A Sad, Tired Place
by Myles Zavelo, 3.24am November 10th 2021

We agree that every disease and disability is a death sentence.

 

We are using our cell phones.

 

I am talking to my brother. My brother is a doctor.

 

The other day, he ate one of the world’s hottest peppers.

 

It’s called the Chocolate Bhutlah.

 

Some claim it feels even hotter than the Carolina Reaper.

 

The Carolina Reaper is another one of the world’s hottest peppers.

 

The Chocolate Bhutlah tops out at 2,000,000 Scoville Heat Units on the official Scoville scale.

 

How did you feel?

 

Suddenly, I want to know.

 

“Insane how it progressed, escalated in waves, and I drank almost a half gallon of milk.

 

Travelled up my ears, tickled my epiglottis, and thought I was going into anaphylaxis,” he says.

 

I have Parkinson's, I think, or maybe MS.

 

You know, one of those things.

 

I’m worried I’m sick; this anxiety is a death sentence that keeps me busy

My brother says when they cut drugs, they add talcum powder––a form of Parkinsonism occurs.

 

Is that permanent?

 

Yes, he says, cumulative.

 

(The more you use, the worse it is.)

 

Especially if you snort.

 

Especially if you inject.

 

My brother sees young men with heart damage from cocaine addiction all the time.

 

They suffer massive myocardial infarctions, strokes, and cerebral hemorrhages.

 

They appear healthy.

 

They’re totally ripped.

 

No, I don’t want to drool all over myself.

 

No, I don’t want a motorized scooter.

 

No, I don’t want a rectal tube.

 

Yes, I’m assuming incredible risks.

 

He asks if I’ve fallen recently.

 

No, I haven't fallen recently.

 

I love you

“I love you, too,” he says.