i tried calling dad again today. third time’s the charm. his voicemail is full, probably from all of us. at this point it’s probably not a good idea to call anymore, but i can’t help it. he’s our dad. he’s dead but at least he has a voicemail box. i wanted to remind him about that time we went camping and he kept telling us there was a monster in the lake. remember that? and there was that floating log out there that he kept insisting was a monster. you were like “why would a monster just sit there?” that was such a great trip. i remember the wind was so loud, rustling through all the trees and grass. it was a real windstorm out there. getting the tents to stay put and lighting the charcoal for the grill … it was a hassle but it was worth it. it was all worth it.
listen, jake, i know i seem a little frazzled but i’m okay. really. yes, i threw away my pills, yes i’m out of my apartment, but i’m okay. i met this guy, not like a guy i’m fucking or anything, his name’s george and he taught me this meditation technique that i’ve been using and it’s really helping me get clarity into my life. now instead of worrying whenever i close my eyes, i just imagine a serene beach, just me alone with the warmth and the sand and the palm trees. i also take some herbal supplements and some vitamin D supplements. george has been my rock and i am so appreciative of him. he’s let me sleep on his futon while i get my stuff together. i’ve been going to job interviews, i’m not drinking any more. life is good. george is helping me out a lot. i swear he’s like a sponsor, he’s not, we haven’t had sex or kissed or anything. he doesn’t mean anything to me like that. he’s like a mentor, that’s it, a mentor. he helps me get through the day.
you know … fuck you jake. i know you think i’m a nutball but i’m your fucking sister, okay? i’m both. i’m nuts and i’m your sister, so you owe me some compassion right now. i know you think calling dad is a weird thing to do but it makes me feel good. it just does. i wish i could delete his voicemails though. maybe mom knows how to do it. either way, i’m trying not to hide away in my pills and my overgrown sadness, and the last thing i need is for you to ruin it with your disapproving looks. yeah you just keep stirring that pasta, i’ll just lay on the couch and meditate.
the greatest thing about george is that he’s never judgmental, not like you jake. he takes the time to listen to me. every night we have an actual authentic japanese tea ceremony, to help us calm down from the day. well, we don’t have the clothing, but everything else is done just like the japanese do. and then he gives me a half-hour massage twice a week, he’s so good with his hands. it’s so nice to have a platonic friend in the house, someone who really cares about me, who doesn’t just want to rip my clothes off and ravish me in the bedroom…
jake are you even listening to me? i’m trying to tell you i’m happy and that i don’t need antipsychotics anymore. i flushed them down the toilet a month ago and i’ve never had to look back. just because i call dad three times a day doesn’t mean i’m, you know, dealing with it anymore. that part of my life is over. me calling dad isn’t part of that, okay? i mean it’s not like i’m expecting him to answer. i just wish i could talk to him. but i know the difference! i’m not crazy anymore, i swear. so you can talk to me whenever you fucking want. just go right on and open your mouth and let some words come out.
[she gets up from the couch. heads to the kitchen. jake is stirring.]
there’s nothing in the pot, jake, why are you… oh. fuck. fuck fuck god damn it. jake. jake listen to me. i’m not crazy jake, you have to believe me. jake. jake! this is not a hallucination, amber, you’re just fine, you just, just, you need to get out of here and get back to george. you have to get out of this apartment. just go. go!
[she gathers her things up and quickly exits.]