This is a new project. A bit about a life.
The Bedside Table
I swipe my finger through the pot once again, liberally applying the tingling ointment to my lips. It’s not the first time today, and it won’t be the last. A side effect of medication, or more likely a combination of my medications that cause my lips to peel in a reptilian fashion on a regular basis. It’s a nuisance, something I deal with and move on and certainly nothing serious enough that would call for me to change my current medications.
The current concoction that I have built over the last 5 years keeps the pain mostly tolerable keeps me upright with all tests within normal limits. It took me 10 years alone to find an anti-depressant that kept me from ending up in a weepy mess on the floor over not so big, and sometime nonexistent problems.
So I slather on the medicated lip balm, treatment, ointment whichever is close at hand many times a day. And my lips continue to peel but in a more uniform and less icky fashion, without incidences of dried out skin and un-kissable lips.
The sound of a 260 pound bearded man, with a deviated septum, sleeping has become a soothing reminder of the man who sleeps beside me, who loves me and cares for me when I am unable to do for myself. I’ve gotten use to the grunts, snores, and farts that make up the symphony of many sleepless nights, when my insomnia does finally give in I’m able to fall asleep quite easily and comfortably to these noises.
December 1st, 1am a searing pain strikes the right side of my head like a hammer. Fuck I say, to no one as the cat and the man have gone to sleep long before. For over two months I’ve lived with this pain in my head, co-existing with this unwelcome companion.
Every noise I hear with the subtly of John Philip Sousa. It reverberates through my skull. Don’t turn the TV up to loud, and the dishwasher will have to wait to be run. So the grunts, snores, and farts of that 260 pound bearded man, heard repetitively for hours on end, while this demon still reminds me of its presence. It’s not a comfort anymore it’s a “OH MY GOD if this man doesn’t shut up I’ll strangle him!”
Ear plugs, bright and squishy— two of my favorite things. My dad worked in a manufacturing plant so I had an endless supply of ear plugs to play with as a child. These were bright yellow and cylindrical, attached by a blue cord that allowed them to hang from your neck. I loved smushing them between my thumb and index finger, squishing down down as hard as I could. As I crouched with my eyes level with the table to watch it grow, wondering if it will topple over or remain upright as it reaches its full height.
Slathering on this semi-greasy substance the smell of menthol and camphor awaken my senses, open up the pores, causes my eyes to water. I put it where it hurts, or where it hurts the most. I put it on my toes, giving each a little squeeze hoping to stimulate the brain into compliance. I’d do a little jig if I could, and hop around on one foot to get this pain to stop. It’s the shoulders and the neck that often give me a few moments of relief. As the substance is worked into my muscles and the warmth settles in I can rest at least for a moment the tension lifts and I ride the Tiger Balm Bliss. Under my electric blanket, ear plugs firmly in place, lip balm on the beside table.