No Lime, No Salt

Tammy Breitweiser
Oct 29, 2019 · 5 min read

A Piece of Short Fiction

Photo by Francisco Galarza on Unsplash

I stare at the eyes reflecting back. The circles of light in my pupils remind me of theater dressing table lights even though I have never seen them. Not in real life anyway. In movies, yes. I know I understand things that I should not know about things I have never seen, or tasted, or heard.

Who would miss me?

How long would it take?

What would happen if I took all the pills in the cabinet?

The paint peels from the ornate frame surrounding the reflective glass. Is it really reflective? Of what? TRUTH?

The blank stare stares back.

Nothingness.

What if I drank all the alcohol in the fridge and then went to work? Would I make it? I stand with the door open, the light shining, and cold falling on my bare feet. Minutes go by before I realize I am still standing with the door looking. I don’t remember what I was going in there for in the first place.

Spots of memory are lost. I stop and don’t remember why I have walked into a room. Or why I am holding a pen. Or a knife.

I go back to the fridge and take a swig from a craft beer. Just one will be ok. I chase it with black coffee. THAT I have the energy to brew. I go back and dress with renewed energy. Another swig. I put my shoes on and pack my back. Swig.

I drop the bottle into the recycling bin on my way to my car. If only that bottle really held the pain.

Onward with the day.

The migraine when I get back home pounds my head. I feel like I will throw up with each step. I stumble slowly and painfully to the bathroom and grip the wood door frame. I am grasping the frame willing myself to move forward. I just think as much as it hurts that if I can float in the tub I can get some relief. If I had a gun I would shoot myself just to make the ringing stop.

There is another image glowering at me through tears of confusion as I turn and catch a glance in the mirror. The mirror only adores you for short bursts. Today is not one of those days. I have the strength of steel in the essence of a bunny.

Not really.

The sound of the forced water hurts. I lean my left cheek against the cold tub and try not to move as I wait for my sensory tank to fill. My brain hurts.

I try to float, but bump the sides of the tub ever so slightly, and it jars my mind. I see black spots. My body feels like I am being hit by a truck. Any micromovement causes searing pain. I cry, but try to stop because that hurts too. The tears mix with the tepid water of my own filth, but do not disappear.

Maybe I will fall asleep in the tub and it will end.

The pain is too bad for that. There will be no reward.

Finally, the pounding and the light is too much. I crawl out of the tub to the floor. It takes me an hour to move out of the bathroom and into the bed in the next room. I just want to stop moving. I want my blood to stop pumping. I want my heart to stop. I need my skin to not touch anything.

Finally, I fall asleep from the handful of Excedrin from the side table and the tequila I used to wash it down. No lime. No salt. Just straight.

The sun comes in the window and I open my eyes and my head is clear.

The day begins again.

I stand with the refrigerator door open. The light is shining and cold is falling on my bare feet. Minutes go by before I realize I am still standing with the door looking. I don’t remember what I was going in there for in the first place.

Spots of memory are lost. I stop and don’t remember why I have walked into a room. Or why I am holding a spoon. Or one shoe.

Spots of memory are clear. I wish I could chose the memory reel. Yesterday I cried in the hallway and got caught by two women in the next office. They blame depression for my problems. Get on some medication they say. Pull yourself together they say. With malice and humor laced words they say, “Only one person can cry at a time.” They have also noticed I have had no energy for showers. I make half an effort to make my hair presentable. No makeup. Clothes only to cover my body and not get me arrested. When I get home I will just throw the clothes away. There is no motivation for laundry. I don’t care.

I go back to the fridge and take a swig from a craft beer. Just one will be ok. I chase it with black coffee. THAT I have the energy to brew. I go back and dress with renewed energy. Another swig. I put my shoes on and pack my back. Swig.

I drop the bottle into the recycling bin on my way to my car.

Onward with the day.

The day begins again.

A coworker called and left a voicemail. She wants to recommend her therapist to me. She sees the dark.

Sleep will help.

It has to.

Lots of sleeping will help. No moderation. Just sleep.

The tequila magnifies my mood. If I am even, I stay even. If I am sad, the spiral spins out of control. Then the darkness comes and I don’t have to remember.

I stand with the refrigerator door open. The light is shining and cold is falling on my bare feet. Minutes go by before I realize I am still standing with the door looking. I don’t remember what I was going in there for in the first place.

Spots of memory are lost. I stop and don’t remember why I have walked into a room. Or why I am holding a towel. Or a tomato.

I go back to the fridge and take a swig from a craft beer. Just one will be ok. I chase it with black coffee. THAT I have the energy to brew. I go back and dress with renewed energy. Another swig. I put my shoes on and pack my back. Swig.

I drop the bottle into the recycling bin on my way to my car.

Onward with the day.

The darkness finally wins.

The Story Hall

A gathering place for stories to be told, read and appreciated.

Tammy Breitweiser

Written by

Tammy is force of nature; woman of honor; seer of nuance; ; & an accidental inspirationalist who writes. https://mailchi.mp/e19e03e6cd33/tammynews

The Story Hall

A gathering place for stories to be told, read and appreciated.

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