About Me

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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

love and other drugs

last night, k. shot me up with heroin.

we cop in a shed of stereotypes, downtown, skid row. hooded black men, shifty-eyed asians and two surprisingly relaxed pink people.

apparently, my r.e.m. runs racist.

we score plastic baggies stuffed with black goo. black tar licorice babies, minus the sugar rush.

just the rush.

we lie on a hotel bed, a nice hotel. crown moulding. white linen. k. gently, generously injects me first. i feel nothing. as i tell him this, a hole begins to gape and widen on my thumb. my thumb is smiling. "ehhhhhhh....". so fonzie. i am hallucinating, but i am not high. this time he shoots straight, and my head lolls back as in my dope fantasia. mickey is conducting; the elephants are twirling. but even as i nod off, euphoria eludes. i have not even brushed the dragon's tail.

she meant well.

but, today's dental hygienist was clueless.

i got the distinct feeling that she was threatened by my 30 year war. she cataloged anecdote after anecdote over inattentive, irksome physicians! and how often she'd come to her poor husband's emotional rescue! cape flying, defiant, arms fisted, planted on her hips, "you're not listening to him!", she would proclaim, sucking fierce at the thin straw of insecurity plunged into her power shake.

"i've been very fortunate. i've had amazing relationships with my physicians.", i offered.

"like, the other day, i tore my rotator cuff..."

["ahem. is this thing on?"]

"and i was in so much pain, i had to go see my doctor. i don't like to, because i'm really a natural girl..."

["yeah, you're sooo natural. you with the bleach blonde hair and your peroxide pearls..."]

lock up your medicine cabinets, folks, the bitch is back.

"so he said it would heal, but that i needed pain killers. now, i don't like to take pain killers..."

["seriously. who are these people?"]

"but, he prescribed me something called tra-ma-sol..."

["that's tramaDOL, you sacrilegious dolt..."]

"well, i was supposed to take 2 tablets, but i thought, i better start with 1..."

[that's funny, i used to think, i'd better start with 3..."]

"WHELL. the next morning i woke up trembling and shaking and dizzy..."

["in a good way?"]

"i couldn't drive, i couldn't go to work, i was in bed until 4 pm THE. NEXT. DAY..."

[someone please bring back whiskey and the stick to bite on. it would be less painful.]

"and it was so sweet. my 24 year-old son kept coming in to check on me. he told me that people use this stuff recreationally! that i could get a lot of money for those pills!

["tramadol? yeeaaahhh, not so much."]

"so we just threw the rest away..."

[she died painfully. death by verbal diarrhea.]

and as motor mouth putted along, i u-turned back 14 months ago. pill popping with pez-dispensing glee in a pharmacy parking lot.

pop rocks dissolving. gobstopper crushing. i want candy.

3 crowns later, i was dethroned.

ears bleeding. jaw seizing. gums throbbing.

no painkillers prescribed.

no advil allowed.

yet, a curt compromise.


now, i was never a fan of the muscle relaxer. i didn't want to sleep. i wanted to make it last and last and last, like veruca salt's gum. right to the blueberry-popping end.

but, when i filled the bottle i thought,

"i could keep them all. i don't have to tell k. i don't have to tell l."


there's a line drawn in my sandbox, now. and playing alone isn't any fun.

so, i called my sponsor. and she concocted a blueprint of titanium design.

"you come here.

you give me the bottle.

and i will give you 3.

one for now. one for tonight. and one for tomorrow."

and i told my husband. who has a safe full of backlogged narcotics, including my favorite, the poor man's powdered heroin; her overshadowed sister: oxycodone. and he holds the key. both keys.

"so, this is our new normal...", i breathed, as i took my soma, and texted l.

"i took my pill at 5:38 pm. thank you, l.! i love you!"

and although warned of a strong effect, my tolerance still registers somewhere between keith richards and nikki sixx. and i floated to flatline. tiny native indians burn bonfires in the back of my mouth, whooping it up with a banshee wail.

but inside, a line has been crossed.

the thin line between love and hate.

yes, maybe, i'm starting to like myself after all.

Friday, October 12, 2012

tell me why i [don't] like mondays

at cedars, there will be blood.

but, there can be joy.

i think i would rather be cell mates with mitt romney, tossing and turning as he whispers sweet nothings down from his bunk; serving sick descriptions of the myriad ways he plans to slaughter big bird, then writhe in food-poisoned agony after being .38 special-ed to gnaw on the feathery muppet's carcass for lunch,

than take another trip to cedars.

this sleepy danvian strolled down the white light hallways, squinting through memories; knapsacked with past.

[btw, danvian is a term coined by an older actor with an ivanans infatuation. half danish, half latvian, this hybrid was chased around the homemade fudge laden lanes of niagara-on-the-lake, one theatrical summer. clutching a bottle of red, and cradling a game of scrabble with the intensity he hoped to unleash upon me, i nimbly nipped his fantasy with very loud, very frequent pinings over a certain teenage theatre stud. a 19-year old winterpeggian with an andy gibb mullet, who had just dramatically proclaimed,

"i love you, but i'm not in love with you.".


so when this danvian's lasix kick started a spasming bladder, zooming her through the restroom door, sense memory revved loud and long.

those shiny tiles, the slanted mirror above the sink sent her heart into double beat. the ceramic shrine where she would gulp verboten tap water to swallow whatever xanaxtramodoloxycodone happened to be squatting in her purse that morning. evicted promptly by salacious saliva bubbling in her warm and wanton mouth. flecks of self-loathing flickered through her silver, tarnished eyes as she glanced up to wipe her mouth dry.

[sip. swallow. sigh.]

first. my favorite lab technician, k. and i curled into an hypodermic tete a tete, skipping over the right arm, veins now officially closed for business, transferring my lingering heroin fantasy over to a lonely, left limb. and in this infirm confessional, i poured, without steeping, my near-year of sobriety into her cup of good cheer. and like a good little nightingale, she chirped back about her son who blew underaged beer breath in michigan. where they threw the book at him.

the big book.

[my favorite book after my thesaurus.]

next. the new nurse, k. and i were soon bonding tighter than the serotonin reuptake inhibitor in your antidepressant. and yours. and yours. as we shared gory tales of the cranium, my tongue listed potential medications for my migraine sistah, rattling louder than the narcotics i no longer gobble. topomax, nortriptyline, neurontin. but, my frenemie fiorinol, light of my [un]life, remained banished to the prison of my own making; uninvited to the party.

"so, why haven't you?", i chastised.

"i should. but, you know, women just don't talk about this.", she mumbled.

my brows knitted into a mystified mountain as i gleefully crowed,

"well, honey, i do!".

the calvary descended. bring on the resident.

i've malignant patience for exotic arrogance, the swaddle-tongued, eager beaver attempting to unfurl "mycophenolate mofetil" before i've had my second cup of coffee. this bitchy pet peeve is right up there with sweeping away food court debris as i attempt to gorge over a guilty pleasure without gagging.

yes, with puffy patronization and clipped articulation, she parroted her textbook, suggesting i stay EX-TRA HY-DRA-TED the next time i barf!

[gag me with a medical student.]

but, with unrolling eyes, i saw the storm clouds disperse. and calmness feathered down. and i sat. quietly. fists uncurled, elephant ears,

and listened.

[and then there were four.]

enter my attending physician, dr. k.. the one i've come to breathy blows with. the one who suggested this glassy-eyed conductor "power through" her side effects, not realizing she'd already derailed.

but, monday, he told me to "let us do the worrying" about my antibody results.

and for the first time, i heard it.

it's a wonderful world of whackamole, with a pulse zipping from 63 to 100 within the course of a day. the girl with an unmedicated bp so low you couldn't limbo under it, has a fast pulse.

[dehydration? prednisone? teasing tachycardia?]

in the midst of a month of migraines, my overstuffed wagon glided away into the may night, and our marital knot unslipped into separate threads; the one choking us into "'til death do you part"...

so when my creatinine landed, like the plane about to bring my husband home, we taxied to a quiet joy.

"it's almost like it's not real...", he whispered.

[down from 1.2 to 0.9]

monday, i floated with a nun's eerie ecstasy, walking on wonder.

if there's a trick to life, it's a slight of hand.

our magic lives not in a number.

but, it's a pretty good place to start.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

you don't bring me flowers anymore

can a kettle be romantic?

it was my grand prize, the holy grail of gifts offered to me upon the disheveled sheets of a hotel bed in san bernardino, california.

silver, shiny, surprising.

[happy birthday.]

we are the couple with a patented armband. it slips over our sleeves, radiating satellite signals of emotion; throbbing 'round the world to the beat of our open hearts.

yeah, i couldn't hide it.

"you bought me a kettle?", i drooped, dismayed.

"but, you like tea.", confucius say.


here's the irony. i am your least romantic friend. i do not think your child's crayon scribbles are adorable, weddings with bubbles/doves/rice or any variation thereof is cheesy, and february the 14th, that flimsy, fabricated franchise, is for suckers.

ah, but it's the bud that gets me every time.


heady blossoms of succulent, sensual sweetness; my nostrils toking on memories, my heart vaulting through time.


for this certified city child; downtown dweller, with a bedroom view of the world's tallest free-standing structure as it elevatored up into the sky, nature was but a panoramic picture of [high] park, not cognitive crunchings underfoot. only in a small and slow land across the ocean, did natural infatuation flower.

in bedstefar's rose garden i crushed to most traditional bloom, the rose, and have been blushing ever since. idyllic summers, bliss. windy beaches, black licorice and cycling trails of escape. child-wide innocence, pre-aids, pre-internet. squashed siblings united on the home front, n. and i'd bullet down the hallway; our apartment's gaza strip, dodging parental anarchy that never ceased fire. danish summers were a respite from our father's battle, the war he never surrendered. this 70's show was a true merchant/ivory film come to life, minus the corsets i was never able to fill anyway.

over the years, my floral favorite split-screened with the lilac. fruity, flirty flower. one whiff of its syrupy scent and i am drifting, twitching back into pubescent angst; melting overwintered, toronto days when gray slush still hulked curbside, but throaty breaths hinted at winter's retreat; spring's burgeoning blitz. crawling out of your skin; snowsuit, onto melting glaciers of yearn.

he lies tractioned head to toe, smarting submissive. he describes his pain level to the physiotherapist as a 6 out of 10. her heart twitches. she, sense memoried. so well versed in the rhythm of the pain scale, a "9" would roll off her tongue as trippingly as iambic pentameter to the elizabethan actor, landing a delicious, drugged reward for her high score.

now chauffeur to her loaded lad, her heart twitches again at the bulge in his pants' pocket.

his painkillers.

[rattle, rattle, rattle....]

with an echoing ruckus smothering marley's entrance, as dickens' ghost clanged up from hell's holding cell, every drag of his leg rattles a delicious, distracting din. every hobble prattles his pills pavlovian, inflaming her cold coals of sobriety. while marley's torment spread equator fat, her purgatory's packaged in a pill, just a slight of hand away.

["it would be so easy..."]

but, then. paradise lost.

now, dead-weight dragging new baggage he wishes the airline lost, his pockets rattle 'n roll with oxycodone; norco-singing, endlessly repeating the seductive moans and groans of last summer's sin-soaked chart topper.

["so, call me, maybe..."]

so, if caring for the hooked-up, laid-up man taking 6 painful minutes to sit up in bed is poetic justice, then sign me up for the slam.

i've got a beret, pages of rehabus vomitus, and an audience of one held captive by bed.

[isn't it romantic?]

i dreamed a dream. years of hints, as subtle as celebratory plate crashing at a greek wedding. loud, longing admiration for every bundle prettying up the house. soft, squirrely sighs as i'd arrange and rearrange. and a pencil-pointed declaration of how. much. i. love. flowers. but, eventually, like an exhaustive evening of uninspired erotic exertions, i ceased huffing and puffing and chose to walk over the finish line.

and gave up.

so you could have blown me over with a baby's breath, when suddenly presented with a fistful of sweetheart roses; deep pink, tear-stained mauve. fresh from bedstefar's fabled garden, the rosy bunch buzzed with silence, leaving me weak at the bees' knees.

i blushed.

and my first thought was,

"but, i stole pills from you.".

you are the thorn in his side that can never be expelled; wily weed.


romance is not a well-tended garden; sterilized manicure. not trudging a pedestrian landscape of brick paths, automatic sprinkles and feng shui fountains.

romance is the steadfast slog of a man, through the surging swells of sickness. surviving mattress-turning nights, black-eyed peeves and a timer set every two hours to chart your intoxicated depth of breath.

romance is the cushion of his arms as you pillow the rare wetness upon his classic-cut cheeks. damp-pressed, your gray, failing form is cradled like the child you have become. and he holds your head still against narcotic waves lolling it feral; free.

romance is dodging words like darts; sharp, scarring. fleet of foot he'd sidestep your wild swings, as you belligerently battled his punching bag to a pulp with your poisoned spit.

it's a rope of words that can never be untangled, just noosed tight until there's silence.

our romance is now revenge against a monster; spearing passionate surrender.

and peace.

["a sort of homecoming."]

the U2 classic bemoans the exhaustive irish civil war; religious wronged.

but, in our home, there is a truce. more than a truce.

[cease eternal tarry, starless nights.]

it is dawn.

"and your heart beats so slow
through the rain and fallen snow,
across the fields of mourning
light's in the distance.

oh, don't sorrow, no don't weep
for tonight, at last,
i am coming home
i am coming home."

the kettle's on the stove.

she's flowering, prettied with pink.

and romance is in the air.