My face is falling off, I thought, feeling more forlorn than panicked.
I looked in the mirror again. Tried pressing the sagging skin back into place with my fingers, as if it was modeling clay.
What are you talking about? I said to myself, myself being my constant companion. Faces don’t fall off.
You’re not making sense. Your face isn’t falling off.
Yes it is. It’s sliding right off my skull. Going to be resting on my chest soon, and then the floor. I’ll be as faceless as I feel. An animated skull with two gold molars. People will hide their children when they see me coming. On the bright side, when the doctors ask me what happened, I can tell them that my fucking face finally fluttered to the floor in a fit of folly. That’s a lot of Fs. Funny stuff, that.
Stop it. I like your face. More than seeing you without a face, anyway. Hold on to it. Use thumbtacks, if you have to. Or super-glue. Whatever it takes. Just hold on.
I’m not pinning my face in place with thumbtacks. I’m not going like Freud.
Freud again. What’s with that? You having erotic dreams about trains charging into tunnels? Is that what this about? Sex?
No. Like I told you, Freud’s face fell off.
It did not.
It did. He smoked 20 cigars a day, got cancer and his face fell off. Wore a special brace to hold it on.
I like the way you say absurd. The s sounds like a z. Ab-zurd.
Can we please try to stay focused here for a minute? Cigars. Cancer. His face fell off. Look it up. But here’s the strange thing about the story: Days before he was euthanized by a doctor to avoid a slow, painful death, Freud read Balzac’s La Peau de Chagrin in a single sitting.
He looked at Ballsack’s po-po with chagrin? That’s hilarious.
What are you, 12?
It’s not Ballsack, idiot. Balzac, the comedic French novelist. He wrote La Peau de Chagrin — it means The Magic Skin in English. It’s about a Parisian gambler who is given the hide of a wild donkey that grants his every wish but shrinks each time it’s used, slowly squeezing the life out of him.
This Ballsack fellow sounds like a real laugh-riot. I assume there are a lot of donkey-dick jokes in between the really funny bits about about the sadistic killer mule skin?
He’s not that kind of comedian.
Oh, he’s the kind that makes you cry instead of laugh? I love those clowns!
You’re missing my point.
Which is that Freud’s face fell off, just like mine, and that he read a book about magic skin right before he died. It’s both tragic and comically ironic.
What are you reading?
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
So maybe your tattoo is about to fall off. But your face is fine.
I don’t have a tattoo.
Yeah, maybe somebody ought to euthanize me, too.
I don’t know why, but I agreed to participate in a writing contest hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese. You can read the other entries here, and I hope they’re better than this one. If not, God help us all.