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You’re going to want to avoid calling this a diet.

You’re going to want to call it a lifestyle.

You’re going to want to avoid sugar and gluten, as well as solid foods, including but not limited to: red meat, cured meat, all dairy, warm water fish, sushi, bivalves, and strawberries. And celery and peanuts. Note: Celery is a carcinogen. Note: Peanuts bear cancer-causing fungi.

You’re going to want to google “nightshades” so as to avoid nightshades, as they are “thought” to “increase inflammation” in the “body.”

You’re going to want to avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking, cuticle-picking, chewing through your right cheek, and gnashing your teeth without your mouthguard.

You’re going to want to avoid breaking bad habits. Here’s a trick: break them beforehand!

You’re going to want to avoid screens that glow, software updates, and interacting with your printer in any way. Printers remind you of your mother.

You’re going to want to avoid telling your husband you’re on a “cleanse,” because then he’ll want a cleanse, too, and will either never figure out the cleanse rules or gently remind you about the cleanse rules, which you printed out for him, against your better judgment, because he forgot he has a dinner meeting this Wednesday and he cannot not eat steak in front of his team, and now you hear your mother; she is standing right behind you and she is sighing.

You’re going to want to avoid even the idea of lugging your air conditioning unit from your window and into the hallway storage closet Wednesday night, despite the fact that it sucks in fresh air and circulates mold and it’s 60 degrees outside and you love gorgeous fall in gorgeous New York and the word “autumnal” just rolls off the tongue, your autumnal tongue, a tongue that no longer knows solid food — you must avoid even thinking about this.

You’re going to want to avoid asking your husband to remove the air conditioning unit on Thursday night because he’ll only gaze at you with his long blinking eyelashes, two-slipped discs, and belly full of last night’s solid food and say — what will he say? He’ll say nothing, because he’s watching basketball highlights with his headphones on in bed, stroking Colette, your terrible cat.

You’re going to want to avoid sleeping without the air conditioner on, actually, despite the fall chill, despite your husband’s insistence that you’ll be fine — you can wake him up to turn the thing on if you get too hot — because you’re going to want to avoid getting too hot. Red chest, sweats, sheets like a twisted noose around your waist, too tired to turn the air back on, too hot with resentment to wake your husband, who doesn’t burn hot like you and who hasn’t changed Colette’s litter in over a month, even after you jokingly asked him to, even after you were like, “seriously, do it, I care about this,” he will not change Colette’s litter. You’re going to want to avoid the phrases “if you loved me” and “symbolic of.” There’s nothing symbolic about it.

You’re going to want to avoid dreaming because that’s where the gin martinis and iced coffees rattle and dance for you.

You’re going to want to avoid reading your husband’s email previews on his dormant iPad — slid like a magazine between Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and a college textbook called Economics — because you will want to avoid reading his emails, even if he has offered to let you in the past, like five years ago, but so what? He still offered and how bad could it be, searching for your name and “cheat,” your name and “nag,” your name and “relentless nag,” your name and “loosing it,” your name and “love her but”?

How bad could it be? Not bad, is how bad, and the most striking thing, you find, is that your name hardly comes up. You’re going to want to avoid feeling bored by his emails — this month’s focusing almost exclusively on fantasy football and the inevitable decline of the avocado — and disappointed by the everydayness, the total mundanity.

You’re going to want to avoid eventually searching your name and “baby” and finally feeling that thrill of surprise at your husband, who now wants something you do not want and never wanted.

You’re going to want to avoid calling your mother.

You’re going to want to avoid sitting down with friends.

You’re going to want to avoid sitting down alone, on a bench overlooking the traffic on the BQE, thinking about having a baby with this man who wants a baby but refuses to change the cat’s litter and tries to make you order his runner-up pasta at Franny’s by saying “If I were you, I would get the cracked pepper penne” when he is ordering, too, and not getting the cracked pepper penne. You should get what you would get because you’re getting something, you think, but should avoid saying, which is easy, because that was back when you drank rosé, in a time of pizza and summer breezes, before you became so uninflamed.

You’re going to want to tell your friends that you’re drinking your meals in order to clean your gut and did they catch the 11 o’clock news last night? There was an interview with this woman who gave birth in the woods. She’d taken a shortcut through a national forest when she ran out of gas and so she gave birth in the backseat of her car and subsisted for five days on Gatorade, apples, and Halloween candy. Oh my God, and the bees! First the bees came, then the mosquitos. The bees wanted the placenta. The woman never said how she fended them off. Eventually, she started a forest fire. You’re going to want to avoid the 11 o’clock news. You’re friends are going to want to text each other about how you’re “really going through something.” You are. Your friends are going to want to avoid you. It’s about self-preservation.

The thing about peanuts is that they house their cancer fungus in their pores. When is a “house” not a “house”? When it’s a home. You know what, call your mom. You never know unless you try. Don’t try, she always says, do.

You’re going to want to avoid googling “how to tell gut is clean.” There’s really no telling, your mom might say, who knows, not you, because maybe you don’t know her as well as you thought. She hasn’t picked up your phone calls in a week, not even when you called from a payphone off the BQE.

Did you know tears of emotion contain more protein than other tears? Lick your protein tears.

You’re going to want to ask a stranger at the library with a library card to print three copies of a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna hugging, Gwyneth with a sliver of hip and perfect pelvis showing, Madonna with her eyes closed and her nose in Gwyneth’s cheek like how good does she smell? You’re going to want to tape your new companions inside the cupboard where the yeast packets live, as well as in the freezer, where the gin and frozen steak and cheese burritos live. The third, for emergency use only, you’re going to want to tape to your body, ideally the soft flesh under your right arm, the arm that reaches for your husband’s cereal, simple Corn Flakes, at midnight.

Pure, simple Corn Flakes you’re going to want to avoid.

You’re going to want to avoid looking in the toilet bowl after use.

You’re going to want to avoid googling “black tar stool.”

You’re going to moan and nod when your husband asks you why there’s a box of Corn Flakes tucked into the bed like a teddy, and, “Are you sure you’re okay? Do you want a massage during halftime? I can mute it? I can turn it off. I can make you a drink.”

Remember that time he lead you uptown to the butterfly observatory, not for your birthday but on some other bad day, and a butterfly slept on the back of his collar, inhaling his red summer neck, and then another fell on his breast pocket, opening and closing, and the butterfly workers joked that you couldn’t leave until the butterflies moved on their own. You remember.

You’re going to have a baby named Murphy because fuck it.