Waking Up in Winter

Ahh, I can feel the bright winter sun shining through my window.  Its glint shines upon my
face. Really don't want to get out of bed. I'd rather continue to feel that lazy delight and
coziness of an early morning rest. I stretch, I yawn and slowly pry my eyes open;  feeling the
sun's warmth on my face.  I rub my face. That's odd -- my face, it feels unusually smooth
today.  Strangely different, but I conclude it must be my drowsiness.  I slowly down my foot
onto the carpet and make my way to the bathroom. Flicking on the light switch, I move
towards the sink. With half closed lids I glance into the mirror before starting my bathroom
chores. My god, my face is purple. I must be still sleeping, I think, and heartily rub my eyes.
Blinking a few times ... oh my god - I've turned purple. My face is purple. A dark deep purple
actually, I've turned into ... into an eggplant. Well that's a new one, I think; as I gently run my
hand over my clean shaven purple sheen. Well at least I won't have to shave this morning;
that's a plus. I turn on the tap and run water through my hands. Happy to see my hands
haven't changed. I cup some water in my palms and splash it onto my purple exterior. It
doesn't seem to wash away. I then realize that this could be trouble.

Not sure how others feel and think about eggplants. I do live in a vegetarian community, but
this could be strange even to them. But I'm sure someplace, somewhere, other people are
going through the same thing.  I'm not that unique. There has to be others. They always say
-- nothing is new. Well at least I'm not a bug like in Kafka's story. That's a plus. I wonder how
it happened.  Don't remember drinking to much grape juice, eating eggplant or any other
purplely thing yesterday.  Not even sure how I feel about eggplants. Well, they are night
shades; but I didn't get to sleep late. I wonder what it all means. Perhaps, the rest of my
family or friends have also turned into vegetables.  I should give them a call. What if they
have changed -- but not into eggplants? Maybe my relatives are other kinds of vegetables,
or fruits or a dozen other things. It would be nice to choose which vegetable you'd like to be
for a day?  Perhaps it's a local phenomena, something to do with radio waves, or the water
supply and such things like that. Wonder if  being on the internet too much can turn one into
an eggplant?

Strange ... I got it, maybe it's because I'm a vegetarian. They do say you are what you eat ...  
No that's not it. Haven't had eggplant in months -- why an eggplant?  Especially when I have
a busy morning ahead. Well if it is widespread, I'm sure I'll hear about it on "All Things
Considered" on the radio will have a story on it.  I leave the bathroom, waking to the right
corner of my bedroom, where I have my stereo receiver. I push the radio's play button on,
listening intently for a few minutes for any news flash, -- but nothing is mentioned. Possibly
it's only happened to a select group and the government is keeping it secret for a while. I
sure hope CNN runs a special report on it.

I start to get hungry -- making me wonder if I should go to my local diner and have my usual
breakfast. No, better wait, maybe this change will pass. It could just be a cycle I'm going
through.  Maybe next week I'll be a squash or a pumpkin. I always liked the idea of being
more colorful.  I got it, I woke up to early and I'm still dreaming. That's it. I'll try pinching myself
on the arm.  Ouch, feels pretty real to me.  Maybe I should go back to sleep. Not sure if I can,
I'm not tired anymore.

I should call someone, but I'm not sure who. What would I say?  Who does one call if you
wake up looking like an eggplant?  Which people do you tell? Maybe it's better to just keep
things to oneself.  I think I'll just put on a hat and wrap a scarf around my eggplant face and
go to breakfast. Why not, what am I afraid of?  If they ask I'll tell them I have a skin disease.  
At least by going out I'll see if I'm the only one going through this. This eggplant thing may be
disconcerting for a lot of people; I'm really not sure.

Not even certain if most people like eggplants. Well, I'll soon find out.  Would be nice         if I
wasn't the only one.  Anyway, if I am, I'll deal with it better after I eat. So, I hurryingly put on
my plaid shirt, corduroy pants, a tweed wool sweater and a warm winter jacket. Must be cold
outside today, I think. Hoping that I don't turn into a frozen vegetable, I place my hat firmly
over my eggplant shaped head, then wrap my outer purple coating in a soft green acrylic
scarf. I look around my room, open the door and slowly leave, thinking this should be an
interesting day.

©charlie elkind 1/18/99
INDEX
cracked open

i was born in an egg
hidden in a dark forest glen --
with parents unknown.
i felt my aloneness
as i slumbered soundly
in my watery egg-born sleep.

my eyes opened --
i tried to break free
kicking against
the egg's inner membrane

i listened for a call,
but all i could hear
were gentle outer sounds;
sounds like a mightly wind
sounds like a mightly breath
going in, going out
washing over my egg's outer shell.

slowly a crack appeared
on the egg's inner wall,
it was thin
and with each new kick
a gap and the line
grew wider and more open.

a ray of light - seeped into
my inner darkness.
i could feel a thin wind
slowly wafting through
the interior.

the wind grew stronger
loosening from the inner membrane
curds of a milky white substance.

the curds coalesced --
forming an interior landscape
bringing forth trees
and plants, and creatures
from all the elements
and being of all descriptions.
GO ON TO PAGE 3
Charlie's Poetry & Prose - page 2