My day starts in the basement of the theater.  It’s a little disconcerting, every time, to experience the room from two perspectives—on the one hand, my projection, which I’d come to think of as my usual body, saw the space as large, if a bit crowded; on the other hand, my real body saw it as a small, enclosed space—like sitting in a closet.

The fans ran nonstop, as body heat tended to make the place stifling, otherwise.

I set the bucket I came in with down and tried to imagine what life would be like if I couldn’t project.  The pallor, the weakness, all inescapably mine, because the world outside was the wrong size for me, and I couldn’t live in it.

Instead I was able to escape the body, somewhat—but I still had to take care of it.

It could indeed have been worse.  It could always be worse.

I tried to keep that in mind as I started washing my poor body down.

No, I don’t hate my body.  I am… well, we all have to hide who we are.  But having another body that can’t really take care of itself gets to be a chore.

And I guess, also, that having high standards doesn’t help.  I wouldn’t leave myself to live in slobbery.

So I was down here every morning.  I’d wash my poor body down, because while I did have to take up space, I didn’t have to make it unpleasant for others.

It wasn’t hard work, but I did have a lot of area to cover—it was like washing four or five cars a day.

When I was done I’d always…well, today I lay on my poor body’s chest, stroking softly as much of it as I could reach, because every body needs touch for the sake of touch, or it starts to break down.

My poor body’s hand would cover me sometimes, because sometimes I felt the need to return the favor.

I might have fallen asleep there, my poor body holding me against its chest; I’d certainly lost track of time enough that it seemed too soon before Mitch was poking at my mind.

Toby! Come on, I’m going to be late!