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  • They say from the moment you are born you begin a slow process of dying that starts with growing. All death requires some sort of growth. In the act of decomposition, bacteria grow which decay tissue until it is entirely dissolved back into the ground where everything comes from.

    She was the middle child. One of three. And her name was Mary. From an early age she was scattered, unfocused, energetic and needy. Her first diagnosis came in the first years of her life, and she saw it as a sign that she was indeed special. Her regular trips to the hospital for treatments came on the back of not taking care of herself. She would purposely eat too much sugar so that everyone would pay attention.

    When she was older, she became a chain smoker. She drank soda. She was slow to address small cuts and bruises. Eventually, a cut on her foot started to turn purple. Then green. Then a white fluid started to leak out of her foot. People came to visit her in the hospital and they were terrified of her. She showed them her foot, made them smell the rancid stink of her body decaying. In two weeks it was gone.

    But she had flowers, and visitors, and everyone knew her name.

    Two years later, it started again. Another cut, this time further up the leg. A decomposition process followed with more hospital visits, more flowers, more visitors, until again it ended in amputation. This process repeated itself for years: the other foot, the other leg. Her fragile body was being devoured. She was a legless woman; legless out of spite. But it stopped working. They stopped visiting.

    She continued to smoke. She continued to drive with the aid of a device for her car that allowed her to drive from the steering wheel. She kept working at the Air Force Base as a secretary. She would take off her prosthetic legs when she worked; everyone would know she was special this way. Unique.

    She slowly lost her body. One part at a time. And in the process she lost everything. Her hunger for genuine attention, for something real, overcame her desire for tissue, for flesh, for the bodily pleasures of movement, agility, cohesion. She split apart until one day, she stopped altogether.

    Now she is in the ground, but she is no longer identifiable. She has finally achieved her ultimate goal – the insects and bacteria and rodents that cohabitate her plot of land will show her unending attention until they strip her of every centimeter of her former shape. She will be nearly skelatized by now, only a few bones arranged in a pattern representing the upper half of a sixty year old woman. The strange collection of bones will confuse a future archeologist when they uncover her grave. Where did the legs go?
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