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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Olesen

Photoshop Me #Healthy

I sleep with two blankets to keep warm and five pillows to keep my head elevated. 69 says the thermometer on the wall. Coughing can keep you up at night.

I cough at my phone screen. The iPhone bearing down on second bone of my right pinky. Will my bones be marked by this social media addiction?

Information channels disturbed, warped by the World Wide Interweb. Are we flies stuck in the Net? Caught up in all those threads.

I cough. Lungs expand and contract as the muscles of my torso allow my ribcage movement. My diaphragm moves with the elasticity of a trampoline.

Right thumb taps on Snapchat’s little Casper ghost in its yellow square. A horrific mirror detects my features. Filters distort. The New Age convex mirrors. Happy face, bunny ears, drinking beers. No tears in these stories.

I cough. Get up to spit the mucus from my lungs. Cloudy slime slip through sink holes.

The bathroom floor is cold. I sit on the beige tiles anyway.

Instagram bruises my brain with tiny waists and before-and-after’s. I should be better, the bruises say. Judgment against those who chose plastic surgery fades.

Anterior pelvic tilt is a staple pose. Let’s see who can push their ass the furthest back. I could never master the skill of my stomach touching my spine. Living picture perfect lives online. Everybody is their own PR agent.

I cough, wheeze between bursts. Eyes closed so they don’t pop out.

Facetune’d out of frequency with reality. Zero zits, because perfect skin is perfectly normal. My thunder thighs with cellulite, stretchmarked love handles are less double tapped. Photoshop me photogenic, before I hashtag #nofilter.

I cough, abdominal muscles clinching. Bile creeps up to come out if I cough again. Slow shallow breathing is key. Opposite of what we say. “Long deeps breaths” has become a mantra in a world of anxiety.

I cough, throw up. “I’m only a stomach flu away from my ideal weight” rings a bell. Thumbflickering through feeds of bikini clad perky breasts, a drawstring away from pornography. They glisten in a world of flawless lighting, forever caught from their good side.

I sit against the plastic tub. Neon bulb strikes my skin orange. The air sinks further into my lungs as I let them unfold in my ribs.

I wheeze. Sounds like baby Darth Vader. It’s important not to panic when you can’t breathe.

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