By Marian Glaser © September 2000
As I drank my cranberry juice this morning I saw that my new two-handled cup
had a picture of Pooh on one side, flying up to the clouds, pulled by
a red balloon, smiling and probably shouting “Whee!” as he enjoyed the experience.
On the other side Piglet is trudging on the ground, carefully clutching his red balloon.
Maybe there was no room for any other character and
they were the ends of a continuum also traveled with every mood swing.
I remember laughing and crying within the same five minutes during my menopause.
Greg understood that but gave way when a diabetic’s peculiar behaviors
under the influence of high and low blood sugar hit him.
I remember raging, throwing glasses against a wall, later
sweeping and picking shards out of our dried flowers.
I also slept or passed out for twelve hours or more.
It was when I drank forty-eight ounces of grapefruit juice
that our friend, Jean, suggested I be tested. They wondered why I wasn’t dead.
Those pictures also reminded me of the split in my life.
Once I had a house and family. We had a penthouse and could sit
in comfortable, cushioned lounge chairs in a roof top garden,
sipping the Moet et Chandon dry champagne I like
while discussing with Greg the little we knew of the lives
of our two sons and one daughter.
Then I was diagnosed and three years later Greg left,
tired of my refusal to follow my diet and check my blood sugar regularly
as well as inject my insulin, tired of rages and comas.
I lasted another lonely seven years before my peripheral neuritis brought me here.
Now I live in this small hospital room where I share everything.
Even these attendants who wash me and bring my trays.
The private elevator that opened into my living room
is rented by others while my wheelchair is crowded
into this one with my fellow residents here,
where I’ve lived since they amputated my black feet.