If all our inner organs hung outside the body like cured meat dangling
from the ceiling---and children do exist who are born with organs turned
out---and all our limbs and outer organs were folded within the sac of our
thorax and abdomen, what would we look like?
Would we push along on the lub-dub of our heart? If so, we would scarcely
move: I imagine the intestine dragging behind like an extraordinary tail.
Perhaps the lungs would inflate and lift this strange form a few inches
off the ground; I can see how the ribs would scuttle along like the agile
legs of a spider. I imagine the feet kicking from within, trampling the
food like grapes beneath a winepress. The eye, nose and ear are crushed
inside the skull, washed over with the dizzy traffic of the blood and the
flood of excretion, nauseated, clotted. Lastly, the entirety of the nerve
system and the veins would unravel and reach out into the air like the tendrils
of a vine, whiskers.
Without the thick barrier of the skin, we would feel the wind and the sun
as they are, as when we feel hot water on a cut. The oxygen would pierce
our veins directly--we would be intoxicated, heady. And the stomach?
It would be like the starfish stomach: inside out, the stomach pushing itself
into the narrow opening that the starfish has drilled. Once inside the mollusc,
the stomach excretes its bile, dissolves and digests the tender muscle then
withdraws back into through the mouth of the starfish. How fragile the starfish
must feel to have its stomach caught outside its spiny exterior. But then
I think that we men carry our sex in soft pouches at our waist and hardly
think anything of depositing it in another body whereas our stomachs, permanently
encased like the mollusc, may become ulcerous without producing pearls of
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