Confessions of an Autoimmune Disease


“Wake up,” I whisper, “I am here.”

In the bowels of the night, I launch my ascent.

Methodically, I commence the courtship.

My breath permeates her muscles.

My tentacles nestle in her joints.

Every sinew, every corpuscle, every ounce of flesh, entwined in my embrace.

She feels the subtle tingle amplify; vibrating deep and low.

It disturbs her slumber.

She is restless, but not awake,

Not yet.

I relish the thrill of her hovering between dreams and affliction.

Steadily, I escalate the intensity.

Her nerves spark and buzz with my electricity.

Soon, she will experience my unyielding static of discomfort.

She will forsake sleep.

She will find no rest.

She’ll be alert, but exhausted.

Achy and fragile.

Others might mistake me for a trivial virus.

But not her.

She recognizes my caress.

Sometimes, she is able to foretell my visitations.

She understands my predatory appetite is triggered by an inclement day or the howling wind.

She knows stress will summon my lust.

I’m not culpable during those times.

There is no one to blame.

I prefer, however, to catch her unawares.

To appear without anticipation.

How dare she plan!

I delight in the startled sorrow

The deliberate dampening of spirit.

I enshroud her in a haze of weariness.

If I remain long enough, she’ll not remember life without me.

I confuse her perceptions. I confound her aspirations.

She’ll want to soldier on.

She’ll long to collapse and be cradled.

I've chosen not to display the telltale signs of my presence.

Her joints are not gnarled. Her skin is unblemished.

She should be grateful.

No one sees how I persistently pulse within her.

Disturbing her peace just enough to make her distrust her sanity.

She tries to dull me with medication.

To drug and delay my assault.

But each day, my resistance builds.

I bide my time

While the pills, the injections, wreak their own collateral damage.

She is my everlasting dominion.

I am her parasitic possession.

She endures.

I prevail.

There is no tomorrow without me.

Why does she fight?

Why won’t she relinquish control?

Can’t she taste the sweetness of surrendering to my suffocation?

I am her beast.

She is my paramour. My concubine.

She comforts in my stranglehold.

I mask her true identity.

I am her real self.

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