An Afternoon on Klonopin

I decided to go for a walk today at 2:30, but I had nagging anxiety that, no matter how hard I tried to meditate it away, wouldn’t leave me alone. So, I took some Klonopin that my doctor prescribed me to take as needed. My dose is 0.5mg, and I take two a day if I need to. Well, I took one-and-half because two makes me super loopy. Minutes later, I feel the weight of the sedative on my limbs, giving me a heavy sensation. It’s a fun feeling, and it gets better.

I walked to Malcolm X Park, sat on a bench and watched people. But what I experienced wasn’t exactly what happened. All I can say is that seeing students running around in the park after school was actually fun for once.

While the medication was at its peak, my senses became more sensitive to the smell in the air, the aroma of the trees and takeout food places in the neighborhood. That combined with the Autumn breeze and vision of the of the elementary and middle school aged kids running around or conspiring at picnic  tables brought me back in time. It was like I was experiencing life for the first time. I want to feel that way all the time.

The pizzeria aroma reminded me of Brooklyn and being in middle school again. I remembered being with my friend after school in somewhat seedy neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and it was a time of innocence. It was a time I remember dearly because I used those moments to escape for as long as possible from my weird life at home.  In short, I felt a sense of normalcy which is extremely important to me.





Bullet Shells

Grandpa and I crunched our way through the chest-high, golden grass hiking through the woods, as we did so many summers before. He parked his pick-up truck by a trail on the side of the road where maybe only one or two other cars were parked.

These hikes made me feel protected from the life and worries I temporarily left behind in Brooklyn during the summer. Skyscraping trees allowed me to be a fantasy adventurer carrying a sword and bow with a quiver of arrows.

I couldn’t do that in Brooklyn where there aren’t any forests. Skyscrapers and brownstone walk-ups don’t rustle in the wind with leaves soothingly swooshing. Fairies, elves and bandits don’t hide in allies or behind dumpsters with feral cats.

Our shoes crushing twigs, leaves, soil and stones was the only music  on the humid summer morning, a sweet reprieve from roving engines, honking, yelling and rush of New York City. Grandpa showed us that it’s OK to pick up cool trinkets previous hikers left behind.

My favorite trinkets to collect were bullet shells. Their copper colored, cylindrical bodies clinking together made me happy.  I like the feeling of them in my hands and the shininess in the light. That summer I collected so many that I filled up a lady bug tin with them.

I was so proud of that collection. It’s lost in time now left behind at my step dad’s home in my mom’s hurry to separate from him.

My mother wondered why I liked going to Michigan for the summer when I was a teenager.

“There’s nothing for you to do there,” she would say. “Not like there is here.”

Was she serious? Certainly, there was plenty to do.  I went on adventures with my brother and grandpa in the woods. There were always bullet shells to be collected and not enough people to collect them! Michigan needed me as much as I needed it.

I cannot resist the bullet shells  calling me with their jingling on the crisp forest floor.