Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Have I never talked here about Xanax? I have always been afraid of it. It is a potentially addictive drug, and its basic function is reduce anxiety. That means its basic function is to keep me from crying in the street. It looks like this:

and the very sight of it makes me quiver with relief. I know it is there and that if I take it, I will not cry in the street.

My only venture out of the apartment today was to walk up to 52nd and Lex so I could split my remaining supply with my brother.

Before I proceed, some numbers: on September 6th, I picked up 60 of these magical little pills. I have given my brother, over the course of the last 2 weeks, 32 of them. I now have 7 left. That's bad. Very bad. It means that if I can my doctor and ask for more, she will doubtless look at my chart and assume that I am abusing the drug.** The problem is that after seeing my brother and seeing that he had a new haircut and looked, astonishingly like my dad, I kind of fucking lost it. My poor darling brother had to deal with me sobbing in his office while he was under deadline for a serious pitch* - which is totally unfair.

You see, I was stupid today. I assumed that because I cried a whole lot last night while writing a letter to my dad, that I would be sort of ok today. Instead, I have been the opposite of ok. Any passing thought of anything that made me think of my dad made my face cave in and get all blotchy and red, (please note: I am not one of those women who looks beautiful with tears running down her face. I look, instead, as if I have been beaten). I actually assumed that I had gotten it ouf of my system for a short while and had a shot at avoiding uncontrollable crying in public today. Gosh, I am stupid.

After my brother mopped me up, I had to deal with my actual work life.

I went to make copies for my students - (at my own expense, once again ... thanks Panic Hire U) and I was sent to three different locations by incompetent people who could not understand that it is in fact possible to shrink a legal sized document down to fit on letter paper by pressing a few buttons. At the third location, I finally succeeded in locating a machine that would perform the minimization and allow me to make enough copies to be able to successfully conduct anything resembling a class. Except that the good people at this final location refused to make the copies because they would be in violation of copyright laws.

And this is when I started crying. The guy behind the counter? He and I had a moment of real understanding, I think. Because he took the book and made the copies and I tossed a $5 at him. He never said a word to me and I never said a word back.

I was so ashamed that I had behaved this way that I took a xanax, thinking it would prevent me from crying on a stranger in some other location. It worked, but I still felt (and feel) like the universe is starting to fray. My dad cannot die. It just cannot happen. Xanax makes it possible not to cry your face off in front of strangers, but it doesn't make you less sad, and it doesn't give meaning. You can take the pills, but the narrative still will not work.

* my brother is, depending on how you look at it, a big fucking deal. Last year he was nominated for a VMA for his graphics work, and while he didn't win, he is famous in the business. WHich, by the way, is slowly killing him. He lives on coffee, pizza, and beer. He rarely sleeps. He lives like a zombie. It's bad.

**If you, reader, are of that opinion, then do me a favor and please fuck off. My dad is dying and I need NOT to be crying uncontrollably while waiting for copies at the Fed-Ex Kinkos. Xanax is for the greater good, not just me.

1 comment:

Effortlessly Average said...

I'm reading this months later, so you may not even see it, but I know exactly what you meant when you said it made you not cry, but does not take the hurt away. When my wife left, everything I thought I was going to have for life suddenly changed. I was still going to be able to DO the same things, but not for the same reasons or with the same passion for the person I'd thought I'd be with. And it hurt. Every fucking day. For months. I watched some of the most hurtful, vile things I've ever heard said come from her lips.

To help me see why I had to keep stringing one day behind the next, it was Lexapro. It allowed me to struggle to verticle every morning and continue on with my day, but the pain was always there, right under the surface, like a river covered with ice: the surface looked smooth and serine, but just below the thin venier was enough pain to drown in.