You were happy, and thus, suspect. Inquiries were made.
Your weight and height were measured at different times,
under varying conditions. In a park on a beach towel
laid out in the sun reading you were exactly the same length
as on a bus scaling a hill listening to music on the way
to work. It seemed impossible. Further examinations
yielded more data, less certainty. Your hair showed
no signs of recent drug use, the salt and pepper ratio
consistent with previous readings. Your tongue was soft
like a mouse stripped of skin. When you undressed
for inspection, one breast was slightly larger than
the other but then, it had always been so. The bellybutton
was properly tied off. The moles did not correspond
to any star patterns in the western hemisphere,
and were disregarded. But there were disturbing readings.
When you took a shower the water was punishingly hot.
You picked at the cuticle of your right thumb, deforming
the nail bed. A habit, you said, but why had it developed?
Your stools were firm and regular, which was irregular.
Your eyes were, one researcher noted, furtive, a word
he’d never used before in a report. He was quarantined.
But you were happy. You smiled on the 4th of July
for no patriotic reason. Footage from the grocery store
showed you joking with the butcher. Shows your teeth
white against your skin, your skin unblemished, unpicked.
You walked with purpose, even if that purpose
could not be quantified. When you drove to the ocean
and swam out to the sandbar, you were far enough
from shore only to register on the instruments as a dot,
then a line, then a streamer, waving. After that,
nothing. There was the usual seaweed, phosphorescence.
Observers found washed up on the beach two jellyfish,
assorted clam shells, a sun bleached condom, one fish head.
Science cannot tell us if drowning is best under current
human subject guidelines. There is theory, and there is
practice. Were you happy? You were happy.