Take a moment to look at your belly button. Really. Do it. If you're feeling a little exposed, like, say, you're on the bus or in your car next to some hottie, just cup your hand over your belly button and take a quick peek. Make sure it's a long enough peek that you'll remember what it looks like while we go on to the next paragraph.
Now, here's the really creepy part. We used to eat through that shit. A big old long tangly straw going right into our bellies. Sometimes, when I'm at a restaurant, I picture what things would be like if we still used our belly buttons in the way we once did. I imagine our mouths, no longer needed to be part of the digestion process, just flapping away with all of our idle dinner chat. Flap, flap, flapping about this or that (and is anyone really listening?) and meanwhile, held in our hungry little hands are our extended belly buttons. Elongated, really. More umbilical cord and less cute little nubbin.
Into this miniature vacuum hose goes all of our pureed food. We use it to suck up every little bit of cold corn chowder and watermelon bits in a balsamic reduction. Perhaps it gets clogged from time to time. Maybe sitting upon the white table cloth is a container full of complimentary pipe cleaners or cotton swabs, meant to clear the way when things get stuck.
I wonder about the noises. I imagine it to sound not too unlike many people strapped into chairs at the dentist, spit suction tubes hanging from the corners of their mouths. Ttttthhhhhhh... CRACKLE!... ttttttthhhhhhh...CRRRR....ttttthhhhhhhh...... Only our eyes are not full of dental dread. They are happy. Lids are heavy. Blinking is slow and content because our bellies are getting full.
Look down at your belly button and think about it. You used to eat through that shit.
I got my belly button pierced about one week before I realized I was really too old to ever show my belly button in public again. This stainless steel loop, adorned with a little round bead, is nothing more than a new way for me to express certain anxiety. I've found that the tick-tick-tick noise that comes from flicking my belly button ring back and forth is to me what relaxing waterfall sounds might be to others. Other than that, no one sees it. I imagine I'll be the little old lady in the nursing home, slippered feet scoot-scoot-scooting in place as I'm being pushed down the long hallway, creepily fingering away at my rusted hoop dangling from my protruding and saggy belly button.
Don't ever accuse me of not having things to look forward to.