I woke up and tended to my three children, made their breakfasts and sent the two boys off to school and fed my daughter her breakfast and put her in her room where she lay on her bed in a curled-up position, exhausted-seeming but not really, perhaps fatigued from a few days of seizures and looking so thin and tired that I tried not to worry because I know she'll perk up eventually and all will be well for a week or so before the next cycle or down-time begins. I changed the sheets on the boys' beds and threw them in the washer, checked on Sophie who was sleeping, still, on her bed quite peacefully. I spoke with a couple of friends on the telephone, declared my intention to go see a movie at 11:15, because Carmen the babysitter was going to come early, at 10:00 to take care of Sophie. And I was so looking forward to seeing The Ghostwriter but I decided like a fool to call the insurance company to check on the progress of getting Sophie's hormone medication/birth control covered and that was about 9:45 that I made the call and the clock ticked onward as I was put on hold and transferred and spoke my name and Sophie's name and her ID number and birthdate and our zip code and what I was calling for and there were some steely resolve and a few threats that I need you not to put me on hold but answer my question NOW and the question, quite simply and it was simply was this: Can you give me the address or fax number for where I should send the neurologist's letter of medical necessity but the question wasn't answered because it wasn't quite clear that what we were asking for was the dispensing of more than a month's supply of birth control because it isn't being used as birth control, you see she needs to take it continuously which means we need more than a month's supply and then I was transferred from the pharmacy guy back to the anthem blue cross lady, the third anthem blue cross lady that I had spoken to and did I mention that the clock was ticking toward eleven o'clock and the movie started at 11:15 and surely we would be wrapping it up soon but it wasn't happening and it's amazing that I didn't shout, I only cried a little but I think it did the trick because I finally got the o.k. and the fax number for the neurologist to send the letter of medical necessity and what it boiled down to was a rewriting of the prescription for a 21-day supply and I will have to go to the drug store and refill it every 21 days to ensure a continuous dose and that will cost a whole lot more, another $57 every 3 weeks, to be exact, instead of the $30 usual co-payment and that will be added on to the $150 per month that we currently pay for the non-FDA drug that we get from Canada and the $30 per month for the other drug that we get from here and if these medicines help and one already helps a bit and the other has great potential, the third being a wash but too difficult to wean if they help will it be worth these hours ticking by, it's 11:45, now, and $237 per month? What is the worth? I have missed my movie and Carmen has come and is about to leave with Sophie for the park and she has heard my raised voice through the door and when she says good-bye I burst into tears and she puts her arms around me and tells me to relax, now, and that Jesus will be with me and I almost wish it were so. I put away all my papers and wipe my face and go to Anthropologie and wander about in a daze, overcome by the fabulousness of all that stuff, the lampshades, especially, and the soaps and candles and the dishes and aprons and the shirts and I have a $50 gift card that I got for Christmas from one of my sisters but I just can't do it. I can't pick anything out and I realize that retail therapy isn't as strong as it used to be that I perhaps need something more, in fact, I need a visit to Dr. Jin, I need some Chinese herbs and needles and forty-five minutes on the table listening to Chinese restaurant music and remembering my friend Jackson, the Chinese waiter at the Chinese restaurant where I hosted during college, the man who got a perm in his straight, black hair and told me that my eyes were James Bond eyes but I couldn't do that now because I needed to pick up my boys from school, their laughing boisterous bodies careening into the car, papers thrust into my arms, and can we go to Yogurt land, please and I said, yes, yes, yes before dropping them off at home and heading to Trader Joe's and as I wandered the aisles I felt tearful again and thought to myself that perhaps I'm just depressed, on top of everything and I must look stricken and there's something about me looking stricken that I believe men like because every time I have cried or look like I've been crying despite the age and the weight and the immutable fact that I do not turn heads, anymore, when I am in such a state, men of a certain persuasion, the clerks, the grocers, the kindly burly ethnic sort always stare but in a kindly way and say hello and I feel the zing of attraction and I think how primitive we all are really.
Did I mention that the dog barked quite a bit while I was on the phone, waiting for an answer to my question and that when I went to the door and opened it, I saw a flower arrangement of roses and lilies all orange and white and yellow and it was particularly fancy in a long glass bowl with greens wrapped around the inside and the card sticking out on the plastic Triton stick said:
From your secret admirer?