At Twenty-Five, Your Cells Begin to Decay Think of all the somethings that turned out to be nothing− the clicking, the popping of the jaw and the subsequent flash of searing pain sent spiralling up through the ear canal. The scalp scratched raw, the lymph nodes swollen at the very top of the neck, the base of the skull. With time, gone, forgotten. It is not enough that the jaw opens and closes with ease again, that the scalp hydrates, heals, that the swelling dissipates, that the doctor’s recommended two weeks pass and you are still a beating heart, an operative brain, a network of interconnecting veins with the blood pumping, cruising on through. Worry replaces worry. A deep-set aching in the eyes that wakes when you do−this is new.
Christine Naprava is a writer from South Jersey. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Studio One, Soundings East, Punk Noir Magazine, Literary Yard, The Daily Drunk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Outcast Press, the Lunch Break Zine, Sledgehammer Lit, and Kissing Dynamite, among others. She tweets @CNaprava and Instagrams @cnaprava