New You


The new you came in a box, to your front door. You opened it and a new version of yourself inflated like a blow-up doll, pretend auto-pilot. Alligator raft. It looked good. It looked like you, but better. The parts you always suspected were not entirely part of you were missing. The parts you considered unmistakably you were exaggerated. Everything was in its better place.

But as days went the air pressure did too. The new you started looking old, like the same you you were before you got the new one. A couple days more and it looked worse—the plastic sagged heavily in areas where you had only held hair-like wrinkles.

It was work. Getting down on your knees to find the air valve, and blowing. But soon it became like brushing your teeth. It wasn’t long before you became curious about how the new you had been inflated in the first place. What was its motivation, what animated it?

And you might have had time to answer this question, if you weren’t so light-headed with the effort of yourself.