To Kiss the World Through a Veil of Lead

Touch I

You have three appendages that stick out of your vaguely spherical body; they are composed of three rigid straight fragments, connected by soft orange tissue. Your nervous system covers these wiry limbs, making them extremely sensitive. You constantly coat them with the solidified saliva you spit out of your cloaca in order to numb — but not completely block — the intense sensations that arise from touching things. Unaware that this protective coating is broken and patchy, you lightly press against the ground beneath you.

You are overwhelmed.

Ridge; bump; tearing through cells' walls; a spark and a jolt, a green shape; minerals sticking to your nerves, causing a flare of severe sensations that bring you down. You writhe; liquids squirt out of your eyes; your limbs tremble and fall and get up and fall; heat, particles, stone, metal, sticky, jagged, something thin and brittle, something else that is slick and wet, slick and wet, slick and wet —

you are overwhelmed —

slick and wet, slick and wet. Fractal feelings: all you feel becomes you, the stone and metal and gas and magnetic fields shining in your nervous system as blue stars, requiring attention that you cannot, cannot give, because of the singing swamping sensations of your limbs against the ground. The tendons of your mind stretch and rip, crying for help. You direct your own appendages at yourself; the bursting of vesicles close to your skin generates even more violent spasms. Sensations within experiences within feelings, all cutting you into pieces. You can feel your own cells running down your limbs and it is like hearing a voice, a buzz, a whizz, a smell, a whiff.

You manage to lift your three unprotected limbs and the sensations subside. Inflating, deflating, inflating, deflating. You re-coat your extremities as quickly as you can.