The Cost of Living by Haley Hodges

Side effects may include depression, heart break, anxiety, love, hatred, friendship, disappointment, relief, nausea, bleeding, bruising, laughing, falling, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, exhaustion, exhilaration, losing friends, burned pancakes, an angry cat, claw marks on your neck, disagreement, the impulse to climb a mountain, a stolen stop sign in the back of your friend’s car, Gilmore girls on repeat, arguments with your mom, pulling out your eyebrows, picking at the walls, an unhappiness with the color of your hair, frustration, chocolate cravings, cramps, burning when you pee, not fitting in, stubbing your toe, crumbs all over the goddamn carpet, overeating mac and cheese, food anxiety, hysteria, screaming, yelling, stress, people who don’t care, forgetting to turn in assignments, trying too hard, encountering people who are better than you, not remembering the difference between affect and effect, the love of dogs, burned tongues, hang nails, low sex drive, friends who lie, food poisoning, vomiting, mocking, soggy tacos, dirty laundry, bad memories, trouble falling asleep, nightmares, pleasant dreams, indecipherable dreams about Seinfeld, dry skin, sore throat, sneezing up blood, chills, knee pains, people moving away, fucking up, fucking up a lot, cats licking your nose, congestion, fixation, dissatisfaction, aggressive coughing, and, in not so rare of cases, death.

Haley Hodges is a graduate of Drake University’s class of 2019 with degrees in writing and news. She writes in most genres and forms but aspires to be a novelist. Currently, Haley writes in the journalistic realm with work published in different outlets including Drake Political Review, The Times-Delphic, The Left Hand Valley Courier, and Urban Plains.