I Fell In Love With My Ketamine Nurse
I fell in love with my Ketamine nurse even if she plugged the IV into my foot the first time. Over 40 minutes I draw her only succulents (her favorite) as I disassociate further and further from the body of my mind. I toss them at her like they’re hanging plants made of trauma paper. She once showed me a picture of her bathroom in her apartment on the UES. She lives alone. I felt alone. But her situation didn’t seem like a sad alone, it seemed like I go to the gym nightly so I fall asleep before the loneliness settles kind of alone. *Meg was a bit normie, she wasn’t someone you’d talk about after she left a room, not leaving a waft of originality, no impression strong. But she sure left something on me. She wasn’t brave in that certain way, but courageous in others. Like dealing with my crap. Her kindness was a unique brand; her kindness fierce. A retired colonel comes in after me. I imagine her processing horror with him. I try my best not to imagine anything but her soft hand on his cold hand. Her manicure is always nude. It is so scary to want to die, I tell her. I feel so guilty, I say, as my Spotify playlist finishes Ahman Jamal’s “Moonlight In Vermont” and sprints to Rostam’s “Half-Light.” I don’t get it; when his fantasy wasn’t reality he bailed. He knew about my sadness. I clutch my studio headphones, squirming in the large leather recliner in a rented psychiatrists office, hooked up to a promise that the urge to die will cease, imagining all the well-adjusted eating lunch alone on Madison Square Park benches just outside our window. Great nurses can’t have airs; she must provide the unwavering, staunch comfort of someone who believes in living this life, the no bullshit, the stern: you’re already doing better. She would laugh at my clear anxiety, the regret. Meg, I didn’t want to take it to heart, but I did. She’s the only one allowed to laugh at me. I am in love with her. She’s from fifty minutes away, somewhere on the water in Connecticut where I’d imagine Meg would be from. She’s tight with her mom but not in a codependent fashion. She has a healthy relationship with the outdoors. She speaks blue and green. She’s lost momentary faith in dating. She chalks most intimacy issues up to social media. I see that is part of the larger issue at hand. I get it, I say. Tinder is dating porn; people think there’s always another choice. Very dehumanizing. I give Meg the benefit of the intellectual doubt. I am in love with her. She smiles as if I just handed her the ability for her to trust her own theorizing. I feel special, smart, and bright thanks to Meg. My Ketamine nurse wears mantra bands on her fragile wrists that read if not now when and get it done and go with the flow. I ask if she’s spiritual and she laughs, revealing teeth that never skipped a brushing. Small and petite, thick hair held by an elastic, thick brows held by gel, her skin tans, the bridge of her nose freckles, she points to my headphones and motions me to put music back on (no lyrics this time) if her intuition determines I’m heading for a cry. I watch unresolved traumas blink in front of me like playing wack-a-gator at an arcade. I’m getting better at smashing a gator right over its nose. The gators are appearing less and less. I want to celebrate. I’ve done infusions 4x. Two more, and the draino will merk all the the muck from my brain. We must celebrate! Let me take you to an arcade, Meg. Meg, I’ll win you a prize. Remember when you told me a secret, to take benadryl before? When you call me a character I wonder if that means you love me, too. Or is it what I still fear: forever the woman to have fun with, rarely the one to long-term love. I fell in love with the woman who allowed me to fall in love with myself again. Tomorrow, when you suggest I go to Shake Shack, I will. I will bring you back a burger, shake and flirty fries. She believes depression is a category 5 emotional storm. I just don’t get how he didn’t, I say to her. Betrayal trauma is real, we say in unison except she laughs like a grandmother petting my head an hour into putting me to sleep. I told him it was like having stage 5 cancer. Of the soul. I know, what a plebeian analogy. Good thing Meg didn’t get it. I wouldn’t want my love to think I condescended. She paces to her designer bag, puts a cool cloth on my head and says, it’s about you now. I am in love.