We sit together in the hospital wing. Wait for the levels to level out. She speaks down to me but in a professional tone. Must be the academic in her. I am wearing men’s jeans and a Cart hart Jacket. That is the first reprimand.
“Ambien Grace, can’t you just be a little bit more feminine? Why must you go out of your way to upset me?”
As I stare beyond her and her Lily Tomlin haircut. I look out into the grayness that has descended Concord and the perpetual cloud of illiteracy and ignorance that wanders just above my head. The room that houses Adopt-A-Mom and her less than perfect daughter.
I wonder how it could have been; living near Penny down in the arm pit of the south. Somewhere north of Tyler, Texas. Somewhere where there may be a graduate school for photographers with a personality disorder and poor learning schools. Penny had been my not for real girlfriend for we both aren’t gay.
Mother Theresa hated Penny. She represented a threat to her control over Ambien and all of my side effects.
I look at the scars on my wrists. The attempts at asking for help that fell short of completion.
I met Penny, pudgy and filled with pork rinds, while visiting my birthmother and sisters. It was a white trash trip all the way around. Penny no more wanted me then she wanted someone to fill the vacancy in her Cowgirl Up ego.
She was for me, dirty, decadent and deliciously dumb. We held quite a bit in common. Texting. Poor language skills and a thirst for drinking. Indeed she turned out to be a bad Penny.
Fucking every two bit stud that came into the barn. Dressing like Annie Oakley on Crack. Taunting me occasionally with, ‘honey, I miss you, we’ll be together soon.’
But I one upped her. Just when she had strapped a young wrangler onto her backside; I had found a married Kate.
I sliced and diced for Penny. She never even called me her girlfriend. She wasn’t attempting to be a lesbian. Well, for that matter, I had hid my fears of homosexuality like a well guarded sin!
Penny, being all like I’m sorry honey I haven’t texted or called in a while I’ve been busy at work
And trying to be cute and forgiving!
I didn’t like how she treated me and then suddenly she’d text me and I’d just miss her and I’d hate it.
And how I don’t want to be here. I just wanted to cry. I still do.
I look at Mother Theresa, who happens to have the middle name of Penny; she is glossed over in indignation. She holds my hand suddenly and tells me, ‘you must go home and take care of your father. He isn’t well and can’t do anything on his own.’
Father Floyd has some testicular situation going on. He may have to lose his manhood. I don’t ask questions.
Of course, I’ll go home to Floyd, the 2,500 dollar pedigree dog with separation anxiety. I know however, where I won’t be going. I won’t be going anywhere without money. I won’t get into AmeriCorps. The Peace corps or grad school. I will not win. There was no coming out of the closet with Penny.
She texted me not too long ago. Months after I bid her good-bye. Not knowing she had already wrote me off as a bad bet a long time ago. I refriended her on Facebook. I thought, well, she isn’t gay and my mother says, neither am I. Could it be that possibly we were really made for each other?
As I turn to leave Mother Theresa. I glance over to the darkness the shrouds our relationship. She doesn’t smile at me. She focuses on my losing my hair and my slouching. She points out the stains that dribble down the front of my US Open sweatshirt.
As typical for me, I agree that I am a bi-polar mess waiting for the next depression disaster to come. My hands shake and I hurry down the hall to the public bathroom to throw up.
A used Penny is not without its value. It promises nothing and gives nothing in return. But then again, Ambien, if not taken in small doses will leave you tarnished and with an attic room in your parent’s house, sex toys galore and pockets of homophobia.