Cover Photo: Six women on a beach in the early morning hours, doing yoga, as one glitches in and out of the photo mid-pose.
Photograph by Kaylee Garrett/Unsplash; animation by Matt Ortile

A Body on the Fritz: How We’ve Been Conditioned to See Ourselves as Machines

I do not believe in a soul but these past six months of illness, I am guilty of dislocating, of clinging to magic. Of wanting relief. Of being sick of being sick.

In the right room, my illness makes me a celebrity. People want to know what I can and can’t eat. They want to know what I’m taking and what the doctors think. I say, “This is boring,” and apologize for it. They say, “No, it’s interesting,” and want to know whether I’ve done acupuncture, and how I’ve been sleeping. I wonder if they want to know if it will happen to their own bodies. I wonder if they are glad it isn’t happening to them, whether they are storing information for that particular what if. The illness is not life-threatening but has been long.

usThe New York Times


Amanda Goldblatt is a writer and teacher living in Chicago. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, and her fiction and essays have appeared in such journals as The Southern Review, Noon, Fence, Diagram, Hobart, and American Short Fiction. Hard Mouth, published in 2019 by Counterpoint Press, is her debut novel.