she dropped her head to the table. that alone hurt, but it didn’t matter anymore. the headache paled in comparison to the massive explosion that was happening all around her. this time, she could feel it in her chest. she felt it in her neck, too. but that’s nothing new. ever since the spine surgery, the stiffness and pain in her neck had become something she just lived with. like dry skin. a car that rattles. a backyard with too-tall grass. you deal. she dealt. that’s life. it’s fucked up, she would say, rubbing the left side of her neck with her right hand since her left arm doesn’t move like it used to. arthritis, she’d say, rolling her eyes. fucking arthritis.


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