“A Woman’s (Early) Life: A Hirata Toshiko Cover” by Elaine Castillo

The diminished quality of Elaine Castillo’s lung capacity was made when her honorable self was cut, suffocating in blood, out of her mother’s gushing belly, the result of too aggressive (but entirely standard) a dose of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin, a synthetic form of the mammalian hormone Oxytocin.

The early dysfunction of Elaine Castillo’s kidney and liver was made by consuming exclusively canned baby formula until her honorable self was five years old, a brand later accused of containing toxic chemicals.

The leather scars upon the backs of Elaine Castillo’s knees and her inner arms appeared after three courses of antibiotics in her fifth year, following three separate pneumonias and a prolonged and secret episode of starvation, the episode of starvation in particular being prompted by the realization of being in the world that was the world.

The leather scars upon the backs of Elaine Castillo’s knees and inner arms disappeared in the first half of her fifth year, after her honorable self began taking immunosuppressive steroid medication.

The leather scars upon Elaine Castillo’s mouth, eyes, stomach, back and inner thighs appeared in the second half of her fifth year, after her honorable self began taking immunosuppressive steroid medication.

The gluten intolerance began in Elaine Castillo’s intestines when her honorable self was briefly kidnapped in her sixth year and fed pizza for the first time in her life, in copious and delicious quantities.  However this intolerance was not officially detected or indeed believed until twenty years later.

The scar scratch between Elaine Castillo’s eyebrows, and the scar bite upon Elaine Castillo’s right hand, were made when her honorable self was eight years old, by an undetermined number of boys in her third grade class, during a violent gender mêlée lasting over three or four recess periods in a single week.

This gender mêlée, which involved nearly all students in the St. John’s third grade class of that year, had been studiously organized by Elaine Castillo and a young male classmate, [name redacted], originally provoked by an argument between Elaine Castillo and said boy, during which her honorable self argued, most valiantly, and against fierce opposition, that “YEAH SO GIRLS ARE JUST AS STRONG AS BOYS, I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!!!!!”

The habitual cramp in Elaine Castillo’s right hand was caused by having to write the lines I will not fight during recess hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times.

Her honorable self had the opportunity to skirt responsibility for the mêlée, as one of her friends did, by repeatedly and therefore believably, denying participation, or indeed even foreknowledge, of said mêlée.

Upon receiving permission to depart, this friend stopped at the classroom door, and then called, with a great show of eight-year-old sweetness and conspiracy: “Come on, Elaine, you weren’t there either, let’s go home.”

The honorable Elaine Castillo remained at her desk and said: “Yes, I was there. I started it.”

More nonfiction at Used Furniture.

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