Perfection Complex

Prose poetry, published in Issue 5 of The Fable Online:

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Coke addiction, heroin. Hell, a caffeine dependency would do. To be starving, disabled, dying; any of ‘em could work, I’d wager.

 

Maybe I could get leprosy, some form of cancer, a brain aneurysm. Anything, really. I could take up smoking, try -- then fail -- to quit. That’d be nice.

 

To have a real problem.

 

Not just occasionally eating more than I need to, nibbling into an evening once a month or-so.

 

To have the excuses of an alcoholic. A gambler. A necrophiliac.

 

Not just having a perfectly acceptable -- tolerable -- job, that I don’t detest (but nor do I love).

 

My food and shelter needs are all met. I even get to choose.

 

Oh, to have been born in a developing country, a war-torn nation, a slum.

 

Typhoid. Cholera. Lockjaw. Scurvy. To be a hoarder, rather than not wanting for anything (and yet always wanting, always striving, pushing, dragging myself into perfection).

 

Everything’s so goddamn comfortable. Let’s shoot some E’s, hook up my veins.

 

Maybe when I’m old; drugs are wasted on youth.

 

How I long to have something real -- something palpable -- to complain about. Problems less ... imaginary.

 

To actually feel lonely -- to detest my own company; to not have a family who love me; friends, who don’t flood me with laughter, who don’t hold the keys to me.

 

To have been abused, more than I was.

 

To have not gotten over it.

 

Herpes. Genital warts. I’d take moderate back pain, if it were offered. An aching pinky would suffice.

 

To have not worked so hard repairing my situation; the life I was dealt. Pushing, always pushing, forward. Fixing, until I wanted for nothing.

 

For without a problem, how can I complain? How can people believe I suffer?

 

No one accepts the old I-don’t-feel-happy-but-I-don’t-know-why argument.

 

I still have all my limbs, for Christ’s sake.

 

Berating myself for the smallest of things. Exaggerating imperfections lends to misery.

 

I was just born this way.

 

My lungs function. My heart beats. Anaemic? Not even slightly. Don’t talk to me about wheat intolerance. I can digest food without the aid of a bag, drink without the aid of a tube. Clean water comes straight out of a tap into a home I call mine. There’s ten thousand miles’ worth of blood vessels in my body, all working, doing crazy, magical shit without me even thinking. I’m random bits of stardust collated into self -- it’s a goddamn miracle I’m even here, alive, breathing. Feeling warm, safe.

 

Yeah, so I’m not leaping out of bed in the morning, and I do just roll over, at times, pulling the cover over my head.

 

But I can taste, smell, hear, touch. I can see beautiful, mind-blowing things right before my eyes, everywhere I look, if I choose to.

 

There is wild love within me.

 

I feel like killing myself.

 

Yawn. Heard it all before.