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The Jelly-man

March 16, 2012

Liam and I were rehearsing for our collaborative theatre show that was going to be performed at his house. We were in a mostly dark room, selecting actors for that day’s rehearsal. I was distracted, trying to find the light switches.

Near the end of the rehearsal, Liam said that he wanted to discuss one last thing. He brought in a coffin. Somebody had died the week before, and they were turned into a jelly version of themselves before being laid in the coffin. Liam opened the lid, and sure enough, there was a large jelly man. He said that somebody must pat it with a spoon before it could be buried. “It must be done within six days, or it will decompose and fall apart,” he said.

I took a spoon and patted the corpse. It wobbled. I didn’t like it, but as Yuka said, “it is a ritual in Japan.” When I patted its shoulders it put its wobbly hand up my shirt. It was cold and sticky. I did not like it.

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