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  • Writer's pictureErin Clark

This is a life. This is living.

I call this selfie: too sexy for senate.

I DM my friend Christina as I tune in, again, to the senate debates. “This is how I cope.” I send her one of the selfies I just took, lunging at the sun while it lasts, rainbows like lingerie.

On an earlier post on Instagram, @lilredcookbook named it when they said, “being insatiable has two sides, sensual appetite and hunger pains.”

Im so hungry.

Christina has just called me a blessing, she has a robe like mine, and it makes me think of her when I wear it.

“Im happy you’re finding balance between the power/leisure of your inherent life force and the constant spinning toilet bowl of political theatre that we are all navigating,”

Spinning toilet bowl, indeed.

“It’s been a weird time,” I replied.

During the debates, a senator read a letter from a woman who detailed her symptoms that led her to want to die. They were details of my life, too. Incontinent: check. Full-time wheelchair user: check. Pain: check. The senator said, “this is not a life. This is not living.”

I shower, still wet, slather myself in cocoa butter, it takes balance to put on my underwear and bra, my torso tensed and swaying as I lean into my own arm straining to align the clasps behind me. Balance and my bra.

“Im proud of my balancing, too —but in my circus-based experience, it’s not a gentle, easeful thing. It’s a thing you do in temporary circumstances, not constantly,” I said to Christina.

“This is not a life” is not a new sentiment. This is why some constantly refer to the disabled as brave. A life like mine is considered not worth living, so we must be brave to persevere. Another senator, in support of the coalition of disability rights advocates against this bill, said, “When you normalize something, you get more of it.” The idea that we are better off dead is the prevailing wind.

“The tightrope walker on a windy day, arms akimbo, swaying, every muscle engaged in the act of staying upright even if it’s in a one legged crouch or a messy lean. It’s not where we wanna stay...” Christina replied.

I send more selfies. My insatiability is a revolutionary act. Glamour is my medicine. The senate votes. Flirting is my medicine. We lose.

“Im happy you have a robe to wrap up in — they make me feel connected to you, too.”

This is a life. This is living.

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