when did the pain start?

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At the doctor they were trying to measure the level of pain I was in. I sat awkwardly, as I am sure there is no other way to sit in a doctors office. And they asked me a series of questions I could only assume were meant to place me on a sliding scale of some sort. However, the entire time, besides the pain in my stomach, the only thing I could think about was how remarkably inaccurate their language was.

I was internetting the other day. You know, the casual crawl across websites with a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. I was checking for new music and new blog posts and new outfits. And I came across an article written in the second person plural about loosing ones virginity in the early two thousands. Is that how I would say that? Early two thousands? It is so much less romantic than saying, the nineties. And it seemed to me the article itself embodied what I so clearly remembered about those years that I felt a seething kind of jealousy that I myself hadn’t written this piece. In the doctors office they asked me, where does it hurt?

I find myself telling stories about my ex-boyfriends like they were colleges I’ve attended.

A recent study being done at UCLA on memory loss is debating the claim that all memory is stored in our synapses. They also believe they may, in time, be able to restore lost and broken synapses in the mind, therefore reconstructing memories previously believed to be lost forever. At the doctors office they asked me, is this pain familiar to anything you have felt before?

I recently got an email from a woman who used to sleep with the man I thought I would marry, and they slept together while we were together, just to be clear. Therefore, we were in the oddest of ways linked together through his choices and his love. And in this email she apologized, though I am still not entirely sure why. I think we often cannot locate our own feelings properly. I saved the email and I began to imagine in my own strange way, to recreate what they had together, what they might have said, and how they kissed, and if anyone ever spoke of me. And for a while I became very consumed by this recreation– how he saw her in a bar and must have touched her arm while they spoke, and bought her a drink and said how very pretty she was. And I imagine then he thought of me, and decided again not to think of me too much. And I think about him leaning over to kiss her or take her home, and about how they’d meet again months later and drink too much and argue like they actually knew each other. And the doctor asked, when did the pain start?