Monday, May 16, 2011

Something must be wrong...

by 13 Stoploss

I reached my hand inside the box, pulling out the junk fliers and advertisements and coupons. But on top, above it all, I saw the thin envelope with the familiar two letters in the corner.

It's been five months since I began and I've been expecting the correspondence--I am within the 125 actual and beyond the 90 goal. So everyday, I walk out there, expecting to be let down, that today, and tomorrow today and the next day future today, are not the days.

Today is not that day, either, but still my hands shake and tremble. Might be the caffeine and an empty stomach, the fear and nervousness like when I knocked three times on the boardroom door, listening for the Command Sergeant Major to beckon me in.

That day, then, I passed. I became more than I was. Now, I'm waiting on someone to label me, some far away and unseen person, maybe in an office with a stack of paper people like me on a desk, mixed with stats and statements and charts, or in some cold, brushed steel examining room.

It's the second "we haven't forgot about you" letter I've received since March, the second time my hands have trembled nervous with fear or excitement when reaching into the box. And I wonder whether my nightmares aren't real enough or whether the classroom explosions aren't loud enough. Do I need to spend more time collecting my thoughts, drifting off in mid sentence, while speaking to others? Should I not be polite when some airhead asks me how many Iraqi's I've killed? Should I not go out, so that I can save myself the embarrassment of just finding a corner anyway? Maybe I shouldn't fear the pills, the bottles of pills, that knock me out so strong that not only do I fall asleep, but I can't wake up. And instead of drinking a couple every night, maybe I should multiply the couple by three, so that I am more withdrawn from my marriage and my family and my studies.

I'm wrong, but I'm not a liar.


Anonymous said...

You are what you are. Your job as a writer is to be who you are, and report back faithfully. Your job as a husband, a father and as a member of a family is simply to do the best you can at any given moment. It's all you can do, and that is enough.

If people want to be entertained by fantasy they can go to the movies. z

Pattie Matheson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pattie Matheson said...

what z said.

And I would add that if you're having trouble waking up you need not fear the pills, just tell your Dr so that s/he can adjust the dose. Probably should consider skipping the booze too. But I bet you've already heard that ....

Sleep is necessary for healing. And so is good nutrition -- that means breakfast consists of more than a cup of caffeine. I came to the party late on that one, but it does make a difference when you give it a chance :)

Some heartfelt and touching writing. I'd say elegant but suspect you'd say not.
PS: as long as you're doing your best you're not wrong -- temporarily disoriented perhaps ;) and as long as you stay honest, well, that's what counts.
My thinking here: you're 80 years old, going to the VA for one thing or another because there's always something when you reach that point in life. Somebody asks you about your experience in Iraq, because somebody will. How you gonna remember a lie that's 60 yrs old! Ya don't want them asking for their money back -- and they will!

KathyB said...

Looking in from way outside here, confused but in your corner and hope things improve.

My daughter is back in therapy after many years away. Lost her former counselor to dementia. Also taking a pill to help sleep. For her that is a very tricky item. I agree that it may be too high a dose or perhaps not quite the right med.

Best I can do. Holding all of you in my thoughts with love.

Jean said...

It is an absolute necessity to never stop believing in yourself. Trust yourself to know what is best for you and don't let your 'other' self convince you to do what you know you should not. Be it meds, alcohol or actions. Stay strong.