I can’t write. I have a whole legal pad of ideas, but here’s what my brain is saying to me right now:
it’s just trying to be helpful.
And so it keeps talking…
cartoons by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com
I decided to talk to my dry cleaner about it. I tell him the latest goings on in my life (all mostly happy with a bit of upheaval last week). As I recount the highs and then a big low, he scowls and interrupts, “Has it ever occurred to you that you might be avoiding your destiny? That you might be having these things because you’re not writing about them?”
My dry cleaner is talking about my seizures. (the “upheaval” I was referring to a few sentences ago) I had a big one last week–a grand mal–alone in my apartment. It sucked.
“Helloo… What if I don’t want this as my destiny?” I quip, defiantly.
“Hellooo… You don’t get a choice. That’s why it’s destiny, dummy.”
He has a point. It’s an obvious one, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it certainly doesn’t mean I have to write about it here.
You see, I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t write about my epilepsy on this blog as it can be kind of grim–the whole rolling around on the ground thing with bystanders… all standing by and freaking out and calling 911 (even though it’s not usually necessary for me). Then, there’s me… waking up with no memory of myself, or anyone else, even my closest friends… who are you people? No really, people have said I look at them, like I’m Jamie Lee Curtis looking at Michael in Halloween (but with better hair). And sometimes, I wake up looking like a prize fighter–i.e., black eye, concussed and slurring my words like a super drunk Muhammad Ali. (again, with better hair)
It can be a real buzzkill… But it’s actually one of the main reasons why I now live in NYC… There’s no driving required. Taxi guys love me. There’s delivery of pretty much everything you could ever want or need (including a really rad wig that once helped me escape my ex-husband’s attorneys) and if anything happens while you’re out and about, there are plenty of people around you who will most likely care enough to stop and help. New Yorkers are nicer than people give them credit for.
Still, it took me a while to come out to my dry cleaner. It’s the litmus test for all true friends. Anyone who would reject you out of hand for something so random as a seizure is an automatic turd in my book.
My dry cleaner commiserates, shaking his head, “What’d that neurologist on Youtube say?”
“All the electrical impulses in your brain align and synchronize. It’s like a perfect storm, but in your brain and without George Clooney.” I know this line by heart.
I haven’t had a seizure in over a year. The day after it happens, I tend to mope around the house and watch youtube videos of other people having seizures, so that I can wallow in self-pity. I’m also just wicked curious as to what I look like. It’s a little cocktail of anthropology and vanity that always passes within a day. This time, however, the malaise has lingered.
“You need to cheer up blondie.” My dry cleaner pulls a ziplock freezer bag out from under the counter. Inside it are lots of other smaller ziplock bags with different types of pills in them. It’s like a tangled yarn ball of prescription drugs.
My dry cleaner, my dealer…. He presses a little yellow pill into my hand.
“What’s this?” I feel my brow furrow in suspicion.
“Klonapin … Helps ya think straight.”
“What else do you have there?”
He rattles off a dozen names that aren’t really names. Suddenly, he is a pharmacy–a veritable CVS without the line, the ‘tude or the overwrought suicide music they always play:
(Btw, Joe Pizzulo, you are so bangin’!)
“Look here girly, if you’d fallen the other direction last week, you’d be the fucking English Patient. You need to relax.”
“When did you read that book? I thought you were into the whole trashy, Neo-Noir thing?”
“I am,” he confesses, “but every now and then even I have to step it up from a literary standpoint.”
He’s right. Being the English Patient would suck. All that oozing… the lack of a nose. Even if I’ve never been that fond of my anglo ski jump of a profile, I’d take it over looking like a mummified Ralph Fiennes.
“We have to find you a nice Jewish boy who can help danger-proof your house and keep an eye on you. New York’s full of them.”
“I liked the last guy,” I protest. “He was funny… and he brought me toast and coffee and didn’t mind if I got crumbs in the bed.”
“Feh…” My dry cleaner waves the very idea of toast guy away as if he were a gnat. “Take a Klonapin and embrace your destiny as a spaz, baby, I guarantee… you’ll be able to write again.”
I haven’t taken the Klonapin, but words are once more starting to happen…
xoxo – gg