Right away I knew that my old client, Jack, better known around town by his stage name, Miss Jackie, had become Differently Lived.
He hadn’t turned into a turtle or anything like that, but he did look recently dead. His smile was always kind of an enjoyable leer anyway, and it didn’t look much different, but his off off white wrappings were way too tight.
In fact, that was one of his complaints. “Wrapped way too tight” he said gravely. I agreed. Some dumbie had spiraled his wrappings all the way up and down and fastened them with staples. Altogether, not a cool look for a zombie. Jack said, “Can’t you make them hang a little, you know, dangle around and look scary?” I horizontalized the wraps and pried the staples up just enough for a flap or two.
Then he moved on to the next request. “My lurch is not lurchy enough.” We had a little laugh remembering when I taught him to run in high heels and he won the Gay Pride race to the top of the Philly Art Museum steps and his date with Rocky.
However, this was a different gait problem. I suggested he slam his feet on the ground, make sure he hit the ground good and hard and hold his arms up a little higher, pointing his fingers and fixing his eye sockets on the horizon.
This worked really well for a bit, he was lovely lurching along when one of his toes fell off. I reframed it for him, “It really is kind of charming, the toes falling off, sort of vulnerable yet Zombie-like.” He liked it.
We were about finished up as he didn’t have much soft tissue left to work with. I asked him how he had first come to know that he was Differently Lived.
He said, “Everything went black for awhile and then I realized that my stomach was churning. I looked down, and there was a herd of maggots in there”.
We decided to leave visceral work for later.