“Her face was priceless!”
We collapsed into laughter.
“And remember that time at Wal-Mart?” I gasped, turning to look at her.
But she was wasn’t there.
That was the power of drugs, I found out after my ankle surgery. You took a pill, and that was all very fine, but before long you were talking to friends crafted from thin air and an unruly imagination. You couldn’t feel the throbbing pain in whatever part of you that was hurting, yes, but you couldn’t tell what was real either.
It intrigued me.
How could it not? I am told humans are 65% oxygen, 10% hydrogen, 20% carbon, and 100% stardust. We are sacks of energized elements – the products of an explosion that came from nowhere and everywhere – but somewhere, surely, of course, perhaps. Yet here we all are, the sums of more than the parts – amazing creatures that move, think, question, and reason for themselves. We are magic. Can you deny it? We are magic.
We know a wall when we see one. But introduce a few carbons and nitrogens and hydrogens twisted up in insidious ways, and we are entranced by kaleidoscopic visions and sweet melodies of awaiting sirens that ripple across the blank canvases of the same vanilla wall. We are temporarily – just temporarily – at the mercy of the novel interactions of parts from that ancient astral symphony. And then they reset.
We are sacks of chemicals that are so delicate and so sensitive to upset balances – (and who knows what these balances are and where they came from) – that they define the meaning of our very beings. A dearth of C8H11NO2*,and the body spasms and stiffens until it becomes cold stone, and the pills – oh the pills, are no longer pills but gateways to more pills. An abundance, and the mind (an electrochemical awareness) races beyond fragile realities to paint consuming unrealities of undefeatable empires and unpromised rose gardens**.
I wonder about these things as I fall and I fall and I fall through the cosmos and into Morpheus’s arms, where we dream (believe in mirages) – both of us – he of embarking on the next inanity and I of discovering miracles. I want to know how to wipe out the mounting kingdoms of hapless cells with a single sweep (we can do better than chemo), make the pictures of electromagnetic waves hurt our double-helices a little less, and banish the painful decays of the muddled mind. I want to see the day when death becomes only time’s responsibility – not fate’s, not wealth’s, and not even yours or mine. We can smile a little easier then and flood ourselves with the right chemicals (C60H89N15O13***) in the right way at the right time.
I’d like that.
* dopamine, neurotransmitter
** I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – book written by Joanne Greenberg on schizophrenia
*** endorphins, or the natural “feel-good chemicals”