There is a place in Antarctica where the ice melts red, a wound on Taylor Glacier begging for a tourniquet. Scientists first attributed the strange coloring to a high presence of red algae in the water, though it was later discovered to be due to iron oxides. The river has flowed slowly into the pitch blue of the ocean for millions of years, a sort of earthly hemophilia. Its name is Blood Falls.
I even had a nurse ask one day during breakfast why I looked so upset, as if I hadn’t been hospitalized for depression, as if we all didn’t want to die. Despite this, I wondered how my sadness could measure up to anyone else’s, even if I felt like I would crumble if anyone tried to touch me to make sure I was real.
When my anxiety was at its worst, my stomach felt like it was on fire. It felt like a pit of lava, constantly gurgling and bubbling, ready to spill over. I finally went to an acupuncturist when Western medicine had no means to relieve my symptoms. After the woman stuck me with needles, she proclaimed I had too much yin and not enough yang. In order to fix this, she instructed me to buy pills of crushed up honey bees, and let two dissolve under my tongue each morning.
I did so for months, and though my stomach problems didn’t resolve, they were sweet as honey.
When you died, I turned to food. Not in the way most do—hunched over a carton of Chinese takeout in the bath, head in the freezer while shoveling down ice cream—but by entrenching myself in the fine dining of San Francisco.
When I think about being raped, I think of mosquitos. I think of the sound of a buzzing street lamp. I think of sweat, of sand, of silence. And I think of the women on the tennis court nearby, blissfully unaware of my presence a mere fifty feet away.