Pressure

burning grinding aching pain
like sand in my eyes
or all my lashes turned inwards
tears dripping off my face
eyes puffing, impaired vision
the ugly crying
the donkey brays

sometimes I hate myself


Sadness in the Kitchen with Scandal

img_3935Jennifer wheeled around at a sudden noise, but it was only her cat, Scandal, rubbing his body against the vase of flowers that she’d brought home from work yesterday. The odd texture of the vase made a new and interesting sound against the softness of Scandal’s winter-white coat. She let the sponge fall from her hand into the basin of the kitchen sink and turned to pet her best friend.

He purred and arched his back into her hand, enjoying the caress. Jennifer thought to herself how she needed to spend more time at home and with this magnificent creature, but even thinking that brought a frown to her face and caused her hand to droop mid-stroke. Scandal spun round and ducked his head beneath her hand, but it was too late. Her mood had darkened, and now she only glumly slid her hand down his back from nose to tail a couple of times before sinking to the floor.

Jennifer’s depression was not news to Scandal, so he hopped down from the counter and curled up beside her leg, purring softly and steadily. The sound comforted Jennifer, and it wasn’t long before she found the energy to rise and pick Scandal up from the floor to replace him on the counter top next to her cleaning chores. He continued to purr, leaning over every now and then to bump her elbow with his furry side. She smiled at the comfort he was able to provide her.


Imaginary Family

Phil was an emotional wreck.

He peered out the window for a brief instant before twitching the blinds back into place. No one was going to show. He knew it in his heart. He put out a hand to catch himself on the arm of his favorite easy chair, but missed, and collapsed all the way to the floor. He curled up, hugged his knees to his chest, and began bawling his eyes out.

A knock on the door startled him, and he rose quickly, dashing the tears from his face with the heel of his right hand. When he opened the door, His lips moved, but no sound escaped to welcome his sister and her new husband to his home.

“Hey Phil!” cried his sister Lynette. she took a step into his domain and dropped her purse on the table next to the door before squeezing his ribs ever so tightly. “This is Robert, I’m sure you remember that.” She gestured Robert to come inside as she sidled Phil gently out of the way and softly closed the door.

Robert stuck out a hand. “Nice to finally meet you, buddy.” He smiled broadly, a smile that began to wilt when Phil failed to grasp his hand or even speak at an audible volume.

“Don’t worry, hon,” Lynette patted her husband on his upper arm. “Phil gets a little freaked out when he has company. Why don’t we all go sit down in the living room?” She led the two men into the adjacent room and settled Phil on his easy chair before ushering Robert to one end of the couch. She took the other end.

Phil teased a stray bit of string from the upholstery with his forefinger and thumb, refusing to look up at the invaders on his couch. He suddenly regretted ever buying that couch. If he hadn’t gotten a couch, there would be nowhere for them to sit, and then perhaps they wouldn’t have come at all. They wouldn’t be invading his sanctuary.

When he finally looked up, the couch was gone, and the floor was dusty in the spot where it never was. A single tear followed in the tracks already left on Phil’s face as he realized that he’d done it again.

He’d forgotten that he was an only child.

 


When the Cracks Begin to Show

file000972175181.jpgClaude pressed the door closed behind him, gently, so gently. The silence in his apartment was a heavy blanket that he came home to every night, once warm and comforting, now growing threadbare and itchy. He laid his keys softly in the wooden bowl on the table by the door.

Six steps to the end of the couch and a right turn. two steps and a left into the cubbyhole of a kitchen. A single glass from the cabinet above the dishwasher, a single paper plate from the neighboring cabinet. Claude stared at the paper plate a moment before returning it to the cabinet, his lack of hunger making the decision easy.

file3701295034289.jpgIce from the freezer clattered into the glass, the sound shattering the silence with its knife-sharp assault on Claude’s eardrums. He cringed and weighed the bottle of whisky in his hand before twisting the cap off and filling the glass halfway. The grating of the metal cap on the glass bottle felt like fingernails on a chalkboard, but it was the price he paid to get to sleep at night. He tugged on the refrigerator door at the proper angle to keep the handle from coming off and topped off his glass with Coke.

The first sip was cold and bitter; Claude made the same face he’s made a thousand times before, wincing away from the taste, but compelled to return for more. He placed the glass back on the counter and leaned forward, eyes closed, his hands to either side of the glass, until his forehead touched the coolness of the cabinet door. The posture brought him no comfort, and he stood upright again. He took the glass with him to sit in his recliner.

claudeA right out of the kitchen, three steps to the end table, and one more to his chair, soft and inviting. He sank down into its welcoming embrace and began to drink away the loneliness that threatened to engulf him completely in its darkness. Left foot, then right foot, he hooked his toes into the backs of his shoes and kicked them off, letting them fall to the floor, tumbling to rest against the base of the low coffee table that had never seen a cup of coffee.

And he wept, gently, so gently, fearing more than anything to disturb the blanket of silence under which he had lived for so long.

 

 


One Day

I’ve never had an employer I could be completely honest with. I’ve always had to make up a physical ailment when depression kept me from functioning. 


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.