Deathwish 039: Neil

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, May 11th, 2016

"My therapist says medicine is making great strides."

deathwish nailed neil


The good news is, you’ll never be that old man on TV, sucking down chalky shakes so his bones don’t go eggshell fragile. The geezer who didn’t save up enough for his retirement and chews pills to stay hard.

This is what I tell myself. What I tell my therapist.

It’s the up-side to being sure you’ll be in an oven real soon. Vaporized to powder and bits of bone your family dumps someplace. Cries. I tell my therapist I’ll die too young and it’s half a car payment for him to say I shouldn’t think like that. I tell him that if I start counting suicides in my photo albums it’ll only end up making me want to kill myself. Dead-ended branches on the family tree that won’t grow anymore. If it’s a competition, I tell him he can call it, because malignant tumors are running away with the hatch marks.

My therapist says medicine is making great strides.

Heart disease is something to hope for. The organ I know by the size of my fist choked with everything that was worth eating. All my blood plumbing run through a water balloon, twitching against itself while the pipes back up with sludge. Bucking for fuel until it can’t.

My therapist says diet and exercise, and are you taking enough fish oil? Too much?

When it’s this obvious – genetics ganging up with a passion for extra chemicals, ganging up with the shadow that crawls behind my thinking and shoves it into the dark — I can pout or carve my name on something. If the active senior citizen lifestyle isn’t anything for me to worry about, then I need to get to work.

My therapist wants to talk about this habit of being over-dramatic.

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 038: Jennifer,” go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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Neil was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and currently lives in Denver, Colorado.


Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).