“I cannot help to imagine all kinds of substances filtering trough my flesh, being sucked in and condensing in my lungs, caught in the blood stream and pumped around, solidifying in nasty cancers in my entrails”.
Being a mutant means to be constantly aware of your own body. Every morning is another rash, a new suppurating orifice, the calling of an unexpected pain, or another lump of flesh going numb.
“Once I saw someone scratch one of his arms to the bone, humming. There was no blood but a white opalescent fluid gushing out like foam. He kept reopening the wound, digging into its lips with a little knife.”
You tend to acknowledge new mutations in the morning. Maybe the metabolism of the toxins speeds up while your body is sleeping, maybe it’s just that you drop out of consciousness for long enough to look at yourself like a stranger. Some think that you will stop mutating if you never close your eyes.
You never dream. Substances and viruses take up your imagination, turning your very flesh into some unconscious, permeable, stuff.
“I found you can get away with some of the pain by focussing on it as a pulse – if you feel it like breathing it blends in and almost disappears. Itching can be turned into pain, and then into rhythm. Speaking and thinking are done fast in between the beats. When the pain’s too intense there’s nothing you can do, though. It just defines you: you can only speak for it and wear its face. You become a vessel, a herald, a laboratory display: your very acts become a mindless expression of whatever that is that’s working up your guts.”
There is a certain pride in the amount of suffering a body can withstand. From without, you just see the torn skin, the broken motions and the expressions of self-disgust. You can breath in the stink and be hit by death in its purposeful, creative presence. But from within is a symphony of terrors. That hunger never leaves you.
“But sometimes I have a surge of strength – my body suddenly feels well and whole. And at that point, over that hallucinating sensation of solidity, settles rage. I am consumed by the need of tearing into other people, leaving them infected.”
Some mutants convert to a weird religion of the flesh. They believe that, somewhere in the sewers, there is a creature made of all the parts of their bodies that they’ve lost, all the blood and pus that they’ve spilled, the skin they have removed. It awaits for them somewhere in the shadow. If you ever meet its hollow eyes, they believe, then you will die. But your mind will remain trapped in the air and consumed by parasites and you will feel the whole universe collapse. These believers sometimes carve their eyes out, so that the golem will have eyes and see them and die in their place.
And yes, Catch plays baseball.