SMILE (Part 13) – or Belle of the Bin


 Black and white clock


Belle of the Bin –

The paperwork to move over to Lodging Plus is slow and confusing. I sign and date sheets and forms with long lists of psycho-babble and insurance lingo that make no sense. Murray and Jennifer look sad in the rec room, hand me a piece of paper. “It has our numbers on it,” Jenny says in a whisper. I still cannot tell how two people can feel chemistry when one barely has a pulse, but in their odd, upside down way, they are as happy as depressives can be. “When we all get out, we should have lunch, or something.”

Yesterday, Dr. Lopez bumped me up to a level three. A level three means cigarettes. I had ten supervised minutes outside where I could finally use a lighter, smoke two cigarettes in succession, stomp them out with the heel of my boot. It made me dizzy and sick, but I can’t wait to do it again.

I don’t have much to pack, some clothes Shen sent up along with a pair of combat boots, a cheap, yellow notebook filled with therapeutic writing assignments and worksheets about feelings and stress. And a handful of Johnny’s smooth, gray letters.

My Dearest Belle of the Bin:

Less than a week ago, I cried my eyes out after seeing you. Today, I bounced home after leaving the Hospital. You were absolutely Beaming when I left. You are getting better, I can see it, so can everyone else. The “Wreck-Room” cheered when You made the announcement… “Johnny Y’know what time it is?….. Time for a smoke!” You beamed and compared the moment to getting Married, or giving Birth. It is an Honor to have been there, and to see You so. I’m sure that the Power of the moment has faded a bit, by now, but You shoulda seen yourself. You Glowed.

If I were a Doctor, You’d be My favorite Patient…..Although, in My case, You’d be an Ethics-Violation waiting to happen. I admire the way You question things, and read up, insist on being involved. You don’t just blindly pop whatever they throw at you, and hope it works.

For the last few months, You’ve barely mentioned Your Kids. It seemed to Me that it was all You….always You….going no-where, blowing good money and sacred time on nothing but misery. You were an Emotional Ruin, and I just felt pain whenever I left Your presence. On one hand, I was mad and amazingly hurt, and on the other hand…I sure understood. I’ve been there before.

Stick with it, and You’ll be that Great Mom that I’ve seen You be, doing one-handed cartwheels, giving Camel-rides, and just…loving it.

I’m Proud of You, SweetHeart, (Note the capital ‘P’ in ‘Proud’). You’re the Belle of the Bin, and I Adore You, no matter what has ever happened, no matter what ever will.

I watch the nurses pack my medications into plastic Ziploc bags with inserts and tables that explain the complicated pill regiment, the dosing schedule. There’s an excited, nervous energy that’s infectious, changes the staff’s usual slow, smooth movements into spastic jerks and sharp gestures. Time matters, like someone started the clock again; the one that’s in sync with the rest of the world.

Rumors swirl – I will be discharged and sent to rehab today, tomorrow, maybe next week.  No one knows what’s going on, except when the call comes they’ll unlock the doors, and I’ll have to go right away. But I know this: when it’s all done, I can walk outside in the winter air, watch my breath turn icy and gray, feel the cold sting when I inhale.  I’ll stretch my arms out wide, trace circles in the air with the end of a lit cigarette. Now,  Simple freedoms are bold and bright like fireworks – showers of sparks raining in a midnight sky.


5 Responses to “SMILE (Part 13) – or Belle of the Bin”

  1. I feel the edge of a cliff here. And I wonder, what would it be like to have lunch on the “outside” with Murray and Jennifer? You’ve got me hooked. You are a brilliant writer with a hell of a story. I look forward to every new post.

    • Thanks so much. I’m glad you kept up and followed closely. Was worried how to break these sections up. This is the third chapter (all 13 pieces) from my memoir. The response has been lovely.

  2. Simply put Lennon, this is amazing writing. My eye’s are welled up with tears. Selfish reasons I imagine…I feel like I was right there with you, cheering you on, but then not wanting to let you go!

    • I’m surprised, yet pleased, with the emotional responses I’ve gotten from this piece. I had no idea my work would affect people so much. Thanks for keeping up! I’ll have some newer stuff to post soon.

  3. 5 Cathy Brockman

    A great memoir!

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