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I always knew that desire was a bad thing. To want is to lose and there is a place for people who would have been greedy.
My toes go first. Then the very bottom of my left foot starts to tingle. It’s the falling of electric snow. Except it’s rising, really, and only where my left foot touches lightly.
The feeling intensifies like someone turned up the voltage, but fades like when you turn off those new high efficiency light bulbs.
Now I can’t feel my left foot. The nothing rises to my ankle.
Someone told me cancer used to spread. Years ago, before they fixed that. I’m not sure if you could feel it when it did. Doctors used to cut off infected areas. I’m not sure if you could still feel them after they’re gone.
My right foot’s gone, too. It happened while I slept last night.
I used to be a wiggler… my toes danced because they got rid of fullbody “movement in rhythm” years ago.
Before she went to the place for greedy people, Marge Eve told me that you always dream, even if you don’t remember after.
I sit down. Today, I read a book. I try not to think about the characters or the narrator. I try to save my left shoulder. But I feel it growing warm. Something has curled up there to lizard in the sun, like gran’s cat Dusty used to before all feline species went away.
But the characters suck me in and tell me secrets, and before I have time to consider the ways in which I am able to move my shoulder, it’s useless.
Today I sleep.
No good will come of it.
I suspect that some were offered a class in caring— one where they teach you how to not.
My mother clearly aced it because she walks without limps and sometimes reminds me of the ballet dancers people used to see on weekend nights in places that existed wholeheartedly.
I can’t hide what I lost today.
Mother might have noticed something. I’ve been good in the schoolroom, but my knees have started to tighten and I’ve never experienced ache before.
I was surprised to learn there is a true- proper- word for it.
Today my mother tries to figure out a way to reverse it.
I don’t understand why her toes do not tingle, why her lips don’t freeze over, why her fingers do not disappear.
She rose her voice and I lost part of my torso.
I’m packing. It’s difficult because I’ve never seen a real ballet.
Every bit of this building is in motion. I know it’s intended to distract from the paralyzed inhabitants.
The walls wriggle at me and I lose my eyebrows.
When things happen to other people, it’s easy to know hwy.
I thought fruits had gone long ago, but they have a few here: like grapefruit and the other misfitting ones.
I’m finding it difficult to eat today. I still do.
I’ve been enrolled in a class. I think some of the people who must be in charge because they stand taller and more like syrup that I think I’ve seen photos of instead of puzzles, which they’ve only done away with recently.
Today in class, they taught us what happens if you can’t stop it.
I lost my left elbow.
I felt like I wanted to hide, but that’s hard to do when you’re roommate’s stuck staring at you.
I know it seems like this all happens quite quickly, but there is something that tells me this has been building for quite a while.
My roommate could talk when I first moved in.
She didn’t like to say much. We discussed the weather. And a species she called the platypus. She’s older than me. But even she said they haven’t been around for a while.
She lost her tongue today, though.
For now, her name is Suria.
When the people in charge discovered that Suria had lost her tongue, they adjusted her injection and forced a tube down her throat.
But she hadn’t lost that yet, so she still managed to squirm with the small bits she had left— like dirt in a cracked sidewalk. Like dirt in cracks if dirt could move subtly. If dirt could express how much pain it’s in without words, without real ability to move.
Subtle was the wrong word to use.
I’m telling you this now because I know that when I’m at that stage no one will write about me.
I had to stop writing last night. I lost my right elbow.
There was a lie banging around my skull about people I’ve never met. They never got rid of lying because sometimes they need it. But people like me are expressly forbidden to create.
I think Suria lost her stomach.
There was a flutter of men and women professionals, all in stark colors, and beeps and I think I dreamed in some screams.
They have fixed her for now.
I don’t think it’s possible to exist long without a stomach.
I’m learning how to write without elbows.
Suria is gray.
I didn’t think she could still make noise, but I heard it when she lost her lungs.
I didn’t know that I had lost my tear ducts until I was wheeled to her funeral and I felt with my last finger on my left hand and there was no wetness.
I’m sorry, but I think I’ll have to destroy this. Before I can’t.
Before I lose entirely.
They have gotten rid of all uncontrolled fire.
They wont give us scissors.
I no longer have enough fingers to tear.
I’ve developed a cycle. Twitches of joints or nerves. A series of reminders of what I still have.
But I can feel the freezing, and I can’t make it stop.
I don’t want them to do away with me as well.
My left eye wont blink.
I think some people weren’t meant for a claustrophobic death.