I felt so good about sharing my first submission that I decided I shall share the next one, too. 😀 This assignment was to describe something common, mundane, or ordinary from the perspective of someone who had never been exposed to it before. So, without further ado. . .
The coverings hurt. They cut me off from the feel of the world around me. They strip me of ability to connect, grip, and ensure my own safety. They tell me I will get used to the coverings. They tell me that in time I will love them. I am not so sure.
Where once I felt the earth beneath my feet and the wind against my body, now I feel nothing but itchy. And very warm. And my skin feels like it is crying out to see again the sun.
They started with flimsy garments that remind me of spiderwebs. These I was to wear, they told me, naming them with a complicated word I did not understand. Why they wanted to take away my perfectly adequate and useful garments and replace them with thin ones that felt as though they would rip at the slightest movement I couldn’t understand.
Once those were fastened about my hips, however, I smiled; they were soft and tickled. They were still inferior to my old coverings, but at least they didn’t chafe. Yet.
I had thought I was free to go then, and so had turned and started toward the door, anxious to find the others I had come with. The people who were with me immediately rushed after me, making noises of agitation and with widened eyes and down-turned mouths, they pulled me back to where I’d been standing.
Now, one stood in front of the door, arms folded and legs spread. It seemed one did not go outside in just these garments.
Next, a bizarre contraption was thrust into my arms. What I was supposed to do with this, I could not fathom. Two long tubes of material extended from a single larger tube. Metal adorned this larger opening, but it wasn’t shiny or pretty, so I couldn’t understand why it was there. I stuck my arms inside, raised them over my head, and was relieved when I felt the material fall down to my shoulders. The larger tube fit comfortably over my head and neck, while the two narrower ones covered my arms completely. Whoever had had these garments before me must have had extremely long arms.
A sharp, high sound startled me and I looked up to see the angry person now gripped in the most bizarre fit. Lips pulled back and mouth open, what appeared to be a grimace of pain contorting their facial features, their face was turned to the ceiling. I looked too; perhaps I could see what was causing the distress and help end it.
Hands gripped me from behind and I twitched, keeping the instinctive noise generated by the surprise trapped behind my teeth. Habits of a lifetime do not change just by changing one’s surroundings and quiet in moments of surprise was something ingrained in me since I could remember.
My arms were forced up and the garment roughly jerked off my head. The one from the door stood behind me and turned me around. They demonstrated that instead of my arms, the garment was to be placed over my legs. I started to take off the first garment- no use wearing two to cover the same location- and agitated noises came from the one from the door. The other one simply made more puffing sounds and leaned against the wall behind them.
I felt my skin flush hot as the choice to cover myself was taken from me. Gripping one ankle and lifting it, my foot was placed inside the bunched up tube. Then, the other was inserted into the other tube. With rough, hurtful movements, the material was tugged up and fastened with the metal bits. It pinched and bit before becoming more comfortable once the other’s hands were removed.
This made no sense. Why were they covering me? Didn’t they know a body that got too hot wasn’t as efficient? Didn’t they know that showing one’s skin was the way one advertized their health? Who would want to be my mate if they couldn’t see my skin, lustrous with oil and clear of blemishes? Ah well, I couldn’t imagine I’d find a mate here with the outsiders anyway.
Certain that now I would be free to go, I started to move toward the door again. The immediate response let me know that I still was not ready to leave. What more they had in store for me, I couldn’t imagine, but I resigned myself to make no more move to leave until they did.
Another large tube of material, this one with two narrower ones at the top, proved to be intended for the top half of my body. I had never felt so enclosed! From just beneath my head to just above my feet and all the way to each hand was completely encased! My heart started to race and I had to comfort myself with the thought of seeing home again before I could feel it start to slow.
Just when I thought there was no way they could possibly cover me further, they shoved two hard, wooden slabs under my feet and tugged the sides up. Moving quickly, their hands flying, they twisted and pulled long, narrow strings through the tops of the “shoes”. Once finished with the strings, they stood back. Looking at me, both grimaced before moving toward the door.
I grimaced too; I could barely figure out how to move in these “clothes”.
A piece my soul died that day.