Bellybutton fluff, why?

You’d have to ask the belly button fluff. ‘Why you look so sad, belly button fluff?’

I just had a look, I don’t have any right now. I was thinking of leaving it resting on my laptop, just by the screen, as a little friendly mascot. I’ve always found belly button fluff reassuring, if incredibly unsexy. I never want anyone else to find it, and I chuck it in the bin when I pop it out, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a tiny place in my heart.

Which is a little odd.

I once watched an abysmal observational comic wonder aloud why bellybutton fluff was always blue. I think his thesis was related to the idea that it was generated internally and no part of the body is that blue, so it doesn’t make much sense.

Of course, I suspect bellybutton fluff comes from a wick effect from the pants, which for men tend towards the blue and the black (which averages to blue, because black is often actually a really dark blue). I just assume that the little trickle of hair that creeps up from the pubic region collates fluff and it drifts up. Possibly it just comes from t-shirts, but I like to think of it as the tiny pieces of fabric that could.

Sometimes, I talk about things I have thought about out loud (or on paper in this case, except not on actual paper) and realise that I’m more than a little insane. I have no evidence for the above, I just think it makes sense.

It doesn’t.

But fuck it. Even if it’s T-shirts, it’s just the dark colours overwhelming the light. It’s just fluff.

When I was little I used to believe that if you poked and scraped into your belly button then you could reach into your belly. I realised this was probably dangerous, but couldn’t resist, and so bath time would be a tentative ‘push my luck’ scraping and clawing at my own navel in search of gory enlightenment.

I never made it in, I always got the fear before I even started bleeding. Occasionally though, I would imagine pulling it open and climbing inside.

If I ever make a horror film, it’s going to start with a naked hero picking apart their belly button in a bath and getting in. It’s not a pleasant image, but it should set the tone about right.

If I knew where it went next, I would’ve written it already. The best solution I came up with so far was a hideous Dan Brown style conspiracy theory. It was terrible. Proper bellybutton fluff stuff.

Not worth a second look.

I don’t know why belly buttons fluff, but it’s blatantly just our clothes. It’s one of those mysteries that isn’t really a mystery.

But the stuff itself, always makes me smile. It’s a secret happiness. I don’t want people to know I take comfort in the warm, cosy, slow accrual.


Illustration by Emma.

Emma notes that my childhood navel gazing was probably somewhat influenced by this. She may be right.


About Alex Ava

Joiner of Dots. Player of Games. Unreliable Narrator. Dancing Fool.
This entry was posted in Illustrations by Emma, Questions by Ciara. Bookmark the permalink.

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