This week, there was a suicide at your house. A similar M.O. to the last one six months ago, you tell me; the girl hung herself with a bed sheet in the medical unit, despondent and stressed and alone, and ironically, only in for a short stay. As usual, the DOC continues to stonewall, refuses to cop to the entrenched problems , as it blithely rolls on, of management and policy, criminalizing addiction and blaming the neediest victims of society, the poor, disenfranchised, and desperate. This is a week for unhappy convergences, you tell me, after conducting an informal poll, like the new moon, a swollen, silvery orb in the cloudless sky, has brought down the full wrath of Mercury Retrograde onto your immediate world. Everyone, it seems, inside Framingham, is walking under ladders this week. You’ve going into your second month with no period. PMS like a low-grade fever that will not break; the eggs are ripe, but no cleansing blood to bring relief, and even our phone sex will not open the menses valve. I ask you about the big M, menopause, and you laugh, say we might have to cross the baby off our list, but the good news: worry-free sex is great, even with the lubrication issue, but then again, these are all fears our mothers told us, the Ladies Home Journal worries of another time. Now it’s about Oprah, about taking chances, reshuffling the deck, not the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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