Newsletter Subscribe
Essay Online

Pic of My Organs from the Inside

By Andrea Abreu

Translated from the Spanish by Julia Sanches
  • August 02, 2022

I can’t write today. All I can do is masturbate while listening to Monchy & Alexandra. You know when you can tell you’re going to really fuck yourself up, but you can’t stop? That’s where I am now. I’ve given myself a UTI, but I have a deadline to meet. Baby, do you have any idea how hard it is to write when your pussy is burning? Before, when I couldn’t write, I’d ask you for advice. Would you mind being my second-person singular a bit longer? They say writing in the second person is difficult to sustain, but you know how I like to make life complicated for myself. I’m going to try to tell you where my mind’s at using the search history on my cellphone from yesterday. Think of it as a final grand romantic gesture after five years together. I’m showing you my deepest self. I’m sending you a pic of my organs from the inside. 

1. I got home from the dentist (it was my first cleaning in twelve years and the pain in my mouth was metallic)

2. Before I walked in, I opened the search engine:

… what to do when someone ghosts you

… is it better to talk or not when someone ghosts you

… benefits maca

… tea eye bags

… green tea or black tea eye bags

… are bags under eyes genetic

… song plan b ae aeeee con el plan b

3. We fucked

4. Fucking didn’t fix anything (and it didn’t feel good either)

5. I cried 

6. You cried

7. I went to the bathroom and put on a song by Ferxxo

8. I went back to the search engine and read a wikiHow entry all the way through: “How to Respond to Ghosting: 13 Steps”

9. I thought to myself that I need a wikiHow for everything in my life

10. I thought to myself that wikiHow writers are super smart

11. I wanted to be a wikiHow writer

12. I read through my last exchange with O and checked the date (two weeks since our last conversation)

13. I felt angry and had this really strong urge to not talk to them (though I didn’t know if they’d be able to tell how aggressively I wasn’t talking to them)

14. I logged onto Bumble and considered deleting it for the nth time

15. I reread my profile and under “Looking for” selected “Don’t know yet” (the other options were too violent)

16. I clicked on my chat with the girl from Gran Canaria who’d written: hola chiquitita

17. I showered and washed my vagina with pH-neutral soap

18. When I was done, I looked in the mirror and saw my crow’s-feet wrinkles (I tugged at them with the squishy part of my fingers until my face skin hurt)

19. I wrote this note on my phone:

I’m almost thirty, twenty-seven, actually. I like dark chocolate that’s 85 percent cocoa because someone on Insta told me I should. I like pouring hot candle wax on my arms, though I’ve never done it yet in real life. I do breathing exercises before eating and before going to bed. I can give myself tachycardia with my mind. I’m a hypochondriac. Polyamorous. A daydreamer. Bisexual. Enthusiastic and depressed. A writer. The bit about being a writer sounds dire, doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll say I’m a freelancer. Procrastinator. I’m OCD. I have arrhythmia. Digestive issues. A complicated relationship with food. An intimate relationship with death. I’m gluten and fascism intolerant. I’m thirty, but I could be fifteen. I could be sixty-six. I’ve been living alone for a while; I lived alone when I was living with my partner. I’ve lived with somebody else beside me all day and now that person’s leaving for good, they’re leaving for good and I’m finally going to find out what it means to be on my own. 

20. And also this:

I’m sick with love

siiiiiiiiiiiiiick!!!

21. And this, for fuck’s sake:

Right now all I want is to live excitedly, but gofio with milk gives me the shits.

Should we normalize diarrhea? It’s not a good thing. 

22. I saw your face in the bathroom mirror

23. My shirt was rolled up a bit and I quickly pulled it down

24. You looked at me weird (I’d been in the bathroom for half an hour, and you wanted to know if I had something stuck in my teeth)

25. Toothpaste ran down my chin like a slug, leaving behind a gooey white trail

26. I wiped it with my finger

27. I said the dentist told me to brush each tooth individually (a lie, I was actually sexting)

28. When you walked out the bathroom door, I yelled at you

29. What? Do I need to explain why I’m brushing my teeth now?

30. You left

31. I kept sexting and pretend-brushing my teeth

32. I realized I didn’t know why I was hiding given that before we ended this relationship it was already non-exclusive

33. I was sent a nude, two, three

34. I sent another

35. I felt chest pain

36. I typed out several searches in a row

… how to know if you have a heart condition

… heart condition symptoms

… arrhythmia good or bad

… arrhythmia anxiety

… bleeding gums

… bleeding gums heart condition

… andrea abreu

… andrea abreu age

… symptoms colon cancer

… bristol stool chart

… andrea ab

… vejedad ven a mi poem felix francisco casanova

37. And another:

… andrea abreu

38. I got into bed and thought it didn’t make sense for us to be sleeping together

39. You were chatting with the girl you’re into (I can tell because you get nervous)

40. You took off your glasses and left them on the bedside table (I love how you push your glasses against the bridge of your nose really hard, I love how you hold your phone up to your face because the optician told you to exercise your shortsighted eyes by not wearing glasses)

41. I did not feel jealous

42. I felt nothing

43. I felt scared of feeling nothing

44. I lay down, shut my eyes, and wished really hard for you to be happy

45. I sang a Bad Bunny song in my head with my eyes shut

Con cualquiera no me acuesto a cualquiera no le meto ni le cuento mis secretos me pongo feliz cuando llegan tus textos o cuando en cuatro te lo meto ey y te mojas toaaaa contigo me voy a toaaas

46. I touched your leg with one of my toes and you moved away

47. What’s wrong? I asked. Don’t you have any self-respect, puta?

48. I tried to read a book by Mariana Travacio but couldn’t

49. I got up to pee

50. It burned and I went on my phone:

… cardiologist Tenerife

… cardiologist consultation Tenerife cost

… happy birthday song Venezuela

… birth control pills heart condition

… what happens if you stop taking the pill

… sensitivity clitoris

… sensitivity clitoris birth control pill

… sensitivity clitoris anxiety

… birth control pills anxiety

… did anxiety exist before nineteenth century

… when did anxiety start

… polyamory brigitte vasallo

… sensitivity clitoris birth control pill 

… what happens if you stop taking the pill

… origin of birth control pill

… andrea abreu

51. I lay down in bed, keeping a safe distance

52. The safe distance hurt like a kick in the stomach

53. I wondered how many more people would cycle in and out of my life like it was a doctor’s office

54. I reflected on what it meant to be a Capricorn even though I don’t believe in horoscopes (the first question on Google mentioned it was a “manipulative sign”)

55. I thought about how I just wanted to build an emotional network and deconstruct monogamy, but I’d grown up listening to Romeo Santos songs and all I can manage now is to get worked up and slam doors

56. Then I fantasized about fucking L 

57. An image came to me, of a car-wash tunnel

58. It made me anxious to think about how that soap couldn’t be good for my vaginal flora

59. I had another pang in my chest

60. I was convinced I had a heart condition

61. I considered getting up to grab my phone but then remembered that my therapist once said that in situations of stress you needed to be a Y. The left stroke was for rumination and the right stroke for action (I realized I was ruminating like a fucking cow)

62. I did some mindful breathing

63. I very gently let myself fall asleep while thinking I wasn’t asleep, arguing with a make-believe doctor about the heart condition no one thought I had but I knew I did

64. The sound of your breathing was loud

65. I let out a silent fart because that kind of intimacy felt embarrassing now

66. All of a sudden I wanted to be with you again, take back everything I’d said, rewind the past three weeks to the point when we still believed we could have an open relationship after five years of pure romance, put your books back on the shelves, your clothes on the hangers, the PlayStation 4 on the TV stand, fold up your pilly pajama pants and slip them under the pillow, then smell them, kiss them, rub up on them like a dog on a dead rat

67. I realized there was no going back

68. I wanted desperately to cry, but couldn’t (I never can these days)

69. In my dream I had the urge to search for the name of that brand of toothpaste for sensitive gums

70. I didn’t

 

Andrea Abreu was born in 1995 in Tenerife, Spain. Her debut novel, Dogs of Summer, translated by Julia Sanches, is out today from Astra House.
Julia Sanches translates literature from Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan into English. Born in Brazil, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island.