I wonder what I look like to that nicely put together pharmacist lady. She’s a graceful 45, long tidy braid, white coat. I give her the script for a fairly impressive dose of Klonopin. My skin is clammy with perfect circular drops of sweat pricking my upper lip, and lazier fat drops streaming down from my hairline. In the cart next to me is the boy, screaming. He doesn’t usually scream. I wouldn’t let him take his robot dinosaur with the missing battery cover and no batteries anyway into the Bi-Mart. He took it poorly. I’m wheezy because I’m sick, I’m hot, and I’m fat.
“Wha….sss the eta on that?” I breathe at her.
“Well,” she says in gentle tone and clear annunciation, “We usually are give 25-30 minutes to fill. She has to do a couple a head of you.” She smiles kindly, “Will that be ok?”
I am thinking so many things at once in a brain not prepared to handle an overload this morning. I’ve already been to the doctor today, who was not my dear sweet maternal PA Kim but a man doctor named Chaff who is competent and quick and had four sisters and four daughters. I believe this constant contact with unvarnished femininity has rusted the charm gears most men spin for women. We’re just regular people to him, devoid of mystery. Which sounds lovely and egalitarian but it also means he’s full-up on whines and whimpers and does not nod sympathetically or speak softly.
But today he was all there was. My throat felt daggered and my snot distributed itself in both appalling coloration and orifices. But we both knew I was really there for the Klonopin. If I had the Klonopin I would care if I were sick. Kim had given me a refill. But she post-dated it. A week from now. I am out.
If Dr. Chaff had been a woman, I could have told him. “The air smells like my mom dying two summers ago. The light lays like it did at the beginning of two desperate pregnancies that both almost made me, at one shameful point, pray for a miscarriage, because of whatever horrible thing those hormones wormed into my damn brain. I have a summer ahead of me of heat and responsibility, two things I fucking hate more than a normal person could ever understand. And my home life, though soft and loving, is under going tectonic shifts. Mountains are rising, floods are cleansing…it’s a mess! Give me the goddamn tranquilizers!”
But Dr. Chaff, by his own admission, isn’t big on emotions. But neither is he stingy with pills. I got the refill and stood now at the pharmacy window, my son screaming too loud for me to take him inside (so I guess we’re just gonna continue to be out of deodorant, scraping the plastic base against our armpits for whatever smear of stink blockers still remain).
30 minutes. What the fuck do I do for 30 minutes. Do you know how many baby-screeching seconds there are in 30 minutes?
“Is that all right?” she repeated.
I waited to long too answer, too long to look back into her face, “Yes. Certainly. Of course it is.” It was a false question but a polite one, so I tried to at least appear graceful. I guess I looked like just the kind of woman who would be concerned on fast her benzos can be placed in her hand. I wonder if she’s glad she’s not me.
I took the boy to a park where he clutched his stupid dinosaur and ran after a robin cajoling, “Hey! C’mon! Wass come back here!” which was so damn cute I immediately forgave him. Then I got my pills. And now, just for now, I’m ok. Gonna be…ok.