The Pharmacy

Oct 07, 2020

It’s not the pharmacy that I usually go to. But I take a different route home and find myself in front of it. I see the red sign ahead and turn into the parking lot. We’re almost out of toilet paper. I park my car and walk through the sliding doors.

My body remembers before my mind. It looks exactly as it did but I haven’t been back here once since that night.

And suddenly I’m there again. Here. Then.

My legs curling under me as I wait in line to fill a prescription, the last prescription, before the beginning of the end. The room spinning around me. The fear in my mouth.

I’m passing the script across the counter to the pharmacist with shaking hands. He looks bored and I can tell he wants to go home. I’ve made it there just before closing.

It’s a last-ditch attempt to keep Brian out of the hospital and we all know it. He’s dying but has anyone said it out loud? Have I said it to myself?

“How do people do this who don’t have a Mira?” he had said to me that day.

But I’m not “doing it”. I’m not keeping him here. Nobody can. All I can do, is buckle over in pharmacies on a Thursday night. All I can do, is fill the prescriptions and push the wheelchair and love him with everything I have.  

I stand up and collect the medicine. It won’t do a thing. He’s already halfway gone and this won’t bring him back. But I have a baby and a man at home who hold my heart and so, I walk back out the doors, to them.

It was the last night he ever spent at home. And now I’m back here once more and it’s all happening again and time must be layered because I’m there and I’m also here and will I always live in these two places at once?

I hear the sound of a father and daughter in the aisle beside me. They’re joking about whether or not he should buy her a stuffie. Tears stream down my face in the bandaid aisle as Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” plays in the background.

I feel so sad I don’t know how I’ll ever smile again. It’s a sadness so great that you can’t use words to describe it. This type of pain can only be felt.

And then I turn and walk back out through those same sliding doors. Back out into today.

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