“talk to yourself for thirty minutes and record it, then transcribe it.”
I want to boycott this assignment— I don’t want to talk to myself aloud for thirty minutes and record it. I can barely talk for twenty minutes, period. I’m not a fucking talker. I have other, more productive, things I could be doing besides sitting here talking to myself. It doesn’t help that I am already on the verge of melodramatics and hysterics.
This morning, I went to a doctor’s office where I dealt with my worst fear. I walked into the doctor’s office – late, as usual – where a blonde woman was lying in wait for me. “Hi, are you Lauren? I’m Myra. I’ll do your allergy testing.” Someone had called ahead to warn them I was coming. She looked like I would imagine a nurse named Myra – heavy set, short, curly blonde and grey hair pulled back into a pony tail. She had sons my age- one was studying equine management, whatever the fuck that is. One could assume, as I did, that he was in Clemson, South Carolina, jerking off horses. That was where my mind immediately went – why would anyone want to do such a thing? He was probably a deviant for all I knew. My knowledge of horses is limited, despite having taken several horseback riding lessons as a child. But he was probably taking care of them. Not their sexual needs, don’t be gross. Is there money in horse care taking? Myra was probably wasting her tuition money. I did not say that to her. The only people I have ever met who took care of horses could be summed up: young blonde white women, retired yuppies who owned an equine sanctuary with the money from their OBGYN practice, and adult men outside of Nairobi, Kenya. An eccentric bunch in their own right becomes more bizarre when categorized. But Myra’s son is one of them.
Before she would torture me, she showed me the devices – the piece of plastic dipped in poisons that would make my skin flush and swell, the individual needles used for the control tests. Fine, I said, and tried to distract myself. As soothing as Ira Glass usually is, it didn’t work. I felt every prod, every poke, every milliliter of the outdoor environmental irritants as it was pushed beneath my skin. Sixteen on my left arm, sixteen again on my right. Great. I grit my teeth and sit still, an accomplishment in itself, for twenty minutes, letting my immune system soak up enough to thoroughly freak itself out. Three spots swelled up to a lima bean, white with an angry, red, pointillist halo. The rest, because they were only raised to a “four” on her scale, were tested again.
Myra gave me sixty four shots this morning, thirty two in each arm.
She was very worried about me passing out, which I laughed off. Once I got past the primal fear of someone pushing a piece of metal into and through my skin to deposit some sort of venom, I chuckled it off, feeling light headed. “No, I’ll be fine. I got teeth filled with no Novocain, got major surgery and took tylenol,” I said, your allergy shots have nothing on my pain tolerance. But I do feel woozy, now, saying this. I felt woozy in the car on my way home. I caught myself wanting to close my eyes and just let my car drift across the double yellow lines, onto the left shoulder and into the woods. I tried to hold onto the steering wheel, tight, and keep the car in control. But my eyelids were so heavy, and the sunlight was warm and NPR did nothing to excite me, despite how lively the discussion was. I’m laying in bed now, trying to force myself to talk, but finding it difficult. I want to close my eyes still, as heavy as they are, but there is so much work to be done.