Image by Jascha Hoste

I bite my tongue as the psychiatrist interviews Mr. Lemming in the psychiatric ED status post suicide attempt number one: the sole survivor of his cult’s alleged mass suicide. He notes Mr. Lemming’s family history, asks about recurring feelings of sadness or emptiness, psychiatric medication. Whom he lives with. What he does for a living. How much he drinks. What he smokes. With whom. And how he spends weekends. Mr. Lemming blames his instincts: he sensed a storm and led his people to new lands. They lost their leader along the way.


Omar Metwally is a metaphysician working on a PhD and an MD at the University of Michigan. He writes captions to portraits of haggard faces (

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