There were 120 narcotic “Norco” tablets in the prescription bottle on March 31st.
Six days later there were seven.
The medicine was supposed to be administered to an elderly cancer patient, bedridden, in pain.
But the physical therapist probably stole the medications, stuffing 100 or more pills into his pockets.
And yesterday that was the morning news, in my life, at 5:30am. Later I drove down to Marina Del Rey and reported the “burglary” to the sheriff and filed a police report.
A mollusk on a mattress: my mother.
Unable to lift, eat, or wash herself.
A cancer victim.
A crime victim.
Dependent on live-in home care workers, visiting nurses; tethered in fragility to life, eaten away by lung and bone cancer, yet strangely alert and intelligent to her bodily decay and the circumstances around her.
I was angry, nervous, agitated, betrayed. And my mother spoke from her horizontal position and said, “The important thing is to remain calm.”
My command center was my phone, electrified with texts.
Dr. G refilling the L-Dopa.
Dr. H refilled the thyroid.
The handrails were delivered.
How could the PT spend 14 hours in five days on physical therapy?
Who lost the Access Transport card?
We need eggs.
They won’t refill the Norco without a police report.
The premium blue disposable underpads arrived.
The day was hot and windy and blinding.
And then the sun slipped down and left the last hues of light over Venice.
Calmed by a glass each of beer and wine I walked on Abbot Kinney after 7pm, moving past shop windows, past bored clerks staring into cellphones.
Everything at that hour distracted as I wandered in and out of pretty stores.
Lubricated and intoxicated, I went into Elvino Wine Shop. I tasted a Croatian Red and walked out with a French Bourgueil Cabernet Franc.
I was wandering involuntarily now, sadness sedated, lulled into a dark gray perfume store furnished like a laboratory, lined with clear glass bottles.
“Spray the Santal on your left hand,” she said.
And then I was in my car driving in darkness over Beverly Glen.
The love theme from Spellbound played.
I saw Ingrid Bergman holding onto Gregory Peck, wrapping him in love, rescuing him from collapse, guiding him through danger, analyzing his dreams, fighting his delusions, saving his life.