Photo by Conner Murphy on Unsplash

Old Fashioned

My friend visited me in rehab just before my RAI treatment for my Graves disease. We cried and laughed. She helped me devour Chinese food. When she left reality set in like a bad perm. Watching Asia strut away reminded me I will never be the same.

When you see a beautiful woman walk away and you’re frustrated enough to punch yourself in the crotch for a reaction that’s “crossing the Rubicon”. I have been indulging the fantasy of milking my illness to touch breasts and sexually harass everyone.

I’m living the life of a cad in my mind. I’m satisfied with bread and circus when I’m not alone. Soon I’ll be alone all the time. I hate being alone. Being alone leaves me with myself and we have a mostly hate-hate relationship. There isn’t enough yummy carbs in the world to overlook the excrement.

This morning I let the illness speak on my behalf. I treated someone I love like shit. There was so much I didn’t say and for good reason. It’s better I hold my tongue. I don’t want to be cruel but I am. I can’t ignore this feeling that I’m a burden and he deserves better.

“Don’t ever come back.” I’m trying out monotone and dejected as a way of life and possibly as a ringtone.

“I’m going to ignore you. I am coming back and I’m taking you back to Europe with me as my fiancé. You’ll get your degrees. You’ll be happily married to yours truly and we’ll have a big breasted surrogate feed the children.”

“Stop reading my stuff.”

“Anyone can read it why not me the man you mostly write about?”

“You’re barely in there…”


“We can’t have kids they’ll be sick like us.”

Warning: Passengers we will be hitting turbulence also known as pseudoscience and heavy rains of bullshit.

“Oh really? Why is it when two ugly people have a baby it comes out cute? Or when two good looking people have ugly children? Genetics. Recessive genes. We are both attractive and we both have autoimmune diseases. OUR babies can’t be ugly and sick at the same time.” His face is too serious to be serious. He eventually guffaws.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!”

“I’m kidding! It’s a 50/50 chance they’ll be good looking and sick.” His eyes tear up from his laughter.

“I’m really sick and you’re messing with me.” I maintain a stoic demeanor. If I smile the terrorists win.

“Jennifer you’ll be fine. I promise.” Guy says looking at me with a solemn face and he kisses my hands.

“Because I can’t die and be ugly at the same time?”

“You really don’t understand science do you? Let me show you the basics.” He crawls into the bed with me and we kiss. His hands hold my face gently as he tastes my lips. He makes me laugh with silly innuendos. He drops more science. “Kissing is chemistry. Two forces come together.” He said.

“Thank God you’re in finance.” My hands are in his fists. I can’t stand the warmth and I jerk away. He doesn’t seem to take offense. “Why do you have to leave me?” I actually crack a smile to smooth over the antisocialism of earlier. I didn’t want too but I’m a big kid who wants people to like me. Also the silliness does make me a wee bit happy, which isn’t saying much. I’m also still intrigued by farting.

“We’re too sick to be poor. Anyway I enjoy my career and helping people. I don’t know anywhere else where I have weekends off and can leave work by early evening. I only have to travel a few times a year. I can live almost anywhere in a nice rent free apartment with a new kit in my fridge without waiting hours or days to see a pharmacist or doctor. The benefits outweigh the hassle. When you start working for the foundation you’ll feel the same. Will you miss me?” He asked.


“That’s how it’s gonna be?”

No. Make love to me.

I wanted to say something grand. I wanted to tell him not to leave. We could be characters in a film. He could walk away and change his mind before he turns the doorknob to leave the room. He pivots and sprints into my arms. We kiss and embrace with our faces turned away from the audience. “The End” comes across the screen as the scene fades to black. What happened to the lovers? They disappeared in the iris shot. The silence between us as he gathers his things is broken by the buzzing stream of fluid hitting a surface. Instead of professing my love and loyalty I pee in a plastic bedpan because my joints are too swollen to make it to the toilet.