A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me by Jason Schmidt

By Jason Schmidt

Jason Schmidt wasn't shocked whilst he got here domestic at some point in the course of his junior yr of highschool and located his father, Mark, crawling round in a massive pool of blood. such things as that were occurring much given that Mark were clinically determined with HIV, 3 years earlier.
Jason's lifestyles with Mark used to be choked with secrets―about medicinal drugs, crime, and intercourse. If the straights―people with common lives―ever figured out any of these secrets and techniques, the police may come. Jason's domestic will be torn aside. So the guideline, because Jason have been in preschool, was once by no means to inform the straights something.

A checklist of items That Didn't Kill Me is a humorous, traumatic memoir choked with brutal insights and unforeseen wit that explores the query: How do you discover your ethical heart in an international that doesn't appear to have one?

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A few long-gone flowers were in a vase by my bed. One evening I put some of the withered blossoms in the dish beneath the pot of violets. The snail was awake. It made its way down the side of the pot and investigated the offering with great interest and then began to eat one of the blossoms. A petal started to disappear at a barely discernible rate. I listened carefully. I could hear it eating. The sound was of someone very small munching celery continuously. I watched, transfixed, as over the course of an hour the snail meticulously ate an entire purple petal for dinner.

It was equally attracted to white things such as paper. Perhaps, I thought, paper was its woody version of fast food. After being transported from the woods, the snail had emerged from its shell into the alien territory of my room, with no clue as to where it was or how it had arrived; the lack of vegetation and the desertlike surroundings must have seemed strange. The snail and I were both living in altered landscapes not of our choosing; I figured we shared a sense of loss and displacement. EACH MORNING THERE WAS a moment, before I had fully awakened, when my mind still groped its clumsy way back to consciousness, my body not yet remembered, reality not yet acknowledged.

But out of the blue came a series of insidious relapses, and once again, I was bedridden. Further, more sophisticated testing showed that the mitochondria in my cells no longer functioned correctly and there was damage to my autonomic nervous system; all functions not consciously directed, including heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion, had gone haywire. The drug that had previously helped now caused dangerous side effects; it would soon be removed from the market. WHEN THE BODY is rendered useless, the mind still runs like a bloodhound along well-worn trails of neurons, tracking the echoing questions: the confused family of whys, whats, and whens and their impossibly distant kin how.

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