Lights up. ELIZABETH, a 30-something, tired
looking woman in an old fashioned skirt, stands at a
grocery store check out. She places a basket
containing some apples and a box of Strawberry
Shortcake band-aids on the conveyor belt. A bored
looking cashier scans the box of band-aids.
Oh! I have a coupon for those!
ELIZABETH hands CASHIER a coupon. CASHIER
squints at coupon.
Ma’am, this expired in 1993.
Oh, I’m well aware. My mother gave it to be. Handed it to me when I skinned my knee on the pavement and told me to buy some more plasters. I never did though. I’m sure you could’ve guessed that from the coupon! I’m still bleeding now, actually.
ELIZABETH lifts her skirt, her knee is bleeding
Do you see the scar? I got it when I was 5. I fell off my bike and skidded down the road for miles. The skin is just... gone now. Lying somewhere in the road. I wonder... if I found it again, if I could reach out and touch it? Would that skin be more real than the skin I’m wearing? Or would I not deserve to touch that skin either? I didn’t even want to ride my bike in the first place. I wanted to stand in the grass and photosynthesize but my mother told me to go and move around like how kids my age SHOULD. Trees are strong. Trees have bark, not skin. I wanted to be a tree. Ash to be specific. Now I think I just want to BE ash. I don’t want my body anymore. I don’t want autonomy. I don’t want to be able to touch my own flesh. I shouldn’t be able to feel my own skin. It’s not my skin to feel. I don’t deserve skin, I don’t think. Either way, sorry, I’m bleeding all over your nice establishment, I didn’t have any band-aids at home. Would you mind applying one for me? I don’t like touching my own skin.
CASHIER starts scanning the apples.
Apples? I thought I bought oranges. I like oranges better. They’re sweeter. They’re citrus. They’re acid running through my veins, dissolving me slowly one bit at a time. One acre of skin at a time. You peel them, painfully. In strips. Until they’re nothing but pulp and innards and intestines, sweet and sticky.
Would you like to trade them out for oranges instead?
Oh, no! I’m allergic to oranges. They make me break out. I get hives all over my arms and the itch so bad I just scratch and scratch until I’m a bleeding mess— and you know how much I hate touching my own skin!
That’ll be $14.50 ma’am. Do you want the apples in a bag or to go?
In the bag please, I don’t like touching the skin.
CASHIER places the apples in a bag and hands
them to ELIZABETH. CASHIER takes a single
band-aid out of the box. ELIZABETH smiles. Lights down.