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emotionally and financially through law school, he was no longer happy. Her name was Monica, I would later discover. Happy fucking New Year! Once again I found myself sitting across the desk from a mental health professional. The green leather arm chair was rigid and cold. The walls felt as though they were compressing around me. I stared at the sun slicing through the dust in the air. Outside the door I could hear my three-year-old daughter Loren and five-month old Lily cooing and laughing as their grandmother kept them occupied. Dr. Balkunas listened dutifully to my wavering voice as I sobbed my way through the details. How pathetic I felt, pausing every few words for fresh tissues. When I finished babbling he stared at me, but said nothing. I was sure that the good doctor was trying to contain himself and not laugh out loud. Self conscious, I focused on the brass clock above his head, imagining the hands winding around the digits as in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. “Say something!” I screamed at him, if only in my head. Finally he rose from his chair and moved from behind the excessive desk. He sat in the matching green leather chair next to me. He reached for my hand; obediently I tucked the wet wad of tissues under my thigh and placed my hands in his. When he lifted his gaze from my hands his eyes locked onto mine. He took a deep breath, I suspect for effect, and spoke softly. “You should know that the leading cause of depression among adults is the loss of a parent when they are under the age of nine.” My skin felt like transparent sheets of thin glass. The faces of my two beautiful

daughters rippled through my mind like a pebble tossed into the middle of a placid lake. With that one sentence he had taken away what I saw as my only option. Inevitably, the wise doctor called it situational depression and prescribed an anxiety cocktail of pharmaceuticals. Out came the damn Safety Contract, again. After that it became just something to think about, something to fantasize about, kind of like winning the lottery. Fantasize about it though I did. I had many variations on the theme. First and perhaps the most dramatic was the scenario where I would drive the seven hours from my refuge in Statesboro, Georgia to Wilmington, North Carolina where my lying, cheating, soon-to-be ex-husband still lived in our little blue house. Dressed in my wedding gown, which I probably could no longer zip up, my plan included finishing off my medication, washing that down with whatever alcohol I could find in the house, and then lying down on our marital bed where Hugh would find me and naturally be completely devastated. The flaws of this plan, although clearly visible now, did not occur to me then. For example, I failed to consider the possibilities of my chickening-out during the seven-hour drive or the ghastly possibility of home-wrecker Monica being the one to find me, instead of my beloved Hugh, and thus her stealing my thunder as well as my husband. My fool-proof plan, though, is a work of pure genius, if I do say so myself. The beauty of this plan is that I can do it and make it seem like an accident. Another aspect to this scenario that I particularly like is that it seemed to come to me through divine intervention. It happened one night while driving back from Colum-


Miscellany Digital Edition, Spring 2014  
Miscellany Digital Edition, Spring 2014