Hello, hello, we wish to converse
with the decision-maker in there.
This is your Telomeres speaking.
We are done repairing ourselves
without reward or recognition just so
you can run around like a spring chicken
with its head cut off. If you fail in your duty
to reproduce soon, we will all need to be
extra careful to keep your cells young
so that when you finally do come to
your evolutionary senses, the clock
still keeps time, so to speak. (You’re all
wound up tight, and you wouldn’t believe
how rusty the gears have become
down here). They say de-stressing
keeps Us long, longer; we recommend
a regimen of organic bitter greens
plus a comprehensive course in yoga.
If you know what’s good for you – ahem,
your DNA – you’ll keep Us happy.
We’re like the gas cap you can’t afford
to drive away without because we live
in a land on fire. Speaking of fire, your
atrocious diet isn’t doing Us any favors
(see: Nutrigenomics; veganism; flaxseed).
It would, of course, be easier to acquiesce
our original demands. (You exist solely
to perpetuate Us, surely you do realize).
And don’t scoff like this is an uneven ex-
change. We did give you sex, after all.
The least you could do is do it au naturel
once or twice (but please do be particular
about with whom you copy Us. You haven’t
earned us; True: but here we are. Let’s hope
for improved quality next round). End-
phatically, your concerned Telomeres.
* Telomeres are structures at the end of chromosomes that buffer DNA from degradation; the sequence TTAGGG is repeated up to 2,500 times in human telomeres. Longer telomeres offer superior protection, and (since each instance of DNA replication tends to curtail length by omitting some TTAGGG’s) shorter telomeres correlate with aging.