I’m sitting in an Easychair looking up at a convoluted laboratory. There are striated glass vials for blood, urine, tears and saliva. Small containers for ear wax, nail clippings, dead skin, undernail dirt, tongue plaque, body hair, fallen eyelashes, sleep sand, mucous. Large containers for vomit and shit. Tools and machines—a magnifying glass, dissection equipment, an X-ray machine, pedometer, tape measure; medical tools—tuning forks, Levin’s tube, a blood pressure cuff, kidney dish, pipettes, stethoscopes, graduated spoons. Stored on my computer, thousands and thousands of photos of my isolated body parts, each dated and placed in the appropriate Desktop folder. The progression of my body, in pictures. Hundreds of composition books of experiment results, statistics, and intimate journal entries detailing my rich inner world. This is home, an isolated cabin in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range where I monitor my bodily processes. My life’s work; my craft.
It’s mine, all mine, mine. Mine.
In the composition book I keep on my bedside table, I record the time of awakening, first thoughts upon awakening, and any dreams I can remember. I reread the entry.
I go downstairs to brush my teeth. Brushing my teeth is serious business. I measure out and weigh the toothpaste and spit into a cup so I can analyze the stuff later. I time myself. Going for two minutes on the dot. Rocking and a rolling. I make all my own toothpaste and read eBooks about dental hygiene because I’m interested in the science, how these things might affect me. Me.
When I’m done I clean for some time. The house has to be perfect. Pine-sol is totally profound if you like it like that. I clean until it looks like no one lives here.
Then I go to the laboratory. I take blood samples. I test my blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Practically ideal. I compare them with yesterday’s. They’re the same. I write everything down.
I go to the mirror and stare at my reflection until I start to hallucinate. I do it every day. I have routines as well as specialized projects.
Today’s project is: recording myself reciting an alphabetized list of culturally
relevant words. I’ll listen to it later and analyze my tone, my accent. Açai. A’ight. A-lister. Aaabeduation. Abchromonormalities. Abrevitalk. Accreditor. Ace. Achievelet. Achritochromacy. Acronym. Actionaire. Adidas. Admin. Adrenalist. Affluenza. Afro-punk. Afterparty. Aggro. Agnostic. Anime. Antisocialite. Apathist.
I constantly feel like I’m trying to catch a slippery fish with my bare hands. I constantly feel like my theoretical toupée is gonna blow off. I want it all, the calcimined fullness.
The phone rings while I’m showering. I’m aiming for a five-hour shower and I’m almost there, so the interruption is so annoying.
I haven’t talked to anyone in years. I have a landline in case of emergency but no one calls me—I didn’t even give anyone the number—and I don’t make calls.
That phone has never rang before—so who could be calling me? A family member who used a private investigator? I’m not looking forward to that and I’m hoping for something more dramatic.
I’m gonna get the phone. I really mean that. One more ring. One more B2B. Baby bear. Babydoll. Bachelor pad. Back check. Back-seat-bingo. Backburner. Backfish. Backlink. Backsies. Bad seed. Bag salmon. Bail. Bajillion. Ball buster. Bando. Bangbang. Banner blindness. Basecamp.
The ringing stops. The angels sing. Ca-ching, Cabbage-Patch-Doll, cabin in the woods, Cadillac.
It’s not me, it’s you. Everyone.
Julia Long is a 20-year-old ?something? that ?somehow? got to the northern California coast. When she finally gets abducted by aliens she’ll keep a smile on her face--good goddamn. Her writing has appeared in Thought Catalog, theNewerYork, Electric Cereal, Rawboned and Bizarro Central.