“178mg” by Alex Thayer

I’m perfect.

I run five miles in the morning before I eat breakfast.

I make a nice, sixteen-ounce cup of organic, freshly ground, medium-roasted, pure, single-estate coffee as soon as I wake up. I brew it in a French press. They are known for making the best coffee. They don’t filter out the valuable oils that seep from the conically burr-ground beans. Richness of flavor is all that I ask for, and it’s all that I receive. All because I’m perfect.

Perfection is conflict to most.

Not everyone can be perfect. In fact, there can only be one perfect thing in the set of all related things. I like to refer to this flawless thing as the model. The model, by nature, can be the only possible standard for the set. The model makes the rules. The model is the rules.

Often times, other elements of the set will try and upset the model¬— to provoke change in its standard. Their jealousy of the model drives them to try and create one that better suits their own flawed characteristics. The model, however, doesn’t change. This is its greatest characteristic. Change, for the model, can only be defined as everything around it changing. The model is firm in its essence. It has no need for things as fickle as change. It has no need for anything.

Understand that the model has no definition. It is definition. It has no desires, no will, and no interests. Its only purpose is existence as the model. It alone provides structure to the set.

Understand that the model’s psychosis is everything’s psychosis.


After I finish my run, I climb the stairs connected to my front porch and sit on my favorite plastic piece of patio furniture. The adrenaline from my run has negated the caffeine high that I would normally expect to feel at this time of morning. There are people on the porches adjacent to mine. I wouldn’t call them neighbors. I never speak to them.

By the time I’m inside, I’ve already forgotten the repetition of my own two feet striking pavement. It’s cool indoors. I walk to the bathroom and take off my clothes. I feel self-conscious in the mirror. I realize my own perfection once again, and my ailment deletes itself.

I turn the faucet and cold water lands on my back. It’s refreshing for an instant, but becomes normal.

I scrub hard to scrape the dead skin from my chest, arms, and back.

I carefully wash my face.

Water breaks across the top of my head and flows into my ears. I’m frustrated briefly, but adapt to the discomfort. My mouth remains sealed by a fear of soap.

This entire time, my brain hides behind a wall of bone and flesh. It knows its value.


Twenty-three minutes have passed, and my legs feel overworked.

Twenty-four minutes have passed, and I’m dry. My feet calmly sink into fresh socks. It’s mid-morning and I have nothing to do. The sun is out. Its rays strike my skin with fresh complacency. My eyes begin to curl into the back of my head. They’re more tired than they were when I woke up. I contemplate taking a nap, but am overwhelmed by the need for productivity. My feet spring into existence again, and I decide to wash my French press. Its smooth glass is tired after a morning’s work; it finds itself covered in soapy water. Its fragile skin squeaks in joy as I do for it what it cannot do for itself.

I am rejuvenated by the sight of my own shriveled hands.

I push through the last bit of tiredness inside of me.

Profile: Alex Thayer

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