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Part Two: Why Did You Decide to Move to Argentina?

June 11, 2010

Louisville Skyline, Photo: Author

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.

Photo: A. Sparrow

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.

Germantown Sky, Photo: Author

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)

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2010 2:07 pm

    Damn, the hooks are in. This is great writing, Kate.

  2. papertrail23 permalink
    June 11, 2010 11:44 pm

    more, mas, porfa.

  3. June 12, 2010 1:07 am

    Agreed. This is fantastic story-telling.

  4. June 12, 2010 1:43 am

    Man, guys. I’m really flattered by your comments, and I’ll try to deliver on the next ones. Kind of conflicted about saying too much. It’s nice to hear that it’s appreciated.

  5. Kim Grace permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:12 pm

    Damn…Kate… Damn… Say it. I’m with you.

  6. June 14, 2010 7:15 pm

    Wow, Kate. I second everything said above. Keep it coming. I really want to read part 3. Also terrifying, though, ’cause Jorge’s not going to have insurance when we get to the states. Don’t want to think about it.

    • June 14, 2010 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Sarah. I really appreciate it.

      Well, unless Jorge’s got health problems that require regular visits to the doctor, I really doubt you will have any problems. Emergency care can not be denied in the event that there is a serious illness or accident – so keep that in mind. I haven’t had insurance in more than 10 years, and am still kicking. It doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen or not.

  7. June 16, 2010 6:21 pm

    Just another fan trying to pick her jaw up off the floor after reading this realness. You set the standard for self-disclosure and integrity and it makes me want to step up. Plus the writing itself is so, so strong. I’m lucky to know you.

    • June 16, 2010 6:24 pm

      Angie Reed! You’re embarrassing me! Even so, I feel very lucky to know you. I think about you a lot and things we have discussed and things you say and do. You always inspire me. I miss you.

  8. Dana B. permalink
    June 18, 2010 1:23 am

    So, yeah, I can’t wait for part 3 too. I wish I had been around that morning you got hit, I would have taken you to the hospital and not given you any crap! You’re awesome and I miss your artistic greatness a lot!

    • June 18, 2010 10:15 pm

      Thanks, Dana! I miss your discerning eye and sharp photos. Are you still doing photography?

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