Over the past year, since my diagnosis with leukemia, I have begun to doubt that old phrase about "better living, through chemistry." (One of the major chemical companies used it as a slogan on radio and television many years ago.) In the last year, I've had drugs as innocuous as Tylenol and some that would burn a hole through a tile floor pumped into my bloodstream or popped down my pie-hole. A substantial number warn me that they may cause drowsiness, dizziness, stomach upset, sensitivity to sunlight, and a host of other wonderful side-effects.
At times, the compounded effects of these drugs, when hitched to my wagon alongside a healthy dose of fatigue, take me to a twilight state -- not quite awake and not quite asleep. I can hear you, distantly. I can respond to you, but slowly. This is not the comfortable warm fuzziness of day dreaming or the languorous swim back from a nap. This is swimming in Jello with my head below the surface. It is dim world, where I feel connected and detached at the same time. It is not intoxication, it's twilight.
You sound so yonder when you talk to me,
Your voice, as though descending from a cloud,
Touches my ear as would the distant sea:
Calling, singing, but never very loud.
Heard imperatives, bear no urgency,
Or penetrate my soft, fuzzy cocoon --
In my redoubt from all emergency,
Where nothing needs to happen "very soon."
So, I decide it's best a note to write,
But now my fingers feel so faraway,
And in this growing gloom, I'd need more light
To find a piece of paper anyway.
I will try to remember what you said,
At least, what has not leaked out of my head...