“I am fixin’ to hit the bed,” George told me after stopping by for a moment after work. He yawned loudly stretching his arms in the process.
“Here!” he said, handing me a bag of Sprites and some candy bars. “I didn’t think you would want any caffeine after yesterday’s attack.”
“Thank you!” I told him with the utmost of sincerity.
“What are you feeling today?” he asked.
“Just scared,” I replied. “Just scared those attacks will start back. I am so nervous and it feeds upon itself.”
“Well, don’t you have some medications to take?”
“I have my clonazepam,” I replied. “My psychiatrist prescribes twenty extra per month for emergencies on top of the two I take nightly.”
“Take them then!” George exclaimed. “Get to feeling better. I hate it when you get like this. You’re such a stick in the mud!”
“Dad has them and I can’t bother him at work. He will get angry. They are effectively useless to me. He will say I just want to get ‘high.’ I guess he believes I have cried wolf too many times.”
“I still want to give your father a good ass kicking sometimes,” George replied in a huff. “Someone needs to bring him down a notch. Doesn’t he realize you are completely dependent upon him?”
I shrugged, not wanting to get into a ‘let’s degrade my father session’ that can happen sometimes between George and I.
“Call me if you need a drink, okay?” George said. “We will get drunk and I will call into work. I bet that will make you forget about your mental illness for a few hours.”
“It certainly would,” I said, shrugging again. “You need to sleep, though.”
I didn’t tell George it would make my life ten times more complicated this morning. I would have to worry about sobering up for dad tonight. Hiding the smell on my breath. Discarding of all the cans in a way they wouldn’t be detected or found. Worrying about George getting home and going through the whole process of hiding his keys from him.
Just then, Maggie jumped up into George’s lap without warning. I died laughing. The first time I had laughed in days. George spilt the Coca-Cola he was drinking all over my lounge chair.
“Goddamnit, that dawg does that every time!”
George was holding up his arms as if Maggie couldn’t be touched. I had the biggest grin on my face. Maggie will only jump into the laps of a selected few people including mom.
“She just loves you, man,” I said. “She trusts you. It’s a good thing.”
George pushed Maggie off into the floor and got up to clean up the mess him and Maggie had made.
“Don’t forget to call me if you need me,” George told me as he was leaving to go home to sleep.
I was still smiling ear to ear, but I mumbled something incoherently and said goodbye. I won’t lie and say I didn’t want to throw caution to the wind and get rip roaring drunk. I would have been so nice, yet so damned complicated at the same time. The better Angels of my nature prevailed.