She was my last patient of the day. When I called her name from the waiting area she rose gracefully and pranced down the narrow hallway as if it were a catwalk. I was in awe. She was stunning. She was the cheerleader, the homecoming queen, Bella Swan, Miss America, Barbie, the girl every other girl wanted to be. She was also pregnant, and a heroine addict.
I’ve seen all faces in addiction. Senior citizens, procurers, exotic dancers, soccer moms, professionals, blue collars, athletes, goths, ex-cons, body-builders, latino, black, white, asian, gay, lesbian, transgender, religious, homeless, immigrants, second generations.
And now, a doll.
She was 96 pounds, had plush champagne hair, and big forget-me-not colored eyes with lavish lashes. Her teeth were bone white perfect. Her nails were glazed with apple red polish, just the right length. She wore Abercrombie ripped jeans and a form fitting long sleeved sweater that accentuated her perfect figure. She was Barbie. The only tell tale signs that she really wasn’t were those ugly track marks that blemished her arms.
We made small talk and as she left I wished her success on the program. I added I was glad she was here for help. But I lied. I wasn’t glad she was here. Somewhere over the rainbow she should have landed in college, not in a drug addiction clinic.
Barbie, I am so sorry you are here and not there. I hope things work out for you and you do the best for your baby.
Maybe someday you can go to college, if that’s what you want. I hope your Ken is a good man. You have a baby on the way, take care, be well. And, learn from your mistakes.
Don’t ever forget – It’s never to late to be what you might have been.
Disclaimer: I am not saying Barbie (as in the doll) is a drug addict. The real Barbie is not a substance abuser. But, she is anorexic.