It started with my kidneys. One day I woke up and they just weren’t there anymore. I don’t know how I knew. I mean, it wasn’t like that urban legend where the girl wakes up in a tub of ice to find a massive gash in her lower back that’s been stitched up after someone removed her kidneys. I woke up in my own bed, not in ice, but actually with my body temperature high because of my lime-green-and-fuschia-striped comforter. I panicked, and called Riley, my boyfriend at the time, at work.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” he had asked when I told him about my missing kidneys. “Are you high?”
When I said no, and tried to explain the situation, he blew up at me and told me he was busy at work, and that I needed to quit making stupid shit up. I realize now what an asshole he was, because he didn’t seem the least bit concerned that my body parts were beginning to disappear, even when he came over that night after work and saw how freaked I was. He stuck around for a few more months, but when I wouldn’t let it go, and then my pancreas disappeared, he told me he’d had enough of my shit. By that point, I wasn’t really sad to see him go.
I know, you’re wondering how my body can still function without kidneys and a pancreas. I don’t have an explanation, except to say that I’m not actually alive anymore. My shrink says I’m hallucinating; that if I take a minute and really ponder it, I might realize how silly it sounds that I’m still walking around and going about my life if I’m actually dead. My response to her was, “Why don’t you think about how silly it sounds that a living person is functioning without the necessary body parts?”
Yeah, she didn’t like that. So she wrote me another prescription that I didn’t fill.
My sister was with me when my lungs disappeared. By then, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I’d never be an organ donor, what with all my parts vanishing, but I let her know anyway, in case we happened to run a marathon and I came up short of breath. She knew about my other body parts, so she was sufficiently sympathetic. She offered to drive me to the clinic, and seemed relieved when they presented us with X-rays that clearly sported a healthy-looking set of lungs. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that they’d done that before- gotten my X-rays mixed up with another patient’s. I want her faith in our medical community to remain intact.
After that, I kept that fact that I dematerializing to myself. It’s bad enough that I’m dealing with the fact that I ceased to exist. I don’t need my friends and family aggravating the situation by telling me I’m more unhinged than Kanye West at an awards show. I may be missing internal organs, but my feelings are still there. I’m just hoping my heart dissolves before it gets broken, because at least that won’t hurt. I’ve always heard a broken heart is a tough thing to deal with. The real question is- can my heart still break if I’m already dead?