CONTENT NOTE: Essentially, all the warnings and alerts for readers, especially those who feel they are in a precarious emotional and/or mental state. Bookmark this for later. Or never. Whenever is best for you. In this multi-part post I address various forms of domestic violence and reference other forms of violence. I get personal. I do not write about any abuses in graphic detail, but oftentimes the muted, even mundane details can be the most triggering. And I write about some lasting effects, including mental health/illness crises and self-harm. Take care of yourselves and thank you for reading.
Part I. Did you hear what I Heard?
The infusion clinic is often my touchstone on how those outside my immediate circle feel about current events. I just happened to go in and sit there, soaking up the hard-to-fully-comprehend juices for a couple hours, the day after George Floyd was murdered, when all of us with assorted chronic maladies brought together by varied infusion needs were still in denial. Most, myself included, couldn’t yet watch the whole 90-second clip being shown then and had no idea the fatal assault lasted over 9 minutes. We could barely say Mr. Floyd had been killed, much less murdered. White and Latina women in the clinic that day, including nursing staff, as most days.
Occasionally, there will be a Black or Asian or Indigenous person in the chairs. That’s primarily based on appearance and my assumptions. Mostly women, the occasional man. Again, just assuming. Could be trans. Non-binary. Intersex. Infusion clinic relationships are like those “single-serving” ones referenced in Fight Club. Except for the nursing staff. Although there’s been some turnover there. There are a couple nurses I quite miss. Ah, the comings and goings of medical personnel.
[Digression #1: One major oversight in Breaking Bad casting: no Native American medical personnel or support staff. In Albuquerque, New Mexico?! Really strains credulity.]
June First I went in for infusion, just hours after the decisions and awards were announced in the Johnny Depp defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard and her counter-suit. We all confessed to not watching the daily trial proceedings, available for live streaming.
“Not a fan of drunken pirates!”
“Yeah, no, but the first 2 movies were good!”
“Who’s got the time?”
“Who’s got the spoons?!”
“He’s so weird! But … I don’t know …”
“I do like the Scissorhands movie! Winona Ryder was so young!”
“Not a good idea for my mental health.” [That was from me]
Some had caught snippets here and there, but over the six weeks of the trial — 6 weeks, FFS! — even those of us who vowed to stay away could not avoid the barrage of sensationalistic press coverage and social media frenzy surrounding it.
Yes, truth be told, the others actually said “total circus” as in media circus instead of “barrage of … media frenzy.”
[Digression #2: As a lover of circus and a disabled/retired aerialist and teacher of circus arts, I object, as modern circuses are well-organized multi-level entertainments that have an overall astounding safety record, considering their activities. Especially if you look at the ones that don’t involve wild animals, which admittedly is the real stain on the modern circus reputation. That and exploitation of artists, the latter being a problem throughout the performing arts world. The elephant in the tent, as it were.]
[Digression #3: I miss # being primarily known as pound or number sign — or for extra geeky credit, octothorp — instead of nowadays first assuming it’s denoting a hashtag, something of fleeting significance on the World Wide Web. I’ll get over it.]
Back to Johnny v. Amber …
“So, Johnny won, right?”
“Pretty much. He gets 10 mil. And another 5 mil. Except he won’t get the 5 mil. Amber gets 2 mil.”
“They didn’t believe her.”
“She pooped in his bed!” [Delivered as a stage whisper followed by restrained giggles]
“Um … did she, though?” [Me]
“I thought she said she did it as a prank.”
“I don’t … I don’t know … I think she said she didn’t do it. But …” [Not me, for the record, though such were my thoughts]*
*Confirmation: Amber Heard indeed denied having defecated in said bed.
Coming up … Part II. Dis Closure