Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oh no it couldn't be




(Two middle-aged women, overheard talking at Tim Hortons yesterday).

Oh well you know I can’t stay in the sun longer than

Well, aren’t you using sunscreen?

Isn’t it a little late for that, I mean

Oh my God, I’ll bet you were one of those people who baked in the sun.

I don’t bake in the sun any

Use sunscreen

By the way I got some news about, you know, all that trouble he's been having

Oh, tell me, what did they find?

Oh well, they didn’t exactly find anything

Whadda you mean? He went through every test that existed, didn’t he?

Yeah, and they kept not finding anything, and he was, you know, wanting to give up. And I said, I've been with you twenty years and I'm not about to give up yet.

Well, why don't you just have the tests done again? These machines, you know

Yeah, and that’s about all there is now. Machines. No real doctors.

Tell me about it. Doctors don’t do anything at all now except sit there and delegate.






Then you get to the hospital and your body is stuck in a big tube, or you have to get your insides reamed out

(giggles)

So they still don't have a clue what it is?

No, I told you! I got the news on (muffled)

News. What do you mean by news?

They think they do know what’s wrong with him.

So, what, tell me!

Depression.

(silence)

No.

Yeah, see it’s

Oh NO. No, no, no, no, no. That’s what they all say now. It's the disease of the week.

Yeah, but he -

It’s just a way of pushing those pills. Maybe it’s his adrenal glands.

But he’s been so –

Everybody gets that way. Listen, I know what will help. Turmeric.




Turmeric? Isn’t that something that goes in a pie or something?

No, no. It’s a miracle substance. I’ve seen it happen again and again.

But I’ve tried everything like that. I mean, alternative stuff. He just sits there

Get him out! Just get him out more. Talk to him. Get him to be more positive.

This isn’t a matter of will. That’s what the doctor said.

Doctor?

Psychiatrist.

PSYCHIATRIST?

They’re not witch doctors, you know.

They’re not? They’re funded by the pharmaceutical companies! You should know that. They’re nothing but pill-pushers.

But I don’t know what to do. He’s talking about killing (muffled)

(Silence)

No.

(unintelligible; sounds of weeping)

No.

But it’s true that (muffled)

No. Just get him out more. I mean, spiritually this might mean he’s trying to break out into the light.

LIGHT! He wants to jump off a bridge!

Keep your voice down! Everyone can hear you.

Yes. Everyone is uncomfortable about this.

Well, no wonder!

When he took a six-month leave at work, no one phoned.

(low voice, almost unintelligible) It's because people don’t know what to say. And when you're away that long, after a while they start to talk.






It’s like they just expect him to pull himself together.

Well, what else can he do? Just lie there? Take pills and turn into a zombie?

They don’t “turn you into a zombie”.

How do you know?

Well, I –

OH GOD! Don’t tell me YOU’VE been conned into this!

I couldn’t stand it any longer, he couldn’t work, he felt useless, he was around the house all the time talking about suicide and how much he hated himself. I couldn't sleep either and I

Listen, everybody’s depressed now. Next year it’ll be something else. And every time, there’s a drug for it.

What else can we do?

Well, maybe there’s a higher purpose in all this. You know, as if you’re about to break through to joy.

Is that what they told you at that retreat?

Don’t get sarcastic with me.

I wasn’t! Don’t you hear me?




Not if you take that line with me. Listen, if you expect any support at all, from anyone, you’re both going to have to stop the pity party.

But this isn’t self-pity.

Who told you that, the “doctor”?

I read it in a book called

Oh, for God’s sake, a BOOK?

Yes, a book. I wanted to find out if

That’s worse than pills!

But better than turmeric.

Oh, now you’re being sarcastic! Hey, don't forget I'm your best friend! Who else is ever going to listen to all this? 

Nobody.

Right, so don't talk to anyone else. And don't tell me anything more. It's better that way.

(One of the women gets up and storms out. After a while, the other woman leaves. It is obvious she has been crying.)




2 comments:

  1. You made this up, right? RIGHT??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not entirely! Like most writers, I'm an emotional vampire, and suck out attitudes, energies, bad wishes and other mojo and splatter it all over the page. I've heard all this stuff before, some of it about me. I've heard that "oh no no no no" shit, that denial that depression exists or that it isn't just a "pity party". I heard a lot of it in AA and in my church, where do-gooders and supposedly well-meaning amateur life coaches abound. It scares me half to death.

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