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She came into my life the year your father left.
They breathed the same air in my world for 3 months.
For 3 years since he died I’ve been waiting on profound insights.
For 18 days since she died I’ve been waiting on profound insights.
Now I get it.
There aren’t any.
This Medicated Lady is thinking irrationally again.
I’ve been considering a diet consisting only of those flavored ice pops
especially the blue ones
the ones I like the least
No one but me looks forward to a psychotic break
It occurred to me that I’m tired of being medicated
tired of being in need of medication
tired of being in need
tired of being
Right is what’s right
right as opposed to wrong
right as opposed to left
right as opposed to write
write as opposed to rite
It makes sense.
I swallow a deep sob because some things are best swallowed. That’s not dirty, swallowing. Take it down, your medicine.
Kind words make me sad because I can feel the hard edges of them. I can feel the tenderness of my own soul, and I wish I was just a hair harder. Which makes no sense because hair breaks very easily but there is nothing that can be done to make it stronger. It’s already dead.
My aunt died. She’s dead, not dying. I wasn’t around much when she was just living.
What I remember most is how her blue eyes welled with tears when she was in pain and lonely. At the funeral, did they cry for her or did they cry for me? I didn’t go to the visitation. I didn’t want to see her dead. I’d seen her plenty when she was dying. They said she looked as though she were smiling. What I remember are tears that they didn’t see her shed. And then at the funeral, I saw their tears, too, and realized I am maybe only witness to her dying and her death. Her collapse and theirs.
This isn’t a poem, only a thought. This isn’t broken, this is breaking.
At the funeral
it was brief
my unmuffled sobs
They were all doing fine
not a sound
and then at the end
my shoulders shook
until everyone’s shoulders shook
At the funeral
they had their suffering too
and then at the end
and shoulders that shook
Consider it written in stone. The stone at the head of a non-descript grave at a non-descript cemetery on the outskirts of some field in the middle of nowhere. Here she lies.
This is how it will go. Tomorrow, there will be tears. Tomorrow, there will be a long, sad drive home and an even longer, sadder drive back to the place I live.
It’s hard to say how many people will be there. It’s summer, you know, and there will be no church service. I imagine only family and one or two friends will come.
The family will hug me. They will tell me how thankful they are that I went to see her when she was so ill and no one else was able to visit. Able. Inwardly, I will cringe at this word. Inwardly, I will feel hate and spite.
The family will tell me they love me after they’ve told me and each other what a big “help” I was, as if I’d gone to pick up their prescriptions downtown and not sat beside her for hours while she cried because she was in pain and no one else would come see her. They’ll say they don’t know what they would have done without me. Some of them will list all the reasons why they couldn’t come to visit her when it mattered. I will make a parallel list of all the reasons they should have come. My list will be longer and more substantial.
They did not kill her, but they did break her heart. My tears will be for her and for the injustice of it all. Their tears will force me to forgive them, to stifle the outrage I feel, because I, of all people, know guilt and grief.
I wanted her dead and now she is.
Most of the time, she fancies herself unstable but really, she is just incompetent. Really, she’s just a fraud. Really, she is just addicted to feeling sorry for herself.
Today, she would rather sit and stare at the stone-colored zipper on her fleece jacket than anything else, besides sleep. She thinks about how she could get a break and sympathy and peace and more sleep time. She thinks about perfectly packaged accidents and momentary quiet.
Nothing is worse than numbness, she thinks. But at other times, she thinks, nothing is worse than feeling. She’d cry but the crocodile tears have run dry. Her soul has run dry.
She’s been lucky and nothing more up to this point, but she’s about to be found out.