The Life of Ipecac

“People that talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch.” –Melvin (Jack Nicholson) in As Good as It Gets

My name is Ipecac.

I do not have many friends.

People don’t seem to like me as they like the facial moisturizer or the tylenol or the vitamins. Called upon in the worst of circumstances and remind others of illness and pain.

But I know I am necessary.

Without me, people can’t survive.  I am a reminder of the precarious balance between life and death, happiness and sadness.  Poison and elixir of life.

Maybe it’s not so much that I stop death that helps other to live–maybe it’s the reminder of the preciousness of health.

We all have a purpose.

One’s purpose is to moisturize, another is to freshen breath.  These are trivialities.  Nobody is so important as those motivating us, being the comparison by which people measure themselves to feel better about our own lives.

I used to envy the toothpaste.

Better that I should lie precariously in the back of the cabinet under the bathroom sink, rarely seeing the light of day, dust and spider carcasses my only companions, the loneliness only ceased during times of emergency or my own expiration.

I am Ipecac.

I am alone.

I am vital.

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