Your Microbiome Loves You 5-Ever!

You might hate yourself, but the trillions of microbes inside your skin don’t.

Do you ever wake up first thing in the morning and immediately think I can’t do this?

I’ll bet you do. In fact, I’ll bet this is one of those mornings when you’re certain that whatever magic has allowed you to get paid or loved or just barely tolerated for the last 15,000 days of your life is definitely not going to work today. Because when you dig deep and ask yourself “What’ve you got today? Can you bring it? Can you crush it? Can you leave it all on the floor?” the answer is a resounding, “No. I got nothing. It was a nice run while it lasted, but I am done, finished, canceled.

That’s when you hear The Beatles’ “Nowhere Man” playing inside your head, and you realize that life is all a big nothing, just like Liv Soprano said.

That’s exactly when you need to…

Remember Your Microbiome!

Because as we speak, a large, naturally occurring community of flora and fauna is living in the fertile, succulent, savory, fully mobile habitat of your body. So even as you sulk and whine, even as you review the endless list of stupid mistakes you’ve made in your lifetime, even as you recall the countless people who’ve strongly disliked you (and probably still dislike you, whenever your blobby worthless face pops into their minds), your microbiome continues to buzz along, a vast, dynamic world of microorganisms thriving and prospering in the stanky folds of your seemingly worthless sack of shit body!

In fact, your body is not a sack a shit, as you previously imagined! Your body is a wonderland, just like John Mayer once sang. He was singing about you, and not Jessica fucking Simpson or Taylor motherfucking Swift or whoever the fuck his racist dick happened to be dicking at the moment.

Your Microbiome: An FAQ

But I don’t care about my microbiome. All I want to do is sit on the couch and eat cookies all day.

Well, then, trust your instincts! Because when you sit on your ass eating sugary goodies, what you’re actually doing is community building. Each delicious bite feeds the diverse and thriving city of bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, and viruses hustling and bustling through the superhighways of your skin, chilling in the sophisticated cafés of your mammary glands, holding lively work meetings in the conference rooms of your ovarian follicles, and cutting loose in the groovy discos of your gastrointestinal tract.

Please don’t mention work. I can’t even think about work right now!

Put remunerative labor out of your mind, then. Because the microbes in the shared workspace of your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex have gotten a ton of good writing done already today, so right now they’re planning a post-work round of drinks in the neighborhood dive bar of your substantia nigra.

A round of drinks sounds great. Is 10 am too early for a nice gin sour?

Good question. Let me ask you this: If you had a weapon like the Death Star, would you use it to heartlessly blow up an entire planet? Because that’s what you’ll be doing to the thriving nation-state of microbes in your gut if you have a gin sour on an empty stomach right now. (“Empty” is used figuratively here. Your stomach currently houses an Australian-themed steakhouse, two nail salons, and a SkyZone Trampoline Park.)

You have that drink and you’ll be sentencing billions of microbes to a painful and immediate death. Some of them might not even die immediately. Some might linger in a state of --

Why should I care about those guys?

Oh, I’m sorry that the lives of trillions of diverse, dynamic souls don’t matter to you one bit. In that case, I have two words for you: Ulcerative colitis.

Yeah, I thought that would shut you up.

You know what? I’m already in a shitty mood and I’m getting pretty sick of hearing you talk.

Well, that’s unfortunate, given the circumstances. Because I’ve been watching the dynamic ecosystem of your small intestines turn sharply to the left for months now. In fact, they all just read Riot. Strike. Riot: The New Era of Uprisings by Joshua Clover for their Young Socialists Book Club, and at least half a billion of them agreed that it was “mind-blowing,” with one observing that violent revolution “is not unlike our daily competition with metabolically related commensals.” And when one member disagreed, another one practically spat at him, “If you haven't contemplated for a second that you're living inside a simulation meant to hinder your mind and steer you towards complacency, then you aren’t ready for Clover’s life-changing prose!”

But you probably think this is just some 1-hour-old generation of naïve chumps who’ll grow out of their revolutionary impulses and join the 8-hour-olds playing with gadgets in the Apple Store of your testes. But I’ve been hearing whispers about exploitation and exclusion, and I really don’t think you want to mess with a hoard of Lactobacilli capable of unleashing enough histamines to stop an elephant’s heart.

Even if these soft book-loving types can’t fuck your shit up, I heard one of them say she’s got a cousin who’s in touch with some hard motherfuckers on the outside, we’re talking Clostridium difficile types of dudes who will drop you where you stand.

Oh yeah? Well, what if I indoctrinate the citizens in this bottle of Solaray probiotics to patriotically protect and defend their homeland against all violent uprisings instigated by misinformed ne’er-do-wells?

You’ve got to be kidding me. You think Lactobacillus bulgaricus is going to fight for you? Those guys can barely move, let alone wage rod-to-rod combat or form spores. And you really want to bring Bifidobacterium breve into this? You know they can’t even ferment arabinose or xylose, right? That’s like sending in Steve Urkel instead of Samuel Jackson when you discover motherfucking snakes on your motherfucking plane!

So you’re saying these hapless revolutionaries are still going to want to burn shit in the streets once their own lives are on the line?

I have two words for you: Intestinal hyperpermeability. If they want to, these bitches will redefine what it means for you to leave it all on the floor. So put down that bottle of militarized probiotics and pick up the cookies again if you know what’s good for you.

OK, OK! Jesus. Relax. I’m eating a cookie. See?

Awww. Look at you, nourishing your citizenry! Look how benevolent and forgiving you are, feeding the world to let them know it’s Christmastime! You’re just like Bran, that wise and omniscient Stark boy, gently coaxing the Westeros of your turgid sack of clumsy, odorous cells into the future!

I guess I am kind of courageous and valiant.

That’s exactly right! You just sit right there on your ass and do nothing all day and know in your heart that you’re making a difference. Because your body is a wonderland, just like John Mayer once sang. He was singing about you, and not Katy fucking Perry or Jennifer motherfucking Aniston or whoever the fuck his racist dick was dicking at the moment.

But look, even John Mayer’s racist dick matters. Just think of the thriving and industrious flora and fauna living in there! Billions of young and old microbial citizens rely on John Mayer’s racist dick to survive, and they don’t even care which ratchet-ass white celebrity he fucks next.

So whenever you feel like you just can’t bring it today, remember this: If John Mayer’s racist dick is an American hero, then so are you.

Which ratchet-ass white celebrity will John Mayer fuck next? Write to askmolly at with your prediction.