Excerpt from “Colostomy Fanny Pack”:
The girlfriends come. They bring gossip rags and nail polish to the hospital room. Morphine fogged, I am not sure if this is happening. They ask me if I want to paint my nails. Your nails look like shit. And they are right: my nails remain, probably for the first time in my life, long and unbitten. My wrists and jaw, inflamed, unable to withstand the stress of nail-biting resulted in the long Sally Hansen nails I had always dreamed of. They are brittle and yellow, as anemic as the rest of my body, but long! I am happy.
With the deft foresight of fashionable young women, they cut me very short, square nails, painted a matte grey. A post-recession austerity grey. A safe unimaginative square with the dull flatness of our foreboding futures. Now supplanted by Rihanna-style, almond-shaped nails in pastels, similar to hospital pastels, of historical erasure, amnesia, and out-of-placeness.
The life cycle of trends exists outside of the cycle of disease and decay. Looks are reassembled and repackaged, regurgitated and digested. The illness is never reassembled. The illness is both cyclical and progressive. It is more of the same with slight variations. Evolution determined by randomized studies. At its most horrifying, it feels oppressively teleological.