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  • Harry Jensen

April 8, 2021


An otherwise benign coworker told me that we complicate things to make our lives seem more important. This is not the case of my woo-woo chiropractor whom I saw today, Dr. Warren King of Quantum Chiropractic Arts, who believes that every muscular imbalance is simply correlated to an out of whack organ.

“You have an energy problem in your right testicle,” Dr. King announced, his eyes squeezed shut as he held my right arm, his own right hand composing Indian subcontinental healing mysteries through the air without touching me.

“Oh?” I said, suddenly sensing a maelstrom of discontent abrew in the starboard region of my vitality sack.

Dr. King didn’t say anything further, but continued to shake and weave his hand through the air like a cobra charming itself.

I am nervous about my surgery tomorrow. Though better after my vaguely Vedic realignments, I am feeling in ill health, my lymph nodes swollen and my body sore; I am breaking out in pinpricked legions where spritely dust mites have begun to feast on the detritus lining my inner thighs, and my head throbs. My wrist is pulsating with something malevolent, and I am looking forward to having the growth therein excised, but I fear that I will die tomorrow morning, because dying is so easy.

The most obvious fatal comeuppance could happen due to an instrumental error. Perhaps my surgeon will sneeze and send her scalpel through my radial artery, resulting in suicide by physician. I have not been smoking, but I have been huffing heavily on a powerful pink nicotine wand, nicotine having the effect of thinning the blood and preventing coagulation and helpful clotting. My dear grandmother had a routine knee surgery some years ago, and due to her inability to stop bleeding she accrued an infection, which doctors attempted to remedy by hacking off the infection, resulting in more bleeding, and finally a surgery wherein they cut off her whole leg above the knee — to stop the bleeding. They made her sign a waiver beforehand stating that they might have to lop it off if they could not remedy the final infection, which must have been a bizarre experience to sign away your irritation should you wake up with one less limb. There could be worse waivers, I suppose.

If you wake up dead, promise you won’t be mad.

I could also become an abominable clerical error tomorrow. I could be anesthetized and swapped for someone receiving a routine lobotomy, and wake up with a brain that only allows me to move my right pinky and speak sideways in Flemish. I could also die on the car trip home, if I slump over or spasm and knock my driver unconscious. This week I saw someone smashed up against an exit ramp, the wheel of a car suddenly go flying off and bounce across the highway in front of me, a turkey smeared across the road like a chunky marinara of talons and dappled feathers, and a cat smooshed into the asphalt. Driving is dangerous.

Moreover, there is a feeling of apocalypse scintillating in the air as of late. An encampment of houseless people sprouted up at the abandoned gas station catercorner from work, and I watched people march their tents and drag their broken coolers down the street as if observing a humdrum outtake from Mad Max.

And two stormy days ago, I was walking and a man with a demented smile asked if I was going to get wet.


“If you do, you won’t melt.”

Minutes later hail like frozen peas were pelting me as I scurried home with Maude straining at the leash, neither of us melting, but perhaps there was some deterioration I absorbed into the aforementioned doomed right teste.

But there are good omens afoot, too: in the park I found a pair of rose-colored glasses with one lens removed, so I feel I have to throw in some positivity for good measure. I also passed a funeral home I’d never seen the other day on the way home, a gray brick building with a sinister wrought iron fence. Despite never seeing it, it had featured in a dream I had some months ago about my latest breakup and also raining slugs, which might mean that it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie, or that I need to get a bigger umbrella.

Hopefully I live tomorrow, and nothing problematic impales or skewers me during or after I get put under and sliced open. It should be a simple operation. I just hope my surgeon doesn’t need to make her life seem more important, hand me a surprise waiver, or take a whacking stab at my exposed unbalanced energies.


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