This Is Us

Your Chin Is on Backwards

A psalm of sleep apnea, shit in the shower, and life

Gabriel Nathan
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readMar 21, 2021

--

Photo: Luke Price/Flickr

“And besides,” he said, “your chin is on backward.”

The burly man with the accent-from-somewhere turned, almost looking dismissively at me — which, I guess, I’m used to — and smile-frowned. At least, I think he did; he was wearing a mask. And a spit shield. We used to put them on the faces of patients at the psych hospital — now people are just… walking around with them like it’s a pair of Oakleys. Of course, as a poor, nonprofit psychiatric hospital, we frequently ran out of spit shields (spitting is always tres en vogue at those kinds of facilities, even when there isn’t a pandemic). When we did, we would use pillowcases. On their faces.

Because we were the animals, not the patients.

Anyway. So.

I learned, maybe two months ago, via a pulmonologist with an accent-from-somewhere that my “chin is on backward.” That’s funny, I thought. I have the sense of humor of a six-year-old, so I had the impulse to make a comment about that statement coming from a urologist but was able to resist the urge. This is why I don’t drink alcohol.

I was seeing this pulmonologist on suspicion of sleep apnea.

--

--

Gabriel Nathan
Human Parts

Gabe is Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries, a mental health publication. He is a suicide awareness advocate and is attracted to toxic car relationships.