Have an appointment in a couple hours with the vampires at Bergan. Get to sit in the gray chair for the second time this year, hold out my arm, lock my elbow—”Lock your elbow, hon,” she always says—and let myself get poked. She’s good; there’s hardly any pain. I always watch the needle slide in beneath the layers of skin, watch as my blood—thick and dun—floods up into the vacutainer tube. Last time I asked what the different colored tops meant, but I forget now. One of them’s an anticoagulant. I think the other contains EDTA.
But something must still be wrong with me, because the red petals remind
me of something else—the vampires down in the lab, and all my body’s blood, so stolen
by their needles.
Yesterday was rough. I haven’t felt that bad in a long time. Better today, but it still took me about three hours to wake up. Walking around the house, throwing in a load of laundry, brushing my teeth, I had to pause occasionally and weather another hit of nausea—just standing with my head against the wall, looking down at my socks, or letting my vision slide into blurriness, or just staring at a point miles and miles below the floor, beyond matter and existence. My breaths always get shallow, like I’m half-breathing, the abdominal pain is so great.
Looks like I won’t be taking Entocort anytime soon. Showed up at the pharmacy last night to pick up my script, first at the drive-thru (cos I felt disgusting and hadn’t shaved in about five days and just wanted to be invisible) and the doughy kid on the other side of the glass, just a teenager, drinking age at best, tries running my card and says it doesn’t work. That’s odd, I think—I have money in the account, but even so, my insurance was supposed to cover the cost. So I lumber inside, sweats and a janky hoodie, hair pulled out sideways, feeling very much like a bum fresh off the streets, and stand in line behind three other people. And I don’t want to be there, you know, I just want to fucking feel good for a change, and I’m watching the pharmacy techs flit back and forth behind the crotch-high counter feeling mildly envious, thinking, Why can’t I land a semi-professional job like this? I’ve tried, but that’s another fucked up story altogether. The tale of those fiery trials and tribulations I’ll tell some other time.
At the counter, the pharm tech—a lovely, beautiful young lady—has to break everything down into kid syllables before I understand what the deal is with my card. Entocort must be a new steroid; I’ll have to research it. Anyway, my insurance took one look at the price and was like, Fuck no! You’re on your own, buddy, I’m out! because the co-pay was in the neighborhood of $630.00. Yeah, I’m not trying to take out a second mortgage on my prescription kill-pills so I told the lovely lady to put them back, I wasn’t buying.
 Watched the kid work the fishbowl while idling in the drive-thru, the whole time feeling envious and apathetic and depressed and all shades of nihilism because I work in Mind-Fuck Central—a call center—and he’s working with docs and techs and people who actually fucking value education, probably making a higher wage, and just wanting to swap bodies, switch places.
 Prong # 2 of a three-pronged plan of attack—the first prong being Radiology school, which I’m still waiting to hear back from, and the third prong being Respiratory Therapy. Too bad there isn’t some kind of school for pharmacy techs, far as I can tell anyway—training consists of being a lucky s.o.b. and landing a job behind the counter at a Walgreens or CVS or whatever, and fumbling through the job while studying on your downtime for a certification. Bought a pharmacy tech book last year, was reading it for a while, then Mind Fuck Central kind of screwed up my rhythm and I also kind of lost faith along with my goals and my hope for a bright, shiny future and I stopped reading. If the Radiology plan falls through, then it’s back to the books. Just can’t seem to get excited about Respiratory Therapy. But if worse comes to worse, I’ll jump in—money is money and RT money is good money and I’ll eat my vegetables and fucking like it.
 Such an awesome story. Interpersonal skills were strained, new bills acquired, and many tears (of hatred, disgust, apathy, etc.) shed.