For Alexis

It's the middle of the night. And I'm up.

And I'm in the most excruciating pain that I can remember in the whole of my life.

The funny thing about having an auto immune disease like mine is that it leads to something that I think you might be familiar with--nephritis. Don't you get this? Or kidney infections or something? I have a vague memory that you were born with some sort of kidney problem, something about the way your kidney connects to your bladder, and I'm sure that you've also realized by now that we never talk about stuff like this.

But why should we! We have the "Myricks Swagger" about us, and greet death with the "Myricks Furrowed Brow" and care nothing of our mortality and laugh at all the rules. Until maybe my hair fell out and grew back and now my kidneys are so swollen inside of me and my period started ten days early again this month and I feel like I'm falling apart and crying hysterically and I can't take any pain killers with the meds I'm on or can I? I have no idea. It wont help anyway.

Ah, but there are a few things we do talk about, often. List?

1.  I've. Been. SMOKING.
I've had 4 cigarettes in the last week. That is a lie. I have had 6 cigarettes in the last week and 3 the previous. This is getting completely out of control, likely because I feel completely out of control most of the time. I had been delighting in (or rather, trying to delight in) some of the things I once enjoyed when I was single--sleeping diagonally, writing with dry erase markers on my mirrors, talking about my vagina on the internet--but this one is gaining a foothold on my life that I'm uncomfortable with. I smoked a Newport today. That is a lie. I smoked 2 Newports today--and I NEVER smoked menthols. I was Camel Lights, the occasional Parliaments, for...17 years.

I blame the south. The dirty, warm, lawless south where you can smoke in bars and everyone knows me as a smoker. I blame these goddamned corner stores that sell looseys even though it's illegal. I blame Chase! For making me want to smoke again! All of that is a lie. I blame myself who is slowly losing the will to make myself stop killing myself.

which brings me to...

2.  I've lost 19 pounds.
I thought I was done with this for life, but apparently not. I didn't eat for the first four days. I was shaking, couldn't stand up, could barely hold my phone to my ear. On the fifth day I ate half a banana and threw up. You would think that I'm telling you that "this is when I realized that I can't keep doing this to myself" but that didn't happen at all. I ate for a couple days and then quit again. Then I tried to take my meds without eating and puked all over my dining room. You'd think maybe this is when I learned my lesson, but no, I haven't eaten in over a day and have somehow trained myself to take my meds without eating or throwing up. I got weighed again at the doctor this morning, and lost another pound since my visit yesterday and four since my visit on Friday.

which brings me to...

3. I think I owe you an apology.
I really do feel like nobody would want to see me right now; my hipbones are protruding and none of my clothes fit and I feel disgusting. But maybe that's not why I told you that when you texted me earlier, maybe it was a deflection of some sort, maybe when I read your message my heart jumped into my throat because I didn't know if I was supposed to say I love you too. But that's crazy! Crazy because I once dragged you outside of a bar and confessed that I was in love with you and then hopped immediately into a rental car an got on a plane. And yeah, I guess I've switched Alexises now, but I want you here. I don't want you here. I want you but not like this, but I don't want you and I want you here right now. And this might be what people call karma, because I'm pretty sure you did this exact thing to me four years ago.

Both of you always ask me the same thing, and before you do again, no. I don't want to come back.

I'm telling you that crying alone in my vacuous apartment with a migraine and swollen kidneys is somehow preferable to living in Seattle. Of course, I've also said that before.

I miss you Alexis.
I miss you Alexis.
And I love you both.

P.S.--I smoked 3 Newports today. --M

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