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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

goodbye, marylou

"you should just get a hysterectomy...".

[day 7]

in the calm of her migraine's ebb, she gasped loud, too loud, at her girfriend's, hysterical suggestion; at the volume of an aging, porn star's exaggerated moans. but, as the meeting's introductions circulated, the surge began to needle and pin, and the idea seemed less extreme rodeo riding and more petting zoo fun.

["oh, god. yes! yank it out of me! release the hormones! i don't have my own kidneys! why keep my uterus?]

"hi, i'm k! and i'm an alcoholic!

["really, k? what the fuck are you so happy about?"]

...designing a script of drugs she knew she could no longer take...

[dilaudid, percocet, fiorinol, norco, vicodin, tramadol, tylenol 3, tylenol 1, xaxax, klonopin, demerol...]

..."la. la. la. i'm not listening because i'm really not human in the morning"...

[oxy, oxy, oxy, oxy, oxy]

"hi, i'm t! and i'm and alcoholic!"

["you're really LOUD, t!"]

she was thinking of nothing but me, my selfishness and i.

wondering if she is pre-menopausal. has a brain tumor. an aneurysm.

[the newborn hypochondriac officially deflowered and blooming.]

ok. clutch onto that wildly extreme notion, and swing for the fences.
hitting a home run with a hysterectomy? hmmm. we might be getting ahead of ourselves.
ah, the desperation of pain.

the way single women in their early 40's, clutch onto the fountain of youth with broken tips and chipped caps. with sinewy, over-toned, over-tanned calves, they kick off the-sins-of-their-chemically-induced-youths, swinging for their own home runs; lavish louboutins landing squarely on home plate. the 99%. they cram vegetable-du-jour (kale) down their throats, laser fashion articles with ultraviolet frequency and clamor like super ball lottery tickets-hoarders, for those poison, pig droplet injections, all quietly panting the same prayer...

"gimme. gimme. gimme."

one less wrinkle to take all their pain away.
["hi, i'm s!"]

["quiet s.! i could give a shit. because your lisp is slaying my senses."]

and then the circle came full.

to a woman who had recently missed several meetings.


today, she heard stories of road rage, online dating and deep sadness over selling a dream house. she heard stories of relapse, shoulder surgery and gratitude.

and i tried to read her face; seized acquisition.

[were we just careless whispers; blowin' in the wind?]

for m-l. has lou gehrig's disease. als. and she is an alcoholic.

it is a neuromuscular disease, of the brain and spinal cord; but inside your mind, you are the same.

in the short time i have been going to this meeting, m-l. could still say her name and disease.

but today. she held up a piece of paper with her name on it.

m-l. can't talk anymore.

but inside, she's the same.

but after today, i wasn't.

the sound of her silence was thunderous, booming, from a wild beast rousing me to continue, even one breath at a time.

this isn't about who's pain is better, stronger, faster. because no-one here has to walk five miles a day to get a bucket of water in darfur. it really is, and always has been, all relative. i'm just as terrified as the person who had a bad haircut.

and yeah. i'm really terrified.

[day 8]

but at least i can scream at my hairdresser.

thank you, m-l.

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