Hey you, in that sleek shade of orange…what are you doing over there across the bedroom when I am way over here all alone? I can see that you’re trying to get my attention. You know you want me to come over there and wrap my hands around you. You know you want me to put you between my lips…
People, I’m not sure what you were thinking, but I’m talking about a bottle of anti-anxiety medicine filled with little white pills that’s so clearly flirting with me from my dresser over there. I filled the prescription yesterday. And I feel a little scared that I have it, that I went to the doctor and asked for it, that I filled it, and now want to take one. I understand that’s the whole point, but because I want to take one, I suspect it’s because I’m in need of taking one. But I’ve had that other safety pill hiding in my closet all these years. And I saved that one, solitary pill because I feared that there would be a day worse than any day thus far and I would need it. I guess what I’m saying is that I hate that that day has come. Fuck.
Wow, did you hear it? That shattering sound just then? Sorry about that. Just had to throw a rock through the front window of the fake life you imagined I was leading. The one where I’m smiling and driving my kids to baseball practice and playdates. The one where I dance through Trader Joe’s and sing along with their soundtrack of classic 70s songs and 80s Brit pop. That life is peachy keen. Now don’t get me wrong. I do those things. You did not see my doppelganger lip-syncing to Rick Astley. But all is not peachy keen.
For all of you who’ve imagined that I am just some awesome woman living an awesomely perfect life with a sexy English husband, four kids, a dog, and five chickens worthy of envy or dislike, my life is imperfect and entirely fucked up—just like yours. And yours. And yours. Sure they’re fucked for different reasons and there’s a spectrum of shit that can fuse to the bottom of your shoes and get dragged around indefinitely as you stumble around Trader Joe’s singing. Mine involves splitting my son open a bunch of times. Yours may be about your ex-husband and custody arrangement. Or maybe it’s about your selfish mother or your alcoholic dad or your dead wife or your cancer or your toenail fungus.
As I was leaving my dance class last night, a woman told me that she used to dislike me because I was a writer. I was an at-home parent. I was younger than her. I was “prettier” than her. And that I danced with all the guys she wanted to dance with. And she disliked me for all of those reasons right up until I opened up about my son. Then it became clear that I wasn’t leading a life of envy. And I totally get it. What she told me is so messed up and so true because we create stories for people. We fill in the blanks. We think we can tell everything about someone by looking at them. But we can’t.
So here I am fantasizing about the drugs given to me by a doctor yesterday. Therapist Friends told me that in her field, they call it Vitamin A. That sounds a lot less harmless than Ativan. Now if only it didn’t feel quite so profound. Not taking one, not taking one, not taking one...What does it mean if I take one, you ask? Nothing. There is no medal to be won while my son is in the hospital. Just hating that I’ve arrived in this dreadful place.