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Ellyn Touchette | Electric Cereal

Author: Ellyn Touchette

Ellyn Touchette is a scientist from Portland, Maine. Her work has appeared in The Emerson Review, Black Heart Magazine, and Drunk in a Midnight Choir. She can probably deadlift your body weight and knows how to synthesize Benzyltriphenylphosphonium bromide. She can be found on Tumblr and Twitter.

~*Emotionally Unavailable*~

Hello [patient name],

This is a courtesy call from your local clinic to inform you that you have tested positive for a sexually transmitted neurological infection known as emotional unavailability.

The progressive symptoms of emotional unavailability include: a boundless initial excitement at the prospect of a new romantic interest, the formation of an ill-advised ad hoc relationship with said romantic interest, an overwhelming annoyance with said love interest, and finally, the public dumping of said romantic interest. In the middle of the night. In the spot where the two of you had your first kiss.

While emotional unavailability is doubtlessly uncomfortable for its carriers, remember, it is always most debilitating for the stupid, stupid fools who fall for you. We suggest you begin to notify said fools of your infection ahead of time in a way that portrays you as emotionally unavailable, as opposed to badass, mysterious, or in desperate need of someone pretty, smart, and alluring to crack your hard candy shell of handsomeness and lies.

We hope you will take this news in stride, and start to practice some goddamn self-awareness until you are able to heal the gaping void that has become you. With a regular regimen of forgiveness, acceptance, self-validation, and maybe some penicillin, you should be able to recover from your emotional unavailability within one to two calendar years. The typical sign of a completed recovery is a cinematic realization that you’ve thrown away the best thing that’s ever happened to you and hot christ why were you so stupid you need to go get her back right the fuck now and tell her for the first time that you are actually capable of love and all of your love is hers right now and for the rest of time and always and forever.

Please call to make an appointment as soon as is convenient. We thank you in advance for your conscientious behavior.

The Little Deals We Make

The boy has been gone for five months.
I made a profile on a dating website.

This is all I get in three days:

“do u lyke 2 give hedd?”

This man has a confederate flag
tattooed on his neck.
If this is the kind who wants me,
I will kill myself.

“You like good books,”
says someone disruptive in his cuteness.
“Can I buy you a coffee?”

The boy won’t answer the phone. It’s raining out.
I made pancakes. What else was I going to do?
If one more burns or fails to flip,
I will kill myself.

My roommate, disruptive
in her spatula finesse and irregular work schedule,
comes home early.

Three states away, the boy needs me again.
Turning left in rush hour traffic is impossible.
Okay. When the fifth car ignores me,
I will kill myself.

A mother in a minivan,
disrupted by her children, lets me go.

A long drive home from a pointless fight.
Here is Pointless: If I cannot hold my breath
past the next seven telephone poles,
I will kill myself.

If it rains again tomorrow, I will kill myself.

If he doesn’t say he’s sorry, I will kill myself.

If [              ]
If [              ]
If [              ]
If [              ]
I will kill myself.

et cetera et cetera et cetera et cetera et cetera
et cetera et cetera et cetera et cetera et cetera…

Zombie Apocalypse

My therapist asks whether I have considered suicide this week. I respond:

So you know that scene in every zombie movie
where the attractive white male lead boards windows shut
and then locks himself in some basement shelter
as the zombie horde slowly becomes visible over the
horizon like tangible impending doom—like not even
a metaphor but actual impending doom—
and then he sits in a corner of the basement
with a shotgun and listens as they all bang
on the windows and rattle the chains and he kind of
has to just sit there and wait for whatever happens
to happen to him? It feels like That. It feels a lot
like That. Like, we keep adding all of these boards
and locks and yeah, I know I’m really honestly probably
pretty safe in here, but listen. There are so many things out there
that really want to kill me and even if I do not
think I want to let them…how am I supposed to sleep easy?