UNBREAKABLE

Posted: August 18, 2010 in GOOD READS, WHOZITS & WHATZITS

If Only Life Had A Snooze Button

by Michelle Gonzales


My alarm goes off.

It’s 8am on a Monday. I press the snooze button. I say a little prayer, lift my head slowly from a mountain of pillows (I can’t lay flat or I won’t get air to my lungs) and put my body in an upright position, making sure I don’t do any sudden movements or I’ll start to cough my way out of breath. I’m finally up.

I take a puff of my inhaler #1, walk slowly away from bed into the bathroom. I brush my teeth, jump into the shower, making sure to leave the door open so the steam won’t suffocate me. I go back into the room, take a puff of inhaler #2 and get ready.

I put my phone on vibrate, take my stuff and head out the room. I take a bottled water just in case I get tired on my way to the car. I say bye to my dog, my fish, and my robo hamsters. I take baby steps to the parking lot, into the car.

It’s a 30-minute ride to work. I keep the radio on, but most of the time random stuff just goes through my head. Approaching the entrance to the building, I look for my ID card. I kiss Chet goodbye, and head to the elevator on to the 2nd floor, where people sometimes give me that why-are-you-being-so-lazy-to-take-the-stairs-instead look. I don’t mind them.

I get to my desk, and go through the stuff I need to do for the day. A meeting here, a client call there.

A day without a phone call with a client is considered a good day for me. It only means I don’t have to talk, explain, or laugh, and get out of breath and cough my brains out while on the phone. But if I have to do it, then I try my best to get it done.

It’s almost noon. My co-workers invite me to eat out. Fridays and Delicious Heights are my favorite restaurants to go to, only because instead of walking, I get to ride in a car going there. My answer would normally be yes, except when it’s a Monday or if they want to walk to the pizza place down the street. I don’t do “walks down the street” anymore. It’s just going to take me forever, and I would probably need oxygen.

People like to do their summer hours on Fridays, I do mine on Mondays. I get to leave work at 1pm and my mom picks me up. It’s her only day off from work, and the only time she’s in Jersey. It’s the only time we really get to spend some time together. I get home at 1:30pm, or sometimes go with her to run errands, but I usually just stay in the car so I don’t have to move so much.

Getting home and getting up the stairs to our 2nd floor apartment is probably my biggest challenge everyday. I need about 5 to 10 minutes (sometimes with the oxygen tank involved) after the hike to settle myself down and breathe normally again. Once I’m up the stairs, I rarely ever want to come down at night again to hang out with friends or do anything. Because that means having to shower, get ready, walk to the car, then go up the stairs again when I get home. It’s just too much work.

It’s almost midnight. I need to take a puff of my inhaler #1 again, say a prayer, and if it’s a really bad day, maybe hook myself up to the oxygen tank one last time until I fall asleep. I wake up around 3am, turn the machine off and go back to sleep hoping that I wouldn’t be out of breath anymore, at least not until I wake up again.

My alarm goes off.

It’s 8am on a Tuesday. I press the snooze button. I say a little prayer, hoping that I would somehow stay where I am a little while longer and that today would somehow be a better day.

If only life had a snooze button.

***

She’s my soul sister. “Hippie soul sisters” as she put it. We’re one and the same. But somehow, I feel like she’s been taking all the beating. I take puffs on my nth cigarette of the day; she takes puffs of her inhaler for the nth time in a day. It’s not fair.

But what is?

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