Black Ice

The #14 bus comes right to my street, Wire Ave. As I was walking to the stop, I slipped on some black ice and fell flat on my back. Almost. I was wearing my backpack on both shoulders (nerd that I am), so when I fell, it wrenched my back hardcore. I knew something was wrong, very wrong, but I went on to work and from the Landover Metro Station to the office I fell three more times because the sidewalk isn’t plowed and every step was shin deep in snow. By lunch time, the pain had become unbearable, so I asked my supervisor if I could take some personal time and go to the doctor. I didn’t have to have an appointment because my GP is first come, first serve if you get there before 1500. I asked Samantha to come and pick me up, and she said she would if I’d buy her a pack of cigarettes. Uber would have cost me $25, so I said yes immediately. Since I knew he would also refill all my psych meds (Vesta does not take my insurance), we ran by the house before we jetted to Dr. Akoto’s office.

When Samantha arrived, she gave me half an oxy and some water. The pain was so great that even with that strong a narcotic, it didn’t help, but it did make me forget I was in pain, so I suppose it did something. It was really sweet of her to think of it, that’s for damn sure, but I couldn’t help but think of Nurse Jackie…. so when I got to Dr. Akoto’s office, I told him that I wanted an NSAID. He prescribed a strong dose of Mobic and an X-Ray, and I’m doing a lot better now… relatively. I felt like dog shit before. Now, I am at least up to barely functioning adult. I’m going to take a strong dose of sleeping medication, because it terms of wrenching muscles, there’s nothing that helps more than a good night’s sleep. Lactic acid is cool. After I finished at Dr. Akoto’s, I went directly to Safeway to have my prescriptions filled and got some groceries, both for the house and for the office. I was out of simple things like Crystal Light with caffeine, plus I got some frozen meals and some of those cheese crackers with peanut butter, which I believe are one of God’s gifts to mankind. Pushing the cart around the store while I was waiting for my pain pill felt like punishment, but unavoidable because I hadn’t been grocery shopping in so long.

Since I felt so bad, I decided I wanted junk food for comfort. They took my weight at my appointment, and I decided that I was doing a good job of keeping my weight down, so one night of complete bliss was in order. I got White Castle burgers, more chips, and Airheads Sour Apple ice cream (and some Neopolitan for good measure). They were trying to get rid of the Airheads ice cream, and it is one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. We have Hershey’s caramel syrup to put on top, and it tasted like a caramel apple pop on steroids. It lifted my spirits immeasurably.

I’d been in a really funky mood because Aaron said something that damn near made me cry and it took me a long time to move past. I said that when I think of Dana, I don’t think of pain. I think of laughter. He told me not to think of her at all, because if I think of her laughter, I will invariably think of how I’ll never hear it again and it will ultimately hurt me. At first, I was angry, and then it melted into thinking he might be right…. especially after I got off the phone with my sister this evening.

I told her what Aaron said, and she told me that Dana had contacted her on Facebook to tell her that she was in Virginia over Christmas. It just reinforced for me that her response to me about no contact was shady. I told Lindsay, “I didn’t get what I wanted, but I got what I needed. I wanted to bum around DC with Dana. I wanted to look at monuments and shit. But maybe that’s not what I needed.” The universe is telling me to move the fuck on, and I am listening. It was a major moment to me to realize that there is such a difference between “want” and “need.”

I am so grateful for Prianka and Elena, because there is no chance that they are not my friends. Prianka has met Dana, but that doesn’t mean that she’s trying to juggle relationships with both of us. It is a clean slate for me to be able to have friends that don’t have ties back to Dana, because I feel like I have “my people.” I also love that Prianka is always about moving forward, and I feel like I have spent time with my wise old guru every time we hang out, even though Prianka is younger than I am.

Saturday she asked me about dating. I told her I’m not ready, and my standards are impossibly high, anyway. I want to be with someone that has Argo’s quality of overclocking my processor, and not someone who is satisfied with the status quo. I want to be with someone that is continually going to challenge me to be a better woman than I was the day before. As I wrote in a song years ago, “I don’t wanna cross your path until we finally agree / that I bring out the best in you ’cause you bring it out in me.” As I told Susan, I don’t want to be in any relationship fraught with conflict because I do not want to lapse into old patterns of toxicity and pain. I’ve had enough of that to last my whole life, and I am DONE.

I don’t even mind if my friends want to be Dana’s friends as well, but if they’re going to do it, not behind my back. I need to know because I have clear boundaries around that subject. People who are friends with both of us don’t get to be the repository for my feelings about her…. and they probably don’t want to be, either, so it’s better for both of us. It’s hard when I’m having a conversation and people wait until after I’m finished talking to say that they’re friends with her, too, and they don’t want to hear what I have to say. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. It’s just a mess I don’t want to clean up.

My sister is so proud of me for doing all of this- getting out of the relationship and going on to a job where I keep my nose to the grindstone and work out all my own shit. I’m going to take her pride and live in it. I’m proud of me, too….. because divorce is not what I wanted, but maybe it’s what I needed.

The metaphor of black ice is accurate, because there was so much toxicity in our relationship that I just couldn’t see, and I slipped and fell flat on my back.

And now, I’m getting up.




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