I stormed back into the room where tubs and purse lips were; who the hell did they think they were anyway. I was in this hospital for 8 years. This office was Mikes! What the hell happened? (I’d find out later, that the corporate world is an ugly, ugly place).
“Welcome,” tubs came up to me and put her hand out. I tried to keep from laughing. She had that kind of face where you just can’t quite look her in the eye so you gotta look in between and pretend otherwise you’re afraid you’ll bust out laughing. She turned around to purse lips and I looked at her ass. I couldn’t help it. I always had a nice ass so I don’t know, I was kind of guilty of feeling a little sorry for those who were less fortunate, and yet, man, she was way less fortunate because her ass was so big the pockets to her jeans looked real small.
I usually wasn’t this mean, nor judgmental but I knew these women were both gonna be bitches so I had to put them down in my head first so I could think a little straighter. I just kept thinking of poor Mike. He was probably wandering down around North Philly or Kensington now looking for crack with that tattered old briefcase in his hands, brass knuckles tucked away ’cause he was a little guy but he packed a punch.
What the fuck, man?
Purse lips came up and introduced herself as Gretchen and I wasn’t surprised I knew it had to be that or Myrtle or something. Gretch reminded me of wretch and that’s what I wanted to do at that moment. Wretch. Right in her pursed lips.
Acting like nothing was going on.
We got a call.
“Pathology, Lucy speaking.”
“Hey, Lucky Lucy,” a nurse named Chris bellowed into the phone, “we have someone down here in CT we need your help.”
Thank God. A patient. I looked at lumps and Gerty or Wretchy and told them I had to make a run.
“All scans must be listed on the board,” said her Highness through lips so tight they were aggravating me. And I still didn’t really know what happened to Mike. The guy ruled that roost for almost 25 years though he had told me in a moment of solidarity that he thought everyone who was on his side were kind of leaving or getting the boot. He had been afraid of this.
I took the cart, ignored purse lips and ran downstairs to let all the nurses know that there was a new sheriff in town.
None of them were surprised.
Dr. Nissan (yes, that was his name) said in his Russian twang, “What is going on up there?” even before he let me know where the tumor was in this patients lungs.
“Calm down, Lucy,” he soothed, “Let me tell you a joke. Mickey and Minnie Mouse go to divorce court and the judge asks why Mickey wants to split up the famous duo.”
I raised my eyebrow and without skipping a beat he added, “He said, ‘because she’s fucking goofy.’
I smiled, shook my head and asked how big the tumor was.
He adjusted his glasses, “What no laughter?”
“Ok, ok. 30 pound weight loss without trying. 3 cm on CT but it looks..” he walked over to where the radiologist sat and moved the scanner around, “looks like it shrank a little since last time.”
I watched him as he went over and adjusted the stage needle and then put a longer one inside. When he brought it out I took it from him and expressed the bloody material onto a slide and “quik dipped” it to give it some color. The 30 pound weight loss alone was worrisome. That had to be one of the biggest indicators of cancer that I saw in my career. And just as I suspected, the minute I stared into the microscope I knew I was looking at a pretty bad adenocarcinoma, pretty in color but as ugly in spirit as I suspected in those two bitches upstairs…..
6/24 – start here if you’ve already read part 2- this is part 2B
I was so mad I took my little cancer cart and wheeled it upstairs, not able to believe that they got rid of Mike that easy and brought in two more; what was gonna happen to me? How come every place I ever worked I made a lot of money but always had to deal with a lot of bullshit. Maybe once I could try making shit money and not dealing with shit. My husband made enough. He worked homicide and believe me, people in this city were always blowing each other’s brains out, if not their own.
I was thinking about a patient named Keefer because it reminded me of Keith Richards except this guy was black, and really sick. First time I met him he was a good looking muscular dude who was kind of eyeing me up, I was in my thirties but I still had it, ya’ know? And then the next time I saw Kedith James on the list and I went up with one of the other drs and I thought that can’t be Keefer the dude looks half dead. So when we put the 22 gauge needle in one of his lumps I bent over and stared into his eyes and he looked at me.
He recognized me. And he had these green eyes. And you know how green eyes on black dudes always looks so smooth, man his eyes were hurting and it pained me. I said hi to him but he couldn’t say hi back; the tube that had been down his throat scratched it so bad he couldn’t talk right. That or he was just straight up that sick. Either way, for some reason this is what I Was thinking of when tubs and purse lips came back into view.
I was thinking that their was no way in hell these two would care and know the patients the way I did. I knew these patients I did things for them. And when Dr. Greene came in with his urine (cause he took a lot of pain medication for his back and always wanted to know if I saw eosinophils, I think it signified something with the kidneys) but anyway, I always did it on the sly so he wouldn’t be billed. Were they gonna take care of Dr. Greene’s urine the way I did?
Purse lips came over and said, ” I don’t see any documentation on the walls of where you were just now.”
I looked at the walls like she was speaking some crazy language, “What? I just told you I was going down to CT.”
“Well now it has to be documented.” She said, haughty like.
And that was the beginning of the end for me. Because I could do a lot, and I was smart as shit, but I couldn’t remember to write stuff down. Never. It wasn’t my style. I was writing down what happened now. But like I couldn’t write down every day I’m going here I’m going there. I couldn’t do structure at all.
And that’s how purse lips and tubs would get me.
So I walked over to Tammy’s house so she could get a good look at my ass. Maybe I had a hemorrhoid or something. I was hoping because the alternative would be just too much for me to handle. Bear? Rape? Why?
I knocked on her door, maybe a bit too hard because he swung it open and was as wide eyed as if I was the police standing in front of her with a warrant.
I brushed past her. “Tam, it’s bad, man, real bad.”
She looked out the door, both ways like we were in some kind of movie.
“What the hell are you looking for?” I asked her.
“I don’t know,” she said, turning around, “but I thought maybe Bear or something might have followed you.”
“I don’t even know where the hell Bear is. I left his door unlocked because he’s such an airhead he probably didn’t even bring his key.” And then I thought of something, ” and where is he anyway. I texted him, he didn’t answer and he doesn’t ever answer his phone. NEVA.”
“Ok” she said clapping her hands together, “Let’s get a look at your ass.”
I started laughing, “Okaaay. Should I just whip it out or-”
“Come on, Jade, you called me freaking the fuck out and Bear ain’t exactly, you know, running on all cylinders as it is. I always thought he wasn’t wrapped too tight. Every time I see him he asks me how’s my pussy doing.”
I started really laughing then, then I started crying, thinking about how much I loved Bear but if he did this to me I was gonna be so fucked up about it.
“All right, all right let’s go in the kitchen or somewhere. The bathroom? I don’t know,” I turned around so she could see the back of me, “Can you see blood.”
And when I saw her eyes widen it was like when you have your period real bad and you ask someone if they can see anything and you turn around and they look and the look they give you, you know there’s a big ass red blotch back there.
“Are you fucking serious?” I moaned. “Omg.” I pulled down my pants and just bent over, not caring anymore. My asshole burned so bad anyway what was anymore humiliation added onto it.
Tammy came up behind me and bent down, opening my ass cheeks apart gently.
“Have you done this before, you have a knack for it.” I joked.
“Jade, Jade this isn’t funny. Get me a wet towel,” she ordered.
“How the hell am I going to do that?” My pants were halfway down not off. I climbed out of them threw them to the side and reached over to get some towels and I ran them under the sink, cold water.
She took them from me and dabbed gently. It burned a little and I winced.
“What’s it look like?”
“Jade, it’s like there’s tiny dots with blood coming out. And there’s bruising on the sides. Whoever did it, did it hard. He…or someone, whoever, definitely butt fucked you.”
“Well Sherlock, I had that figured out. I’m talking like, what do you think happened. Why would he do this to me when I probably would have given it to him anyway?”
She looked up at me and with the utmost serious of looks said, “Jade you can’t ask me, you gotta find Bear and ask him.”
6/24 – this is 2B
“You mother fucker,” I hissed into the phone, “I know what you did, you whacko…why the fuck did you do it.”
Bear finally answered me. I had texted and called him all day long. Tammy was right behind me egging me on. Sticking her fingers down my pants every so often to remind me how bad I was hurting.
“What the hell are you talking about?” came his thick, surprised reply. Jade, we did the same thing we always did when we were together. We had fun.”
“Listen, Bear, I known you forever. I am with you for Christ’s sake when you do stuff to other girls…or guys when it’s your way of the day, but this time you did it to me. You put something in my drink because one minute The Eagles were in the City and the next minute you were in my shitty.”
He laughed and that sweet laugh of his made me think of the way his lips turned up and his eyes would smile along with his mouth. He was such a sweetheart how could he do this to me? I really couldn’t remember last night, everything was so fuzzy and I wanted to know what was going on.
“We had fun, like we always do, Jade. What do you want me to tell you?” he was saying this in a way I Didn’t like, like in a dark way that I heard him talk to his bitches to and I wasn’t one of his bitches.
“Let’s get some crabs tonight and Coronas and do it again.” he suggested.
“Do what again?” I goaded.
I started down at the cell phone in my hand then looked over at Tammy who was putting on her super pink lipstick and mixing it with cinnamon to give it a more natural hue, she was mushing her lips together and staring at me quizzingly.
‘He did it.’ I mouthed. And I know he did. And that’s ok cause two could play at that game. Two could play….
Almost like he knew Steve had told me, but how could he, Mark wouldn’t answer his phone. I called it again and again and again. It kept ringing but no one was answering.
I decided to walk down the stores myself, not drive, but walk, through the woods, even more sneaky like. Anyone could see my car. It was a distinctive blue color. It might have been your standard Toyota but it was painted by whoever owned it before so there was no other blue quite like it. I was gonna kill this mother fucker.
Why would Steve lie? He just wouldn’t. He looked so bad even telling me what he wanted to tell me that it was making me sick. Making me sick to think of Mark being with another woman. We’d been together so long. We had a good relationship. None of it made any sense.
I walked through the schoolyard and down the stone covered embankment and into the woods where we used to hang out as children. That’s when I had first met Mark. We had both been in high school and him and his friends had driven a car inside the woods and blew it up. We thought that was so daring and cool. It had been an abandon car and back then it wasn’t like now. Everything wasn’t tracked. There weren’t cameras everywhere so you could do things and have fun without fear that the next day everything would be plastered all over Facebook or YouTube. As I made my way into the woods, the sunlight glistening off the trees, it lit up like God’s country and everything looked so beautiful. I loved nature. I loved being out in the woods…with…Mark…and now…now would I ever love anything again? Was it even true? Maybe Steve was high and it wasn’t Mark though I knew in my heart that something was wrong.
But why would Mark do it in front of the 7-Eleven knowing people that both knew us would be down there. That was the classic neighborhood hook up place for any kind of drug you wanted. Since we were kids that’s where we got our pot from, our coke, our ludes. (Man, did I miss those 714’s.) I used to take my birth control at 7:14 every night because that was the only time I could ever seem to remember to take it.
I stopped and breathed in the air. The air that smelled like wet leaves and dirt that was old because no one except old heads or real little kids ever came in here anymore. It wasn’t like when we were kids. They had gotten rid of the path so it wasn’t as easy to walk through the woods anymore, you kind of had to walk around it. Strange things would brush up against your legs and one time Mark and I were fucking like mad dogs in what we thought was just a brush and here it was a bunch of Poison Ivy which I turned out to be allergic to and he nursed my wounds back to health.
I frowned. I felt my lip quivering and my eyes tearing and I knew I was about to breakdown because no matter what. I knew something was wrong.
6/24 – 2B (PLEASE NOTE 2B was prewritten and then lost- so this might be a little shaky or “underwritten” at one point I am going to start writing these elsewhere and then pasting them to this site- for now I am literally writing them off the cuff or LIVE and I am sure it shows in some parts but once I get it off the ground it won’t always stay so.)- DEBBIE
I hustled out of the woods, not really knowing what I was going to do. What would I do when I found Mark? Confront him when I don’t even really think I wanted to know the truth? Steve wouldn’t lie to me and unless he had beer goggles on or something and really didn’t see what he thought he saw I was gonna be one sad girl. I came out of the woods and turned to see the orange and green glow of the 7-Eleven, practically blinding my eye sight, then I saw the kids, staring at me, at mom, the enemy, she who was either searching for her kid to yell at or was a town watchdog type person. When I was younger it was pot and cocaine on the weekends but now kids today were all about heroin and whatever they could find, bath salts and things I never heard of nor knew nothing about. Or like the Angel Dust of the past had mutated into something called ‘wet’ where people ripped off their clothes and drank water out of toilets they would get so thirsty, or so I heard. It scared me how hardcore things were now. I wouldn’t even try ecstasy yet someone told me that we had done enough shrooming and hits of acid that ecstasy wouldn’t matter. And right now the last thing on my mind was drugs anyway.
I wanted to scream out, I am neither I am just looking for my cheating husband.
I had only been with Mark he was my one and only lover. I had kissed a few guys before him but he was it. And I was like maybe his third, we had been with each other that long. I even brought another girl into the relationship before, for his 21st birthday so he wouldn’t stray and while he had a great time while it was happening he told me afterward he really hadn’t liked it. Like he thought me being with her was really cool but he hadn’t liked being with her directly and I hadn’t much liked that part either. But I made him promise that he would do that rather than anything behind my back. At least I would know about it and it always seemed to work. He seemed satisfied, our sex life was as good as it had always been.
I couldn’t understand… so I searched around for a friendly face and I saw Meringue and ran over to him, pretending like I was running up to him to buy something. He was a nice kid and came right over to me and I couldn’t stop it; the minute he wrapped his arms around me I burst into tears. I just could not hold it back. He held me tightly and didn’t ask nothing until I pulled back and said lightly, “Have you seen Mark around?”
He shook his head and his hazel eyes seemed to go right through to my own when I heard a car revving into the parking lot behind me. It was Mark and he was with another person in an unfamiliar car. I was about to break loose but Meringue stopped me. “Don’t” he whispered under his breath, so I did, I stopped…and I waited….