Last night, I swallowed part of a moth ball, mistaking it for a xanax. It was a natural mistake. Usually when I find a small white hard object wedged between my couch cushions it’s xanax. When I first get my prescription, I feel rich and I’m careless with it. I think, “You know what would be really great? How about I take a xanax , have a little drinky and sit back and watch some bad reality tv. It SOUNDS like a great idea but it always ends the same way. Although, I start out sitting, I awake in the opposite position, my legs up on the back of the couch, my head on the floor, my hair sticky and stained pink by that last vodka cranberry I made for myself before passing out and spilling it. Next to the empty glass will be the topless prescription bottle which I refill with whatever pills are in plain sight, knowing that when I finish the bottle and REALLY need one, I’ll be able to fish some out of the couch or pry one out of a gap in the wood floor. It’s like money in the bank. Well, last night I REALLY needed one. I just swallowed the first pill like object I could find.
The problem is my girlfriend, Trudie Von Muggenthal. She is driving me insane. A couple of weeks ago, we went to see the movie version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the RosendaleTheater down the street. We had a huge fight, after which she stormed off and we basically broke up. It all had to do with her insecurity. She played Columbia, in the Bardavon Theater’s production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show a year ago. In the movie, Columbia was played by the actress/dancer, Nell Campbell AKA Little Nell. Back when Trudie was playing the part, she always felt that she didn’t quite measure up to Little Nell. For one thing, she kept messing up the tap dancing bit. For another she didn’t think she had Little Nell’s great figure. Not realizing this, I made the mistake of mentioning that Little Nell had a great booty and it probably was from tap dancing. That didn’t go over well. She stormed out of the theater. She even threw her popcorn at me, first.
So, when she called and told me she had been using the time apart to get to know herself and get some therapy, I was pleased and ever so supportive. She told me that she had come to terms with her inability to tap dance and apologized for overreacting about it and I , in turn, told her that perhaps I had been insensitive. She told me she had learned that tap dancing is just not who she is and that just because she can’t tap dance doesn’t mean she should feel inadequate. She has learned to separate that from her ego. I can totally relate. I mean, when I was in high school, I had to take French and I practically flunked. It was humiliating. But now I just accept that foreign languages are simply not my forte’. I was in Norway for 6 months and all I learned to say is, “Where can I buy vodka?” which, honestly, is all I really needed to know. But, I digress. Back to Trudie. So, just as I think all is going really well, she suddenly starts projecting all kind of negative energy on ME! She starts telling me that I’M super competitive and condescending and that I was dismissive of her ‘art’. By art, she meant her doodles of LOL cats, which she would caption with kitteh talk, and ponies. OK, sorry but I don’t consider doodles of LOL cats riding ponies high art. Still, I admitted maybe I shouldn’t have made so many jokes about her being a closet Pegasister . Also, I did use the back of one of her doodles to write a grocery list. That was disrespectful. But, then instead of accepting my apology, she gets really insulting. She starts telling me that, if I want to make it as an artist, I need to stop painting dead guinea hens and photo realistic pieces of meat and, either paint stuff that sells or get some sort of real job because she is sick of paying for all of the PETA t shirts and herbal tea. So I just said, fine, whatever. I can buy my own herbal tea and I have enough PETA shirts. So then she starts crying. She tells me she misses Freddie, my three legged dog, and just bought him a really expensive evening ascot and she really wants to see it on him. I was touched. This was quite thoughtful of her. Freddie is a very elegant looking dog even with a leg missing, slender, mostly black with white paws and chest. Like a tuxedo. We once put a bandana around his neck like people do. It just looked wrong, like watching Martha Stewart drink milk straight out of the carton. Then she starts telling me she feels so conflicted about, once again, spending all the money and maybe I should reimburse her for it since he is MY dog. I pointed out that there is no way I would ever spend $200 on an ascot, even for Freddie. A casual daytime ascot for 50 bucks would have done just fine. Then, suddenly she goes from crying to screaming again and so I asked her if maybe she was feeling hormonal.
Well, she hung up on me and, by then, I was having such an anxiety attack that I ran straight to the couch and swallowed the first white hard thing I could find. The second it went down my throat, I knew what it was. In a Proustian moment, I was transported to my grandmother’s closet in 19 seventy something, going through her clothing, trying on her patent leather heels and exciting black lace and mesh veils that she had put away since whenever women wore them, stored in boxes with sparkly little white balls emitting a distinct odor that saved the lace from being eaten by moths. If I am going to stay in this relationship, the first thing I need to do is write down the number of poison control on the side of one of the couch cushions. I should probably put some towels on the floor, too.
© 2015 Gretchen Mahnkopf