Marionette

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A bitter rain falls outside. My choice would be to burrow in, today, but I don’t have that option. I woke to see that my son’s latest tox screen was up on the computer. He tested positive for opiates. Opiates? WTF? What is going on now? I call the doctor. Why didn’t he notify me? Sorry, not in until Monday. It is Friday.

I walk past my husband, pause, hold my breath, and then keep going. Why even start, I’ll just carry this one myself. Like a marionette, I pass him on the way back and he asks: is something wrong?

 I am trying not to lie, these days: Yes, something is wrong, I tell him.

We discuss and agree that we are helpless, hapless, hopeless. It is all so out of our control. I am going into town to take temperature of the situation.

First stop: Rite-Aid. Reason: I forgot to get the Lithium, and he has lost his phone for the third time this year. At the counter, I have a whispered consult with the pharmacist: Where are the opiates coming from? (I have a theory that it is the cold medication he abuses…again, we have no control). I am told that isn’t possible. No more opiates over the counter. Leaving only that he is buying drugs on the street. A lump rises in my throat which ends the conversation.

I retreat to the car, where, under pounding water (a streaming waterfall down the windows) I dole out the Lithium into the baggies containing his other meds. Now I have to figure out how to activate the phone. Miraculous wonder: I am able, with the help of a lovely woman in some faraway land, to do it. Paper bags, pill bottles, phone paraphernalia litter the car. I head to his house.

He answers the door like Kramer on Seinfeld, in boxer shorts, with hair like a landslide.

On the way home, I call his sister. Of course, he denies everything, says it’s a mistake, I tell her. What am I supposed to do now?

Wait! I just thought of something, she says. Remember when Elaine ate the poppy seed muffin and tested positive for opium? Maybe that’s what happened. It’s a real thing.

I drive along a ribbon of mud, feeling better.                                                                  Seinfeld. Muffins. Rain.