This Guest Blog is a short narrative written by author, Molly Krause.  I met Molly in Greece in 2015 at Cheryl Strayed’s writing retreat on the island of Patmos.  She has since written both a novel, Joy Again and a memoir, Float On, and teaches writing classes.  She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her husband and two daughters.  I am grateful to have her as our November guest blog writer – Mary Huff Cucarola

By Molly Krause – 11/2/18

Sleeping has been a problem.

Molly Krause, Author, Educator, Speaker

I can drop away quickly, exhausted by running to my closet to cry to escape the eyes of our daughters. But when I wake, surrounded by darkness and the breath of our border collie Lucy sleeping wedged under our bed, that’s when even the bone-deep fatigue can’t close my eyes. I stare at nothing.

The meditation app says in her soothing tones to watch my breath. 

Breathe in two, three, four

Is he sleeping too? What if he accidently took too much?

Breathe out, two, three, four

Lucy rustles under the bed and puts her chin on the edge. She licks my hand, a delicate brush of damp sandpaper, and I wonder if I should be closing my eyes with my breathing. The calm voice from the app said to feel the cool air inside my nostrils but I don’t want to feel anything, I’m tired of feeling, I just want to sleep. All the feeling has wrung me out like a filthy rag under a faucet that has scrubbed coal mine floors.

Breathe in two, three, four, breath out, two

Would I know if he wasn’t ok? Is that why my body woke me know, because it knows he’s dead? My body doesn’t know shit. I didn’t even know about the patches.

Breathe in two

Prince is dead. They said that word, the one I want to stab out of existence, the one that could kill even Prince. Fentanyl.

Three, four

Fentanyl patches.

Breath out, two, three, four

How could I have not known? What kind of fool am I?

The air isn’t cool i my nostrils

He will go to rehab.

Breathe in, two, three, four

Rehab will save him. I will get him on a plane to go to rehab and rehab and I will save him. He will live.

Breathe out, two

Did Prince go to rehab? If Fentanyl took even him, how I can protect my love? I can’t protect my love. I haven’t protected my love.

Three, four, breath in

I’ll protect the girls. The girls don’t know. I have to tell the girls. I can’t protect the girls. There is no protection.

I don’t remember where I am. How can watching my breath be so hard? Breathe in, two, three, four

He’ll go to rehab soon and he will live.

Breathe out, two, three, four

Rehab may not save him. How can I save him from Fentanyl?

Breathe in two, three, four, breathe out, two

I can’t. I want to and I can’t and this breathing is so hard.

Three, four, I’m done, I’m done with this counting

I’m so tired, too tired for my breath, I can’t count, I can’t save and he may die.

Breathe in, two, three, four. Breathe out, two, three, four

This is my breath. It’s all I can protect.

Sleeping has been a problem for me.

Molly Krause is an author, educator and speaker. Her memoir Float On was published in 2017 and became an Amazon best seller. Her love went to rehab and has been drug and alcohol free for over two years. They live in Lawrence, Kansas with their two teenage daughters and two border collies.