AT WAR WITH MY SKIN

“Last night’s dreams. I am skiing on a white slope, beneath a white sky. I look down at my feet and they are also white, and my skis are engulfed by the powder. I am exhilarated. Then the dream transfers me to an interior, a ski hut where the white walls merge into the doomed ceiling indishtinguishably. There is an Eskimo maiden, muscular, brown, naked. I am dressed like a doctor, but more stiffly, in large white cards. I awaken, inmensely ashamed”.

“In the negative print of this dream I am sitting on a white bowl and my excrement overflows, unstoppably, unwipably, engulfing my feet, my thighs in patches I try to scape. I awaken and am relieved to be in bed, between clean sheets. Then I look at my arms in the half-light of dawn and an ineluctable horror sweeps over me. This is real. This skin is me, I can’t get out.”

John Updike, from The Journal of a Leper, in Self-Consciousness, USA, 1975.

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