She was tall and elegant; the woman who came to stay, but there was something wrong. I sensed it. The back details of this dream have faded but I remember the woman offering to show us. She closed the door of my bedroom and began to peel off her clothes layer by layer. There were several layers: a long sleeved dress, followed by another, then an underskirt and two t shirts, an under blouse; so many layers of clothes and as she took one layer off after another I guessed out loud,
‘It’s because you’re thin’.
I was right, I could see already her pencil thin arms, but hers was not an ordinary thinness and when she finally peeled off the final layer of her underwear and stood before us naked I could see that it was a problem not only of thinness but also of digestion or some such ailment. It had so impacted on the texture and thickness of her skin that every item of her internal organs and structure was visible beneath the thin layer of her skin. Like a translucent membrane, it held the parts in place.
I could see the shape of her heart beating, the layered lines of her rib cage. Her intestines coiled like a thick string of beads and the little sack of her stomach bulged to one side in the middle near a smaller sack, her bladder.
I write this to describe the image of a woman who carried her insides on the outside, like a heart on her sleeve and this to the extreme. She reminded me of those illustrations you see in doctor’s surgeries, the ones designed to demonstrate the location of the various parts of the human body, the parts we cannot see.
In my dream the woman became my child and I knew that I should feed her. I sat her in front of a bowl of chicken pieces and began to entice her with other foods, left over Japanese food, sushi and sashimi. Elsewhere I took some noodles from the plate of another child who was eating nearby and encouraged my thin girl to eat up more and more. I knew that if I could feed her well enough over time her skin would grow thick and she would no longer need to hide herself behind these multiple layers of clothes.