We don't really know each other very well, do we?

No, back then you sort of clung to your group and I stuck to mine. I doubt our paths ever crossed more than a handful of times. Maybe we shared a bus seat on a field trip once. Maybe we were paired up in a lab-partner situation in which, left to our own devices, we would have chosen a closer acquaintance. It's possible we never interacted further than a brief acknowledgment in the hallway. Perhaps not even that.

It's not as if I didn't like you, and I hope I never gave you any reason to feel negatively towards me, but the fact remains: we don't really know each other.

And yet… Here you are.

Here you are on Facebook asking me in some contrived, offhand way if I would like to buy some of your wonderful, fantastic, amazing essential oils which you have no doubt obtained from some shady multi-level organization propping up this #entrepeneur #homebusiness #bossbitch lifestyle of yours, or whatever you want to call it.

You think this is the first time I've encountered your kind? You think this is the first of these messages I've fielded? You think I've never been asked this question before? In all these years since high school ended? Well, I've got some choice words for you pal!

Yes. I would love to.

I am so tired. So worn down. I don't want to fight this anymore. Please. Send me a bottle of Lavender Serenity, because it's time to give in.

Beverly, I have seen your profile. I have skimmed your stories. I have seen the Sunday brunches, the pumpkin patches, the arranged bouquets, the laughing friends—heads tipped back, perfect teeth, the wide smiles, the bright eyes, sparkling in the light of the golden hour. I know what's behind those eyes. It's the same miasma of suffering that resides behind mine.

I'll take 60 ml of Eucalyptus Calm.

We are not so different, you and I. We both buy the same clothes at Target. Married some lovable, dumpy man. Maybe had a kid or two. The details aren't important. Despite the small divergences that lead me on my path, and you down yours, we are both of us descending the great wheel of time, are we not? Every day—a little older, a little more tired, a smaller fraction of our former selves.

I remember how I was back then. Immune of life's troubles. Ignorant of the ravages of time. My body, defiant of gravity itself. I recall that wondrous creature. So sweet. So pure. How little she knew. I ask myself—what remains of her now?

Do you feel this too? Are you also gnawed at daily by the futility of it all? Do you too feel yourself being chipped away by the unforgiving tides of life which bat us about the immensity of creation?

I would like a bottle of Tea Tree Acceptance.

I have fought this fight so long. I have rubbed so many creams, lotions, and tinctures of salve into my skin over the years. What is one or two more? Why not? Because it doesn't cure cancer? Because it won't make you live forever? Because it doesn't bring back your youth? Nothing does. We both know that, don't we? At least this smells good as it lets you down. Some of us can't even say that of our own parents.

Give me the entire starter kit.

HBO Documentaries, Reddit memes, and Twitter screenshots have taught me to hate you. But I cannot hate you. I am you. I am the Cedarwood Bliss to your Sage Invigoration. The Cinnamon Energy to your Bergamont Relax. I know this now. We are one in this great schema. There is no division.

Give me your entire stock of Tangerine Clarity.

Why spurn connection? Why recoil at your words? Why not embrace each other? As brothers and sisters, adrift in a strange and tumultuous universe in whi–

Wait, this stuff is thirty dollars a bottle?

Get the fuck out of here, Bev.


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