I Desperately Need Bone MarrowCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 30•15 • Nov 19, 1996 By Eddie Helph – Helph Me Eddie Helph Won't you please help me? I have a rare disease that doctors say is incurable. It's called Aphertoid Rhevatitis, and it attacks the bone marrow and hollows out my bones like a medfly devouring a cantaloupe. Aphertoid Rhevatitis makes me extremely lethargic, and sometimes I lie in my bed for weeks at a time, staring at the ceiling fan in my sparsely decorated hospice room, with roaches nipping at my bedsores. It also causes my heart to arrest at inopportune moments, like when I'm trying to lift my infant son to give him a hug. My physician says I've only got about three months to live unless some brave soul offers to donate some of his or her precious bone marrow to me. Won't you please give me your marrow? Oh, who am I kidding? The jig is up. I don't have an infant son, and I'm not in a hospice. There's no such thing as Aphertoid Rhevatitis. I'm healthy as a bull ox. I just love bone marrow. Doesn't matter where it comes from—humans, monkeys, penguins, salamanders, turtle doves, or even the exotic giant panda. To me, bone marrow is Number One. My love of bone marrow started when I worked as a lab technician in the leukemia ward at the local hospital. I was enjoying a lunch of clam chowder and crackers when I pulled a fresh sourdough baguette out of my satchel. I soon realized I hadn't brought any butter. Woe to the man who's forced to eat bread dry and plain! I searched frantically for some sort of spread—jelly, deviled ham, Nutella, anything! Crazed with hunger, I reached into the lab refrigeration storage unit and grabbed a random vial. In my state, I would've put just about anything on that bread—blood, semen, even earwax, but as luck would have it, the vial was full of bone marrow. The marrow went on the bread smoothly, like chunky peanut butter. As a medical professional, I tend to frown on cannibalism, but when I bit into that marrow-coated bread, all bets were off. The taste was heavenly, like a subtle mixture of persimmons, guava and Alaskan king crab. I was hooked, but how could I continue to enjoy this delicacy and keep my job? I decided to take only small amounts, a little at a time from each vial. I soon discovered that different marrow from different people provides different taste sensations. Bone marrow from children tends to have a fruitier, sweeter taste, while the marrow of the elderly is delightfully aged and musky. My fridge at home, now brimming with bone marrow samples, contained exotic flavors as vast as the sundae bar at Red Barn. It wasn't long before the hospital administrators got wise to the dwindling bone-marrow supply. I had to lay low, so I killed a few neighborhood dogs to get my marrow fix. Their marrow was thinner and easier to spread than the human kind, but no less delicious. Soon the police were knocking at my door, suspicious of the rotting dog carcasses piled by my dumpster. They searched my refrigerator and confiscated the precious ambrosia I had so diligently collected. Then they hauled me off to the pokey. Now I'm locked in a cell with no access to marrow. I've tried chewing my arm off to get at my own marrow, but the guards here have strapped down my arms and capped my teeth with pencil erasers. Won't you take pity on me? You probably have something in your life that you love. Maybe it's a nice new shirt, or a favorite game, or even a beloved grandparent. Wouldn't you feel sad if that thing were taken away from you forever? I may not be able to procure marrow in my own ways, but the law protects my right to ask you for the bone marrow I crave. Have you thought about donating before, but been too busy? Do you know anyone who's depressed or suicidal who might be willing to give up their marrow after they've done themselves in? Or do you have any pets or relatives you don't love anymore? For God's sake, look into your hearts and bones and send me some goddamned marrow. Now!