by Dawyn Henriquez ’19
The Mind does interesting things when you’re trying to keep certain thoughts from it. Like a genie, it can give you that wish of eternal life in the form of cancer. “That part of you will never die!” the man in the lamp assures you, as you slowly metastasize and tumor your way through existence. When you tell yourself not to think of your fiancée boning her spiritual advisor in the back seat of your jalopy that you let her borrow for “girls’ night” at the drive-in, like a genie, your consciousness rings the doorbell with your order of a large migraine. That’s what it is, your Mind, and it attracts the unwanted along with what you initially desired. Sex that you think of slowly when you lay in bed alone, cautious not to bring her into the image so as to not question her whereabouts. But, sure enough, thoughts of her saunter in slowly through the paint-flaked French doors like she has eternity wedged between her manicured toes. The idea of her sits square on your chest as you try to pray for the two of you, and you hope that your wishes to God can replace your worry as to why she isn’t there now. But the Mind in the lamp that is your skull molds that into another image of her lying on the bed. It lies next to where she should be on the quilt she knit in the class you paid for. The damn thing always felt store-bought, but you never questioned why. You always wished those ideas would disappear, and like a genie, your Mind granted it—but without your realizing that you never specified for how long. And those thoughts aren’t even the bad ones. The bad ones are trickier. They rush in all at once in the space between blink and breath. Bonfire scents and omitted BBQs melt into tears damned behind eyes that were always blind to the sexual innuendo from your bride-to-be to a guy you don’t see. “This part of you will never die,” your Mind the genie reassures you, as you slowly trace a finger around the diamond and mistrust your way through existence.