Dear San Diego

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Land Mine

Dear San Diego,

Standing on a land mine.

Can’t move or you die.

In a field of fire, out in the open, Bushmaster II’s throwing 200 rounds a minute.

Where do you run if you can’t. What do you do if you can’t do anything.

It’s an interpretation of something Parker wrote in one of her journals. She referred to it repeatedly as “the immovable self” - the confines, the restrictions, the consequences.

In a lot of passages she talked about her medication. The antipsychotics over the years - Thorazine, Haldol, Trilafon, Prolixin, Risperdal - the list goes on.

She had a cook book, things that went well together - medications combined with things like NyQuil, anti-nauseates, ground up sleeping pills.

All alchemy.

Then there was the tardive dyskinesia, the writhing, the uncontrollable body movements, the Clorazil for that.

But the worst was the benzodiazepines.

Not what they did to her, just the fact that no one takes into account how someone in the middle of a tempest uses them to stay above water. Can’t get a prescription if you’re short, so you face down the risks.

No one comes off long term benzodiazepine use cold turkey. If you do, you suffer seizures, hallucinations, psychosis. All fantastic when your foot’s on a land mine.

Ten years in the trenches, watching it all, ducking plates and glasses and books hurled at me. Medicating my patience with booze.

No offensive, but if anxiety’s all you got going on you’re in the fucking Disneyland of problems.

Rough is relative.

But you’re not there - foot on a mine on a beach you ain’t ever getting off of.

And you’ll never understand it.

That pillbox up there, the MG42 in its gonna roll on ya, and there’s fuck all you can do.

She wasn’t a brilliant mathematician, she was one of a few select minds of her generation. And to this day I don’t know if what she was made her that way or if it was the other way around.

Reading her words I do know that what she endured was a crime. And even though it’s a pompous observation of a drunk laying on the floor flipping through piecemeal language, she was worth more than a thousand of you - me included.

In the margin of one of them she wrote bits of lyrics from a Nik Kershaw song. I found the LP - Human Racing - and put it on...

 “I got it bad
You don't know how bad I got it
You got it easy
You don't know when you've got it good
It's getting harder
Just keeping life and soul together
I'm sick of fighting
Even though I know I should
I don't want to be here no more
I don't want to be here no more
I don't want to be here no more”

I’d Curtis LeMay a city to have her back, sleeping on the roof that last night before she died.

I wouldn’t have fallen asleep.

I would have run my fingers through her hair and smiled. Because more than anyone I’ve ever known, or ever will, she deserved that.

Finally just a normal girl.