Psychopomp Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 27

didn’t, so I let it go.

After dinner with Daniel and his family downtown, near my apartment, I begged off for a quick errand nearby. He seemed worried for a moment, but I mouthed “lady time” and he simply waved me off.

That time I switched Vera, I’d come close to killing my own body. I got the dosing wrong, and it was hard to rouse my body into waking up. After we switched back, she had no memory of how she’d gotten into my apartment, but she said she was glad to have followed her gut and come up to check on me. It was Vera who called the ambulance, and Vera who stayed with me, holding my hand until it came. Daniel had been furious.

“You have got, absolutely got, to get sober,” he yelled, before his voice crumpled over the phone, his nerve shot. “I just can’t, I can’t deal with this anymore.”

“Deal with what, Daniel?”

“You, Deirdre, deal with you. I don’t think we can hang out anymore, not for a while. I’m sorry. I cannot see you, I just. Can. Not.”

It was the last time we spoke until he came to my apartment that time I was working on the soap opera case. He came to tell me he had proposed to Vera.

On the mountain, in New Mexico, we both got altitude sickness. The air had been cold and clear when we arrived, and the brochures promised we would be able to see for miles from the lift. In the morning we laced up rented boots and hand-me-down jackets. We laughed as we tried to push ourselves from the lodge to the lift, both of us eventually giving up and popping off the skis to waddle over, putting them back on for a heroic slide to catch a hard metal chair that pinched our thighs. We were supposed to be able to see Albuquerque, but a fog had come up, a damp cloudiness that I wanted to touch. I took off my glove and waved my hand through the soup, feeling nothing. I was dizzy.

I passed out at the top, after we dropped out of the lift onto packed powder. The ground was inclined just enough that I started to slide. Daniel was—is—awkward on skis, and he said later he had shouted for me and fumbled to untangle his poles, finally flinging them into the

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