You are obsessed with longevity and health span and the title of your novel is called The Forever Life.
She writes you emails, and almost every call ends with advice on how you — and your family — can live forever. Just open: jw.org, she beckons. As if the portal to eternal life is really that simple.
You send her emails with advice on how to eat keto and low-carb, knowing she once went all the way to China to a beauty hospital to have surgery to reduce the roundness around her waist. You know that she’s the one that buys soda in bulk, because “it’s on sale at Costco,” for your dad, her husband, who had recently returned from a surgery related to neuropathy, linked to the type 2 diabetes he’s been diagnosed with, begging for soda even while in the hospital recovering.
She reads the Watchtower and Awake magazines to your son whenever she babysits; he has memories of watching DVDs about Noah’s Ark and she constantly reminds him that we are living in the “Last Days” — any day now, Armeggedon is slated to arrive.
You watch her buy box after box of a special juice. She wants you to buy it too. It helps you lose weight. Helps you live a long life. She can sell it to you at a special discount. Your friend, she tells you, who has just suffered from back pain should use it too.
You tell her juice might as well be soda, as it spikes your insulin (because you have prediabetes and are keeping tabs on your HbA1c).
She looks aghast. How can Jehovah create abundant fruit for us yet have it hurt our health?
You tell her it’s not the fruit that’s necessarily bad but too much juice, especially processed. Processed foods, refined carbs like pasta, noodles, cake, cookies, bread and all the hyper-palatable foods out there designed to keep us hangry and hankering for more is what’s wrong. Insulin spiking affects our moods. It makes you fat and depressed. I tell her about autophagy and fasting, about ketosis and blood sugar control.
She hands you the bible. Jehovah’s wisdom is the most important knowledge. The truth will set you free. It is her gift to you before your travels on the road, since you’ve sold your house to live in a RV with your family. Always pray to Jehovah. I want you to live forever in paradise with me. Your whole family. Her eyes brim with tears.
You nod and take the small Bible, its tissue-thin pages gilded with gold. She has a smaller one for your son. You realize she doesn’t care about this life on this earth right now. It’s about the next one. The one where she’ll be forever young and free from any problem or any disease. Your eyes water as you just want her to live as long as possible here and now. In this life. Maybe not forever but as long as humanly possible.