It’s in the blood. I have a million secret illnesses. My skin turns red and the sun is blacked out in a Plaquenil-induced nightmares. Rheumatoidish delusions and joints cracking, spewing forth organisms of poisoned thoughts spreading throughout the body, metastasizing in the brain. Blank stares and awkward silence yield disappointing looks and self-doubt. Quietly I devour hours on computer referencing secret medical journals and find masturbatory language and nuances of encouragement for marijuana sandwiches and internet porn. Psychological plague. No proof. The autoimmune fever is my word against theirs, as is the lymphatic swelling and fickle feet that manufactures fear of heart exploding. I am older now than my uncle who did everything right and had brain aneurysm that left him obtuse and slow, shadowed by death. Caffeine headache yields fear as clock ticks. I feel my brain expanding, capillaries and blood fight a battle that is going to end in staring upward, prostrate, helpless. I think of my father dying young, heart liquefied, never had the luxury of cocaine fits and Benzo-inspired breakdowns that beset my past life. The answer is in the blood? It’s always the blood. The blood in the toilet, coughed into paper towel and discarded serendipitous in toilet paper like tampon. The answer is in the blood.