I had one great love now gone. Who I thought would forever haunt me. This intensity of my love for Jasper waxes almost to eclipse her. Allows me compartmentalize. Block out the pain. Let go. Heal. My first wife’s spirit is at peace. I am released from the gilded cage of grief. She is free to fly off to the afterlife. Having watched over me for a decade with invisible undeniable presence.
I used to hear her ghost voice in my mind. With my antipsychotics switched to from Saphris to Abilify, I no longer do. If sleep deprivation still escalates to auditory hallucinations? I cannot sense or hear her anymore. Napping on the green velvet couch. I used to hear my dead first wife’s small voice singing to me in a mournful lullaby:
“Go to sleep, go to sleep,
Go to sleep little wuzh,
May your dreams
Fill your heart with,
The memory of love.
May the moonlight embrace you,
The sunlight, surround you,
May you always remember,
Our memory of love.”
Fitfully, I sleep on the couch. When I wake it is nine thirty. Almost time for my ten am scheduled Raley’s grocery delivery. Living as an eccentric recluse. In a world not safe for me. Is working out. I ordered my usual haul online at four am.
Bakery molasses cookies and cinnamon rolls. A case of energy drinks. A few extra Doubleshots and Rockstar Recovery and Hydration tall cans. Mixed nuts. Salami. String cheese. Bulk almonds, grapes and red Honeycrisp apples. Chobani blackberry on the bottom yogurt. Ten for ten dollars. San Francisco’s flagship ice cream sandwich: the It’s it’s. A couple boxes of cappuccino and mint ice cream sandwiches. I don’t exactly eat real food. Just graze like a deer.
“Put some goddamn clothes on before you answer the door,” says the voice in my head. I throw on red crotchless panties from Jasper’s little trip to Adam and Eve. That silver snakeskin strap on next leveled our sex life. I add a sports bra. Adidas leggings. Flip flops from a souvenir shop in Palm Springs. Black tank top reading “They can’t burn us all,” with a combined pentagram and female symbol on it. Top Tomato Revlon Lipstain. Daubs of pink Kat Von D highlighter. I gave up on CC Cream. Once I tanned several shades darker then the Smashbox tube. On the crystal hors d’oeuvre tray. On the pink bathroom tile. Why dress up for groceries?
The doorbell rings. Lugging my Spirit Nest, “Witch, Please” purse over my shoulder, I answer. Always having my keys? Not to get locked out? In my mind means always having a large occult tote permanently attached to my body with ID, passport and vintage hankie. I just never know who could be at the door, in these dangerous times.
The grocery delivery guy looks exactly like television’s Earl Frost/Count Bellagio. Vegas con artist appearing on The Royals, my usual comfort soap opera. The resemblance is uncanny. So uncanny, once he’s gone I google madly. Check Richard Brake’s Wikipedia to see if his side hustle is Reno Raley’s. No dice.
Count Bellagio asks for an autograph. Extends his phone. I sign for the groceries with my finger.
At the Pharmacy check out, Jasper remarks, “That’s a famous signature,” As I sign for my Wellbutrin, Klonopin and Prazosin. She adds, “I wanna get that tattooed on my body.” Nervous laughter from the two young clerks who share a first name. White girls with long blonde hair. I don’t know which one I called “little bitch” a week into withdrawals. I get intense when my life is on the line.
Over the phone I said, “Little bitch, figure it the fuck out so my meds are at my doorstep by this afternoon.” Channelling a Cardi B/Miranda Priestley mashup on repeat for DJ Amygdala. Potent remix to be swanning about in my AirPods. Blondie had never been spoken to like this, apparently. In tears, she cancelled my prescriptions. Sent them back. So they would never be filled. If I didn’t raise further hell I’d die. Bed bound. Skin swarming with invisible insects. Disintegrating rapidly. This is usual. When I’m unmedicated I lose the ability to speak. Bathe. Get out of bed. By this point I’ve lost count of how many death defying withdrawals I’ve endured since relocating. Years are being taking off my life. Visible in wrinkles. Naturally white hair.
I’m no cyborg of iron and leather. Bejeweled brown meat suit withering away. So used to staring down death it’s a welcome angel. I don’t switch pharmacies because I couldn’t expect better from anywhere else in Nevada. Same shit, different toilet. Opioid epidemic. Disabled genocide under this Neo Nazi regime.
I read the comments section on a Reno Gazette Journal article on assisted suicide. According to these peasants I am a parasite on the taxpayer who should be euthanized. Zombie Corpse Bride with death suspended like a guillotine blade above my neck. My life has no meaning or worth. None of the disabled are full humans to normal red blooded healthy working family oriented Renoites. With the decency to just die by their own rifle shot. Rather than live on drastically impaired like this.
Nevertheless, I persist. Internally, infernally driven to live as long as my hundred year old abuelita. I stand against the chain link fence in the backyard. Hold up the Tower Tarot card. Dispatch the ghosts of my ancestors. Begninia Herrera. Rufino Castro. Maria Juana Cosio. The matrilinear bloodline. Harpies do my bidding.
My California psychiatrist complains Nevada pharmacists aren’t educated. Nevada schools use Abstinence sex ed. That tells me everything I need to know. If the pharmacy computer blinks red at an unorthodox prescription? I have an extremely rare mental illness. Benzodiazepines are not for long term use for anyone other than a Schizoaffective. I could be the only person in Nevada with this diagnosis. I don’t know.
Any podunk Pharmacy tech who can’t even use a condom? Wouldn’t know about the one rare illness where a running benzo prescription is de rigeur. No IUD insertion protocol, no “Rare Psychiatric Malady Symposium,” at UNR. Thus, this pharmacy always holds my meds an extra week or few until they can reach my doctor. To double check again. And again. While I writhe in withdrawals.
My out of state psychiatrist is only in the office two days a week. She does not recommend seeking medical attention when I run out of medication. All I would get at the Renown ER would backfire into a lawsuit, she instructed me. Stay home and wait it out. I too would prefer my nonconsensual detox and death to occur at home. In the bed of our madness. Surrounded by my beloved cats and fiancée.
Jasper doesn’t want me to die. She wants to fix it. She feels like if she just talked to this little missy about how I wasn’t quite right when I was off my meds? Reasoned with her? Irish to white trash? I’m too busy conjuring Santa Muerta now that my passing privilege is blotto. Jasper heads down to the pharmacy that shall not be named to straighten this out.
Jasper comes back and tells me how fragile blondie cried victim tears. She was having a hard day at work. They were understaffed. Couldn’t that mean crazy lady on the phone be more polite? Calm down? Just go die? Quietly? Disappear? So she could have a moment of peace with her JUUL and a cup of coffee?
“Cry me a fucking river,” I tell Jasper. From bed in my house on a hill. I’ll go zero to Satan on a Nazi to stay alive. So yes, I made that little bitch cry. Didn’t feel a sprinkle of remorse in the chocolate decadence cupcake Jasper brought me from Mix Bakeshop. Let them eat cake. I lick rich chocolate frosting as I braced myself to go down there. With Jasper as bodyguard. Interpreter. Handler. I have to appear in person to pick up the controlled substance medication, apparently.
Pharmacists #1 and #2 make snide jokes right to my face. As if I’m too crazy to understand. Duly noted. Jasper responds jovially as if mocking a disabled widow’s death throes is gosh darn hilarious. Her gregarious down home advocacy saves my life. I hear the little mocking jabs by this matched set of fertile wombs. Unaware of birth control.
“Maledictus tuum primogenitum,” is my next play. Curse upon their firstborn. The voices in my head silently scream the hex. It pounds in my bloodstream. Jaspers calming presence maintains no affect submission. Proper. In silent survival mode, I hand the accursed Double-mint Twins money from my Disability check. Leave by the front glass doors. All is recorded by the black ball surveillance cameras above.
It is so hard for me to function in the outside world. I prefer the page and screen. Where audience tears are victory. Where a witch fighting for her life is high stakes Maleficent fanfic. Where Angelina Jolie’s cheek implants look fabulous in the sequel. Where my insistence on staying alive is not up for debate. When does this get a Netflix series? Invocatio Mallum!
“Use your words,” I remember from childhood asphalt. Back at home, I take the prescribed allotment to keep me alive for another day. Fire and brimstone still rage. The blood of my motherland’s harpies pounds in my ears. I calmly update the pharmacy’s Yelp review. First review anyone sees, thanks to past Yelp Elite status. Call upon Satan and my fave daemon. Put another curse on that pharmacy that shall not be named. In Latin text. After the true facts of my dismay in English. For their God and everyone on the Internet to see. As this too shall be seen.
Brittle bone meat suit. Lit by electric flame. My family knows who to sue if I die.