The Prescription *


My friend Jill posted a picture of Steve Bannon on Facebook with his quote, “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.” Jill’s comment was “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” My response was “hash tag medical marijuana.”steve bannon devil

I was kidding when I wrote it. But on Tuesday afternoon at 4:30, as the sun skidded the sky with Caribbean color, I pulled into a strip mall in Wilmington, off Pacific Coast Highway, for an appointment to get my prescription. Five storefronts lined the parking lot. A liquor store and the medical clinic were the only two that weren’t vacant, and a guy with his hands in his pockets loitered in a shadowy corner. I thought about driving away, but I got out of the car, put my purse on my shoulder and walked to a door with white block lettering: PCH Medical Clinic.

The office was cold. The walls were ghost white. My boots clicked on the dark brown parquet floors.

“Hi,” I said to the twenty-something girl sitting at a desk in a small office behind a window. “I called earlier.”

She looked up at me and smiled. “I’ve never done this before,” I said. I’d googled medical marijuana doctors. This place had 5 1/2 stars on Yelp.

The girl gave me some forms to fill out. I checked off the symptoms anxiety, stress and insomnia, and ticked depression and back pain for good measure. I signed several waivers promising not to drive under the influence or operate heavy machinery, and not to sell, redistribute or share my marijuana.

When I gave her my completed paperwork, I noticed an ATM in the corner. “Do you take credit cards?”

“No,” she said. “The appointment is $50 cash, if you have the coupon. It’ll be $65 without it. You’ll need cash for the dispensary, too.” I got $200 from the machine.

I didn’t wait more than five minutes before she called for me. As I followed her into the back I heard the ring of a Skype call. She brought me into an office with an oak desk. On it sat a computer monitor and a mouse.

“He’s not here?” I said.

She wiggled the mouse, connected the call and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. I sat down and smiled at myself in the small box at the bottom of the screen, pale in my black Equinox t-shirt. My mouth was dry. I put my purse on my lap and folded my hands over it.

“Hello,” said a face on the screen. He was bald, shiny and overexposed. He wore a white lab coat and looked up at me through gold wire-framed glasses. I took him to be in his early 70s. “Can you hear me?” he asked.

“Yes, hello.”

“So.” He looked down at the forms twenty-something girl must have faxed to him. “How long have you had insomnia?”

“On and off for a couple of months.” I lied.

“And you have some back pain?” He was writing.

“My lower back,” I said. That was true, I’d just come from the chiropractor.

“How long have you been depressed?”

One of the definitions for depression is low in spirits. Another is vertically flattened. I felt both. My anxiety was real. But I didn’t want him to think I needed a shrink and meds or I wouldn’t get my weed.

I made the decision to get the prescription after a white delivery truck barreled toward me in traffic that morning. I had to swerve and jump a lane to get out of its trajectory. That’s when I burst. I couldn’t stop crying. The level of the swamp out there is getting high and there’s a riptide pulling me out to sea. I didn’t want to cry here, in front of the Skype Doctor, let my guard down. I needed to be calm. Explain in a mature tone that I just needed a little soft focus.

“Here’s the thing,” I said. “I’m not officially depressed. It’s more like I’m stressed.” I paused. He kept writing. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I wanted to be cool. “It’s not like I want to be stoned all the time. I mean I heard that there’s this stuff that just takes the edge off, you know, without being super stoney.” My heart skipped and slipped into my stomach. I felt awkward. I looked at myself on the screen and took a breath. Tried to gather my thoughts. Stay calm.

“The truth is,” I said, “this election, well, the outcome and everything has me really freaked out.” Shit, I didn’t mean to say that. What if he voted for the guy? He could be one of those people that says, “Hey we put up with Obama for eight years and we survived.”

A penny lay on the desk by the monitor. If a penny lands heads up, its good luck. If it’s tails, I flip it over, give someone else a chance to find a little luck. I needed some luck. These days, everyone I care about, that I’m close to, can use a little luck. A little softness. A little kindness. A little ease. Luck that lets you know you’ll be fine. Everything will be okay. Gives solace. The kind of luck that’s light. Light like compassion, peace, hope. I reached for the penny. Tossed it. Tails. I flipped it over.

The doctor stopped writing and looked up at me. I hoped he’d give me my prescription and I could buy some liquid miracle and a vape pen. Some Acapulco gold, purple haze or amnesia. That’s what I needed.

“Tell me about it” he said. “These are some crazy times.” He smiled a soft smile. “You can pick up your prescription at the front desk.”

“That’s it?”

“Yes,” he said, and the call was disconnected. I took a deep breath and exhaled for what felt like the first time in weeks.* medicalm

* Previously Published in Writers Resist

The Truth Is…

This election has really been crazy.

That’s an understatement, I know.  This election has really made me crazy. Truth be told, I’ve let it make me crazy.    Not, lock-me-in-the-loony-bin crazy, but crazy enough.  This election did something else, it got me to speak my mind.  To let my voice be heard.  More so than just this blog, but in a way that might make people… uh, um, feel uncomfortable, or, you got it,  not like me.  Oh My!

Listen,  I’m sure many have un-friended me on Facebook. That’s okay.  I admit I’ve gotten caught up, watched too much news, read too many news articles on line.  I’ve let myself feel the affects of all of this and I’ve shared a lot of it. I’ve spoken up, said my piece at the risk of losing ‘friends’. At the risk of being ridiculed, at the risk of being attacked or even worse being made fun of. 🙂   That’s okay, because I did what I thought was right.

I know there are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth. The truth is what seems to get twisted, buried, diffused, taffy pulled, cooked, baked, silly puttied, melted, condensed and trivialized during elections, at least during this one.

I don’t like lying.  Most of the time, if someone says something to me, I believe what they’re saying.  It’s Bill who’ll say, “Hey, they’re lying”.  Like the way sales people inflate their revenues, stuff like that.  The election, well it’s easy, just fact check.  Find out who’s saying what and if they’re super biased and then make a determination for yourself.  Not everyone does the fact checking, so I did it for myself and then I shared.  I feel uncomfortable with all the spinning.  I don’t spin, not webs anyway.

I’m into the truth. I’m not a good liar.  Get this, if I’m upset with someone, I’ll avoid them until I’ve had time to sort out what is my part in the situation and how I can communicate it with diplomacy and kindness. I’d rather do that, because I can’t pretend. If I’m upset with someone I can’t look them in the eye.  I’ll look away.  As you can imagine, sometimes this doesn’t go over so well. I’ll get hunted, tracked down until I can’t avoid any longer.  Sometimes even the response,  “Hey, let’s talk next week.” or “Hey, I need some time, a little space, can I get back to you?”  or “Hey, I need some time to process what you said” doesn’t work.  Sometimes it does and other times it doesn’t.  We all have our own time frames for speaking our minds.  Me?  I need time to process what I’m thinking and feeling before I put it out there.

There is no time in elections. At least it doesn’t feel like there is.

I’m grateful that we’re here; at Election Day and that I have cast my vote. I’ve spoken with my tiny black circles of ink on a ballot. I received my red white and blue flag sticker that says “I Voted”. When I was younger I used to think, how can my vote make a difference. I know better now.  If everyone thought that way, well, then no one would vote and where would we be? So I share, Please Vote on Facebook, I tweet it, I Google plus it. (Who would’ve thought, we’d be tweeting or google-plussing, or Facebook-ing.  Shotgun on the new verb usage!)

Let Go

Today I’m taking care of me. I’ve done my calls, my posts, my shares, my campaigning for my guy.  I’ve used my voice. I’ve voted. Today I’m taking care of me.  Today I’m going to change the subject, abruptly. I’m leaving. I’m ascending into myself. I’ll be spending four hours at the S Factor in LA, diving into my hips, my circles, my curves, my swirls, my song, my motion, my music; cascading into my own rhythm and groove. Disappearing into breath and movement.  Gliding into firefly, half pint,  snake, Peter Pan, ballerina, pole bend, Tinker Bell.  Submerging myself in breath.  I’ll  let my hair fly while I vanish.  My hands, my skin, my legs, my chest, my heart and my soul, will exhale.

In the dark room, loud half notes, whole notes, quarter notes circulate in and around metal poles, rub up against cool walls and wood floors and tickle the back of my neck, drip down my back, caress my belly and my thighs.

Dropping my tension, fear, anguish and frustration in the basket at the door and  picking up my faith and power as I slip  into myself with a sweet smile.

Like I said, I know there are those who have abandoned me on Facebook, we’re no longer ‘friends’ or they’ve  blocked me or hidden me. I know this. I know a lot. I know that it was important for me share what I thought was true. To spread what facts I could.  Not as much to convince someone to believe differently, that never works, but for me personally to step into my own light and share in an even bigger way.

Speaking up and out and finding my voice in this election has been an important part of my journey. Sometimes people are open and want to look at both sides, find their own voice and speak what’s true for them and if I can help with that process for just one person, than all that un-friending is worth it!

As a woman and as a human being, I want to share what I have to say. This is important. You don’t need to know my favorite color, but you might need to understand what corporation is supporting what proposition and why. What’s in it for them, what’s in it for you, what’s in it for us? So if what I’m feeling and what I believe is something that could make a difference in the world, then I’ll say it.

The truth is I’m empowered because I can say it and I do.
The truth is sometimes people might not like what I have to say and

What’s Yours?

The truth is I’ll say it anyway.
The truth is I’ll say it with kindness.
The truth is I have a lot to say and
The truth is I like to say it with the written word.
The truth is I am creative, I am a writer, and I am a poet.
The truth is that people float in and out of our lives and sometimes we’ll never know why.
The truth is that I’m okay with all of it, the floating in and the floating out, the floating.

The truth is just what it is…