Saturday, September 28, 2019

Therapeutic Skin Jobs #27

Chapter 27
Green Light Go!

Dr Skin is everywhere. Dr Skin is nowhere.

Dr Skin is everything and anything.

Dr Skin is.


Max woke up five minutes before the alarm clock went off, but she didn’t move a muscle. She just lay perfectly still and watched the bright green numbers count down.

The last minute came up and she buried her head in her pillow, hoping it would somehow stretch out for an eternity, but the alarm went off, shattering her hopes.

“Fuck it,” she moaned, hitting the snooze switch and swinging her legs out of bed.

As she sat on the edge of his bed, she was suddenly hit by the overwhelming feeling that she had forgotten something incredibly important. It wasn’t something she had to do, but something that she knew she should remember.

She rubbed her head and tried to recall what it could be. She remembered watching zombie movies with Brian last night and could even remember drifting off to sleep in the middle of a particularly gory bit.

But then there was a gap in her memories. She knew she probably just shuffled off to bed in a half-daze, but she couldn’t even remember that.

She just couldn’t shake the feeling that something important had happened, something that could potentially have changed her entire life. It was right in the depths of her memory and she tried to concentrate, hoping it would rise to the surface.

But for the second time that morning, her hopes were cruelly shattered by the alarm clock going off. Grumbling and mumbling, Max hit the snooze button again and tried to concentrate again in the lost memory, but it was no use.

It was gone.

“Fuck it,” she whispered. She stood up and moved out into the main room of her apartment, scratching her backside as she shuffled forward. It all looked normal and she spotted a half-smoked joint lying in the ashtray.

That explains the memory loss, she thought, even though it still didn’t feel right at all.

She carried on scratching her backside, only stopping when her phone suddenly rang. She glanced at the clock on the wall, but she still had an hour to get into work, so it couldn’t be them ringing.

Max wandered over to the phone and reached out for it, only to hesitate. She didn’t know why she stopped, she just stood there, her hand held out, not moving.

She began to wish it would just stop ringing, but it just kept on going. She stood still for more than a minute, before shaking her head and laughing at her own stupidity.

“Fuck it,” she groaned. She picked up the phone and answered in a much clearer voice. “Hello?”

There was somebody on the other end of the line, Max could hear them breathing. But they didn’t say anything at first and Max tried again. “Hello?”

This time the voice on the other side replied, speaking in a low, gravelly monotone.

“Everything new is old again,” it said.

“What?” asked Max, but the caller hung up on her, leaving her with a dead line.

Max hung up and didn’t move. There was something about the voice that reminded her of something and she had the strangest feeling that that something was connected to her strange memory loss.

“Fuck it,” she said clearly. She didn’t have time for this.

Max headed for the bathroom to get ready for work. It was going to be a long, hard day and the weekend was still a long way off.


Doctor Skin no longer exists in any conventional sense, but that doesn’t stop him from having a sense of humour about it all.

A hedonist by choice and a nihilist by nature, he was not surprised to have lost all physical form after breaking through the final barrier. His consciousness is still as strong as ever, just severely lacking in any kind of corporeal form.

In the formless void, understanding is everything and Skin knows it all. He knows his own purpose in life, he knows why he ever existed in the first place.

It gives him little comfort, but it still makes him want to laugh.

He feels some regret at leaving Max behind, using her as a stepping stone for his own ascension, another man making his way on the efforts of a woman, even if they were basically the same person. But he also knew in his non-existent heart that she had made the choice to go her own way, and it wasn't up to him to make that decision for her.

Moving on and ditching the guilt, he concentrates and attempts to rebuild himself from the ground up. He has now pushed himself past all worlds and all egos, but the very essence of Skin is eternal and he knows he can build himself up from the smallest, tiniest details.

Doctor Skin concentrates.

He remembers the tiny scar on the back of his right hand, the way it curves back on itself, the whiteness of the scarred tissue against his skin. He remembers how it was right in the center of the hand, directly below the knuckle of his index finger.

He builds the memory up from there, starting with the rest of his hand and his long, bony fingers. The sensation of his arms hanging at his side comes easily, remembering the weight of his torso takes a little more effort.

He creates himself. He builds himself from a lifetime of memory and sensation and experience. His body was destroyed in his final push into the infinite, but he has the will and the skill to start all over again.

Dr Skin feels it all come together as sensation returns to every part of his body, every nerve singing in the joy of life, every muscle coiled and ready for action. He even recreates his very best clothes, including the long paisley jacket he lost 10 years ago. He has become other than what he was, but is still himself, right down to the sub-atomic level.

Satisfied, he opens his new eyes.

With everything he has seen and experienced in his quest for an impossible answer, Skin is ready for anything, but the sight that greets him steals away the first breath from his newly formed lungs.

He is hanging in nothingness, but spread out beneath him is all of time and space, laid out in all its glory. All of history and everything to come can be seen in prefect detail, spread out before him in a glowing tableau. He can see the dinosaurs roam the earth right through one small section and the rise and fall of mankind right next to it.

There is only one thing missing. Although Skin can concentrate on any point and see it in infinite detail, his own life, his own journey, is not there. There isn’t even a blank space where it should be, it is just as if it had never existed in the first place.

“Ha!” he laughs, the noise echoing around the empty void. If he never existed, none of this is real in the first place.

“So why worry about it?” he asks nobody. “Everything old is new again!”

Turning his attention back to business, Skin knows he has all the options he could ever need. He knows what he can do and how he can do it.

In the vast tapestry of everything, Dr Skin finds the one point he needs. He moves towards it, but hesitates and looks back at something.

“Well? Come on then!”

Then he laughs again and leans forward, falling down to the world. It rushes up and envelops him as he rushes towards the last stop.

He falls from outside the world, but he doesn’t fall alone.

You’re with him.

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