What a night.
Diamonds, I tell you, were not a girl’s best friend, now or then.
Fourteen bottles of white pills on my nightstand.
And another one: blue, like the ribbon in my brown hair. The one I wore when they dragged me to the orphanage.
That last night in 1962. I was unsheathed.
Literally. My sleeveless apple green dress on the floor. Hair unwashed, uncombed, not whipped cream but feathers beaten by a dirty breeze. The first time you bleach it you don’t imagine this: the way it keeps breaking like a shattered champagne glass.
My tongue thick and useless; a whale’s carcass on the sand. Two short words—I can’t—drawn out into a lifetime of stories about money and men.
The doctor, on the phone, did all the talking.
Go outside, get some fresh air, he said.
I almost hung up on him right then. But my hand, so heavy.
What made me do it?
Maybe I was too full to sip or swallow even one more thing. Or maybe I just wanted to feel the wind wash my face clean one last time.
Somehow I dragged myself off the bed, then outside and onto the beach. The seagulls opened their beaks wide and tore the fog with their screams.
And here I am.
Image credit: Andrzej Dragan