Tylenol is a wonder drug. A headache, a few Tylenol, some water, and a lack of pain. I love it.
I’ve known people who avoid drugs at all cost, whether major or minor, only succumbing to the pharmaceutical lure under direct orders from a physician or a great deal of pain. Say, a party in your brain where you’re trying to sleep in the back room and your “friends”, who you didn’t have the heart or the courage to turn away, are breaking all the glassware in your kitchen. Not on purpose, you understand, but because their fingers are thick and clumsy and, in fact, now that you think about it, they aren’t your friends, they’re apes, some distant cousin, cunning simulacra.
These people don’t want anything invasive in their body, nothing that doesn’t belong there, nothing that isn’t natural (but, as when people complain about the unnaturalness of cities, what makes something unnatural? What makes an ant nest more natural than New York? What makes ginger more natural than Viagra? If humanity is part of nature, then everything we make would, by definition, be natural.), which strikes me as similar to the way some religious sects only take Godly medicine, i.e. God heals them, or they die by God’s will, without human interference.
As for myself, I’m fine with drugs. I don’t go out of my way to get them, but I believe that they work, and I’m more than willing to take them when they present themselves, dressed to the nines, as a possible solution.
Every once in a while I hurt my neck and back. Usually, this happens while I’m sleeping. I’ll wake, and my neck will be sore. I can’t turn it all the way to the right. If I look up too suddenly, a sharp pain. My back is a knot made of knives and there’s really only one way to sleep, comfortable only because it’s not not comfortable.
After nearly a week of this, I contacted my doctor. It was the weekend, and she couldn’t see me, but I must have sounded so pitiful (I hadn’t slept for three or four days, and not through lack of trying) that she prescribed me some muscle relaxers and pain medication and, with help from a friend, I gathered both from the local Walgreen’s and, as soon as I arrived back home, downed some pills with a water chaser.
An hour, a half-hour, it must’ve seemed like only minutes after I took the drugs my back and neck felt better. Not perfect, mind you, definitely not perfect, but there was a release. It turns out, in analysis after the fact, that my neck and back muscles were constricting like a boa and refusing to stop until their meal was well pulped and that meal was me. I slept.
Never was unconsciousness so glorious.
O Lord, please, when I am struck down with a plague of aches, a fever so restless, a sickness so unsettling, let me find succor in these small miracles, these panacea of science! O tasteless confections of well-being, save me.