Skeleton Bones

Mr. Nelson was my science teacher. He was the first one to introduce me to the existence of skeletons.

Sure, I had seen them in cartoons and the passing snippets of horror movies my parents wouldn't let me watch. However, up until that point they had been unknown, foreign creatures that simply existed beyond my realm of understanding.

"The human skeleton is made of over two hundred bones." Mr. Nelson was already bored with his own lesson.

I raised my hand.

"Yes, Gene?"

"What's a skeleton?"

The entire class erupted in laughter, and I immediately turned beet red.

Mr. Nelson laughed, as well. I guess it broke up the monotony of his week, so I suppose I can't blame him as much now as I did then.

"The skeleton is a set of bones," he composed himself quickly, "It's like a frame for your body. The skull, the ribs, and so on. They fit together and provide a basic structure for the human form."

Mr. Nelson walked over to my desk, leaned down, and uttered the words that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

"You've got skeleton bones in you!"

I felt embarassed and I felt sick. Worst of all, I was still entirely confused. The idea of one of those creepy, clattering monsters living inside of me was too much to handle. Up until this point, I was convinced the things came out at night and tap-danced to xylophone music.

I was so disturbed that I talked to my older sister about the ordeal at school. We had never been close, and as an adult I realize it's because I antagonized her simply by being a boy she couldn't dress up without a struggle.

"What's the problem, now?" she sighed, dropping her Sweet Valley book to the bed.

"Are there bones in me?" I asked meekly.

She just stared at me for a moment. Then she laughed, much like the others.

"There ARE!" I shrieked in horrible, delayed realization.

"Relax, snot glob." she scolded, "There are bones in everybody. In animals, too. The dog has bones in him."

"I know that! He eats bones." I nodded.

She rolled her eyes.

Seeing I was mortally disturbed by the concept, she lead me to the kitchen and started putting on a science lesson of her own. She pulled a banana from the bunch and set it on the counter in front of me.

"Okay, this is you."

She peeled the banana.

"This is your skin."

She dropped the peel to the counter and held the bare white fruit in one hand, gesturing to it as if she'd done a magic trick.

"This is your skeleton. See how the peel is just floppy and gross now? It's not even shaped like a banana anymore. That's because it's only the skin, and it needs the skeleton inside to keep everything in shape."

She bit off a full half of the banana and spoke through the mashed goop.


I nodded, though understanding the situation didn't exactly get rid of the unease.

From then on, I was a fat kid. I learned what made people skinny and what made people heavy. When all of this started, I could feel my ribs and my pelvis through the skin. It was like constantly checking under the bed and seeing the monster every single time I looked.

Try as I might, however, I could never cover up my skull enough to forget it existed. Teeth were a huge problem once I learned they were bones. Well, close enough.

I let them rot and drop out of my head, going so far as to try pulling my own teeth when there was nothing wrong. I attempted slamming the door with string attached to them, wiggling them furiously with my fingers, and more.

My first girlfriend at college was heavy-set like me. She was the perfect woman as far as looks went. I could barely see a bone on her. Of course, after a few months she suggested we both go on a diet together and give each other support…

I couldn't tell her the truth, so I just started acting like an asshole until she left.

I would've hung myself in the dorm, or jumped from the clock tower, but the idea of becoming a corpse, rotting away, and leaving behind the bones for all time held me back.

Being alone again… alone with my thoughts and fears… is what brought me full circle. I began thinking a lot about that day when Mr. Nelson completely ruined my ignorant bliss.

Then, the solution presented itself. It was one of those moments where your mind has been working over a problem for so long that you forget you were even looking for an answer. The whole thing just became crystal clear immediately and without warning.

After a quick trip to the drug store, I had everything I needed. Alcohol, pills, gauze, various cutting tools, and heavy-duty trash bags for all the garbage I was about to get rid of.

I thought back to the example Sis had given me.

I began to peel myself.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.