The first piece fell off during a row with his wife.
An earlobe, that was all. A single earlobe from his right ear. There was a very slight tingling, not unpleasant, like an itch and it simply fell onto his shoulder and then onto the floor.
His wife stopped mid-sentence and looked at her husband in horror.
“What is it now?” he screamed, thinking the look on her face was in relation to something he had just called her.
“Your ear,” she replied, “Part of your ear just fell off.”
The casualty doctor was utterly bewildered by the small round piece of flesh that was once attached to the man’s ear. He had never seen anything quite like it. Perfectly detached, no open wound, no abrasion, no sign of trauma. Absolutely no blood on either the earlobe or what was left of his ear. It was as if it had never been attached in the first place. In fact, because of this it was deemed impossible to reattach;it wasn’t really part of his body at all now.
Following extensive tests for various potentially illness the man was discharged from the hospital, it had become apparent that he was suffering from no known aliment, and certainly nothing at all that could have resulted, directly or otherwise in the loss of a small bit of his body.
Time passed, and the incident with the earlobe fell from the headlines of this particular couples life, quickly replaced by more mundane concerns and disputes.
The second piece of the man’s body became detached during a meeting at his office. Whilst managing to retain his own job, the man was forced to free up half his team, due to downsizing. Following the same slight itch, the little finger on his left hand suddenly dropped off as he explained to a senior project analyst that due to one thing and another and the current strength of the pound against the dollar that his services would no longer required.
Another rush trip to the hospital garnered the same results, it could not be put back on. Physically the man was in perfect order, he had suffered no pain other than the emotional pain of the loss of the finger; luckily it wasn’t even an important one. No, the important ones came later.
The man quite rightly decided that perhaps this was a sign that he should take a break and enjoy some of the annual leave and lieu days he’d be amassing for the past year. Unfortunately, the increased time at home just meant he became engaged in more vicious and destructive arguments with his good lady wife.
A disagreement over who should cook Sunday dinner lead to his entire left ear falling off and both little toes. This was quickly followed by a bitter quarrel regarding a suspected indiscretion the man had possibly once had with a young office co-worker some years previously, this resulted in the loss of a right buttock.
Most distressingly of all however, the exact same day his wife decided she would leave, unable as she was to cope with her husband’s painless but ultimately horrific mystery illness, he saw the separation of his left foot from his leg and then his manhood from its usual place of residence.
Two months passed, the man sat alone in his conservatory and looked out with his one eye across the large unkempt lawn. He was no longer able to walk properly as he was missing the entirety of his right leg and his left leg up to his knee. He could only see out of the one eye and was now completely deaf and mute, due to having no ears, lips or tongue.
Fortunately, he still had an arm and hand, although this was only partially functional as it was shy of two fingers and lacked a chunk of wrist and elbow. His other arm was gone completely, now residing in the chest freezer in the garage with all his other redundant body parts. They had told him they would never be reattached but he had decided to keep them, just in case.
As he watched a small grey squirrel bound across the grass he considered (once again) how it was he had ended up in such a sorry state and where it would all end.
Was it some sort of punishment from God? Unlikely, he had little to no faith, believing those that had such strong devotion to be weak minded. By his own standards he hadn’t been a terrible man, somewhat self serving and selfish, but then who wasn’t?
He had never been entirely fulfilled by his work, but an over stretching mortgage and a demanding wife meant he’d stuck at it for so long it was the only thing he felt remotely able to do. Not that it was a problem anymore as his bosses had swiftly found cause to let him go. He surmised that they probably felt that a man regularly falling to bits would upset morale, and on this basis he didn’t blame them for their actions.
If he was honest, he’d never really loved his wife, it was the pressure from his parents and peers that had seen them marry and routine and a lack of imagination that had kept them together so long. She was gone now, and despite everything, he was happier for it.
No, he thought, as bad as this condition was, he’d make the most of what time he had left, and if that meant simply sitting in his conservatory watching life go by then so be it.
And for first time in his entire life he believed he had reached a sense of serenity that had previously always alluded him.
Sadly, at the exact moment he felt this newly found tranquility and calm he also felt a very slight tingling, like an itch all around his neck.