“It’s hard to find people who will love you no matter what. I was lucky enough to find three of them.” — Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City, Season 3, Episode 12 We said Sunday dinner was about cooking, but it was about friendship. Better known as “Sex and the City Night,” the evening focused […]
It was after the movement disorder and before that I started losing myself. Sitting on the bus, watching the snow fall on Michigan Ave., wondering where life was headed and how things had gotten so stuck. Someone had made me trudge through a field of quicksand. Except no one had made me do anything, see? […]
When I lost the prescription plan, life got harder. Can’t remember why I lost it. Did I switch insurance or did they switch me? I think they switched me. One day I had it, the next I didn’t. It was so messed up. Was in the new place by then. The one in Boystown, a […]
Don’t talk about the hug, the one with Dennis in L.A. Feel it from time to time, though. Even now. The energy became part of my soul. Was it his energy? It’s both of ours now. Cruising the pitch-black roads from Santa Monica to West Hollywood in silence. Glare of headlights against the dark, his […]
I keep returning to the moment in Dr. Sullivan’s office where I’m breaking down in tears and he’s shouting, “Don’t be such a baby.” That’s how our divorce unfolded. I remember it like a film reel, to create distance I suppose, make it hurt less. There was an intolerance to Dr. Sullivan that made him […]
Always an earthquake before the tsunami, isn’t there? Looking back you think there musta been a sign, musta been a warning that change was coming. And maybe there was, too subtle to see. If I could go back and stay asleep that day, would things have been different? ‘Cause the moment I woke, the world […]
We were lined up facing each other, he and I. That long row of window seats on the 146. Sat across from him, eyeing his pantyhose. He sat across from me, eyeing me, eyeing his pantyhose. He’d been jogging, the blue shorts pulled up high. What does it feel like to run in nylons? Is […]
“What do you call a pig that does karate?” On the treadmill, incline at 10, speed at 5, and some guy’s in my face talking about a pork chop. Does he not see me sweating? The Tribune people had left, probably home eating sloppy Joe’s by now. I was stuck. “What’s your name?” the guy […]
Michael is a musical force in his own right, always was. The talent that made Von a sensation at 12 helped Michael stand out at 21.
Lincoln Park’s blues scene comes alive in a cool, thumping tantrum of Chicago sound. Belting voices, bottleneck guitars, the melancholy sirens wail all night long in the dives and doorways near DePaul.
With his words, Dr. Sullivan had practically said I didn’t have epilepsy. Not because he believed that, but because I did. I pictured the lakefront the previous spring. The reeling, the gravity, the sweat. Nothing had ever felt so final. That’s what made me think it was leading somewhere. It was unfair of me to […]
Dr. Sullivan was the kind of man who’d appreciate an aged Scotch. He had this wry sense of humor and old-school way of being, as if he might refer to women as “broads.” Handsome in an educated way, he carried himself with a refinement that spoke to East Coast credentials. When he laughed, it was […]
You know why I stopped? I couldn’t make the jump from 200 milligrams to 175. That’s it. That’s the reason. Tapering is a game of Russian roulette. Is the bullet in the chamber? Will you have a seizure? It’s anybody’s guess. Without a doctor telling me I didn’t have epilepsy, my chances of having […]
It was just an experiment. It seemed more an imaginary test than anything I was doing in real life. But every two weeks, I’d drop another dose.
A gentle hush fell upon the apartment, one as quiet as the moment demanded. All I heard was the pounding of my heart telling me to do it.
Rounds with Dad always started with the car. Six years old, riding shotgun in the 280Z. Metallic blue with racing seats in shoe polish white. Through the shadows of the elms, sunlight falls like confetti. Take in a breath and the scent of lilacs falls too. There’s the jutting of a sprinkler, a lone billowy […]
Right away I knew. Of course, you never really know, do you? Not with epilepsy. But I knew. For the first time in eight years, no aura.
Dennis came in on a revolving door. It ushered him in. More than a year later, it escorted him out. After New York, I never saw him again.
Gazing onto East Seventh Street four stories below, people looked like figurines. Some walked their dogs, others carried packages. One couple, holding hands, stopped to steal a kiss.
More than 20 minutes into it — with my nose fully fragrant and recess over — it hit me. I hadn’t gotten flashing lights in two months. The dizziness was my new aura.
The dizzy spells came every month after that. They always lasted for 30 minutes to the second, it was weird. The blend of vertigo and pressure felt more significant than anything I’d experienced, and I couldn’t shake the notion that it meant something profound.
I wish I could remember where my mind was that April morning when the weirdness began in earnest. Because the day started like any other, with more sunshine.
At first I wrote them off as a startling nuisance, like the random couple who barged into my apartment one Saturday. I heard the key fumbling in the lock, two voices in the hall.
In line with Sue at Einstein’s Bagels, the place echoed as if to say I wasn’t well enough to be there. I recall the overwhelming scent of hazelnut coffee. People staring.
Sue would see “Lincoln Park Hospital” on the caller ID and let it go to voicemail, and she did. Who knew if she was even still awake?
I sat on the curb, a block from home and so far from it. The man who hit me was there, asking how I was. He was gentle, kind. I couldn’t even hate him, and I wanted to.
When the bus didn’t leave, I knew destiny was in play. It’s one of those things, like missing a plane. You wonder, why did I miss it?
I was half way across the street before my life changed. I couldn’t see the car, just two blinding headlights set an ungodly width apart. Their whiteness barreled toward me with no sign of slowing.
I still pray in the bath. Out of habit now, not out of necessity. Once a place becomes a shrine it stays that way forever.