Mind Over Matter

Before going for a jog, I go to take a hit of albuterol from my inhaler and realize I’m out. The number on the back of the canister reads 0 in red. Zero you’re dead. Fuck. I don’t have a doctor in New York, and I haven’t visited my creepy allergy/asthma specialist since before Miley Cyrus got naked. I could call CVS, but I already know it would only result in pointless frustration.

A brilliant idea comes to me and the more I think about it, the more brilliant it becomes. I will cure myself of asthma by training my lungs to relax without the help of drugs.

Have you seen The Revenant? The human body is incredibly resilient. Mind over matter. There were no inhalers or nebulizers in the ancient times; coincidentally there were no weak, sniffling asthmatics. Or maybe they just died. Whatever. I’m confident this will work; I can feel it in my heart, my chest, my soul, my veins.

During the run I start to feel a familiar tightness, so I have to stop after only ten minutes. When I breathe, I sound like a fucking tea kettle. I’m not discouraged though. Everything is hard in the beginning. Nothing good comes easy. Just watch and see.

This time next month, asthma will be a distant memory. I will think back on my pathetic days of relying on a sad, man-made aerosol device to breathe and I will laugh. It will be the most full-bodied, jolly-rich-man, wheeze-free laugh you’ve ever fucking heard, let me tell you. I can do anything I put my mind to. LOL.

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Whole Foods

Some short, gremlin warily approached me at whole foods and asked me if I worked there.

I thought you worked here–I see you all the time. 

Interesting because I’ve never seen you before. And what’s your point? I see the Duane Read cashier at least once a week. I see the homeless man with green hair every day.

What are you getting at? What do you want from me? Are you going to ask for my number and then text me to get coffee and then date the shit out of me and then become my boyfriend and then become my husband and then become the father of my children and then fall out of love with me because i’m post-menopausal?

I concentrate and telepathically communicate (very clearly) to him that I think he’s ugly, and he slinks away. I eat my soup in peace.

Swipe Carefully

There are a lot of ugly people on Tinder, but Alex is beautiful. I Super like him. We Match. Dopamine hits me like Chris Brown hit Rihanna. But his first message is disappointing:

I’m only looking for a hookup.

Offended, I ask: Why? 

I don’t know. I like hookups.

Awfully immature thing for a 30-year-old investment banker to say.

Would you be disappointed if we just met and didn’t hook up?

Yes. Very.

What a fucking asshole!

I’m indignant, angry. But I can’t stop looking at his pictures. There’s something irresistible about the look on his face: he’s sexy and he knows it.

I agree to meet him at his luxury high-rise upper east side apartment and not once do I feel unsafe because he’s just too damn good-looking to be dangerous (I know these are very stupid thoughts). He lets me in through a side door. Holy shit: he’s even hotter in person. And his accent: not quite French and not quite English, but deliciously nuanced, different.

He’s not the presumptuous sociopath I was expecting; he is surprisingly sweet and considerate, offering me a glass of water and making pleasant conversation about life in Manhattan. And the panty-dropper: he’s also an animal lover. His goals are my goals.

Inevitably he leans in and kisses me, tentatively as first, and then forcefully. I feel his eager hands move over my bra. It comes off. Oh my God your boobs are amazing. He’s moving extremely fast, but it’s ok. My underwear slips over my bare knees, he puts on a condom, and I am breathless with anticipation. He enters me slowly and stays for a few seconds, allowing me to adjust to his exceptional size, and then the fucking commences. He lifts my knees over my head and jackhammers the libertarianism out of me. The pace slows, and I can sense his climax nearing. Although I don’t orgasm, I gasp when he finishes; it’s always a magical moment. He pulls out, I sit up slowly, and realize something is terribly, terribly wrong. My vagina is abnormally wet with what is unmistakably his semen.

The condom—it must have—

Fuck. Fuck!

He seems more distressed than I. He gets up and begins pacing.

It’s ok—this has happened to me before—I can just get plan—

Fuck!

What’s the big—

Strangely he gets back on the sofa and touches my neck with his right hand.

I’m sorry.

I start to fear he may be insane. Dread rises in my chest and explodes into panic when his grip tightens to a choke. This is how I die. He straddles me and chokes me with both hands, mechanically, dispassionately.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I scream, and he uses one of his hands to cover my mouth. The weight of his six-foot frame renders me immobile.

I’m helping you. It’s better this way. You don’t want to live like me—with this fucking virus where you can’t even go out in the fucking sun–where you constantly crave blood. I’m fucking miserable. I’m helping you. Stop struggling—

Fuck that shit. I’m twenty-one and loving life. No way am I going down without a fight. Since he fucked me in such a hurry, my skirt is still on, and in the pocket is a Swiss Army Knife that I use as a bottle opener. I flip up the blade and with uncharacteristic force, drive it into his chest—where I know his heart is beating. The shock in his eyes is very sad. He’d so pretty. I’m surprised by my own inexplicable lust. I kiss his neck and bite into the smooth flesh. I’ve never tasted anything more delicious except for maybe Cheesecake Factory Original Recipe. I can’t get enough. I drink until the blood stops flowing. He’s dead, and I’m confused. But I’ve won, and I’ve never felt more alive.