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Jett Superior laid this on you on || August 3, 2008 || 12:34 am

falling up

Tess works at a pharmacy part-time every couple of weeks. Last Saturday she got me an ampule of B-12 and a pack of syringes. They sat in the pharmacy sack on top of a vintage washstand –the first present my father ever bought my mother, discovered on a road trip in New England– until last night.

I waited until late into the evening, when the rest of my family was in bed. I found myself eyeing the sack over and over and over until I just lost patience with myself and snatched it up.

I locked myself in the tiny bathroom at the back of the house. I stood looking in the mirror above the vanity, looking hard for something I even as yet cannot quite put my finger on. Maybe fighting to recognize myself….this is something I used to do often as a child. Me and mirrors, we have a long history. They are full of an inexplicable mysticism for me, much in the same way that trees are full of an inexplicable and large comfort. For some reason, there is a part of me that believes mirrors have Big Joojoo and I must be careful with them. I think maybe they are equal parts lies and truths all mixed up, and you can get trapped in the deciphering if you are not careful enough.

It took a small weight of time, rolling the tiny bottle in my hand, staring at the plastic package of hypos, before I was able to touch it. I haven’t so much as looked at one up close in a long, lonnnng minute. Hell, when I’m getting blood drawn I can never even actively look at the needle the tech is using; while they are punching through my flesh and navigating it to a vein I throw my gaze into the other direction. This is not because I have the standard, classic fear of needles (my fear is loaded and extra-special). It’s not because I am being caused any kind of discomfort, because it often barely even registers, even when my veins are playing hide and seek (your body remembers being your fool on some level, it sure does) and some vigorous digging around with the steel is employed.

It’s somewhat like not taking a call from a bad former boyfriend: I don’t even want to give a hair’s-breadth of a chance for some kind of romantic charm to be employed, lest I be up to my neck in shit again. What, you don’t have some flavor of demon that might make you seem irrational to the random passerby?

I set the vial next to the sink, picked up the package and tore it open. Gingerly I extracted one of the syringes, skinny and lethal-looking. I am small, it said to me grimly, but I am sure as fuck-all serious.

Respect, I responded silently, Re. Spect.

After that it all became business, rapid and efficient. It’s amazing how easy it is to do things you haven’t done in years. Draw down, tap-tap. Squint, tap again. Smile in spite of self. Curse self. Pull running shorts off of hip. Parry, thrust, submerge, push, all done, triumph.

Pulling the fucking thing out almost made me sad.

It was strange and unusual for me to use a needle in pursuit of something healthy for myself. The only thing I’ve used them for previously is to quiet demons, chase forgetful bliss and destroy the good and healthy body that God seated me in.

I have to do it again next week and I’m already nerved up about it.

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9 worked it out »

  1. chris robinson 8.3.2008

    If you do survive your self-destructive impulses, so strong at a certain age, they are transformed into life lessons that are resounding expressions of gratitude for your body’s health. Since there’s no going back to alter the past, this is the next best thing. No wonder you are such a good parent.

     
  2. Shamrock 8.3.2008

    You are so very AWARE. That is good.

     
  3. Jettomatika 8.4.2008

    Christopher: I don’t know what it has to do with my parenting (please explain?), but I thank you for calling me a Good one, because sometimes I feel like I am just dug in for the ride and hanging on as best I can. Teenagers, you know, they make you feel marginally insane at best.

    Sometimes I look at those three and am overwhelmed with how clever and gifted and intelligent and pretty they all are; then I think of what they might have been like had I never embraced chemicals so fiercely and completely. Like, “If they’re this wonderful now, what might they have been like had I been more responsible?” This happens extremely rarely, but is crafted of great profundity when it does.

    My mother, not one to ever even acknowledge (well, we don’t discuss it, anyway) that I had problem with the pharmaceuticals, once admitted to me that she held her breath during all three of my pregnancies. I think she was imagining three heads or fused legs or sommat, because my mother is a Quiet Worrier of great skill and magnitude.

    At any rate, I am thankful indeedy.

    Shammy: Depending on the day, this is a not-so-positive trait, as well. >:?o)

     
  4. chris robinson 8.5.2008

    Surviving self-destructive addictions can leave you with a deep appreciation of life. You express it in terms of love. Where most of us respond to life’s fragility with fear, those who have challenged limits know the fragility intimately and love it. (This may be too much a generalization, but I think it applies to you.) Children, adolescents especially, have good crap detectors. They can tell when an utterance is backed by mere fear. When my mother would lay down the law, I took it to be an arbitrary limit to be tested. It was different with my father (and this has nothing to do with physical threat or violence — he’s a peaceful person.) Because he had experienced things, seen the worst of both the world and himself, when he spoke, I knew it came from a biographical crucible that transformed pain into love. Hope this makes sense of why I think you and my dad as great parents. And, yes, as a teen, I could drive even my father to the brink (not with recklessness, but with dreaminess).

     
  5. Jettomatika 8.5.2008

    Mathias is of that ilk.

     
  6. Coelecanth 8.5.2008

    Knowing where your landmines are is the best way to get through the dance of life.

     
  7. red 8.14.2008

    oh, honey.

     
  8. Jenny, Bloggess 8.17.2008

    Your awesomeness was featured on BS Sunday on the Houston Chronicle Online: http://tinyurl.com/6c2w4u

    Except I couldn’t find your permalink for this entry so I just pointed people to the whole damn blog. Which is what they should be reading anyway.

     
  9. Jettomatika 8.17.2008

    Oh, Jenny the Bloggess, you big flatterer.

    I would kiss you on the mouth, but I’d be afraid of our meds causing one another some crazy adverse reaction.

     

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