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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2118810
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Psychology · #2118810
A poem for someone I could've been, but never was
On Monday, when you wake up, you’ll roll over and reach for your pillbox
Shaking two small red circles into your hand as you walk to the bathroom,
you’ll chase them with one pinkish oval thing and a swig from the tap,
watch your reflection twist awake as they go down

And you’ll go for a run, then have a shower,
you’ll go to work and go to class and then
you’ll come home and cook dinner and watch crime dramas on Netflix,
and everything will be okay
*

On Tuesday, you’ll skip the run for some more sleep and a longer shower before
taking your meds, and you’ll take a quiz in your first class and a nap in the last one until
you’re free to come home and cook dinner and waste a few hours bullshitting with your roommates,
and everything will be okay,

just not quite as okay as it all was on Monday,
which is fine, really-
you’re fine, really
**

and you know things will be better on Wednesday,
because you have a piece due Thursday that you still haven’t started,
and being you is always better when you’re writing, so much better that

you won’t mind work and you won’t care about classes and you won’t take your meds-
functionally speaking, you don’t anything but function when you’re on that stuff anyway,
and writing can’t just be about functioning for you,
writing has always been about being something more significant than just functioning

It’s not like you can’t write when you’re medicated, you just don’t
the same way you think taking your medication shouldn’t mean you can’t feel real, human emotions,
you just don't
***

Thursday morning will come four to six hours too soon, but
you ride satisfied exhaustion like a summer swell, like a tiger with training wheels on,
So you’ll throw yourself into the shower for just long enough
to wash away what was left of your circadian rhythms, then you’ll get dressed and make copies
to hold up before a jury of peers and the tired grad student judge

But fuck them, because that girl you’re totally not secretly in love with (you know,
the one with the drawn-all-over Converse and a smile like your favorite song),
She’ll tell you it’s one of the most amazing things she’s ever read, and that instant
rush of blood to brain will overwhelm you with what you’re convinced
is the sensation of not needing a prescription to fix yourself

and you’ll stay so simply smiling for hours until you suddenly can’t,
until you’re suddenly swallowed up, suppressed, suddenly as shit-soaked as you were the last time
you went off your meds like an idiot, suddenly that insufferable, special kind of useless
so uncomplicatedly awful that you’ll skip dinner and dodge your friends’ texts and
you’ll lie awake for an hour and still fall asleep before nine thirty,
just not quite bad enough that you'll actually learn something from the experience
****

But none of that will matter on Friday, not when you’ve meticulously orchestrated Fridays
into a symphony of apathy that plays for as long as it takes to turn five o’clock somewhere,
and all you have to do is wake up and take your meds and stand a safe distance from the subway tracks
when your friends drag you out to the game and buy the next round at the bar when it’s your turn

between drinks, the company will brighten enough of what the booze can’t dull
that you'll consider living the rest of your life between drinks,
then you'll realize that that's called Alcoholism and buy your friends another round anyway
because it's your turn and it'd be rude not to, and then they'll buy the fourth round, and the seventh,

and that girl putting her face on your face has a boyfriend, and her smile is tone-deaf:
when you breathe her in, the secondhand spearmint will not wash away the gasoline from your lungs,
but her hair will be soft when you’re too tired to move to her hip, and you’ll
both get so caught up in feeling something like wanted
that neither of you will care for just long enough, until
*****

On Saturday, you'll wake up alone and three feet under, hungover and covered in sweat
your head will throb like a cage fighter’s spent the last few hours kicking it repeatedly,
and you’ll wonder why some agent of mercy was cruel enough to make them stop

you’ll roll onto your side, groping blindly for your pillbox, but you will come up empty-
you will not be able to take your meds because you have never been prescribed any,
because that would require actually being able to talk to someone about your problems,
because that would require the slightest indication that you are capable of solving these problems

because it would require the belief that you are a problem worth solving
******

On Sunday, against your better judgement, you’ll wake up from the nine count
and play not to lose:
the game won’t be fun, it’s never fun,
but you know it well enough to
Avoid the knives in your kitchen,
The view from your balcony,
The face in your mirror

Call someone, please
they won't understand, but they'll try if they're good people,
and you know they are because you never could've gotten this far on your own

if you're not sure what to tell them, start by talking about the weather
if the words won't climb your throat, hang up and try again
have a little faith that your desperation is a valid reason for the inconvenience and
promise yourself that you'll stay here long enough to make it up to them-
swear it on your life
*******

On Monday, when you wake up...
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