Written by Kaci Laws
Art by Polina Tankilevitch
I attempt suicide everyday.
It feels that way.
I take fifteen to twenty pills
sometimes all at once with a slice
of gluten-free, yeast-free, coconut-free,
aluminum-free, egg-free, dairy-free,
a-will-to-live-free homemade toast
that still gives me minor pain to digest.
(The pills are vitamins. Really expensive
ones my insurance won’t cover
because they can’t take a cut off the top.)
I have an incurable disease
that if I say the name everyone looks
at me like I’ve morphed
into a pile of dog shit, or they wince
because a friend of a friend
or distant relative—has that too!
As if they’re in this club
with me now.
Is that the one where you poo a lot?
Someone asks, discreet.
It’s a common misconception.
I tell them I refuse the biologic drugs
that make up a larger portion
of commercials on TV and ads in magazines,
the ones with long lists
of side effects recited by a soft spoken
woman in a sing-song voice
set to a backdrop of happy people
running with their purebred dogs;
they look at me
as if I’m making the whole thing up.
The same people that know
a guy who knows a guy
suggest treatment options,
like I haven’t had time to consider
them in the thirteen years
the goddamn thing, staring
at the ceiling
at night, reading books
on diets like a mad scientist
searching out miracle cures,
having probes stuck up my ass.
It took me two years
to find a naturopath doctor
that knew anything about me.
I just agree.
Yeah, I’m just joshing you;
I’ll file that somewhere inside
my short term memory along
with your name!
Just say you’re sorry.