Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

Jennifer Bullis

Originally from high-desert Nevada, Jennifer Bullis relishes living in Bellingham, Washington, which receives three-and-a-half feet of rain per year.

She teaches community-college writing and literature, and with her husband, Mark, is happy parent to a horse, four cats, and one smallish human, John Benjamin, healthy and all smiles, above.

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Placebo Effect

So I go to the doctor of philosophy
for my annual metaphysical. He asks me
the usual questions: Any irregularity
with your epistemology? Are the meds
still helping with those intermittent bouts
of doubt? I tell him Yes, but that recently
it has taken on a hyper-Cartesian
tinge, going beyond the use of “not”
as a helpful tool for testing a suspect
reality. It has progressed to a troublesome
tendency toward generalized negation, a habit
of rejecting every supposition. The doc says,
Then we’d better increase your dosage
to get this under control. With your
phenomenological pressure so elevated, I think
you are at risk of rupture. Well, I say,
that may be, but how would you know?
He’s good, that doc. He comes right back
with How do you know that you’re not?
So we agree I’ll try a higher dose.
But don’t go thinking I am going to believe
that it will work.