Madeline Bilbrey / QSL

Cold Hot Things

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I’m on hold with my doctor’s office right now. I don’t know why I bothered to call on a Sunday; of course they weren’t working. The only people that work at this hour don’t have the bedside manner to work weekdays. So I got put on hold. You know what’s funny? Everyone always makes fun of ‘hold’ music or ‘elevator’ music but that’s somebody’s job, right? The guy who’s in charge of picking elevator music never thought to make it decent — I guess he thinks covers of Whitney Houston never get old.

Mom just called, making sure I’m not dead. We talked about the weather and the dog, and apparently the neighbors have a new pool boy. My sister is doing fabulous. She’s got a new job and she’s doing so well in school yada yada yada. It’s been raining here for several days now; sometimes I feel trapped. I feel trapped inside and I feel trapped when I’m around people. But it’s being trapped in my own head that’s the scariest thing.

Living with a panic disorder is like wearing assless chaps in February. My left foot is stuck in yesterday, analyzing my mistakes. My right foot is wedged into tomorrow thinking of the mistakes I’m going to make. The throttle is wide open. My ass is red as a baboon but all I can manage to do is piss away today. I can’t see what’s in front of me because I’m staring at the piss trail that has become my life. I don’t even have to pee anymore but I can’t pinch it off. I’m driving myself into insanity. And why am I not wearing any underwear?

I wake up. Dad trudges into my room with a cup of coffee and a comb over. “God it smells in here,” he says as he unleashes the light from behind my blinds. Everyone says I’m just like him. If my dad had his own womb he would’ve delivered me himself. He taught me how to ride a bike. He taught me how to change a tire. He showed me how to drive stick. He’s the only man I’ve ever loved (even the growing comb over).

I like listening to the new records I just bought. For $1 I got about 30 jazz songs that smell like a dusty newspaper. What could be better? Maybe my girlfriend — wish she lived closer. Trying to make long things work isn’t easy but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The mistake is trying to treat a long thing like it’s a short thing still. I wish I knew how to play jazz piano. Damn my hot chocolate is cold as tits.  Do you ever forget your drink wasn’t hot anymore? You take a big swig and regret every decision you ever made in your entire life. Note to self: don’t drink cold hot things.

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