Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Interview With A Green Girl

No, I don't eat as much as I used to. Especially when the sun's out, then I just don't feel like eating at all. It's a problem when it's really bright though, because then I have to wash a lot. It kind of comes out on my skin. Mainly skin that's not covered, but it really ruins my clothes. I've been told that it's glucose syrup. I mean, it's okay, but you can't spend all summer licking your arms, can you? If I get too much sun then it really comes out on my face, though it tends to get sort of dissolved in sweat. I have to wash my hair every day which is tiresome, but I really love sunbathing now, because it makes me feel good, sort of really alive, you know? A bit gooey, but good. I don't tan now, which is a shame, but I don't have to worry about burning. Now I just go green.

You know, since it happened, I've noticed that I breathe less too. At least during the day. At night? Well, I don't know because I'm asleep. Ha ha. My Mum says my breathing’s more normal at night...more like before, I mean. They say I'm recycling my oxygen and carbon dioxide internally, in my bloodstream, in the capillaries near my skin I think.

I'm back home now with my parents. It was good to be let out of the hospital. I mean, it wasn't as if I was ill or anything...well, they didn't know what it was really, and being in hospital was really scary. I really thought I was going to die, with all the people in like space suits around me. Like I had some kind of deadly disease. My Mum’s been really good about the whole thing, though it's been a bit of a strain for my Dad, what with the papers and the TV people outside all the while. My sister left home to live with her boyfriend though, I don't think she could cope with me around.

Things I like? Well we go to the seaside lots now, because I really enjoy swimming and they reckon it's good for me now. They said that my skin absorbs lots of food and stuff from the water. [Editor’s note - Absorption of ambient nutrients by biotic epidermal layer?] Something like that, anyway. I feel real good after a swim. And I can stay under for ages without breathing too. Scary? Not really, though it was at first. It's just that you don't feel like you need to breathe...so you don't.

Yes sometimes I do worry I guess. I think about, like what if I change into some kind of plant-thing for good! They told me that it's stable and that they don’t think it’s going to spread any further. [Editor’s note - Photosynthetic viral layer has established base equilibrium with human epidermis]

Do I like being different? Well, like anything, I guess there's good stuff and bad stuff, but whatever, I can’t do anything about it. I suppose I'm stuck with it for the rest of my life. What?...oh, yes, I know they've been saying that, but I don't know how long I'm going to live. I don't like to think about it, because it might be a very long time.

Can I infect anyone else? Well, you must know the answer to that, else you wouldn't be sitting here would you? Ha ha. They say they're pretty certain I can't pass it on, because the virus got changed when it infected me. It's a sym...sym something now. Symbiotic, yes, that's it. But then they don't really know, do they? I mean I suppose there's nothing wrong with being this way. It's not painful, and I feel better than I ever did before. It's not as if I'm locked up like some kind of laboratory animal. I only have to go to the Clinic once a week now, for them to check stuff.

I didn't have a choice though, that’s what I don't like. It just happened. And I wouldn't want someone else to get it the same way as I did. And it was very frightening at first, after I came out of the coma, and it was sort of...doing things to my body. But I do wish I wasn't the only one, that there was more like me. Just one other person, someone I could talk to. I mean, I know I'm talking to you, but you don't really understand it do you?

I have to get away sometimes. I go to the sea, which is only a mile from where we live, or up into the woods. Somewhere there's not many people. I can't go in the daytime though, I just get followed by everyone. I sort of sneak out, really early in the morning. Mum doesn't like it. She thinks I'll get kidnapped or something! Or catch a cold! She doesn't seem to realise that I don't feel the cold like I used to. I like to be there in the woods just before the sun comes up, and then I can stay all day and come home at night. I suppose I've got something in common with the trees now!

Do I have a boyfriend? Looking like this? What do you think? I wish I did. But, well, I'm seen as a sort of freak-thing aren't I? "The Green Girl", "The Plant Girl", that's what they call me, isn't it? My Mum tried covering my skin up with makeup once, so I looked more like flesh, but it just made me feel really sick so I had to wash it off. Somebody shouted "Greenie" at me when I was leaving the Clinic the other day. It hurt, because it was like being called "wog" or “Paki” or something. Why are people like that? Sometimes I tell myself it's because they're jealous. Because I can do things they can't, like live underwater, and go for ages without eating, and because I don’t get hurt so easily anymore, or because I’ll stay young for longer. But I'm still a person. I've got the same memories. I do the same things I used to. Live the same way...sort of. I'm still me.

No...it’s okay...I’m alright. I just start crying like that sometimes. I get a bit upset because, well, I guess that deep down, I do feel really alone. I'm not a freak or a monster, or an alien, but that’s how people see me. But I am still human aren't I? I mean, what do you think? You're the one sitting there asking me all the questions. How about if I ask you one? Am I still human? [Editor’s note - debatable; subject was infected by symbiotic virus, forming integral chloroplasts in the upper skin layer. Subject could be classified as hybrid being]. I mean, all these notes on your question sheet there. Did you write those, or did you get that from the doctors? You people, you make me sound like some...some kind of experiment gone wrong! That's it, isn't it? An experiment didn’t work properly, and I ended up like this. I got infected by something somebody grew in a laboratory, and what was it? It was a virus somebody made - a weed-killer virus, to get rid of ivy on walls! And they tested it up in the woods and didn't tell anyone. And now look at me! I'm eighteen years old, and I'm not even human anymore! You tell me. What am I now?

I'm scared, that's what I am. I’m lonely and I'm scared and I wish it hadn’t happened to me, and I want to go home. I’m sorry...I don't want to talk to you anymore. Please get my Mum. I want to go home now.