Three Steps to Death
It used to be that as we aged we'd talk about our aches and pains. Now it seems that all my conversations, even with people half my age, are about medications--but of the psychotropic variety.
I always emerge with bragging rights: I'm on Pristiq, Topamax, and Seroquel. No one I know--and my circle is pretty univerally wretched people--has such a delicately titrated cocktail. But that doesn't matter. We get to the topic of the cartoon on my refrigerator where the man on the psychiatrist's couch is saying something to the effect of, "Could you please raise my dose? I still have feelings."
I can write because I have no feelings. I wonder whether I could write if I had too many feelings to function. I used to write pre-drugs. I was out of control emotionally--or at least I was deeply unhappy--but my writing was no different. Still, I tell myself that if I were free of meds I'd surely be a wild poet. It's a moot subject, I tell my friends when we talk: for the rest of my life I have chosen to flatline. I never will get off my cocktail. I don't want pain again. I won't have pleasure, either, but, hey, that's the price.
So I was thinking the other day: is this step one toward death? First I die emotionally, then I die mentally, then I die physically. One, two, three. Three, two, one. I see my mental faculties slpping bit by bit. I'm not going to start a regimen of pills that will eradicate my ability to think. Nature will do that. Since I have no feelings, I won't care.
And once I can't think or feel, I can let go physically. I won't know, and I won't fear. My body can let go.
Three, two, one. I've already passed the first step. I can keep on writing until I pass the second step. And I won't grieve, because I won't know. By the time I'm at step three, I'll be warehoused. I won't even know my name on the book spines.