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Sunday, October 26, 2014

An exercise in distance

She runs down Eighth Avenue, dodging pedestrians and cars and baby carriages and bikes. She runs at top speed, left arm folded up, holding her necklace and protecting her chest. For a moment she feels part of some madcap scheme. But then, a memory.

"I haven't told anyone because I don't want them to think I'm crazy."

"That's a difficult way to feel."

And the day before,

"Half this city's on something, so get over it."

For as casual as she is about benzodiazepines, they are a one off. A cocktail you can have anytime of day. The milligram of Ativan is even a little sweet when it dissolves on her tongue.

But what she clutches, folded discreetly in a plain envelope, is something else all together now. A commitment.

"Six months," her therapist said. Not forever.

An antidepressant. She is disappointed in herself, though she knows this is ridiculous. She is scared, which is less so.

"Think of it as a reset." Plug in the wires that got unplugged. Send current through all the junctions again.

She makes it past the Google offices, the shuttered sandwich shop, the new and hideous gelateria. Back into the office, out of breath and sweating a little. Gone and back in twelve minutes. Heart beating fast, but not tachycardic like yesterday in the exam room. 

"We'll give you an X-ray if you want one. She got one of her ribs, where they (or some surrounding muscles) ache.

On the phone later that day, at 4:36, relief comes not when the X-ray is clear, but when she is told she can get this script. They close at 5, and thirty college students just arrived to tour her office. Hence the running.

The next morning she opens the bottle, reads the paperwork. It threatens in side effects much of what she hopes to quell. But she swallows the capsule, the little beads inside rattle all the way down.

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