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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chapter Fifteen

       David sat at his desk and tried hard not to sneeze as the makeup artist that Reindt sent over carefully powdered his face. Since it was the first official day on the case, Billy was going to be filming David taking calls from the viewers and generally doing what the director liked to call “that cop stuff.”

            He clenched his hands together, aware that the light tremors that had been running through them all morning had become painfully noticeable whenever he held anything, so he had stuffed them between his knees. Once he realized that that gestured looked even worse, he clenched them on the desk and tried not to move them.

            The makeup artist, a middle aged woman named Carly, wrinkled her nose as she applied skin colored lipstick to him, “Are you alright, honey? Your face keeps twitching.”

            “Sorry, Carly. Too much coffee.”

            Billy wandered over, checking the lens in his bag and clucking over them like a hen with eggs, “Okay so we’re gonna open with you telling the viewer yet again that their input is valuable, blah blah blah. Then, we will basically film you doing paper work until someone calls. Super exciting, right?”

            “Sure, whatever.”

            Billy looked at him and his eyes flicked to David’s hands immediately, “Woah. You tense?”

            “No. Lots of coffee.”

            “Sure.” Billy looked over his shoulder and then leaned in conspiratorially. Carly leaned in as well, her eyes wide with hunger for whatever gossip they were about to spread, “Listen, are you taking something?”

            “What?” David stammered, “That’s insulting, Billy.”

            “Well, you’ve been super angry lately and I’ve noticed you shaking-“

            “I’m fine!” David snarled. He pulled open his desk and pulled out a prescription bottle, “This is all I take. It’s prescription Lorazepam for anxiety. I switched my dosage, and that’s all.”

            Billy picked up the bottle and frowned at it as he read the label and after much longer than he probably should have, he set it down, “Listen, you don’t need this shit. I’ll get you some of my…anti-anxiety meds. They work much better.”

            “You mean pot, don’t you?”

            “No. Maybe.”

            David lifted his lip in disgust, “No, thanks. I’m a cop, Billy. I took an oath to uphold the law.”

            “That hasn’t stopped all the other cops.”

            “Billy, do me a favor and shut up.” He looked away as Billy snorted with laughter and wandered off. David wasn’t proud of his dependency on anti-depressants. He had been a total mess a few years back and Reindt had approached him and made him see a specialized doctor. The doctor had prescribed him the medicine, and ever since he’d been taking it he’d felt calmer, more in control and had a ton of energy. The only downfall was that when he was out, he shook uncontrollably, he sweated like a farm animal and he couldn’t help his violent outbursts.

            Carly looked at the bottle and smiled at him, “Oh hey, I’m on the same meds. They rock, don’t they? A real trip.”

            David shrugged, “Yeah, I guess. They make me feel human again. The shitty thing is that I haven’t gotten around to refilling them lately and I’m totally out. It seems like I’m going through them faster than normal or something.”

            “Oh I have some on me right now.” She fished in her makeup apron and brought out a plastic baggy full of the familiar light pink pills. She winked at him, “How much to you take? Fifty milligrams?”

            “Wow, that seems like a crazy coincidence.” David scowled, “What the hell are those?”

            “It’s Lorazepam. Do you think I’m stupid enough to give a cop something else?”

            “You aren’t supposed to share medications-“

            “Oh lighten the hell up, Dave.” Carly opened the bag and took out a pill, “Here’s ten milligrams. Just take it, or I won’t be able to finish covering our twitchy face.”

            David sighed and muttered a thank you before he put the pill in his mouth and took a swig of the water bottle on his desk. Almost immediately, his muscles relaxed and he felt a wave of calmness overtake him. He smiled at her, and nodded, “I’m sorry. Please continue.”

            She hurried and finished her work, gave him a pat on the shoulder and hurried away as the lighting guys finished their work and climbed behind the shooting line. Billy focused the camera on its tripod and gestured to David that they were live.

            “Welcome back to One Week Window. As you know, I’m Detective David Armstrong, and today is the first day of our countdown.” David managed a smile, amazed at how suddenly relaxed he felt. He shifted the papers on his desk and sad candidly, “If you have any information about this case that you would like to contribute, please give us a call. Your input is imperative.” He emphasized that last line and winced to himself as he imagined Reindt throwing him a thumbs up for using his pet catch phrase.
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