Carrie Kipling and Her Manufactured Illnesses by Edgar Rider

photo by Marcelo Leal

Carrie Kipling and Her Manufactured Illnesses

I was in a desperate situation and placed an ad on a want ad site.
I put in the ad that I was willing to sleep in a tent outside the house for 200 a month.
A woman got back to me and said that I did not need to sleep outside. I could sleep on her couch in the living room.
I met with her at Echo Coffee. She introduced herself as Carrie Kipling.
She was extremely friendly and polite and gave me an indication she generally had employment. She said she was just having a rough spell at the current moment.
She said we could help each other.
I moved in the same day.
The first night I got a glimpse of some of her dark secrets.
When I went to sleep I heard her sketchy moocher friends talk about drug deals going bad.
I then realized she was a hypochondriac after two situations happened.

She said she suffered from Black Mold Toxicity. This was strange because there was only one small area that had black mold growing there. She freaked out and began hyperventilating. She claimed to be dying and any day could be her last day. She said the black mold triggered her heart condition. I looked it up. In order for someone to become seriously ill the black mold must encompass a large portion of the area. The pictures showed most of other people’s houses completely covered.

One night,  I came home and she had white powder all over her face.
She went into the bathroom mumbling incoherently. I peeked into the bathroom and saw her picking at her lips and face. She made these Oww noises. She did this over and over again. I became nervous, not sure if she was on Cocaine or some other drug. I called 911 and asked for someone to come over. The police came and asked her if she was alright.
She said ,”yes officers, I have just been using this. I use it to get bugs and worms out of my lips and face.” She pulled out a bag of bug pesticide called Diatomaceous Earth. One of the officers heard of something like that. Me and the other officer looked at each other like it was the strangest thing.  One of the officers said, “I guess this is a Pesticide Facial.”
In this moment I wished she was on cocaine it would have made more sense.
I asked the officer if I should stay.
“It is your call. There isn’t anything illegal about putting pesticide on your face. So we can’t really do anything.”
The officers left.
I was unsure if I should stay. I Googled Pesticide facials and nothing came up. I Googled Diatomaceous Earth for the face and found out some people use it on their face. There was no evidence that people use it to get bugs out of their lips and face.
It seems like she used the part of it that is true and then exaggerated to an extreme to justify her unusual behavior.


She was constantly in turmoil. Either my roommate Braiden Muller or I were the victims of her sitting in a chair ranting and raving about her conditions to either one of us. These were one sided conversations with us just listening and her continuous monologues about her dueling falsely constructed conditions.



Bio: Edgar Rider has been published in Copperfield Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Existere, and Scarlet Leaf Review. He has written and published three books 5990, Go Bare Maximum and Transcending in the Fictional Burnot.