Aubrey Opens Her Throat

8 Mar

I have an AWP recap forthcoming, but for now, I’m going to give this.

Aubrey Hirsch was one of the people I was most looking forward to meeting at AWP last week, so when I heard she’d come down with a flu of some sort and decided to forego the conference, I was what one might call “crestfallen,” though that term may seem melodramatic. It isn’t.

I just spent about 10 minutes of my morning reading Aubrey’s essay, “Speaking From the Throat,” at The Summerset Review, an essay about terrifying medical treatments, and even more terrifying medical questions, about understanding and trusting your body, yourself. Make 10 minutes for this.

I’ve just ingested 15.1 microcuries of I-131, a radioactive isotope of iodine. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough. And it has a half-life of eight days. So for the next five days I have to stay locked in my apartment, away from other people while it weakens to a harmless level. The radiation in my body could kill a person’s thyroid gland if they come within ten feet of me, or come in contact with my saliva or sweat. Of course, it will ruin my thyroid gland as well. But this is exactly what it’s meant to do.

Read the full essay at Summerset Review.

NB: This essay is in no way related to why Aubrey missed AWP last week. She was sick with flu or something — not radioactively developing super powers. This is an older essay I recently stumbled on thanks to a tweet by Fiction Writers Review. Sorry for any confusion.

8 Responses to “Aubrey Opens Her Throat”

  1. Laura A March 8, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    I remember reading that one a while back–really well written, very nicely done. I like that Aubrey Hirsch.

    • christopher. March 8, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Somehow I just came across it. She’s a good one, that Hirsch.

      • Laura A March 8, 2012 at 10:02 am #

        It’s nice to find those little gems–good stuff.

  2. Aubrey March 8, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Thanks, Chris! And, yeah, no superpowers yet. (What a rip-off.) Maybe they are lying dormant until I see a damsel in distress? So sorry to miss you at AWP, but it will make our eventual meeting all the sweeter!

    • christopher. March 8, 2012 at 10:40 am #


      Devan says you guys will be passing through Indy on a long I-70 haul from Denver to PGH in late May?

      • Aubrey March 8, 2012 at 10:59 am #

        It seems likely. We’re working out the details, but we’re hoping to stop over and say hi to all the Indy peeps!

        • christopher. March 8, 2012 at 11:02 am #

          Goodness, yes please. Just let me know when. If you had time, I could even plan a small shindig in my back yard with a campfire and the some of the Midwest writer crew who loves you both so you can see some of the faces that missed you last week.

          • Aubrey March 8, 2012 at 11:10 am #

            Ooooh. That sounds lovely. We’ll keep you posted!

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