She had come to the ER seizing, overdosed on coke, sometime in the morning before I arrived. She came fighting, swearing and combative. The nurses restrained her, searched for a usable vein in her wasted body, finally giving her a needle in the neck.

When I arrived she had been in a room for several hours, homeless, nameless, hopeless. Yelling at the nurses (or maybe God, or the universe), “Fuck you!” – I don’t know if any one responded. Finally silent, she began to shake. No longer high, no longer seizing. She curled tight into a ball, crying with the pain of withdrawal, her filthy dark hair obscuring her face.

“Will you send her to detox?” I asked one of the nurses.

“It’s not worth it.”

And so I, merely an observer there, sat and listened. I watched the nurses as they joked loudly, dehumanizing their patient; coping in the only way they could, I suppose. Nonetheless I was heartsick that they would deny her humanity, something she could not rise up and claim for herself.

They added, in their way, to her list of “withouts”– homeless, nameless, hopeless – and to them, worthless.

I left the ER before she did, and paused as I passed her open door. Suddenly seeing not the worthless addict, but the form of a child: A daughter, now lost. All at once past her wasted, curled body I saw the grace of someone’s little girl. I saw the simple human grace denied her by the nurses (only one more addict in an endless stream), her own lost sense of grace, and that denied her by this world. Most of all, I saw all that had been buried, burned away, in line upon graceful line of crystalline powder.


the wellsprings

They gave me a vial of my spinal fluid, for some reason... It was slightly warm, having very recently been drawn from me. I placed the plastic tube, marked with a raised numeral 4, in my purse. What else to do with it? It felt more personal, somehow, than blood might have – not something I could casually dump into the next orange-lined waste bin. And so I carried the vial, a few milliliters of fluid so clear it could have been holy water – a sacrilege to dispose of it flippantly.

On occasion I wonder: Were I to live long enough, might the ocean inside my head erode my skull to sand? It is a reproachably silly notion, thought in day-dream-haze... Allowed eternity, how long might the carefully filtered waves beat at these seemingly immobile shores?

The vial of spinal fluid is old now, still sealed and perfectly clear, kept in a shoebox full of photos and letters. My body has been momently, efficiently producing more of the stuff from its crimson wellsprings – beautiful, vital fluid, taken for granted. A holy distillate. In my case, a blessing bestowed in gratuity.


irony strikes again

i shouldn't have titled my blog as i did........ came back to bite me in the ass already. i never intended to be so neglectful, and i want desperately to blog about something pithy, funny, insightful, informative, soulful, or something...

but as it stands, i am practically narcoleptic from my recent medical interventions and the whole handful of pills i swallow every few hours. not to mention practically bipolar from the corticosteroids that are supposedly soothing my meninges (while making me a basketcase.. nice tradeoff).

i shall return, and soon, DAMMIT!