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A Short History of my Intestines

My intestines are sensitive to, in no particular order: meat, dessert, tense atmospheres, men who make me question my sanity, people who bark/snap/yell, sugar laden alcohol, people who make me wait for an answer, uncertainty, foods cooked in oil, foods that are supposedly healthy, my period, too many greens - in other words, my intestines, much like my mind, make it difficult to operate as a functional human, but are, nevertheless, an accurate barometer for danger.

Or they would be, if I ever listened. I have not upped my sense of personal responsibility in the matter, I have not started a food log. I do not write down what I eat and how it feels as it travels through my system, even though I can pinpoint where a particular meal has gone awry with nearly crystalline accuracy. 

I still eat cheese. But I love cheese! It is a food that understands hwo I enjoy relating to the world: I wan things to be rich but I'm not hung up on 'pleasantness.' I want things to be weird, but familiar enough to categorize. Esoteric veins give me a thrill. I don't mind occasional discomfort in the name of sensory interest.

Sometimes I idly wonder if, this time, my appendix is bursting. But wouldn't I know?

When I lived in Ghana, I became extremely comfortable discussing the nature of my shit with aquaintances. It was our morning ritual. If someone was gone for a while, we immediately knew why and dove into discussion when they returned. Was it the banku? Runny or firm? Was it one of those ones that makes you wonder how you could have possibly eaten that much? 

This was natural for me, these discussions. I did not grow a filter when everyone else was learning what falls into the category of 'appropriate to discuss in a communal atmosphere.' Doesn't ignoring these things just make you feel more ashamed? 

I was never ashamed, per se, that my intestines have the unique composition to make the irregular frequent: oily gaseous, dark, light, twisting, stabbing, aching.

I rarely vomit. I simply notice, with what I can only assume is more precision than the average person, how exacty thse things we call 'food' move throughout my system, just as I notice, with more precision than the average person seemingly does, the small discomforts that occur two hundred and fifteen times per day when one human is interacting with another human.

Or maybe everyone notices these discomforts, and my acknowledgement just shows itself candidly on my filter-less face. 

If I know it is from food, the painful clenching of the intestine, I can tell which food and where. But soemtimes I can't tell, or don't want to admit, if it is from food, the pain, or if it is from fear, because as sensitive as I am to food, I am also bodily sensitive to potentially entrapping situations, and it is as though my intestines are saying, maybe if you'd just fucking puke for once, they'd set you free. 

"I don't know why I don't want to be around him," I told my therapist once, about a guy with whom I had been on two generic dates. He was a good conversationalist, normal seeming, traits that should have made me want to answer his text messages.

"You don't have to know why." he told me. "You are allowed to listen to your body."

I believe him, but I also question qhether my body, intestines specifically, are doing a great job at protecting me from danger, or are crying wolf everywhere they sense a grain out of place. Isn't a grain always out of place? But I stop texting him back, and return to my regularly scheduled programming of cheese and speaking too much to an ex who is irrepairably fractured but no longer makes my intestines scream. 

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