“The Birthmark”

(It’s probably not gross.)

I don’t know why I had these thoughts today. In the vain attempt (it means two things!) to get some sun on my skin, I walked around shirtless for my morning walk. It’s nice to feel the breeze on hibernating skin, plus the not-so-gentle reminder that I’m getting fat without working myself to death everyday. (It’s because I still eat like I do that.)

But anyway, before my jigglin’ skin of doom, another thing that dominates my self-consciousness is a large birthmark at the small of my back, right where my poor kidneys would be. Uh, are. They’re there.

So, I have to own it. Thus it is with no small amount of pride that I subscribe to the idea that birthmarks are signs of one’s previous life. And then for me, and my obsession with death (through fear), I belong to that subgroup that believe it marks how one died in that previous life.

Yes, I claim it with pride, knowing that my birthmark suggests I met some horribly tragic end at a (if modern times) sawed-off shotgun, or if in antiquity, probably a damn trident in the belly. (The exit wound being the birthmark.)

And that’s “nice?” to consider? It certainly can lead itself to a sort romanticism, a sense that I was unjustly wronged, or more daring, the one wrong-doing. There’s all sorts of stories, really. Some people have more than one birthmark, what’s that like? To a degree, I wonder if freckles count, since it’s the same saturation with pigmentation that’s present in the birthmark.

But that leads me to science. I can’t pretend that I don’t know enough about genes and cells that there isn’t a logical explanation. And really-

As pretty as a birthmark may/may not be, it’s a mutation. I guess like a cancer, in the sense that the developing cells went a little berserk and didn’t respond to the “current” genetic coding. Or, uh, as I was being put together in the womb when my skin went to form in that specific area, there was no cue for it to stop developing. So, it’s fully pigmented (dark brown) and excessively hairy like all the rest of my skin would have been way back in the early days of humans. Before clothes! Oh, and before there were genetic cues to stop cellular development for a particular habitat that any of my ancestors settled in. Mountainous desert dwellers?!

Ah, well, maybe not desert dwellers right away, but probably definitely =) a mountain-people. Not just for the fair skin or the inability to walk straight, but just because I can feel the song of the high places.

Well, anyway, with the amount of genetic stress that hundreds (thousands?) of generations would put on any gene, it’s bound to break down somewhere along the way. Especially if some of my ancestors were vegetarians, or were malnourished, something that bred in a particular weakness because of the prolonged absence of an essential amino acid(s), et all.

That’s how genes work in the shortest of nutshells and longest of ways. It doesn’t just apply to skin, but it does prove a nice point. Since a birthmark shows the first skin man ever wore, it means, just like all the hippies said, “Deep down, we’re all the same.” Or “underneath, etc.” There’s all kinds of the same message… We were/are the same color!

But if you have a birthmark, and I’d imagine that most people do by now (see previously mentioned “generation genetic break down”), then you have proof that you’re human. That you have the same God-blessed skin everyone else has. There isn’t any difference, really, except how much of the excessively hairy bits an individual shaves off.

And my nation is disintegrating into a kind of covert civil war again. And why? To prove that we aren’t the same?

I’m trying to write an action story and so I keep challenging myself to find sources of “trouble.” And historically, from “the beginning”BC until today, it’s always been about war.

It doesn’t matter who wins the US election. The president is a figure-head. S/He’s supposed to represent the people, like said in days of yore, and if they don’t then the people have the right, as per the Founders of our nation, to get rid of them and get someone they want in there.

That’s not really important. There’s another obstacle easily ignored. In ’71, Nixon took the US currency of the still-used worldwide gold standard. Now, it’s the digital age in 2016, what do we need gold for? (Other than it’s wonderful use with another leechy-friend, electricity. And gold’s compatible with the human body, too.) Nixon didn’t have the “digital age” idea, but he did buy in (pun?) to the “fact” that oil was the way to go. So guess what our currency’s based on?

And if it is, guess what that means for any Green Movement? Until the oil runs out, or until the entire world and/or nation turn on us for still using oil, we’re stuck forcing it to be “useful.” Meaning we have to use the stuff, for fuel, for power < physical and international < sovereign. It’s a heavy hand you have to wield there. You have to convince a nation that system works and you have to convince the world that it’s valuable. And is it? Is any of it?

China’s stockpiling gold, they aren’t spending it, they must know something. Invest in foreign markets. The price of gold has been purposefully manipulated a few times in recent years, why? I don’t know, to stop the Chinese? Or to devalue it to profit from wholesale? Or scandalous of scandals, practice for a time when it disappears as currency for …what?

I think I’d rather work together, you know, like all religions preach.

It’s crazy talk, really. That’s why it fits along with the birthmark bit. Further proof can be found in the engine, which has gotten more powerful per popular demand over the century, but unlike everything else, hasn’t improved in efficiency whatsoever. Well, I mean, to some degree, but it doesn’t run on water. Or corn-alcohol, or peanut oil or anything else that can already be done.

There are hybrid cars. Expensive hybrid cars. It must cost a lot in fuel to make those and I’m sure they make you pay more since you won’t have to spend it in gas. That’s nice.

Ah, I was just stalling so my writing exercise would take up the whole hour, but it was nice to grump out the obscure. If anything, I hope the ghost of Nixon-past will visit so I can ask some questions.

-j.

(a la Fox Mulder)

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