Waffle patterns on my arm extending to the hand. I washed them; the marks would not go. I stared and thought about waffle moments. Rather nice ones. The warm deep blocks to be filled. I’d add some butter and honey or maple syrup. I would wait for the perfect fall, but it always spread. I liked the honey better; it looked more appealing, golden on brown. I wanted to pour honey on my arms, but there were no pockets. After the imagination died down with the sun’s sharp morning rays, I got a bit disoriented. I decided to check on what seemed like a skin ailment.
I found it. I found lots of things that took me to criss-cross patterns on skin. I decided it was atopic eczema. I looked for red splotches, for flakiness, for bumps, for redness, for itchiness. I even scratched. Nothing was there and nothing was happening.
It was probably something that could not be diagnosed. I kept looking at my hands with new wonder, as though I was seeing them for the first time. I ran my fingers over the symmetrical lines and squares. I applied some lotion to cool it although it did not require any such ministration. After a shower, when I was ready to get to my bit of work, waffles were not on my mind. In the new light from the laptop screen I realised that my hands were clean, the arms had no pattern. It had all gone away, not even crumbs of memory left.
What was it then?
The answer was a cushion. I had woken up early and while reading and resting, I had dozed off with my arms behind my head where the cushion was. Its cover is a rough hand-woven one with checks. Those had imprinted themselves on me. They stayed for a few hours. It was a strange bond where things make you think of so much more and then they leave. The cushion is still there where it always was with the same cover. I do not fear the patterns it will make. In fact, now I think of the slight fuzziness as a part of my own skin.
We all need to find things to call our own. One day I might soak it with honey and heat it a crisp brown and feed on it with my eyes.