I'm Mik. Model, mother, moron. Future meta-magician. Former logic clinician.
My better half and I own Brainfood Bookstore in Longmont, Colorado. It is the only exclusively indie- and local-lit bookstore in the nation. We meet a lot of crazy folks.
Testimonial from a former roommate:
"Living with you was like living with a quiet little opinionated deer person who floated around like a ghost and said smart/nutso things and ate seaweed. "
I love Colorado. I love mountains. I love hiking. I read and write. I raise my children to the best of my ability. I have lupus and have defeated early-stage cancer twice, so I pretty much fully support the use of medical marijuana.
I thrust a bouquet of pink disposable spoons, leftover from my daughter’s birthday party, into his hands. We didn’t have enough real silverware spoons, so I’d gathered up ten or so plastic spoons to give to him. I thrust them at him so he has no choice to take them. “Here, you have lupus,” I say.
“What the hell is this?” he mutters, refusing to look at the spoons.
“You have lupus,” I repeat. “What do you do in a day?”
“What do you do in a day? When you wake up in the morning, what do you do?”
“I… get up, get around—”
“No. You get up. Did you sleep well last night?”
“Did you wake up during the night?”
“How many times?”
“I don’t know, twice?”
“Okay, so you get up. That costs a spoon.”
“I know you’re in pain, I already fucking know—”
“No, you don’t. You don’t know. Getting up when you haven’t slept well costs a spoon.”
He rolls his eyes and hands me a spoon. I’m annoying him.
“What do you do now?”
“I make breakfast?”
“Standing up? The whole time? Standing up while you wait for the eggs to cook?”
He nods without looking at me.
“That costs a spoon.”
He hands it over in silence.
“Do you smile at breakfast?”
“Do you smile. At breakfast. Do you keep from crying? Do you smile?” Tears are running down my face at this point. I wipe my nose on my sleeve and he hands me another spoon.
“You take a shower? You wash your hair? With your elbows bent and your arms above your head? Another spoon.”
He won’t speak to me or answer my questions, just glares into space, rolling his eyes and handing over spoons when I tell him to.
“You get your son dressed? That’s a spoon. You remember how to get to his daycare? Do you? You remember how to drive there? That’s a spoon.”
I’m crying so hard I forget. I forget to ask him if he remembers what I told him he needed to pick up at the grocery store, if he remembers an important call he needs to make. I forget to ask if his pants had a zipper or his shirt had buttons or if he had to tie his shoes. I forget to take spoons away for smoking. I forget to tell him it costs a spoon to even work the lighter.
“What do you do at work?” I finally choke out.
“I stand up. All day.” He’s still not looking at me, still glaring, but I understand that this is his attempt to be sympathetic.
“That costs about six spoons.” He has three left. “But I’ll only take one. What do you do for dinner? You don’t have enough spoons to cook and then do the dishes. You don’t even have enough spoons to go pick something up. You have to pop something in the microwave. That sucks.” I’m bawling and my nose is running and he’s staring at me. He doesn’t hand over a spoon for dinner, he’s holding onto his last two spoons with white knuckles as he stares at me, silent, glaring, and I keep going.
“You don’t have enough spoons left to do laundry. You don’t have enough spoons to sit up and read a book tonight. You don’t even have enough spoons to sit up long enough to watch a movie. You definitely don’t have enough spoons to go out and do anything. You don’t have enough spoons to have a life. You barely have enough spoons to give your son a bath and read him a story before bed.”
“What do you want me to do?” He throws the last two pink spoons at me. He storms off before I can think of an answer. I’m left cradling the metal spoon I was hiding in my hoodie to give to him when he ran out and needed another spoon just to keep going. I’m left wishing someone would hold onto an extra spoon to give me.