Part Two: Why Did You Decide to Move to Argentina?
This is post #2 in a series. You can see post #1 here.
Despite his tall stature and paunch, Dr. Bloemer’s head seems too big for his body. After looking at my x-rays and checking my range of motion, he looms over me and pronounces my injury a probable bone chip. He says he will prescribe me something for the pain and tells me to schedule a follow up.
“What is it? I can’t have synthetic opiates. They give me a psychotic reaction.”
“It’s an anti-inflammatory and pain killer.”
“Are there synthetic opiates in it? I can’t have any.”
“The dose is so low, it won’t cause you any problems.”
I accept this answer.
Later that night, my friend Erica takes me to get my prescription filled. I swallow the pill dry. Before we even get back to the house I feel the effects. The relief is palpable. My body relaxes, my mind starts to let in other things besides the girdle of pain engulfing my left side. I take a bath.
Still can’t lie down, but the painkiller, hot water and a clean body have me feeling better than I have in a few days. I sleep sitting up, a wedge pillow behind me.
Instead of doing research or calling any number of wankers I’d seen on TV, I go to see John DeCamillis, the lawyer I think of as my lawyer who has defended me on some misdemeanor charges. The office is a maze of plush carpeted conference rooms, portraits of horses and varnished tables buffed to a high sheen. Too much forest green. A cultivated ivy league look.
It is the first of many times I will hear, “We’re gonna get you your money,” and “We’re going after her policy limits.”
I blow off the queasy feeling I have and the dirge running through my mind that something about the interaction is like dealing with a very well programmed robot or sociopath. He is a lawyer and this is to be expected. He uses my first name in nearly every sentence and smiles widely after each statement involving money. The insincerity of his sympathy is pathetically obvious.
Crisp ironed shirt with narrow pinstripes. “I know how you feel, Kate.”
“I have a shoulder injury myself, Kate. It’s no fun.”
“We’re going to file a motion to discover her policy limits, Kate. And then we’re going after them.” Grin. Expectant look into my eyes.
I am represented.
The funny thing about mania is that it comes on slowly. The reason that it is so hard to identify as a problem is that at first you just feel like a slightly superior version of yourself.
Every joke I tell gets a laugh and my movements are a tad more fluid, my intellect a tad sharper. Despite losing sleep, I feel a cut above myself. It’s hard to see that as problematic, though history might indicate otherwise. So as a mild psychosis starts to set in with nowhere to go but hearing voices, paranoid delusions and humiliating, public outbursts of anger I find very hard to live with later, all of that seems so impossible and far away that I just roll with it.
It feels so good to be liked. To be optimistic. To get along. To feel understood. It feels so good to fucking feel good because the average day can be full of small, magical interactions and new friends who are happy to know me too instead of awkward moments, boredom and varying degrees of misanthropy. The cookie cutter storefronts, houses, pavement: the sun hits them a different way.
My job lets me stay on as a ticket taker. No more talk of the light booth. I greet the members of the audience with a smile, take their tickets, guide them to tables.
In school, I feel whip smart, groove on ideas and reject others with insightful comments. At least that’s the way I see it. And life goes on.
(Part 3 to come)