Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sammy Sitting in the Dark

            “So? How ya feeling?”
            “Fine. I feel fine,” Sammy spoke into the phone. He was sitting in the dark to be able to concentrate on her voice better, “I was really depressed but now I'm fine. I promise.”
            “You wouldn't lie to me now, would you?” she spoke into the phone too. She was in her kitchen cooking with wine.
            “No. And anyway, I figure you'd know if I was.”
            “Oh yeah? How come?”
            “Well, don't you with psychos all the time? I mean, isn't that your job?”
            “No!” she wasn't as defensive as she sounded though. She took it with a grain of salt, “I help people! Poor people, mostly. Some of them just happen to be psycho. Alright, a lot of them,” she admitted, “I think being really poor can sorta make you that way.”
            “I'm really poor.”
            “Yeah, but you're not a psycho! You're just depressed.”
            Was depressed. And it's okay. I'm the one who brought up the psycho thing anyway.”
            “Do you feel psycho?”
            “Mm...” she grumbled, “Well, I'm still concerned. You remember my friend, don't you?”
            “Yes. But I told you, I'm not like that.”
            “I know. But he was just depressed too. It can escalate, ya know.”
            “I do know. And it had.”
            “But you're not thinking about hurting yourself anymore, right?”
            “And the meds seem to be working okay?”
            “They were but I kinda ran out about a week ago.”
            “My script ran out and they didn't give me any refills.”
            “Well, haven't you looked into getting any more?”
            “Yeah, but I can't afford it right now. The doctor's is like a hundred bucks and the meds themselves are like fifty...and that's just for one month so... It's such a strain. In a way, I almost wish I never would have gotten on them at all.”
            “Don't say that. You were doing so much better. And there's help, you know? There's ways to help you get them.”
            “Yeah, well...I've looked. I can't really find anything. It's too bad too. I swear to God, they get you hooked and then make you jump through hoops. It's not at all unlike street drugs. Not at all.”
            “Well...just hang in there. I'll see what sort of information I can dig up.”
            “Thank you. I'd really appreciate that. Sometimes, after making a few phone calls that lead nowhere, I get even more...frustrated.”
            “Okay,” she seemed to understand, “But no withdrawal symptoms or anything like that?”
            “What's that? I couldn't hear you.”
            “No withdrawals from the meds?”
            “ Not really.”
            “What was that? Are you talking to someone?”
            “No,” Sammy whimpered. Suddenly, he sounded very sad to her.
            “What's the matter?”
            “I'm serious,” she pled though not frantically.
            “It's nothing. I...”
            “What is that? It's like you're mumbling.”
            “I've gotta go.”
            “Sam. Just talk to me. I don't want to say that you owe me that but... But, we've been friends for a long time. Years, Sammy. Years. Almost ten years. Jesus. And you know I worry about you...even more so because I don't live anywhere close. And then there's that whole thing that happened to my friend last year. And so now I need to help you. For you and for me. But I can't unless you just talk to me here. And don't lie. Just tell me what's really going on.”
            “Nothing's really going on. I swear. I'm fine. I've just got to...”
            “Oh my God,” Sammy whimpered again, “Thank you. That's what I really wanted to say. You're my best friend and without you I'd still be really, really depressed.”
            “Yeah, but...”
            “I've got to go, okay?”
            “No,” she grew stern now, “Not okay...”
            “I've gotta go. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Or I'll text you or something. I swear.”
            But Sammy hung up.
            “I asked you, please, to not come around here anymore.”
            “I thought you said that you wouldn't.”
            “..........! ..........!”
            “Please, floating-head monster,” he drooled, “I just really didn't wanna see you.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Winter Hotel

I arrived the day before you at this sort of bed and breakfast retreat. You were having some trouble because of the unexpected weather. The Central Valley isn’t used to heavy snowfall. And I waited in what would be our room watching flurries from the window. Sad because I had to wait for you and because I was so warm and toasty when I knew you were still out fighting crowds of sneezing people and cold wind. But then word came; you were down in the lobby. People wanted me to know so I could help you with your luggage. Maybe they just wanted me to know period. And you looked so pretty in your sweater. We paused for a quick hug. I asked what other bags you had and you said, “Cuneiform.” I knew this to mean your white boxes with the scratchy, decorative-lettering. You squealed with glee to be alone with me in the warmth of our room.