Wednesday, February 6, 2013

There is no relief in the world without my meds

In the time of zombies, we will not have access to the medications that we need to live. This may make us stronger, or perhaps weaker. Eventually we will be better off, imo. It's possible we may find herbal remedies, but I doubt we were ultimately meant to create our own evolution, we will have to rely on the invisible, fickle, and uncompassionate hand of natural selection.

I am on no less than 5 medications at once. I take balsalazide and azathioprine/imuran for ulcerative colitis, atenelol and baby aspirin for high blood pressure (wtf?), and zoloft and ativan for anxiety (uh huh). So, I'll essentially be a blood- gutted heart attack waiting to happen and worrying about it constantly. I would have to drive my Escape through the pharmacy window and get entire supplies. I guess I could pretend that I'm Tony Stark or something.

Please, enjoy this poem about Zoloft and what the world may be like for me without it.


When I forget to take my Zoloft before bed I dream about ex-girlfriends. Not nightmares, never nightmares, more like good dreams and nostalgic dreams. I dream of things like long, tan legs in khaki shorts and bowling shoes, things with shy smiles to wake the dead or soothe the soulless, I smell things like cucumber melon and have glimpsed a thing like a fleeting wisp dancing through shadow and dusky air, cloaked in billowing white cotton and sunset. I have tasted things like birthday cookies made by girls who did not know enough. Yes, I rather like these dreams, these feelings, places like the back seat of Ford Escort at 2 am, an airport in Chicago, an abandoned pier just before sunrise. I wake up half-mad with grief, the grief only a man who was once young can know. Yes, the Zoloft I have to take because it makes it possible for people to be around me, if I don’t take it I get angry mostly and yell at things and dream of the young girls from the shrouded hollow of my past, a bed and a book, Grendel, I think, and the soft pull of an ever softer hand below the bedsheets, a hand of a spritely beggar and I think myself Grendel himself, some great wild, savage prince and not some skinny anxious boy without money. I dream of dark hair and eyes green like dragon eyes, and braids, oh yes braids to shame the Germans. I dream of the blonde ones too, the pretty little blondes who wait to kiss you until you’ve tracked in mud from the yard, and of course the ones with much smaller little brothers who follow them around and stand at the front door like fathers but not like fathers.

I forget to take my Zoloft at night and then I find myself in a darkened room with a silly song playing on repeat and a mouth pressed to mine and my hands with anywhere to go from here. and then the Catholic girls who want to read me Bible verses and take things slow or the ones who take things fast and kiss me all over in a poorly lit parking lot with the glow and sounds of a city around the corner and everything happening everywhere. There is also the one who would not come with me, and she would not shout back at me, and she did not love me but that is okay because I did not love her but she comforted me once when I was half-mad and that is enough for her to be there sometimes and she is welcome.

They say that a memory is just a small part of a picture and the mind fills in the gaps, but not so in my dreams when I forget to take my Zoloft at night. My memories are made in the laps of dorm-room-goddesses and they’re the ones that tell me what to believe and what to remember. I remember long, tan legs in khaki shorts and bowling shoes and shy smiles that could wake the dead and soothe the soulless. And isn’t that all that matters when I dream at night in my house when I’ve had too much to drink and the Zoloft goes untaken on the night stand? Isn’t that what matters when those images from a million years ago and lost come back but not really, and I know they’re lost but I can smell them and hear them in the shadow cloaked in dusk and billowing white cotton? When I can chase them along dark streets and through strange houses and I know they’re there but they’re not there, they’re lost in the shrouded hollow of my mind.

Ah, the sweet excess of selective seratonin reuptake. There is nothing more human than to dream with fond memory and maybe I am human, too.

We all make sacrifices for the ones we love, my sacrifice is Zoloft, for my wife, for my kids, for my friends and for my family, and then they can be around me and make my waking hours what they are. And when I sleep, I dream of strange sports and flying, I have nightmares of cities in ruin and armies marching, and always lightning, always. And then sometimes running in quicksand and sometimes swimming at the bottom of the ocean and breathing comfortably. These things that keep me from waking up half-mad with grief, the grief only a man who has been once young can feel, they fight for me and when I ask if the others will fight, the one dancing through shadow and skittering along the nighttime streets just out of sight, well, she says something from shadow but I don’t know what. The one in bed beckons me from my reading again but she will beckon anyone. The bright small one with the braids will darken and turn to dust in my arms. The one with the repeating music, she will send me out into the streets freezing and naked, my life a ruin itself, there is no fight in a ghost. There aren’t many memories that are worth fighting for let alone that will fight for me, my daughter in her cradle, my son’s smile, my wife, well, too much about her to tell.

And the nights that I forget to take my Zoloft, still they are not nightmares, they are good dreams and nostalgic dreams, even drawn from the haze of my memory. But they have no minds, they are only tiny dots and air filled in around them, and they are frozen there, and they are decaying there in the reaches of that holler. They cannot fight because they were only real once and no more, they stare with blank faces or hide still in shadow, just out of sight. I sacrifice them gladly with 75 mgs of Zoloft every night. But the long, tan-legged one with the bowling shoes and the timid smile that can wake the dead and soothe the soulless, she moves through the late summer night in front of the light from her doorway, her baby brother standing there, waiting. She will smile like that, brush the dark hair out of her eyes like dragon eyes, lean forward and whisper “you’re mine.”

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