Because I am aging, my body is in decline. My knee makes a clicking sound whenever I straighten it. I can’t bend my elbow without feeling discomfort. My ankle always cracks when I move it up and down. My back hurts. My neck hurts. My eyes hurt. If I blink them too many times, they are sore the next day. Breathing is difficult. It hurts to speak. There are cysts all over my body.

When I wake up, I immediately scream because I’m in so much pain. It takes me eight hours to get out of bed. My body is no longer flexible. It’s always stiff. The hunch in my back is so severe that my body is always at a 35-degree angle. I have no feeling in my hands and feet but I bleed from them constantly. Detached tendons are poking through tiny holes in my skin. Is this normal?

My genitals are gone. I don’t know where they went, but they are gone. A hollow hole is there now. My hairline is receding.

At any point, clearish fluid could be flowing out of any one of the 12 open cavities on my body. Sometimes it comes out of all 12 at the same time, which can be embarrassing, especially if I’m at work or a housewarming party or something. I spend over $5,000 a month on gauze and bandages and creams. I wear a knee brace, but that doesn’t seem to help. My Adam’s apple is very sore. When I touch my stomach, something must be wrong because it feels like I’m stabbing myself. My whole body is entirely black and blue. Showering is not an option because my skin just disintegrates when water touches it. I think I have some sort of skin problem.

My forehead and nose is just exposed skull.

My hamstrings. Ha. Okay, where to begin? First off, my right one just hangs there. I hurt it running once, and that was that. I have to strap it into my body whenever I go out, which hurts a whole heck of a lot. My left hamstring is a complete joke. Every day it cramps up into a tiny ball and rolls down the back of my leg and ends up near my Achilles tendon, which is torn. My other Achilles tendon and all of my ACLs, MCLs, rotator cuffs, and labrums are all also torn. I spend a good portion of my day collapsing. My left forearm has fallen off twice. I’ve tried physical therapy, but, quite honestly, between my constant screaming and all the open wounds I tend to scare everyone there.

I weigh 450 pounds. I’m trying to eat better. My teeth are gone. My fingernails are gone. I have half a tongue now. I mean, how the fuck did that one happen? I understand the body breaks down when it ages, but I had a full tongue one day and the next day half of it was just gone. My legs feel like they are on fire. Sometimes they are. I used to be 5-feet-11 inches and now I am 4-feet-3 inches. My doctor says that’s just part of getting older. He said the giant bulge in my chest is because I have anywhere from one hundred to two hundred thousand ingrown hairs in there. My doctor always throws up when he sees me. I try not to make a big deal about it, but during my last visit I asked him if he could stop doing that.

I haven’t heard a single thing in five years. I haven’t been able to swallow in six. It hurts too much. Everything is IVs now. My torso is—and I use this word in the loosest terms possible—attached. My right shoulder hurts, but if I put Icy Hot on it, it’s usually okay. My cholesterol is good! My swollen ankles have to be drained three times a day. My calf muscles are actually pretty developed and strong. I have nice calves. Everybody says so. I can’t turn my body without shrieking and crying. I have shin splints. If I ever try to lift something up, I’m pretty much out of commission for the rest of the month. And my fingers have ossified and are completely black.

You know, part of me wishes I was young again—that I could go back to a time when I could run and jump and breathe without a care in the world. But then again, when I was younger I wasn’t as sophisticated and couldn’t talk intelligently about the issues of the day. So, it’s a trade off.