Mary Beth knew she has not been happy for a real long time. She also knew she wasn’t getting closer. She exercises daily to feel good about herself and to a certain extent it helped. Like most addictions, the user becomes accustomed to that level of stimulation. Don’t get me wrong as endorphins are a hell of a drug. Unfortunately, she usually followed the workouts with the dimming effects of alcohol. Gin was the elixir of choice. She tried to buy from different stores so no one person could determine her movements, patterns and habits. The only institution that could track that behavior was if one were to follow her electronic transactions.
And banks tracked this type of thing especially when Mary Beth was trying to get a large extension on her line of credit with the bank.
She saw a professional psychologist on a regular basis, and suspected the sessions were not doing much good. This is, especially true, since she never mentioned her occasional suicidal thoughts, even when prompted. Even in her clouded mind, she knew this to be wrong. Mary Beth rationalized, if she solved all her issues she would be free of the dark thoughts that made unwanted visits to her psyche. Suicide was personal and she decided to take this step and she didn’t want anybody to know. Steadfastly she kept it a secret, because anybody could thwart her plans.
This is where this saga goes off the tracks. May Beth was sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss. She carried deep seeded anger and hostility everywhere she went. Those she allowed to touch her life, tended to care deeply for her yet were wary of getting too close. They didn’t want the negativity and resentment bleeding into their lives as well. She carried it around as one would a limp after recently completing a marathon. It was a well earned badge of honor.
It was a dreary cold wet damp Friday evening in early November. These were usually nights she savored as she could fade herself into the evening like a pine tree blending into the mist and the fog. The accumulation of gloom was slowly taking over. If she knew how to fix it she almost certainly would, but normal logical reasoning is muddled in extended periods of stress. Then again, fixing it could end up being far too difficult. There were certain things in life she simply was not strong enough to give up.
It was almost closing time at the liquor store, and despite her inebriation level she somehow managed to drive herself to the liquor store for a reinforcement bottle of gin. She pulled into the liqueur store parking lot despite the fact that a police car sat in the far northwest corner. These were risks worth taking.
She had worked the emergency shift long enough to know falling asleep here would end up with her either in the emergency room or the back seat of a squad car. That just might mess up her plans. All of a sudden, the earth started spinning slower in her mind and she was able to come to a clear cut clouded position.
She opened the car door confidently, marched steadfastly toward the liquor store entrance, discreetly slipping in the front door five minutes before closing time. She gave the clerk twenty bucks for the bottle of gin and slipped him another twenty as a tip. She knew Bradford by name, yet she never used it. Her parting words to the clerk were “Have a great life.” All he could offer back was a look of intelligent befuddlement.
With a bemused smirk on his face he handed her the bag and she once again walked confidently back into the parking lot. She left the store exactly at nine, as the policeman entered as she was leaving. She was a spirit in the night. The policemen did not acknowledge her presence.
She sat in the car and drank slowly and steadily from the bottle. It tasted awful and her mouth was drier than five minutes previous. She then moved her car away from the liquor store parking lot and parked the car in the adjacent lot. This lot was hidden somewhat by the branches of two large pine trees. An empty silver prius sat next to her. She turned on the radio and it played some smoky jazz. It could have been Miles or maybe Cannonball Adderly. The music elegantly engulfed the cab of the car. Light snow started to crystallize on the windshield. She swallowed a handful of sleeping pills and sat in the driver's seat and let the pills take over. There was a point where the music actually sounded perfect. It wasn’t fitting music for leaving this planet rather music that hit her ear perfectly. The paradox worked on her frazzled nerves. And with less than perfect clarity she took three more of her prescription sleeping pills. This was her life and there was no dress rehearsal. It seemed like more than enough pills to put her out of her misery.
Night faded into another dimension of night or that is how she later interpreted what had occurred. She dreamed of poppy fields on a warm spring day. She felt peaceful and no longer alone until a sudden crash interrupted the bucolic scene. She was lifted to another place and another time and she felt as if she had to throw up. There was too much not going on to put into proper perspective. She then found herself lying on her back with snowflakes tickling her face. Sirens and lights flashed through the inside of her eyelids. She had no expectations of an afterlife, still she highly doubted this was it.
She ended up in the hospital where she once worked. Everybody was either too busy to notice or possibly there wasn’t much to notice, she cried out to a nurse named Stella.
Her voice box remained parched dry and her pleas for help only made it to the end of the pillow.
She vaguely, and with little fondness, remembered the colour of the walls and the rhythm of the corridors. That did not help her passing fixation of exactly how she got here. She was fading in and out of consciousness and had not the energy to change this. They wheeled her into a room that looked like any other hospital room. There was already a vase of exuberant flowers sitting on the window ledge . It must have been the early morning hours as the first light of day could be seen, while looking east out the hospital window.
And there she sat for the next eleven hours, without a phone call or visitors. Flowers appeared in her room intermittently, and she did not bother to see who they were from. She didn’t know if she was happy to be alive or completely pissed off she could not get this right. She thought she had the perfect plan and could not even follow that. For a second, she thought where was her cat, where was her cell phone, where were her people? She had tried to call her ex and could only leave a vague message. She had no idea how she could be reached. It didn't occur to her that there were other phones besides cell phones. All her synapses were not firing properly and she was going to have to be okay with this.
That night a team of doctors came in to see her. Up until now there have been plenty of tests with limited Intercourse with humans. They explained what happened and had a string of serious questions. They told her that the man working in the liquor store walked out to his car about 45 minutes after the store closed. He saw her slumped over the steering wheel. He rapped frantically on the windows for a minute or so, and there was no response. The car was not locked. He quickly opened the driver side door and tried to wake you. And you did not respond. Apparently, he knows you as an over-sharing, friendly client who frequents the liquor store on occasions.
“That son of a bitch” Mary Beth interjected and still Patel pushed forward.
He seemed rather fond of you and, and even if he wasn’t he did the right thing. He called an ambulance and it got there quickly. It must have been a slow night.
Many things raced through her mind at this time. She wondered how much a ride in an ambulance would cost her? Then there was the question of what happened to the gin bottle in the car, would she get a DWI, what was she doing alive and why did that clerk spoil her plans?
The doctor told her that if it weren’t for the clerk she probably wouldn’t even be alive. He sent over some flowers to show you he was thinking about you. Actually the doctor explained he didn’t know why he sent the flowers.
She had a quick little panic attack that was barely registered with the attending medical team. Her mind raced around wildly as she could barely grasp where she would be if she were no longer right here. The concept of death and what comes after was a larger subject than she was able to handle right now. A mere sixteen hours age she was willing and able to leave that to chance. She had to grab her bed rail just to sturdy herself. She looked around briefly hoping that nobody noticed.
“Are you okay.?” asked a doctor who remained quiet until now.
Doctor Patel, a doctor of Indian decent, sat and listened the entire time. She introduced herself once again and nervously looked Mary Beth in the eyes. And then, she drilled in with laser focus so she could study Mary Beth’s face. She was skilled at picking up non verbal cues. For her next question she wanted to be 100 percent sure Mary Beth would be telling the truth. It was a question even those with great bedside manners were not adept at asking.
“Mary Beth, were you trying to kill yourself?” It seemed like an obvious question however it was a question that needed to be asked. There were so many holes in the patients approach to putting an end to her earthly existence. It seemed she failed on purpose or at least she allowed for a margin of error.
She sat there for a stunned moment, without answering. She stared off toward the sun that was now far above the horizon. Tears welled from within her eyes and slowly ran down her face, She then broke into a cry. It wasn't a pretty cry, rather one of sobs of desperation and anguish with very little self control. And just as quickly, the cries came to a halt.
“Yes I was, my life is a pathetic mess and nobody seems to care and one of those people is me.”
There was a knock at the door and a nurse named Alberto flamboyantly entered the room without waiting for a signal to come right in
“Mary Beth, you have a visitor, he will be up here in a minute. Are you well enough to handle meeting people from the outside world?”
She thought for a second and quickly assumed it was her ex who had unscrambled her messages and out of a sense of duty he was here to pay her a visit.
“Yes that would be fine.” She added with a slash of sardonic innocence.
“What I could really use right now is a a drink.”
We have given you some medication that will help you fight that urge. We think it will help. Of course we can’t give you a drink.
There was another quick knock on the door and in walked the man from the liquor store. She searched her memory for his name, and those brain cells were not firing right now. Alberto, after having measured the room, introduced Bradford to the doctors in attendance. This way he would keep Mary Beth at ease in case she did not know his name.
“Hi there” Bradford said meekishly as he walked in the room. He didn’t exactly know what he was doing here, but he knew this was where he needed to be,
“You son of a bitch,” Mary Beth yelled at him with all the energy she could muster.
“It is nice to see you are coming around” Bradford replied as he took the comment in stride.
“Get out here you nosy son of a bitch.”
And that’s what he tried to do. He knew she was going to live and he could sense misdirected anger headed his way. His mission was done here. He didn’t set out to be a hero. He just wanted to make sure she was going to make it.
“Do you understand why I am so pissed at you. You should have let me die, it is my choice and selected destination.”
“But I couldn’t.”
“Why the F*ck not?” she fired back an octave below a scream.
“I can see the good in you.” He replied with a tentative smile.”
She can’t remember the last time she smiled, and there she stood doing a poor job of hiding a smile. A tear ran down her face
She would live to see another day, and for this very moment she was okay with that.