M: No, Doc, it’s okay. I used to think the only way I could beat this thing was to wipe it out completely. And the only way I could wipe it out was to get rid of myself. I mean, the depression, it’s a goddamn part of me. Like, okay, I was on a date with this girl last weekend and she told me her parent’s divorce was a ‘significant part of her life,’ like it’s something she can never forgot or never put in her past and it doesn’t even directly involve her. The depression, it’s years of my life I can’t cut out of my past. I can’t get it out of my memory. It’s got me marked.
M: I didn’t say in a bad way. I’m just saying, it’s who I am. So all of the sudden, I just knew, the only way I could beat this part of myself was to die. Give reincarnation a go. Take a risk and see if I come back. Leave this life full of depression and headaches and thoughts and thoughts about dying and go to a new life where I’m a moth or a jellyfish or a goat.
M: She’s moved on—all that time I was locked up in Steadbrook with visits only on Sundays was a bit of a relationship killer. But anyway, that first time she visited, she didn’t ask what I was thinking or how could I or didn’t I know how much I had to live for, or anything like that. She just held my hand, looked into my eyes and said she was sorry. God, that girl just understood, you know? She knew how much pain I was in at the time. She knew I’d have been happier in my next life.
M: He said his mom lay in bed, got skinny in the limbs while her gut puffed up with fluid like she was carrying triplets, and her skin got loose. She’d try to eat, but the food would go to her stomach, then it’d get to where her tumor pressed up against her bowels and then, voom, it’d go right back up.
M: From what I understand, the cancer spreads from cell to cell, brainwashing your proteins into becoming the cancer themselves. It literally takes over your body, one cell at a time. The cancer gets big enough, they call it a tumor, it takes over more and more until organs forge what they were made to do in the first place and think they’re nothing but cancer.
M: I am, too, Doc. I’ve been taken over already. My disease isn’t cancer; it’s not as immediately fatal, off the bat, at least. But my disease has spread. Depression hasn’t just taken over every cell of my brain, it’s spread to my neck, got caught in my throat so I can’t swallow without conscious effort. It’s taken over my smile, moved down to my lungs, weighed down every breath, into the pit of my stomach. It’s everywhere, Doc. The only problem with my disease is that it feeds off me while I’m still alive. Cancer can do that for a while, but eventually, it wants you dead.