Friday, August 1, 2008

$153.00 (a rought draft vignette)


She pours the pills into her right hand – rattling the bottle with her left. The sound of the medication dancing against the plastic orange bottle is better than she could have thought. The slow motion feeling had come back – she can always tell when it’s been past her drugging hour – the room doesn’t feel or even taste the same. She can inhale but it is like cotton on her tongue and her thoughts cling to the sides of her brain. Nothing seems right. Realizing that is what is holding up the day - holing her up in her apartment with eyes focused on the television set, remote control in one and coffee in the other hand – she moved to the desk to tear open those white pharmacy bags. Setting each bottle atop the desk she felt a strange comfort in these manufactured feelings and hopes with an RX address.

Bottle 1: RX 1045640-03890

Bottle 2: RX 1045639-03890

Bottle 3: RX 1055935-03890

Bottle 4: RX 1032583-03890

The remaining, over the counter, drugs don’t contain the same sort of feeling as the ones dressed in orange. As if the color of the bottle makes the medicine – the way that a woman is more attractive in pink satin than green taffeta. The drugs haven’t calmed her hands or helped the synapses meet like they should – they are still crashing into some damaged interior wall in her mind.

Texture has always been a strange sort of trigger – flashes of taffeta connect where the chemistry should be catching. Taffeta is crinkly and even feels shiny, but an ugly 6th grade graduation dress shiny. Hers was blue but if the light switched the color changed to black. Bought downtown in the Los Angeles garment district she owned her first and last article of taffeta clothing. And now 18 years later she can feel it in her hand, the netted slip scratch against her thighs, the puffed 1990 sleeves hugged people’s chests long before her arms actually reached them. Bette Midler and her first pink roses adorned with baby’s breath crack in and out of focus as she waits for the drugs to take effect.

2008. She has put $153.00 onto her credit card to settle the demons – medication to bring her to some form of comfort and reality. How can it be reality if it has to exist in the confines of manufactured calm and chemically controlled depression and anxiety? If something is forced into her brain to prevent her crazy from coming out – like her own weapons of minor destruction defending her against herself – how is that reality?

She returns to the couch. The joyful sound of dancing pills and plastic washed away by the feeling of helplessness, of being owned by something she pays for every month, overwhelms her. The drugs don’t win against the depression today, so even though she survives another day not dead, she thinks she is barely living. Because what is living if she is most excited about orange bottles and not humans or the smell of orange flowers and trees?

She picks up her coffee with one and the remote with the other hand.

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About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: And my comments and anecdotes on life at:

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel