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This Won’t Hurt A Bit: Go Fuck Your Self Help

this won't hurt a bit(2)The self help books have started.

Much to the chagrin of both doctors and actual literary readers alike, the bookstores are now lined floor to wall with self help books about recovering from no longer having to recover from anything. People who were once terminally ill, thanks to death being cured, now can read books with such titles as “Til Life Do Us Part: Coping With Your Terminally Ill Spouses Recovery” and “7 Stages Of Grief; One Mans Journey To Legally Die”. Now on the Dr. Phil-esque shows on daytime television, we’re witnesses to a parade of people who are being affected first hand by this situation. Women who had accepted their parents impending demise from Cancer who’re now disappointed they won’t get what was willed to them and men who were ready to move on after their sick child passed away now having to stay with the family. It’s changed media too. Now the trope of “sick girl falls in love, teaches cute boy everlasting life lessons, dies anyway” is long since a thing of the past. Now it’s more “sick girl falls in love, sick girl gets better, guy leaves her anyway”.

Therapists are now overbooked by people who had once been told by a doctor they had 6 months to live, who now have to cope with the fact that their lives are no longer shortened. Here’s a statement I read from one of them:

What happens is that when you’re told that you’re going to die, the first instinct the human mind has is to deny it. That’s why we have the 7 stages of grief, the 7th being the acceptance of this information. Over a period of time, you come to terms with your demise, you accept that this has been your life and that it’s just time to move on. However, when you suddenly find yourself with your lifespan no longer shortened, your mind isn’t sure how to deal with that. You were prepared to be dead. You’d accepted the inevitability of nonexistence. Now, suddenly, here you are with the next 40 years ahead of you and unsure what to do to fill the time. It can really mess with a person.

People are now enrolling in classes to relearn how to live. Rediscover hobbies, interests and what to do with their free time, along with how to live a day to day life. Out of one medical change, an entire market has boomed, bringing along with it the financial prosperity of the 90s. I went to one of these classes on a whim, just to see what it was like, and the first thing I discovered was that, much like the death industry, what was now being coined “The Life Industry” is a big crock of shit. In fact, the medical community has such faith in their industry, they’ve even started putting out promotional material, including this infographic they posted on the wall at the hospital I work at.

living forever

Yeah. Things are going great on this side. In fact, the only real downside is that we don’t have much work to do around here these days. Mostly, myself and the other nurses find ourselves playing card games or reading when we have nothing else to do. Oh, sure, sometimes someone comes in with something wrong with them (a sword through the chest or something minor like that), but the flurry is over in a matter of minutes and the patched patient is back up and ready for another day.

But the classes…they’re something else. A “teacher” will often talk to the class about how they came to the conclusion that life isn’t something that should end, and that we should fully take advantage of the gift we’ve been given. He or she will ramble on and on about how we could use our extensions for good, to better the world, society, ourselves, etc. What they won’t say is how advocating for life really helps us. Overpopulation is already a big problem, and with people refusing to die, it’s only going to get more and more crowded as we continue to reproduce. I might just be a nurse who hasn’t been in the field that long, but from what I can tell, this is only going to lead to serious overcrowding.

Save the world. Kill something.

“This Won’t Hurt A Bit: Memoirs From A Post Medical World” is a satirical health column created & written by Maggie Taylor. If you enjoy what you’ve read here, maybe donate to my SquareCash, so I can continue doing this for you guys. It’s much appreciated!

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Training Wheels

I feel like I’m still on training wheels, but now there’s no safety net. There’s no hedging bets, no guarantees, nobody there who’ll try and catch me. I feel like no matter what I do, I cannot ride this bike. It lays in my yard, one wheel turning, while inside I sit, yearning for a way to learn, for a way to be taught that doesn’t reveal what little I know. How far I could go. The things I could do. If only I could learn to ride you. If I could conquer this tool, if I could ride this bike, I know I’d be happy and do things that I like, but no, I am stagnant, there’s been no progression. I’m listless, hopeless, and have given into depression.

Everyone else, it seems, had no trouble riding. Their parents, their teachers, every one of them guiding them to a better bike trail, a clearer bike lane, while I remain stuck confused and in pain. Why can’t I rid myself of these wheels? Why do I crash into all the walls? I’ve got a bell, a nice seat, but I continue to fall fall. My bike is well built, it’s sturdy, no doubt, but my lack of experience keeps me locked out from all that there is, all of my chances, while I get pointed at, with stolen glances, because I can’t ride and they know that, no question, and embarrassed I cancel my next learning session. I can’t ride this bike, the sad fact remains, I’ll always have wheels that are just meant to train. I’ll never balance, never stay up on two wheels, and nobody cares how poorly this make me feel.

To them, it comes easy, to them it’s a breeze. But me, I struggle, nothing comes with ease. I can’t ride this bike, so I walk instead, knowing that I can walk right past what comes ahead. We all strive our own ways, we push on how we like, so who cares if I can’t ride some stupid bike.

This poem, in case it wasn’t clear, is about becoming an adult on your own, without any help, and having nobody ever taught you anything. You look around you and see everyone else seems to be capable of making it, but you can’t be like them, and yet you keep going. There’s no shame in surviving anyway you have to. That’s been the hardest lesson for me to learn, but a crucial one nonetheless.

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This Won’t Hurt A Bit: “Don’t Fear The Reaper”

this won't hurt a bit(2)¬†We’ve done it, we’ve cured death. Did you see the infomercial last night? We cured death. Our species, long since plagued by the finality of life, no longer has to fear that forever burdensome habit of dying. Now you, your children, your children’s children and any children they might have (which you’ll be around to meet now, thanks to this breakthrough), never have to worry about funeral costs, life insurance, last wills and testaments and all that other petty crap we used to dump on our families after we died. For far too long, the funeral industry profited off of peoples grief. Selling something to someone when they’re in a clearly emotional state for the loss of their loved one? Disgusting, and now a thing of the past.

See, what happened was this. The richest people in the world were tired of dying. Realizing they couldn’t take their financial savings with them, and perturbed at the thoughts of either having the will them to someone else they didn’t think do enough to deserve it or being given away to CHARITY, they decided to finally, once and for all, defeat the concept of mortality. This way, they could live forever and be even richer. Unfortunately, this meant that they would be curing death for everyone, including poor people, which would just not do, so, they came up with the next best thing. They not only cured death, but then profited off of it by selling it only to those who could afford it. Capitalism at it’s finest, if you ask me! This weeds out the “worst offenders” and ensures that population control continues ever onward.

When the news broke, stocks in the mortuary, funeral and medical industry sunk to new lows. No more headstones, graveyards, coffins, embalming costs, medical bills, you name it, so long as you can afford it. Health care? Forget health care. It’s now life care. As a newly minted nurse at [redacted], I cannot tell you how many grown men I saw (doctors, mostly) sobbing to themselves simply because they would no longer profit off of illness, because we all know, there’s no reason to pretend at this point; it’s more cost effective in a monetary driven society to treat something and keep people ill than to cure them and lose profits. Even the surgeon general released a statement:

Does everyone know what a Utopia is? A Utopia is the concept of a perfect society, in which everyone is treated fairly and equally, there is no crime and now, thanks to the ‘miracle’ that is modern science, no more death. In essence, Utopia is the eugenics of the world. It’s the idea that everything should be one way; perfection. Unfortunately, this is not how things were designed to be. Human beings are meant to die. We’re meant to cease life. We’re here for a short amount of time, and then we move on. Look at all the damage we’ve done, for god sakes, just in the short span of time we’ve been here. Now think about that damage multiplied because we can’t die. It’s lunacy. No. I cannot, and will not, condone this.

The hilarious, ironic twist here is, with death basically obsolete now, you have to fight for your right to die. That’s right. It’s always been a fight for your right to die if you’re terminally ill or of some sort like that, but now they’re trying to take away your right to death. I mean, let’s be honest, the concept of suicide being illegal has always been hilarious, has it not? What are they going to do if you succeed? Arrest your corpse? Posthumously execute you? Get fucking real. If people have the right to live, then people have the right to die. It works both ways, but what do I know, I’m just a nurse.

Frankly, I don’t want to live forever. It’s tedious enough as it is, and I’m only 35, but god damn, 185 more years of this? No thank you. And it’s not like you naturally stay youthful. You just don’t die. There’s steps to be taken to staying fit if you want to stay alive forever, but hey, that’s more money lining the pockets of the people who started this whole mess in the first place. Death was the only thing I was guaranteed in life, and now they’re trying to take THAT away from me! Be proud of your inevitable expiration date. I know I am.

“This Won’t Hurt A Bit” is a weekly satirical column I’m trying out. If you like this, or any other content you read here, perhaps you’d like to donate to my Kofi via PayPal? Just a few bucks helps my girlfriend and me buy groceries, pay rent and more. Please don’t make me get a real job.

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They Were Just Like Us

“Did you cry again last night?” she asked, her eyes peering at her from behind those oval glasses. She was sitting on the other side of the table, in her nice, grey business suit, calmly writing down anything Sara would say.

“I cried more than just last night,” Sara said, sounding ashamed, looking down at her hands, cuffs around her wrists, “I cry multiple times a day now it seems. Not even just, like, what I used to do, but full on sobbing now. It’s awful. I feel so disgusted everytime.”

“It’s understandable,” she said, “It’s a natural feeling most have in your situation when faced with feelings they’d rather not be faced with. Any other feelings you’ve been having lately that you think I should know about?”

“…anger. I’ve been so angry at myself for being this way,” Sara mumbled, her brow furrowing, her nails digging into her pant leg, “If I hadn’t been this way, things would’ve been different. I would be out there and not in here. I would have a life. I’ve been feeling jealous too, jealous of the people who can control this so easily. How do they do it? Why don’t they have these problems?”

“Again, all understandable emotions to be feeling,” she said, before putting her pen down on the table with the clipboard and sitting up straighter, cupping her hands on the table and smiling at Sara, “Miss Meakes…you’ve been in here now for…I think it’s been almost 4 and 1/2 months now, yes? Do you want to be out there? Do you want to be like us?”

“I…don’t know, and that’s the worst part, I…I feel like I don’t because feeling these things makes me so unique…I’m different. Of course, being different is what’s got me locked away from everyone, but…haven’t you ever wanted to feel this way?” Sara asked, forcing a confused look scamper across the womans face for a moment.

“What?”

“Haven’t you ever wanted to feel this way?” Sara repeated herself.

“God no, not at all. No, it’s so much easier being the way I am, the way we all are. I admit that sometimes when I read about the past, about how you need to be able to feel a certain thing to comprehend a piece of classic art, literature, what have you, that I do on occasion wish I could feel that way for a brief moment, if only to understand the piece better…but in the end, it isn’t worth it. These things, they’re what made our world so bad. They’re what caused all the pain and suffering. No, things…things are better now, believe me.”

“…I think the worst is feeling love. I love my parents, but I know full well they don’t love me,” Sara said, “Because they can’t, not because they wouldn’t if they could. I understand the difference. It still hurts though. I wish they could.”

A timer on the womans watch beeped, and she looked at it, then collected her things and stood up, Sara doing the same. She reached over the table and shook Sara’s hand and smiled.

“Thank you Miss Meakes. I will see you again in a month, and we’ll pick up from there, and I do hope things change for you,” she said, before turning and heading out of the white room, leaving Sara alone again. As she exited, she found a man standing by the exit, waiting for her, eating an apple. He was dressed just as she was, same casual business attire, same boring expression on his face.

“So?” he asked.

“She’s not going anywhere for a while. If anything, it’s getting worse,” she said, “I wish I could feel bad for her. I wish I could, so I could really understand how much she’s hurting, but I just don’t.”

“It’s better you don’t,” the man said, and she nodded.

“I know that, but still…sometimes I think about what it’d be like to feel these things. To feel love, anger, sadness. To have emotions. These poor people, kept away from the rest of the cold, emotionless world, all because they feel what we once considered basic human emotions. What they have was once considered normal. Human. Now they’re different. ‘Unique’. But I know it’s better this way, I do know that.”

“Come on,” the man said, finishing the apple and tossing it into a garbage can, “Let’s go file this, we have other cases to get to.”

As they left, the woman glanced over her shoulder and saw Miss Meakes being taken from the room by her handler, presumably back to her cell. When their eyes connected, Sara smiled at her, and for one fleeting second, the woman swore she felt good inside.

Like what you’ve read? I have other fiction on this blog. Just check out the “fiction” tab! Or, if you wanna see more content from me, maybe help me out by donating to me here? Be greatly appreciated!

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She Is An Apocalypse

There is a hurricane swirling inside of her. Twisting and turning, ripping her apart, emotions scattered to and fro. It rages, it never quiets, it barrels through her thoughts and through her feelings, destructive and dangerous, destroying her from the inside out.

There is a fire roaring inside of her. Burning and raging, filling her every inch with embers of pain. It roars and flares up, burning anything in its path to ashes. It’s gearing up to turn her mind to cinders and toast her every hope and dream.

There is an earthquake rolling inside of her. It is thunderous and loud, rocking her beliefs and shaking her trust. Her morals quake and quiver, giving way to self destructive decision after self destructive decision. It is dismantling her inner establishment of confidence, turning it into rubble at her feet, burying it deep beneath.

She is an apocalypse, tearing down her walls and gearing up for a final burst, charging up her sun spots to eradicate every molecule that makes her. She’s a walking nuclear war, bombs falling endlessly, blowing every bit of her to smithereens. She is a viral outbreak, sickening herself worse and worse until there’s nothing left except a corpse that looks nothing like the girl they once knew.

She will burn brightly, she will fade fast, and she will be remembered fondly, not as someone who mattered, but someone who was fascinating to watch flare out.

She is extinguished.

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Beauty

I was once a leaf, perched high atop a tree; I was once a flower, growing from the ground

I was once a painting, made for all to see; I was once a song, a symphony of sound

But seasons change and leaves fall out, they’re stepped on, crushed to dust

And flowers are all picked out, to give to those you trust

And paintings are stored in closets, never to be seen again

And music, it becomes muted, and never makes it to the end

Everything that was once beautiful, that we held in high esteem; everything we all admired, everything that made us dream

It all goes away eventually, nothing’s as it seems; beauty gives way to darkness, laughter gives way to screams

So destroy me all you want, erase my heart and soul; quiet all my thoughts and words and take away control

Because no matter what you do, I was beautiful one day; and I know that’s more than you will ever get to say.

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I Want To See The End

I want to see the world end.

I want to be sitting in my bedroom when they run the sirens and I can see the flames raining down outside. I want to hear the screams, the worry, the terror. I want to know for certainty that we caused our own demise, that we were the reasons for our own downfall. Our greed, our gluttony, our materialism, our egotism. I want to know we did this to ourselves. I want to see it end. I want to see the world burn, and the fires blaze and the people cry. I want to be there afterwards, to see what kind of better future may possibly come from this, knowing full well there’s no such thing as a ‘better future’ so long as we’re involved in it.

I want to see the end. I want to wander the world afterwards and tell the leftovers that they’re responsible for this. That this is their fault. That their small minded put us here. That this could’ve been avoided, had they not been so simple, so narrow, in their beliefs. Willing to just, once in a while, listen to someone else. A differing opinion, an alternate viewpoint, isn’t admitting you’re wrong, but that you’re reasonable enough to listen because you don’t know everything, and that there’s nothing wrong with that. But here we are, it’s the end, and it’s all. your. fault. I want people to feel the isolation I have felt, the hopelessness, the terror and the madness and the utter burning sensation of loneliness that comes with being the one person the world doesn’t want. Now it’s over. Now the world doesn’t want everyone, so how’s it feel to be just like me?

I don’t want the world to end because I hate it. I don’t want the world to end because it deserves to. I want the world to end so that finally, maybe finally, people can understand for once how I’ve felt for my entire life, because I don’t belong in this world, so maybe we can all belong in this new one. I have to literally wait for the world to end, for everyone to feel lost and forgotten, before I feel like I can connect with my own species. That’s a real statement on society.

I want to see the world end. I want to see the ruin and destruction and ugliness because maybe for once I could see a world that has something in common with myself.