Swept up in a police raid, I look around, searching for a way out, somewhere to run. But it’s too late, I have to join the Mexican state police to try and take down a drug cartel leader, locked away in her mountain fortress. It will be difficult but our troops are strong, she’s trapped. Movement catches my eye, some of our rear guards are signalling to her forces, revealing our location and intentions. They are traitors but I’m unwilling to stop them, I’m caught in the middle, only I know the truth, and I don’t know what to do.
The nightmares are back, just like last year. Like then they are easy to figure out, but unsettling and not easy to forget. The cartel leader is Sara of course, the fortress is the psychiatric hospital. My law firm represents the police, and the traitors are some of her friends and family. My best friend is on a surf trip in Baja..
I had to file a motion while Sara was in the hospital, and I didn’t want to, but it was necessary. I had to file for temporary sole custody. Sara was going to be released after a 10 day stay and have a right to pick up our son even though none of “us” had any visibility into details of her care or treatment plan. And after being stuck alone with her for 24 hours while she was having a psychotic episode, our son Day was scared shitless. I went into protective dad mode. Some of her family and friends are supportive of the motion, many aren’t. It was a hard decision until I found out that during her episode, Day had been heard crying, asking “Mom, am I going to die too?”
It’s all so hard to think about but my brain won’t let it go. I drive to the other end of the island. There’s only one highway, a two lane country road that twists and turns its way north with so many curves it seems aimless. I look down at the dashed yellow lines, and as they pass by I imagine each one is a word, a rhythmic release of pressure, pouring out of my head to no one in particular. The blacktop is relatively fresh, like a dark gray or a light black. Day tells me there’s no such thing as light black. Dark clouds blanket the sky, but it’s late and the sun has dipped close enough to the horizon that light floods the world around us, brushing the landscape around us with a color I would describe as golden green, which probably doesn’t make any sense either. Day and I are on our way to his first counseling session.
Sara is home. Her mom is staying with her. The court decided that for the next two weeks our son should stay with me during the week, and with mom on the weekends, as long as her visits are supervised. For now I’m just trying to provide stability. I cook breakfast, take him to school, work, pick him up, we play, I fix dinner, he does homework. I watch him while he writes, and wonder where the curvy road of time will take him. I wonder what color his life will be.
Day’s mom is not crazy. She is a good person who has a health issue, that just happens to affect her brain. The world is a better place with her in it, but the ripple effects of her illness can be overwhelming not only to her but to those closest around her. We could all use some peace and a break. Tomorrow will be my first free day in weeks. The weather is supposed to be horrendous but I don’t care, I’m going to the boat.