My pancreas developed consciousness last week.  

I’m sure last week was just the end of a long process of self-discovery, but I didn’t sense the baby steps.

If I could stick a mirror in my guts and my pancreas had eyes (and maybe that will come soon), it would recognize itself.  I don’t know if it would smile upon recognition.  I’m certain it wouldn’t wave.

What it does have is a sense of self and an awareness of its condition.  Realizing that it must work and work 24 hours a day with no break, it is feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.  Making matters worse, it knows that no one is helping it.  In fact, I (which it no longer associates with) make its job worse by drinking gallons of coffee and alcohol and very little else.  “Bastard makes poor decisions, and I have to clean up after him,” it thinks loudly.  The bile rises, but to a pancreas, bile tastes like honey.

Despite what it would mean to its own existence, my pancreas has considered going on strike—or quitting altogether.

Last night it felt claustrophobic.  Trapped, dark, crowded, unable to break away.  “I’m buried alive,” it screamed.  And, unable to run away or go to sleep, it simply shook until fatigue set in.  It tried to kick my gallbladder out of the way, but the duodenum blocked its advances.

If my gallbladder develops consciousness too, they will join forces in a sort of internal labor union or beat each other to death.  Either way, I’m a goner.  Whoever said ignorance is bliss, certainly had the pancreas in mind.

Found in It Happened Yestermorrow:  Stories Written Two Minutes Before Waking