Second place winner in the Synapse Storytelling Contest nonfiction category.
It has come to my attention that you have taken up residence in a small property in the duodenum of my small intestinal tract. As you may or not have been told by the other microbes living here, residence in the duodenal neighborhood requires an extensive application process. The duodenum is a highly desirable location; it is full of enticing food options, is bustling with young professional microbes and is right next to the exciting stomach district.
Many of the members of this dynamic community have been long-time residents. Their families have lived here for generations and generations.
Some families have been in residence since I first acquired and developed these properties, over 28 years ago. New residents are required to undergo an extensive application process. New tenants must not inflict harm to my property or to the properties of their neighbors. Ideally, a new tenant provides for their community and environment.
Indeed, many of my long-time residents have generously donated their time and services to the duodenum. They provide nutritious meals to me and their neighbors, contribute to the development of the duodenal streets, and protect the neighborhood from suspicious characters.
I will give you five days to submit your application for residence.
Proprietor, Duodenal Neighborhood
It is five days since my prior correspondence. I have yet to receive an application for your residence in the duodenum. Furthermore, I have begun to receive some troubling and disturbing complaints from the other residents of this normally peaceful community.
It seems that you and your family have managed to create a massive number of progeny, now occupying a significant portion of the neighborhood. It appears you have been treating these residences with a severe lack of respect, destroying the beautiful Goblet Mansions and Entero Town Homes you have latched upon.
According to Bifidobacterium longum, president of the Duodenal Homeowner’s Association (D-HOA), the mucus quality in the area has never been so poor. Furthermore, multiple families have commented that nutrient availability has been at an all-time low. Ms. Acidophilus of the Lactobacillus family told me she hasn’t had a single amino acid in days!
As previously mentioned, Giardia, this is a peaceful community that practices reciprocity and respect. If you fail to improve your behavior, I will have no choice but to take action against you and your family. As I am a generous proprietor, I will continue to give you the chance to cease your disturbing behavior, reform, and apply for residence in this neighborhood. I hope you consider this option.
Proprietor, Duodenal Neighborhood
It appears I will have to act and begin the eviction process. You have disturbed the neighborhood so severely that many of my most generous residents have left. In a few short weeks, you have made the duodenum an inhospitable, detritus-filled food desert.
I’ve sent down my immunological soldiers, but, as you may know Giardia, law enforcement can often make things worse.
From what few reports I still receive, it sounds damn-near post-apocalyptic down there. I’ve also begun to receive the unsettling news that you have additionally begun to establish a residence in my Ileal neighborhood.
This is simply unacceptable!
I have consulted with my eviction consultant, Dr. C at the Gastroenterology Clinic and he has advised me to use a strong, biochemical approach. You have given me no choice but to turn to metronidazole.
You and your progeny will have seven days to leave the premises. I apologize because I know this method is harsh. However, you have given me no choice.
Proprietor, Duodenal & Ileal Neighborhoods
I must say you have become a worthy opponent for a proprietor like me. Never in my 28 years of land owning have I dealt with an insurgent so destructive, so incompliant, and so resilient as you. It appears the metronidazole had but a minimal effect on your stay.
This brings me great disappointment, as I know this course of action harmed the neighborhood and some of my most dear tenants. Perhaps you have interfaced with this method before?
It makes me wonder, Giardia… how many other intestines have you wreaked havoc upon?
However, I will prevail. Rich nutrients and beautiful, mucus-lined streets and conduits will return to my neighborhoods.
Dr. C has advised another approach, Tinidazole. I have consulted with PubMed, an esteemed resource for intestinal possessors such as myself.
It appears this is a robust and effective method for single-celled protozoan interlopers such as yourself. You will have 24 hours to evacuate.
Again, my apologies for my harsh tactics. I do not mean to be a despot; I merely seek to restore the vitality of a once thriving cooperative.
Proprietor, The Gastrointestinal Tract
Farewell! I know this last letter is unnecessary, as you are long gone from my precious intestinal walls. It is petty, yes, but I wish to relish this long-awaited victory.
Finally, my dear microbial tenants can walk the long hills of the villi without fear of tyranny. They can dine once again on a rich diet, providing for each other and for me.
Sir Streptococcus salivarius wrote me with enthusiasm; he and his family are celebrating the long-awaited end of the glucose shortage with a feast!
I must note, Giardia, that though my community is happily rebuilding, it will take quite a bit of time for things to return to the pristine state that existed before your arrival.
Dr. C has recommended a variety of supplemental material to aid in the process, but, of course, these come with quite the price.
I hope you think twice the next time you decide to sit down on an intestinal wall that is not yours.
Proprietor, My Body