The day after the fourth of July

The day after the fourth of July

july fifth

It’s July Fifth, feels a lot like Monday, and hot out. The air is a sticky gray, and I somehow made it to work. I can’t even remember dressing in the bathroom. I swore when I left my house that I was going to be careful because driving while barely awake is dangerous. With the days’s food piled in my lunchbag, I walked inside the building. It was hopeless, and I was in sandals. The elevator was too empty to bear, never mind keep awake in; I didn’t even have head space because of sleep deprivation… I leaned against the door with one hand on the wall for balance (secretly a little afraid that the doors would open on me and I’d fall out and be embarrassed).

So now I’m here at my desk, in a half-sleep, pecking away at a barely sweetened, overly creamy herbal tea, wondering what to do with myself.  My hair is in its usual rumple; my teeth clean. I’m tired and should still be in bed with Darby. Oh, so this is what it’s like when you give up coffee. I am going to try to get to a gym this afternoon, if for no other reason than to get this blood sugar issue to stop running my life.

I’m realizing that I’m in a bad situation. You know, you have a good life, you go to that same restaurants, religiously, until one day, you hear that what you eat is killing you, yes, that food, and you’re ready to quit because you know you are on the waitlist to Heaven. You quit eating those things, and get withdrawals and go back only to feel like a traitor to your own body. But you have to quit.

I hate my blood sugar, her suggestive remarks, her sweet and coaxing attire, the way she says, “You know you want that pie, sugar.” Still, I feel uneasy calling her bluff, saying I don’t agree with her encouraging lies and would like to speak with someone else, someone with more will-power than me. Is there anyone in charge here?

I know when I return to the gym (and I will!), she will be there, glancing at me, maybe do a head nod, maybe even tell me if I forget to work out again, she’ll do things differently. I don’t want her to look at me. Go away. I’ll just say I’d prefer a hard-boiled egg. GO ahead, be sexy to someone else. The lies I tell to her, though, are somehow appropriate. I tell lies to my doctor, too, to endure the visit so I can get the prescription.

In the room, there is a cold doctor’s chair, the metal kind with a short pleather back, that’s hardly a back, more like a runaway stool with a crank to move it higher. The chair is sandwiched between an exam table and a trash bin. The kind with the step-on, flip-up lid.   The table is the kind with the white translucent paper attached to a roll that covers the seating area for sanitary reasons.

Sigh. Why am I thinking of this? I will just say to heck with tea. I am going for a coffee. Strong with cream and Equal, and maybe even more than one. Insanity has many colors. I guess mine is a little brown and steamy.

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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