Monday, February 8, 2016

Just enough

     Yes, I was scared.
     It wasn't Petrified scared or Shell-Shocked scared.
     It was No Going Back Now scared, like the day Ronnie was born.
     I was thrilled when the doctor said, "We're admitting you."
     But then, I remembered how much it hurt before.
     It was funny, realizing I was thinking about it nine months too late.

     Nothing was funny about standing in the pharmacy line to get my new drug.
     I want my Depakoted life back or my life before I knew what my "spells" were.
     I want to feel like me again.
     My knees were shaking, but no one could see. I looked down and checked to make sure.
     "Can this really be this?"
     It was self-pity. I wanted to run from her pathetic whining and even threw a glance at the door.
     Instead of going through, I practiced what to say at my turn, scripting it out in my head.
     I tried to sound smart and tough, like my sisters, so it wouldn't come out in a tangled mess, the way I feel inside.
     The new pills couldn't work if I left them on the bathroom shelf, afraid of the side-effects. That could happen if I didn't ask my questions the right way.
     My eyes slipped over to where Tommy sat, but he didn't notice because he was looking down at his phone, trying not to see the woman in the wheelchair.
      She didn't have any hair. A scarf covered almost all the places where it wasn't.
      Later, on the drive home, Tommy described her as "the lady with cancer," which was okay with me because I didn't want him thinking she has epilepsy.
     I stopped wondering about her label after she rolled over next to me and we got to know one another, with our eyes.
     When I looked into hers, they were beaming with joy.
     The bald woman in the wheelchair was having a better day than the curly-haired woman in the cowboy boots. We realized this and almost burst out giggling at our shared secrets, but
instead smiled harder at each other.

     Looking back at the counter, I told myself to Get a grip!!!!!
     That's when I heard the music.

     Where was it coming from?

     It couldn't be a speaker because the sound was too clear...
     The baby grand in the lobby..maybe?

     I couldn't tell for sure, so I started walking toward it.
     Then, I caught myself.
     Nobody else was getting out of line to follow the sound of Beethoven, but they were feeling it.
     We all were.
     At first, I wanted to keep walking and didn't care about having to wait in line all over again.

     I still had to get closer to find out where it was coming from.

     But then, I reminded myself that it wouldn't be fair to Tommy. He was already in a hospital pharmacy with his mother on a Friday afternoon.
     I stayed put, sort of.
     There were plenty of stops I could make in my mind on the trail of Fur Elise. We've been friends for a long time, since I was a little girl.
     It's stuck in me, like my accent.

     Everyone else was listening, or at least hearing it, as the background music to their own thoughts.
     It was like being in church when everyone pays attention to the same thing at exactly the same moment.
     We were all connected by something we couldn't quite explain, something bigger than us.
     "This is too much!" I said, but only to myself, inside my head.
     It was a last plea to hold back the hot, drippy, noiseless tears building up inside my cheeks, eager to make their debut in public, the worst place.
     But they didn't come out.
     The music wasn't too much; it was just enough.
     I stopped wanting my sisters to walk me to the counter and say the words for me, in their strong voices and instead found my own, ready to speak.
     It was finally my turn.