This is sort of a response to the Node Your Home-Work idea.. This is just some log I had to do for The Joy Luck Club unit in my high school sophmore year. The topic was "Who's in your bones?"

Cleaning the instruments.

    “Is this going to hurt?.’’

    “Horribly, but it will pass..’’

    “Soon?’’

    “Eventually.’’

Click click, swish swish. A glimmering shine of metallic possibilities. Most? Unpleasant.

If it were up to me, my bones would be of a bleached white cleanliness. Break one open and it would shine like Mr. Clean’s bald head. It would wink at you too, like Mr. Clean, for good measure. Wishful thinking. Perhaps at sometime my bones were pearly white, but that has long since past. Whether one wishes to admit it or not, they are the sum of their life’s days.

You can feel it in your bones.

The first incision. Drawing blood.

    “This will feel like a pin prick, at first.’’

    The Evil Poke. Owwawwowowwohgodthathurtoh.

    “That was more than a pin prick.’’

    “This isn’t the place for the squeamish.’’

    “I see.’’

    “No, you don’t, not yet....’’

Plain American. Sounds like a meal at some fast food restaurant. A sandwich, Hello, I’d like a Plain American, on rye, if you would... Which would make sense, a sandwich takes, (presumably) colorful edible materials, and amalgamates them into one colorless flavor. Sometimes good, sometimes regrettable.

I am a plain American, born and raised in Illinois. The center of the American squish, nondescript, a pinprick in the middle of a map. Ouch.

I couldn’t say that anyone person, or anyone parent, or anyone friend, has shaped my personality. To claim that I am like any of them is foolhardy, I share elements from all groups and some originalness, too. I don’t think I would taste terribly good though, too many cooks spoil the soup, or some such cliche.

There are specifics, of course. Details, stringy little truths that wind themselves around; a bit hard to avoid. They bind us.

My dad has a horrible temper, and can’t draw anything beyond a stick figure. My mom has practically no temper and can draw well. I have a mediocre temper and can draw reasonably well. Squish.

On the surface I look more like my dad than any other family member. Yet I am not him. Those pesky little habits, mannerisms, come into play. One cannot live with another for their whole life, and not pick up something. Yet, I find myself agreeing more often with what author Harlan Ellison has to say than what my dad does. He doesn’t know who Ellison is.

A piebald blotch on my bones.

Stringy little things that bind us. Like particularly malicious snakes, or nice kindly worms.

Cutting deeper. Sorting through the bloody mess.

    Sudden inhale- Uhhsush.

    “Relax, boy. Breathe.’’

    “Uhhg.’’

    “Haha! How many people can get to see both their dermis and epidermis at once?”

    “Do any want to?’’

    “Skin games, most people don’t show one without hiding the other. You never really see under their skins..’

Things happen. Speakable, and un---, they never seem to stop. In dreams Morpheus, Lord Shaper, can change your angles, curves, and points. And that’s just at night.

It’s elusive, that thing in which english teachers call ‘inner meaning’. “What’s your plot?”, “Why I’m the daughter of a Chinese immigrant who is having problems defining herself in the world. I have conflicts with my mother all throughout my life, but Ha! That was all just a misunderstanding, and gee, it’s all better now.’’, “Oh, I think I’ve heard that before. “ In general, it’s not cut out with a finely tuned knife. A knife capable of playing Beethoven’s Fifth with perfect precision, cutting a flawless “V” into the flesh. A point.

Things happen. The elusiveness moves a bit, and hides and trips and fumbles. On occasion, it stutters. One thing that happens will throw it into a fit, and it will say, “What! I’m not the center of the universe? Dang. I am out of here!” Or something like that.

If, when I was nine, my brother had never told me to read 2001: A Space Odyssey, I probably would have never developed my love of reading. If he had told me to read it before I moved to (city), and actually had a myriad of friends, I probably would have never read it. Dreamy little flashbacks. Bow down to the Lord Shaper.

If I hadn’t been reading I, Robot, on that particular day, I wouldn’t of met the head of the science fiction section at the Library. He wouldn’t have stopped by my seat and asked if I was reading it for a school project, and been happy that I was actually reading of my own free will. I wouldn’t have talked to him whenever I went there and missed him when he quit.

If someone hadn’t donated that copy of I, Robot to the library, I wouldn’t have been able to buy it that day and meet him.

If my brother hadn’t gotten me interested in science fiction I would have never read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy and liked it enough to buy that 50 cent copy of I, Robot..

Things happen. Sometimes these things connect to other such bits, and a string is formed. I call my string “truth”. If you follow it long enough, you might find something. Then again, you might just find a loop. Recursion.

Muscle. The bleeding stops, for the time being.

    “That, is your meat, now we can really get down to business.’’

    “Does this solve anything?’’

    “No, were’re still not to the heart of the matter, just the motivation.’’

    “Bones have motivations?”

    “What else would you call a muscle?’’

Equations! Math is not my strong point. Motivation = (Circumstance + Influences) / (1/Will) . If it were that nice and easy, we might know why David Koresh thought he was God, or why Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy. It’s not that simple, you see? Their is a bit of a jagged noise, a little random seed. One that sprouts at the most unexpected of times.

‘Why do you do what you do?’ is as meaningless a question as ‘How many frogs does it take to find the lost city of Atlantis?’ You can only tell someone where you are coming from, beyond that, you’ll just lose them in the dive.

I came from a place called (city name). I lived in a small house where I shared a room with my brother. It was an all brick building that was ugly and pretty at the same time. Every brick seemed a different color, and every color seemed to disagree with the one next to it. There is such a coloring on one of my bones, somewhere. In memory of. Perhaps the place weighs as heavy on the mind as the all the rest.

I went to a small catholic school.

In third grade my house changes into a larger one in some place unfortunately named (town name). My school became a slightly bigger catholic school.

I have my own room now.

They would seem the same, just in different portions. They are not. On my bone is an off-color divider marking the change. Similar to the Washington memorial in this country’s capital. It has an off white section, due to a sudden stop in the creation of it. Years later they resumed work on it, but the colors were different. The memorial has a pool reflecting it, my circumstances just reflect off of my eyes now and then.

It changed. I changed.

“That’s that,” explains the off-color divider, in between a confusing brick bit and a large personal bedroom.

Bone. Bringing out the xyster.

    “Is that it?’’

    “No Now I have to clean you off a bit.’’

    “Find anything?’’

    ‘’A tumor.’’

    “Benign or malignant?’’

    ‘’It depends on your point of view.’’

The pain-killers wear off after while, and that’s when you truly get to access the damage, or reconstruction, that has been done. One or the other. One, then the other. Chop, chop, when my bone is broken open you can see an odd tattooed piece of calcium and whatnot, discolored and not particularly pretty. Interesting though, full of twists and soap-opera turns, waves and cross-hatched lines.

One singular piece of muscle remains. Your eyes can follow it to the end of the bone, just to find themselves back at the beginning of the bone.

I call it the truth.

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