I lost my skull when I was seventeen and I haven't looked back since. It started four years prior, when I got wrinkles when nobody else did, 'cause I was only thirteen, and who gets wrinkles when they're thirteen? But everyone was too polite to say anything, so it wasn't too big a deal.
And then when I was fourteen I started losing hair, big chunks of it at a time, and I didn’t know what was wrong but nobody said anything, even when I came out of the bathroom with chunks of hair in my brush and a bald patch and tears in my eyes and Mom said "Honey, what's wrong?" like I was being unreasonable, so I let it go.
By the time I was fifteen I lost my fingernails and went bald. I'd go home and write in my journal, "I'm disintegrating, oh God, I'm dissolving," but my friends acted like they hadn't noticed and just wondered why I cried all the time. "Teenage angst," I heard my brother say knowingly one day.
My sixteenth birthday: my family rented a limo as my scalp peeled away from the bone. Mom and Dad looked the other way as my friends and I all got drunk and I pretended nothing was happening, 'cause that's what everyone else seemed to be doing.
And the day after, when I woke up with a killer hangover and looked in the mirror and my bleached-white skull was cracking I started thinking, "Shouldn't I be at the hospital?" I reached up and touched the cracks and I got a sliver of bone in my fingertip and swore, but it didn't bleed. So I went into the living room and asked my dad "Shouldn't I be in the hospital?" and he looked concerned and said "Are you feeling sick? Maybe you did a little too much partying last night" and told me to go back to sleep.
And when I woke up again and picked bone off my pillow I decided I was insane, but I didn't want to go to a mental institution, because how was I supposed to become an orthodontist if I was in a mental institution? Of course, I started spitting out teeth that evening. But orthodontistry isn't about my teeth.
And later my knees kept cracking ominously, and I lost the pinky and ring finger on my left hand, and the middle finger and thumb on my right. My skull crumbled off and every time I look in the mirror I can see it, grey, pulsing wetly. It feels sort of rubbery, but with more give to it. I'm not sure whether to wash it when I shower.
What really starting to worry me is the cracks in my elbows. What the hell could I do without forearms?
I'm almost ready to graduate. Last week, when I was walking home from school, I looked out in the crowd and I could see someone's brain, like they didn't have a skull, either. And she saw me and sprinted at me. She had dark circles under her eyes, and she looked deathly thin, plus her right shin seemed to have fallen off, and was now replaced by a sawn-off broomstick shoved into her flesh in her knee. She grabbed me by the elbows and shook me and screamed, "It's happening to you, too! It’s happening to you, too!" and her eyes looked desperate, but she had no eyelashes. I stared at her 'til she let go and ran off, sobbing, but my elbows have felt loose ever since.
Now I sort of wish I had talked to her, though, 'cause both my knees burst at once, and I can't get up from this spot. And it's nice that no one's making a scene of it, but I really can't move, and I wish someone would help me, 'cause I need to get home before curfew.