I got up at 6:45 am this morning to head to the lab at my HMO. They said I had to fast 12 hours so of course I woke up every 30 minutes imagining myself withering from hunger. By 7:14, I took a number. I took my place on the hard plastic seats, a favorite furniture choice of medical clinics and waiting rooms outside county jails. I was holding labels for six tubes of blood. One to see if my food choices is clogging up my heart, one to see if my fatness is actually a medical issue, one to see if I have early markers for the cancer that killed my mother, one to reassure me that I did, in fact, clear the Hep C virus, and one to see if I have any signs of the DIABEETUS,
My name is called. I have to explain to Ben the handsome Asian tech that I used to use IV drugs, I have no veins, and other sordid details. Mercifully, he agrees to stick the needle where I recommend. The blood starts to register, uh I mean rush, uh I mean pour in. I thank Ben for his kindness. I have a snack in the pocket of my hoodie. I pull it out like a security blanket. I drop by the cafeteria for a quick cup of coffee. It's close to 8:00 am now. I'm two full hours past my normal coffee o'clock. I pick the hazelnut flavored one.
As I go to put the lid on, this remind me of the coffee shop next to the methadone clinic. I'd mix 1/4 cream, 1/4 sugar and the rest a thin brown liquid. It tasted sweet as candy and helped to boost me up. A cup of coffee meant I could sit at the table for an hour. I had paid the price of admittance. I sit and stare out the big windows that face the clinic. All my belongings are in bags beside me. I hoping to be seen. If I can sell two more bags, I have enough money left over to reup and get a room for the night. I take the balloons out of my mouth and put them in the palm of my hand. The coffee feels warm as it drips down the back of my throat. I haven't eaten today but I have done a 1/2 a gram plus a bag of coke. If I rest my eyes here for a second I can almost feel my dose.