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feel like whippets; feel like there’s a little mouse in your skull nibbling a live wire; feel like a cartoon X-ray, you know, classic Saturday morning shit, thumb in the socket, bones glowing blue in a shadow black body; feel like the cutest concussion; feel like looking over the railing of a bridge and telling your friend, Nah, heights are nothing, even though your knees are chattering like teeth; feel like slicing the tip of your finger instead of the garlic nub; feel like getting hit by a fastball right in the fucking elbow, hilarious guts vibrating; feel like when you almost get crunched by a car on your bike, the quivering giddy aftermath; feel like all of that and more, but really, actually feel like the buzzing anxiety, the maddening avalanche of thoughts, the obsessive worry whatifwhatifwhatif, the fear of fear itself, all of the gunk the meds are meant to stem are jabbing back, poking your brain with a glinting pitchfork, saying, Listen fucker, we’re still here, saying, Listen fucker, you’ll never fully kill us, saying, Listen fucker, you ever stop taking these? The brain zaps will have felt like a Swedish massage.

And down they go, chalky and bitter and I wait to feel the first spark, because hey, I got places to be and as long as I don’t eat grapefruit while drowsily operating a boat, the outside world has nothing on the one I’ve already cooked up in my skull.