Brian Alan Ellis
1 MAKE A SPA DAY
Your sexually transmitted disease enjoys being pampered as much as you do, so why not plan a relaxing day of gluttonous bullshit? Deep-tissue massages. Avocado skin cleansers. Essential oils. Epsom salt baths. Sterilize, revitalize, and remember: It’s nice to be kneaded!
2 HAVE A VIDEO GAME MARATHON
You’re a loser who loves playing Xbox anyway, so why not work your STD into the fray? Let’s face it: Call of Duty is the only action you and your STD should be getting, so make the best of it! Just don’t get too competitive/cocky/angry. STDs don’t appreciate that shit. Never have.
3 STAGE A PHOTO SHOOT
Dress up like you and your STD are headed to Comic-Con, or just wear whatever is scattered around your shitty apartment. Paint your faces like members of Insane Clown Posse? Fuck yes. Capture the memories. Selfie-stick that shit. Make it super awkward by separately posting pictures of you and your STD on Tinder to see who gets the most matches. Hell, videotape your STD. Make your STD into a Vine star. Gets hits on YouTube. Profit off your STD. Goddamn, it’s the least it could do.
4 DEVELOP A WORKOUT ROUTINE
5 HAVE A MOVIE MARATHON
Don’t think your STD likes to “Netflix and chill”? You’re out of your goddamn mind! STDs are known movie buffs. In fact, most STDs seem to dig Cronenberg—so long live the new flesh!
6 BUILD A FORT
Remember building pillow forts as a kid—when you were young and innocent, possibly STD-free? Channel that inner bastard by making your domicile one killer adult fort—with none other than your favorite sexually transmitted dizzy! Pop in some TV dinners, chillax on the taped-up beanbag chair you’ve had since college, and just chat the night away about your various omissions and regrets before crying yourself into deep slumber. Your STD won’t mind.
7 START A BAND
It’s time to dust off that acoustic guitar with the missing bottom E string you’ve had since high school. See if you can remember the opening chords to Stone Temple Pilots “Plush,” or try finally nailing that hot “Man Who Sold the World” lead you used to struggle with while watching MTV’s Nirvana Unplugged special. See if you still got the chops. Your STD might be a slow learner, so have patience—maybe start with “Louie, Louie,” before working your way up to “Smoke on the Water.” Keep at it. Chances are, you and your STD will be slaying the open mic night circuit in no time.
8 DESIGN A SCRAPBOOK
Make a scrapbook of that horrible vacation you and your STD took to Machu Picchu. Perhaps use it to trace the lineage of how you and your STD first met, which could have been any one of those times you put your genitals where they probably shouldn’t have been. So sit back and reminisce. Maybe show the scrapbook to friends and family. Or, just treasure it as a special keepsake between you and your STD. No pressure.
9 GET TO KNOW YOUR STD BETTER
All relationships hit a wall after a while. Sure, every day with your STD is an education, but dig deeper, move things around a little, shake it up. Ask your STD what superpower they’d want if they could just have one. Or, find out which Diplo club banger they’d choose to send their dream Spotify playlist into MDMA-fueled overdrive. Who’s their favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Would they rather drink a bowl of cat vomit or lick the anus of a dead hobo? Shit, just have fun with it!
10 THROW A PARTY
Why not have some friends over for cocktails and laughs? Doesn’t matter whether your pals are married or if they’re STD-single and read to mingle—everyone’s invited! Karaoke? You bet. Cards Against Humanity? Whoa, slow down there—let’s just see where the night takes us, okay? Chips and dips. Truth or Dare. Spin the Bottle. Hell, STDs are for sharing—so make it an orgy!
BRIAN ALAN ELLIS co-edits the literary journal Tables Without Chairs (with Bud Smith), and is the author of several books. His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart,Literary Orphans, Monkeybicycle, DOGZPLOT, Heavy Feather Review, Connotation Press, Electric Literature, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Lost in Thought,Out of the Gutter, People Holding, Hypertext, The Next Best Book Blog, and Atticus Review, among other places. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.