The Weather; Underground
Vancouver’s annual heat wave arrived just in time for me to be left alone.
How unfortunate it is that one has to disappear in this province (“Best Place On Earth”?!?) as not to be injected with body- and mind-disabling antipsychotics. I simply cannot get my head around how the police should have anything to do with the treatment of “mental health”, nor can I understand why they bring dogs, point guns, and put handcuffs on so tight that they leave bruises for weeks – is this supposed to be a parting gift?
How on Earth, or better yet, in what Universe could this have a positive effect on someone who is already feeling a little funny in the head?!
They aren’t even trained to “deal with someone” in some kind of crisis of the mind. Thus, there is only one answer, until society gets a whole lot smarter:
We have nowhere else to go. We have to go alone. There is only one “system” and it doesn’t work, it never has, and only a handful of people are trying to fix it, or even care at all.
Last summer was spent in a suite of horrors, but it was a basement suite. I was not looking forward to the heat wave from the moment we moved in to our beautiful, but top-floor, apartment. Here it is. Having fun yet? No? How ’bout now?
I spend the entire day lying in bed, drifting in and out of sleep. I want the day to be over, but when I awake only an hour has passed at most. I keep thinking that I fell asleep with a cigarette in my hand, so I madly search under the pillows to find it when I come to consciousness. No cigarette. Just me. I watch reruns of Queer as Folk and Law and Order. I position a fan close to my torso, but I can’t get it in just the right position. I am going to have to purchase a bigger fan. This will require interaction with the general public.
Today I am Persephone, like the pendant on my necklace, calling out to you from the dark.
I manage to make it downstairs to check the mail and there are three packages! I would usually run upstairs and struggle with the tape with fingers and teeth while you looked for a pair of scissors, like a child on Christmas Day morning. I do not open them. Everything else has ceased to be important as I wonder if you are okay, and when you will return to me. I love the sun, and its incredible healing powers, but it is unbearable today, just like it was yesterday. There is no point in checking the weather forecast because it is always wrong. Sometimes I think I hear a key opening the door, but it is always just the cats, who flop down beside me in mutual overheatedness, exhaustion, and fear. I know, I know. Everything will be okay…
King size pillows were the best invention ever made. I lay beside one with my head on it, hugging it, just like I would you.
All I can do is wait, and try to return to the land of the living. When I was younger it was so much easier to throw myself into school or work when my mind was spinning, when someone I loved was in some kind of danger. I think that girl died long ago, along with my a belief that the world was in any way “just”. I will never throw up my hands and give up, say, “it isn’t worth it”, “this is just the way things are.” I refuse to accept that, but I walk a little slower, and I don’t dare have a daydream.
Even the plants in the magick garden weep in the heat. A cold shower would be magickal, but I have too much willpower – or is it too little? – to turn on the tap and feel some momentary relief. I drink tea – which actually cools one down, something to do with your “core temperature” compensating for the additional heat sliding down your throat. Someone working at a coffee shop told me this last year, when I first arrived here and the heat wave seemed to last all summer. He was right, and Leonard Cohen and Wilco were played back to back in the café – two of my favourite songs in a row, at that! I knew I was in the right place. I still know I am in the right place. But the great unknown swallows me, today.
I know you will come home, but I have no idea when. The only thing I have to estimate your absence is…money! Three hundred dollars you hurriedly placed in my hands. How long is this intended to last? It could last a very long time… I’m not worried about the money, I have more right now than I have had for a long time – still not much, but enough to buy food, toilet paper (note to self: we have only had paper towel for over a week – item number one, scars!), even a few little treats for myself, from the vendors that come out in the summer, selling handmade clothing, the only kind I can bring myself to buy anymore.
I officially refuse to ever set foot in a shopping mall again – even though they are the only places in the city that are air-conditioned. Not even tempting. There are at least three kinds of “cops” that troll around malls, along with the yuppies, the wannabe-yuppies, and the high school students. Was I that obnoxious when I was in high school? I really don’t think I was, but who’s to say – certainly not me.
Full darkness now. I water the garden in the nude. No one can see me, can they? If they can, I do not care. This is my body. No more, no less. The thought of clothing is repulsive.
A banana and back to bed. Reboot the DVD player. Why the fuck do I pay for cable when there is never anything on? Because sometimes there is…
Another cigarette, another hour of sleep, another second of panic. As for the rocks flipping around in my stomach and the sadness and frustration that fill all other empty space, E.T.E. (estimated time of ending) unknown. The birds will begin chirping again soon. They always sound like they’ve had a perfect amount of rest and are perfectly happy. This can be a real downer at 4 am on days like these.
Like Regina says, “Some days aren’t days at all.”