You know that weird thing you can do with your tongue? Or the trick you learned in second grade where you turn your eyelid inside out? Or the way your left kneecap can dislocate now that you finally had surgery after your biking accident? Love it. Love it all. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine. We are imperfect iterations of an unattainable ideal, so let me see the weird red mole behind your ear and I’ll let you try to straighten out my fingers (spoiler alert: You can’t. Isn’t that wild?).
Your body is disgusting. So is mine. It is the source of my basest desires, my lowest impulses, and I am a slave to it. So are you! Your body is the pet you can’t send to the animal shelter. Think of your unwarranted erection in your economics discussion as your version of a dog humping a couch cushion. Think of your 2 a.m. Oreo binge as a snake swallowing a frozen mouse. Whole.
Stop thinking about your body as a temple and start thinking about it as a haunted house. How could something sacred produce so many different fluids with so many different smells? John Mayer was wrong – your body is not a wonderland. It’s more like a national park. Beautiful, sure, if that’s what you’re into. Worthy of preservation, definitely. But still full of bear shit and geysers that shoot sulfur.
Imagine your skin as a topographical map of everything you’ve ever done. Does it all leave physical marks? I certainly hope not, but don’t tell me that you can run your hands over patches and strokes of pale scar tissue without occasionally thinking of the stories behind them.
Love your body like you love watching Baggage, the game show where people reveal their darkest secrets to Jerry Springer. Love your body like you love[d] the person who is inevitably part of your baggage. Love your body even though it is the baggage that you can’t put down but instead must cart around until the end of your days. On the bright side, you’ll never forget it in the O’Hare bathroom and miss your flight trying to find it.
Come up with fun pet names for your body to show it that you care. Here are some of mine:
- "Phone case for my skeleton"
- "The inefficient wig factory"
- "Intestine thermos"
- "Flesh mannequin"
Please feel free to borrow these phrases and enter them into the modern discourse.
Talk to your body. Ask your body what it means when your right lymph node swells up after a night of heavy drinking or why it’s so keen on Adrien Brody. Like, really? Adrien Brody? The Pianist? The 2005 King Kong remake that Jack Black inexplicably stars in? Predators?
Lay in bed naked and think about what’ll happen when you die. Will your soul ascend into some sort of afterlife of eternal reward or endless suffering? Will you simply cease to be, blinking out of existence until it is as if you never were? I don’t fucking know! But I know what will happen to your body: you will rot, you will dissolve, you will unfurl back into the earth and you will fertilize. You will nourish plants that produce pollen that a seventh grader will call “plant cum” to sound edgy and it will work.
Revel in the beautiful idiosyncrasies of your pre-corpse while you still can – it’s only a matter of time before our collective consciousness gets uploaded to the iCloud or we all get sleek, shiny robot bodies that never bleed or feel.