It starts with a, what, kind of a looseness in the fingers? That describes it well enough, I guess- at least, it does for me. Dunno why that’s a recurring thing for people. Something about being at the edges of the circulatory system? Anatomy was never my strong suit. Regardless, at some point, you stop feeling your fingers, and then your hands. You can still control them, but it’s a bit…. late? Not delayed, things still happen when they’re “supposed” to, but you feel like you’re just impossibly slow with your hands. Eventually you’ll start picking at them- for me it was only a couple of days, I have zero self-control. At some point, you start prodding and pulling. Chipping off bits is too unsatisfactory, y’know? I still recall that mix of horror and euphoria (euphorroria?) when I grabbed my pinkie and just pulled it all the way back, stripping a piece out of my hand and arm like a stick of mozzarella. At that point, there’s absolutely no going back. If you’re somehow in your right mind at the time, you’ll realize that someone will see, and then call the cops or something, but I’ve never heard of anyone thinking of anything except wanting more. I’ve heard some people crumble the bits off, wearing the empty skin and flesh and bone away into a fine powder, but I didn’t have the patience for that. I peeled each finger off, taking away more of my right arm each time. Eventually, you’ll find that you’ve come to a bit of a problem- be it your right or left, peeled or crumbled, you’re left with, at most, one arm. I managed to snap off a couple fingers on my left hand, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it- just made everything else harder. Eventually I gave in, and began finding loose strips ready to be torn on what was left of my forearm. It was so satisfying- like ripping a test into shreds in the middle of class, the total rejection of an assignment. I’ve heard the feeling is different for everyone. Some found it soothing, some found it exciting, some…. well, let’s not talk about them. For me, though, it was a release. All of that pent up anxiety, that sense of wrongness, just felt like it was being ripped away. It was nice, y’know?

Anyway, I eventually was down to a stump of an arm. Usually, by the time people get here, their wisps are starting to come in- maybe I had been hasty, and so I was a bit ahead, but I had nothing so far. I didn’t know they were coming, of course- nobody ever does- so I was left with a bit of a problem. Where else could I start? I went for the toes. Yeah, yeah, I know, rookie mistake, but it’s not like we ever know any better. I got longer strips that time- my big toe went all the way up to my knee. I managed to even get a firm grab on the femur and just, like, yank it out before it crumbled to dust. Still proud of that one. I’ve heard most people can’t really get to the bones before they fade. From there, it was just way too satisfying. My kneecaps were gone, my thighs, and soon I was just a torso, an arm, and a head. I hadn’t really pondered the logistics of anything until then- I took a moment to just breathe it all in. Not literally, of course- we all know your organs have become useless sacks of flesh by this point- but figuratively. The blood began to mist instead of pool, filling the air around me. Some people say they can’t see it evaporate- a shame, honestly. It’s beautiful. I must have sat there for a few minutes, just watching it float away.

Before I knew it, I was floating too. Had the standard panic before I realized it was something I could control- once I found out about the tendrils, I was right back to tearing myself apart. I lashed at my remaining arm- the static had reached up to the elbow, and it was making me sick. It was like fabric through a cheese grater, tearing and pulling and shredding. I think that was my favourite part. I lost so much, so fast. Lots of people tell me that the beginning was their favourite, in retrospect- you’ve got that morbid curiosity before the understanding starts to set in. I much prefer knowing, but to each their own, I guess.

Right, okay, yeah. At that point, I knew it all had to go. I think I always knew, but in that way we all do, not, like, something actually conscious. I kept lashing, tearing. I know it’s different for a lot of people, that end stage. Some fade to dust, some fall apart in chunks. For me it was like I was whipping away at the body that was, maybe? Something like that. Some sort of released rage, letting out all that repression. Standard ascension stuff. Before I knew it, I was just…. all gone. There wasn’t much left of my body. It wasn’t even mine, anymore. It was just a body. A discarded husk, a cocoon that reminded me more of an iron maiden than a place of growth and nurturing. The question quickly came to me, as I’m sure it did to everyone else, that pang of regret. “What the fuck do I do now?” It’s kind of crazy to just discard everything like that, but that’s what I did! That’s what we all did, and we didn’t even realize it until it already happened! I don’t regret it, not even for a second, but…. if I got the chance to do it, I’d do it slower.

I think the first part of me that solidified was the eyes? Weird, yeah, but seeing everything as it really was is the first thing I can remember. Stunning colours in the darkest of places, atoms like stars. From there, it was like wildfire- splotches of paint, hovering around me, solidifying into something that wasn’t quite skin, but wasn’t quite anything else- soon I had lips, a nose, cheekbones, a head- flowing hair out as though I were deep underwater. Shit, sorry, I’m rambling. Kinda get like that when I think about it, y’know? Anyway, soon I felt, well, me. My feet touched back down upon the ground, as did my, uh, “dress,” and I was, just, y’know, there. Really there, not somewhere else, not hidden, just. There.

I get why you’re nervous, but really, things are going to be okay. You’ll be surrounded by people who love you, you’ll have the support you need to, uh, get used to things. I gotta say, I’m really excited for you. When I was going through it all, we couldn’t always talk about it, we had to hide, and, well…. Ah, shit, getting emotional. I’m just glad you know it’s coming, I guess. I’m glad we can all be there for you when you’re really, truly, you. Savour it, really. It’s so fucking great to just be.

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