People | Bodies

A Body on the Fritz: How We’ve Been Conditioned to See Ourselves as Machines

I do not believe in a soul but these past six months of illness, I am guilty of dislocating, of clinging to magic. Of wanting relief. Of being sick of being sick.

In the right room, my illness makes me a celebrity. People want to know what I can and can’t eat. They want to know what I’m taking and what the doctors think. I say, “This is boring,” and apologize for it. They say, “No, it’s interesting,” and want to know whether I’ve done acupuncture, and how I’ve been sleeping. I wonder if they want to know if it will happen to their own bodies. I wonder if they are glad it isn’t happening to them, whether they are storing information for that particular what if. The illness is not life-threatening but has been long.

usThe New York Times