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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the girl with the golden arm

"you have arms a junkie would kill for"...

words that dripped from the lips of my klean bud, b., post workout. sweaty, but dry, i could see the covetous, methglint in his eye, a dormant spark. usurped, my queen now pinballs; speedballs across the syringe-littered, royal, red carpets of west hollywood, trippingly on his crown.

i bounced into a ray charles cafeteria booth and slipped safe harbor. oh, the irony. to feel at home here. alone. like a rubber dingy bouncing against a dock, the artificial seat shored me tight over troubled waters. i sighed. the long and winding road of separation sustains rubber-screeching yields, hair-tearing construction and wide-open manholes.

["man down!"]

the scene of so many decompressed crimes and misdiagnoses. underweight, overweight; post-op, pre-op; intoxicated, detoxing. always double dipped, front-to-back in those ghoulish green gowns. hooked up, strung out, on some i.v. toxicity; clumsily negotiating the wobbly wheeled silver stick along the carpeting. dragging heel, but clutching a cuppa like a ferocious, glamorous grasp to a chardonnay goblet, frosty and full.

and always by my side, my man.

a man in uniform.

baseball cap. coke zero. iphone.

ifinger perennially poking, prodding. his life force. he leans back in the booth. takes a swig. adjusts his cap. scans the room. scans the screen. appearing, by all accounts, distant, uncaring.

["pay attention to me!!!"]

but those eyes. behind those tired, tilted eyes he exists in another dimension, where all 5 senses are hyper attuned to his wife. and in birthing a sixth sense, hensense, he depletes his own.

[crack. kidney transplant, not heart.]

that day i waltzed to the front of the line with a STAT requisition held higher and holier than wonka's golden ticket, and with a cheeky glance, bypassed the limp and the irritated. yeah, i reveled in the timely necessity for my labs, the way an ego-drenched rock star milks his encore with a glorious, peacocked strut across the stage, colorfully erect. into the roped off, bottle serviced, VIP section of da club, i was escorted; inserted for easyaspie, quick on the draw, bloodsport, when...



"your vein collapsed.".

"wow. after 30 years, i think i've got me some scar tissue..."

"ya think?"

and we laughed and laughed and laughed.

and somewhere in that musicality, i floated above my head and took a picture. with my throw away phone. that my husband got for me before i exited rehab. that has a ridiculously loud "analog" type shutter click. that my friend, m., silenced for me in arizona. that melted into so-uncool-its-hot hipness months ago...

[a picture's worth a thousand words, right?]

you are separated from your husband. backing out of your driveway in your apartment gives you panic attacks. you are at cedars 14 months after your second kidney transplant because you have developed antibodies. you are unemployed, on disability and never want to act again.

and you are unequivocally an alcoholic.

[but here's another thousand...]

you are laughing, laughing, laughing because you no longer have any veins in your arm.

but your arm is golden.

because index finger and thumb are extended long, lean, shiny with glean. and pointing.


aiming no longer at them, but towards truth.

towards self.

[and you've still got the guns...]

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