The Razor’s Edge

Depression is a beastly motherfucker. 

This morning I had my first appointment with my new doctor. The first doctor I’ve ever had who immediately wanted to treat my PCOS in spite of me not wanting to try to conceive. 

I came in for a referral to an endocrinologist, a prescription for spironolactone, and maybe something to help my increasingly frequent migraines since I’m allergic to the number one migraine med. 

I left for hours later, my pee in a cup, my blood in some tubes, and my chest on an X-ray. I carried one prescription for metformin, one for spironolactone, and one for Topamax. Within an hour I had an email with an appointment with an endocrinologist. 

That part went well. 

Bullshit #1: I’ll tell you, I was super pissed that I couldn’t get into the endocrinology clinic any time within the next year with a referral from the family practice clinic in the same hospital, but let them take one phone call from a different clinic and it’s see you in November, Mrs. April

We dropped our prescriptions off and were told an hour. We went home. I got the text that mine was ready. Even though Ian hadn’t, it had been nearly two hours, so we went to pick them up. 

After a bunch of back-and-forth about names and can’t-find-yours-sir and insurance, we left the drive thru missing one of mine and one of his, and one that he got only had half the number of pills it was supposed to. I said park it, and went inside with righteous fury. 

Bullshit #2: The only prescription I really cared about, the spironolactone, wasn’t in the bag because they thought the dosage said 2/5mg and the pills come in 25mg. And nobody answered at the doctor’s office. And no one called them back from the doctor’s office. And they sent the it’s ready text anyway because the three prescriptions that were on the same single sheet of paper were entered at different times today. 

I’m sure. I’ve been using this pharmacy for eleven years without problems. You had two hours to call them. And then you sent me a text that all of my prescriptions were ready. And you weren’t even going to tell me anything about this? Because we were just handed the bag in the drive thru with a thank you. No explanation. Nothing. 

I wanted to scream at her. Look at my face, lady. Do you see this fucking beard? I didn’t shave it today because I wanted the doctor to see its fucking luxuriousness. Do you think I like walking around looking like this? I have an appointment next week for my first round of laser hair removal. I can’t do anything to this bastard but shave it right now and it’s making me fucking crazy. I have to look in the mirror every day at this black reminder of how I have shit ovaries that ruined the one thing I wanted to do with my life. Every fucking day. And I hate it, and it makes me hate myself. So go fill the 25mg pills. I’ll wait right here. 

I wanted to make her cry so she could feel one tiny fraction of everything that I was feeling, because I knew she was lying with her tedious explanation. I do it to customers all the time. I bullshit them just like she was bullshitting me. 

But I didn’t. I took the other half of his prescription and I took her explanation that they were out of his blood pressure meds until tomorrow and I left. Because I knew if I started in on her I wouldn’t be able to stop. 

I’ve spent the past two hours in bed being alternately angry and sad. Crying and playing a stupid coin push game on my phone and shutting out the world with extra loud dubstep in my headphones. Because on top of all this I had to unpack a bottle of metformin to put on my counter and look at every day, just like the fucking beard, and it brought back all those years of miserably failing to conceive. All at once, on top of me. 

And then I got up and I fucking shaved and I came to tell you about this. 

 I’m so sick of hating my body for letting me down, but I don’t know how to stop. 


Night Hunters

echoes in the night
whispers in the waving trees
a scream, then silence


The Waiting Game

Rosanna flipped through her submission one last time. She wasn’t reading, merely making sure that the words were still on the pages. She took a deep breath and sealed it up in the addressed envelope before dropping it in the mailbox. 

Immediately, she went over the guidelines in her head, as best she remembered them. Which was pretty darn well, since she’d read them a hundred times if she’s read them once. Making it into this publication would be a dream come true. 

Was her plot well thought out? Were her characters believable? Would they like her style? Was her story good enough? Was she good enough?

Rosanna made a fist with the hand that rested on her thigh. She closed her eyes and clenched her teeth. She was good enough. Her story was good enough. Her characters, her plot, her style: all good enough. It was going to happen this time. 

She picked up a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on the way home to begin her waiting game. 


The Good Old Days

537e3c40fb4625b10716982f4db81fc3Rayford looked out on the bright sunshine pouring out on the lawn as he sat poolside, a bowl of cut fruit near to hand. It was a happy scene, the flowers and Christmas cactus blossoming and spring green, but it brought no cheer to his heart. All he could think about was better days.

His wife Claire came stomping out of the house with her iPad. “Do you see this garbage? Angelina Jolie is no longer a Pitt. Who cares?? Why don’t I get actual news on my newsfeed anymore?”

Their marriage wasn’t what it used to be; money and comfort had changed them both. Rayford was more complacent now, and Claire more angry and domineering.

“I don’t know, dear,” Rayford mumbled, already tuning her out. He was losing himself in reminiscence. Back when they were a happy couple, back when they had less money.

“I think I’ll go back to that computer repair guy today,” Claire’s voice was growing fainter in Rayford’s ears. “He really seemed to…”

*****

Her laughter sparkled like glitter on the wind. Rayford could lie here and listen to her laugh for hours. He loved her laugh. The smile broadened on his face as he reached to caress her shoulder.

Claire flipped around to look him in the eyes. “Pretty please, with sugar on top?” she asked in her sweetest voice.

“Your wish is my command, my darling,” replied Rayford. “My heart is a slave to your own.”

She slapped at him, playfully. “I love you, Ray. Your soul is a twin to mine. Promise me we’ll always be this happy?”

He leaned in to kiss her neck, and murmured the words into the hollow beneath her ear. “Always.”

*****

Sometimes down and out is better than up and in.

TBP Thematically Correct?


Tales from Retail #2

Y’all. I worked 3.75 hours today (my second favorite shift after 3.25 hours) and I dealt with all these people.

  • The girl who looked in the case of keychains, money clips, and card cases and then turned to ask me if we sell any rings we can engrave on. We do not, because we can’t engrave on rings. She asked me why not. This is the response I get every. Single. Time. So I told her the same answer I always give: because the engraver is not equipped for it. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. It irritates me to no end when people argue with me when I tell them what we can and cannot engrave. Your ring? Nope. Your $600 watch? Nope. Your $20 watch that you won’t open up the band or remove the back? Nope. Your giant plastic souvenir wrestling champion belt? Nope. And yes, I’ve been asked that.
  • The lady who wanted a contact number for the hair straightener kiosk next door. I do not have one, nor would I give it out to a random shopper even if I did. You’re the one who spent way too much money on a no-name hair straightener from some good-looking smooth-talker at a mall kiosk, you figure it out. She got pretty upset that I didn’t have a phone number. Bet she didn’t even save her receipt.
  • The old lady who called to ask how long it would take to get something engraved. People, unless you are walking towards me while you’re on the phone, I could have a fifty-piece order between now and the time you decide to show up. All I can give you on the phone is a rough estimate, which is, it depends what you get and what you want engraved on it, but usually same day. So she asked if I came right now, how long would it take? There’s about a two hour difference between one word on a plate and four different monograms on a set of red wine glasses. I told her an hour, and she said she would be there in a few minutes. When I left two hours later, she hadn’t shown up yet.
  • The guy who keeps calling for my super-part-time coworker. I’ve talked to him four times this week. But at least today he identified himself and didn’t badger me with questions about when she’ll be in, which I won’t answer.
  • The man looking for a flask. He may have a memory problem. He’s stopped three times in the past two months while I’ve been at work to look at flasks. He’s always forgotten his glasses, and asks if the same one is stainless steel and how many ounces it holds. Yes it’s stainless steel, but I have to look up the volume. He always argues that it should be stamped on the bottom. It’s not, on the one that he likes. He always gets excited about the price of the flask but leaves without a word when I tell him the price for engraving.
  • The woman whose husband told her there was a Scentsy store in the mall. Now, I’m pretty sure we had a kiosk last Christmas, but other than that, no. But I don’t know. So I told her I don’t know. I don’t know why she got mad at me because I don’t know. So that’s now two things I don’t know, withing two minutes.
  • The woman who asked me why this mall doesn’t have an Abercrombie. Now, nearly all of you have never met me, but if you’ve seen my Instagram feed on the right there, you could probably guess that I do not frequent Abercrombie. Possibly because it’s not my style, but mostly because their clothes would not fit me. Also, I work in a kiosk. I do not have a backdoor on the ins and outs of mall management’s tenant plan.

New assistant manager starts next week, fingers crossed.


Accidental Friendship

Lynn pushed on her front door a bit, and it squeaked on its hinges. She knew she’d locked it and shut it firmly behind her when she left this morning, but there it was.  Open.

She wondered briefly if she should call the police before deciding against it. That would likely cause more trouble than it was worth. She gave a soft cough, and entered.

Nothing looked wrong or out of place. Her belt still hung on the back of the chair nearest the door, and she noticed that she’d left the ranch dressing on the table. Her left hand absentmindedly reached to pick it up, and that’s when she saw it.

The tiny baby puppy cowering beneath the kitchen table, shivering.

Lynn had no way of knowing if someone had left the poor thing, or let it in, or if her door had malfunctioned and opened just enough for it to seek refuge, but she wasn’t arguing.

She carefully set the bottle of dressing back on the table and lay down on the floor, inching closer and closer to the dog. Finally, she was close enough to reach out a hand and pet its soft, damp fur. The puppy snuggled into her touch, seemingly unafraid. She scooped it up and held it against her chest, trying to warm it.

In a few minutes, the puppy fell asleep, and Lynn had fallen in love. She never forgot the day that her door was just a little bit open when she came home from work, and she loved little Bradley for a very long time.

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