Your Body is One Traitorous Motherf*****

Earlier this week, I helped a man who was having a stroke. He was blue everywhere, held my arm and kept saying he felt like he was going to die, to please save him. He had terror written all over his eyes. I calmly reassured him and waited for the ambulance to arrive, but as soon as I got into my car and started driving home, I cried.

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Ever since then, I feel like my skin is too tight; like something will soon burst out of me. Like I am growing something awful inside, a ticking time bomb. Fun fact—I’m terrified of getting old. Not the wrinkles, that’s nothing. But the way your body deteriorates, the inability to do the things you once found so easy to do. The aches. You lose freedom. Your own body--the vessel you have been living in your whole life, betrays you. 

And then your worldview seems to narrow so much; you become stubborn, set in your ways. You stop being a gentle flowing river and start becoming the stone that stops it from going farther.

My birthday was earlier in the month and I am feeling every year of it—every opportunity I declined, every spontaneous trip I didn’t take, every boy I didn’t kiss out of shyness. Every risk I was too scared to take. Every friend I stopped talking to.

I wish I could live my life as if it were an eternal summer; warm, lazy, fun, life-changing. Run off with a handsome man, drink a cocktail by the beach, fall in love over and over again. Maybe that’s why I stay in Florida; it allows me to pretend a little bit more. If I’m here, under the palm trees, lulled into calm by the sound of waves, nothing can hurt me.