He was a little boy, so old in his shoes. When will those shoes grow to fit his feet? When does one lose innocence irrevocably until the second sleep of amnesiac old age? When one learns of death, sex, or the fundamental difference between the self and others? Object permanence, undeniable as memory. He clapped his hands over his eyes and saw a world that existed out there. In those shut eyelids kaleidoscopic patterns formed out of capillaries superimposed on the liquid lens. White noise, reach your hand into it and it will disappear.

He clasped his hands softly over his face and knew the world would continue to exist even though he didn't, when his hands would no longer move of his own volition. Anterograde and retrograde amnesia in tandem, a perception lasting for less than a millisecond before it disappears, statements of self revising themselves midsentence.

The alternative was a slow mold towards form, embarrassing at every step. A foot put forward and withdrawn at the first feeling of cold. The smell of vaseline and chlorine hung in the air. From beyond the corner of his eye he saw the graceful curves, the easy walk, upright spine, and narrow shoulders. Frozen in place, he was pushed into the pool and the image disappeared. Reaction displacing thought, the kick-in of the vagus nerve, paralyzed panic, the steady rise, and the relief of air. The girl was gone, the chlorine overpowering. He threw up in a trashcan.

Each year a shoe size larger, the kaleidescope growing more vivid. Patterns of jealously and rage and the peace of two eyelids that meet. The female body was a form to emulate, whose skin was a sheath sewn, shafts of light penetrating through gaps in the fabric where the facade did not hold. He sat up in bed, shifted to the side, and looked down at his two shoes, brown and leathered, thick at the soles, laces hard and ropelike. When he ran his feet were fleet-footed, thin stalks of effortless motion, elflike, the anachronism of a modern-day agile hunter. Arrows, not bullets.

The muscle is thin and slippery, not condensed. Touching it gave a tingling sensation. Far away, like an idealization. When he closed his eyes, this happened.

In his mind's eye he saw the girl at the pool, and wanted to switch places with her. To take oneself into the eyes of another, a mastery of the self and other divide. Did she feel this same way? In a life-moment, this fleeting thought no matter how repressed would've arose. Colors danced around in his eye, a vision bright like a projection outwards.



She looked down towards two clunky pairs of small child's shoes. They were brown and old, worn too many a time. Her own feet tapered slightly, sheathed by fine invisible hairs, feet bare, her hands graceful, her spine upright. Those shoes used to be hers. The boy inside her smiled, starry eyed.