Your sugar coated smile was to be naturally sweet innocence.
Love swaddled by layers and layers and layers and …
And yet, behind the clothes, beneath the skin, within all bone and beating heart is a cavern. A vast place of radiant light amidst bitter darkness. A nameless void with infinite depth. A shining splendour of foreverness.
In this place lives the golden word that no words can approach for they are mere approximation.
You feel this word – in your dreams and in your softly spoken sneezes. You live this word inside your skin, and yet it is never spoken and hardly spoken of. You, who are alone in this void – you warm yourself against this word. You are calm and comforted as you fall asleep in the afterglow of this word. You wake to this word.
One day, you wake – and the word is gone.
This is about what happens next …