Monday, March 16, 2009



They are all drifting in and out of sleep in the icosahedron. Curled in this Platonic solid she falls asleep, drifts in and out, finally rests her long body. Then it’s up, wiping the sleep from her addict eyes and to the Seroquel and Ambien, one is never enough for the sleepless. The next morning when the camper near her tent wakes her before her time she screams at them all and cries about the weather. Awake, but in a trance – she is four, she is free, irresponsible, petulant, and cranky. She is unable to react to any emergency, a gawking, hollow, sleepwalking, six-foot-one burden.


She is self-medicating PTSD with five fingers of support, Seroquel, Ambien, Xanax, a muscle relaxant, and an even stronger sleeping pill. She isn’t a burden, just slightly low integrity due to grogginess which she cuts with caffeine. While accepting any pharmaceutical and alcohol she rails drunken against the rest one night as they lounge in the icosahedron. “You’d be out doing things if you didn’t do drugs all the time” – the rest, having used cannabis and intermittent N2O, can’t say anything in response to that and are too high to point out her hypocrisy, sensing her fragility. She tries to take her super-strong sleeping pill to sleep away the heat of the day, but it doesn’t work, leaving her a dopey mess – but with the presence of mind to stay inside her friend’s tent.


He’s driven a car hit by a drunk driver that killed his fiancĂ© and unborn child. He’s shot and killed a man that broke into his home, protecting his second wife and two children. He’s survived brain cancer, cocaine addiction, MS, and public battles with and against the union and the energy company for whom he’s worked his whole career. He survives his third suicide attempt – swallowing a box and a half of Seroquel in a remote location on the coast, parked where the tide is sure to take him out. Randomly an officer finds him, he is helicoptered out with a pulse of 36, yet still has the presence of mind to grab the breast of the nurse with the air medical services, ironically a company called “REACH”.


She’s lied about her life for the last seven years, kept everything from everyone, lived in a lie off of her boyfriend, and is steeping in unpaid bills. The pressure builds up, hints are leaking, but no one knows anything until she disappears for three days. She’s found by the police, a few blocks from her home, locked in the trunk of her own car, dehydrated but alive. The last thing she claims to remember is being on the coast in the same remote location, swallowing a box of Seroquel dissolved in a bottle of wine. The police write it off as a suicide attempt and she is not examined for foul play.


I’ve never taken sleeping pills. They seem evil. Perhaps responsible use of them is just invisible, because all I’ve seen are nightmares.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of Seroquel before. It's an atypical antipsychotic, used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder, according to the web? In this story it sounds like it's used as a sleeping pill? What does it do to you?

I have known people who use sleeping pills without being obviously fucked up, except that they can't be functional if woken up early, and can't sleep at all without them.

One girl I knew would take ambien every night to sleep, kicking off a fifteen minute window where she would lose a lot of inhibitions and usually start sending coherent but ridiculously forthright IMs to people. Then she would fall asleep in the middle of the conversation as the drug took hold. This was surprising and disconcerting when I first met her, and then it was sort of endearing, and then she stopped doing it, and now we hardly talk at all any more.