Artist: Bree Jonson

Aarrgh!! Said they who were suck into the orifice.

-Bree Jonson


My fascination with orifices started early last year, upon having a freak accident wherein a part of my arm was deeply punctured by a pair of scissors. I took myself to the hospital the next day and had it stitched at sunrise. The doctor told me to come back within a week; but I never did. I loved the stitches. They were an important reminder.

When it happened, I saw, in slow motion, the skin tear apart, and I saw it was nothing but a very thin membrane. Beneath it is cool hued pink flesh, which, in a split second, filled up with bright red blood. The gouge filled up with this substance and covered up the flesh. Soon, red liquid was flowing from it. I did not feel faint nor pain, instead, I stood, transfixed, not in a state of panic, but in a state of awe. It was so easy, and so immediate, that I felt that I didn’t even have to matter in this state –by state, I mean life itself. It’s probably easy to say and promulgate (at least, for me) that we are all skin and flesh and life is short and ethereal, but it is another thing to completely realize it from an actual experience. After all the cautionary practices are put in place, death is still imminent, flesh either gives way or grows old, and from there, where does the mind go?

The blood continued to drain from me; I thought in jest, here I am, a fount of life, but at the same time I am dying. In an orifice, life is conceived; thru an orifice, life is sustained; and out of the orifice, life is drained. The flow of life would not have been possible at all if it were not for this ambivalent opening who can’t decide whether its master is life or death.

And what of the orifice of the spirit? When one wakes up from the comfortable bedding of the world as stipulated and prescribed to him by his caregivers, what does one do now when the home he has known is all along just a house with people in it; that no matter how much one is told by these people that one is special, one is just like the many other ones out there –all of them nurtured similarly; all of them are different, rare and special? What special purpose does one hold among all these special others? What happens to an individual who does not encounter an orifice of the spirit?

I grabbed a clean sock (the wardrobe was nearest to me at this point), and tied it taut on my arm. The pressure it induced cut off the bleeding. I stared on my floor; everywhere I walked, the blood dripped. It seemed as if I carried a dead body around –and perhaps I’ve had. There’s this being, me, dead on that day (or perhaps for months), robotically going about and then the accident happens, an orifice opens, and I’m confronted with a decision on whether to fight back and live, or die, let if off as if nothing had happened and, maybe, get sick in the process. I tied a sock to stop the bleeding; but the more important, and often unseen factor there is that: I made a choice. I made a choice to live. The orifice was crucial at that moment, as it made apparent the everyday choice we unwittingly make and don’t put any second thought to: that one is responsible for one’s own life and nobody else.