I Am Jonathan’s Liver

I am Jonathan’s liver. My job is to filter and detoxify the blood coming from his digestive tract. Basically, I clean the crap he puts into his body. It’s an okay job. But it was easier when he was younger.

Jonathan didn’t drink a lot of soda until college. Soda pop was a treat in the Bundy household when he was younger. Jonathan and his brothers only enjoyed it on Friday nights with pizza Mom cooked in the oven. Before dinner, she would call, “Get your pop!” and the boys would immediately race down the stairs to the storage refrigerator in the basement where the pop was stored.

I’m three-and-a-half pounds of hard work.

He started drinking soda regularly during his sophomore year. At the end of working at summer camp in 2010, he was drinking a Mountain Dew with every meal — click, click, click. I’ve never worked so hard to sift and screen the toxins out of his blood. That’s how you cripple a guy, work him to death.

Nobody can do my job. You can get an artificial heart, but you can’t survive with a synthetic liver. By the time his skin and eyes turned sick-yellow and he shed weight from his 5’10 frame, carving flesh from his ribs, it’s too late. He’s not afraid of death, but I know he’s scared of dying before his time.

In 2010, he was a hardcore caffeine addict. He’ll admit it to you too. At school, he would drink two or three cans of Mountain Dew a day, and every few days he’d guzzle an energy drink. He was obsessed with the hiss-snap of opening a new can.

You don’t need to drink alcohol to destroy a liver. Mountain Dew will kill me just as dead. The liver of an alcoholic and someone on a high-fructose diet look very similar during autopsy.

Finally, he quit energy drinks after the first semester of his junior year. (I hate those things.) He also stopped drinking caffeine during Christmas break to prove he could. He got headaches but didn’t take ibuprofen because he was scared he’d get addicted to that too.

These days, he drinks about one can of Mountain Dew a day, which is about 12 fluid ounces. I can relax more these days.

Unlike most human organs, I’m capable of regeneration. But that doesn’t mean you can keep drowning me in fructose and glucose and expect there to be no consequences.

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  1. “Mountain Dew will kill me just as dead.” Nicely said – and also kind of terrifying.


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