not an addict
(may 10, 2002)

listening: living in clip ani difranco

My body treats Panadols as if they are industrial-super-strength Valiums. Sometimes I take about eight of them (a day, not all at once!) so I don't have to spend the day doubled over in bed in pain. Two every four hours, I absent-mindedly (mind is absent, because it is attending to a more pressing matter, like focusing on said excruciating pain) follow the instructions on the package, even though I don't think anything life-threatening will happen if you exceed by one or two, or three or four, or five or six for that matter. But that's how addictions start, right? So I have to be mindful about the numbers.

My friends will notice if I'm taking Panadols for the day. I'll simply be basking and oozing with great apathy and non-responsiveness towards anything. Even if I do respond, it is with the alertness and speed of a slug. On industrial-super-strength Valium. I'll be tired the whole day and simply won't be able to function. It's almost a Catch-22 situation, if I don't take painkillers, I'd be in so much pain that even crawling for a glass of water would be a Herculean task, yet if I do take painkillers I'd still need Hercules around to do all my errands because I'd simply be too out of it to be useful. Whole day would be wasted, pills or no pills.

But better groggy than in pain. Groggy is good, no, groggy is bliss.

And these are just Panadols! I'm such a wuss. I can't remember how I was when I was on Xanax. Maybe that's it, Xanax was so calming for me to the point that it developed mind-erasing capabilities.

I'm a repressed addict. I don't smoke, because I know if I do I'll quickly become a chain-smoker. I don't drink, because I know if I do I'll become an alcoholic faster than you can say AA. (How fast can you say AA? Give it a try.). I know how it is to be addicted to something that it overwhelms any fiber of reason so I don't think I can afford to maintain another addiction. It is purely economics.

But the last few weeks I've been staring at the cigarettes behind the Indian guy at the 7-11 counter longer than I usually do. My friend noticed I was holding my straw as if one would a cigarette when I was sipping my Caramel Frapp. Probably the only thing stopping me from asking the 7-11 guy to grab a pack for me is because I'd have to take ten minutes before deciding which brand, which cut, menthols or not, 5's, 15's, or 20's, and then figure out how to pronounce it like you've been kissing and inhaling it all your life. Which is something I haven't. Except for my 18th birthday and I almost burned my fingers and my hair smelled of smoke for days and I ponder with great amusingness why oh why anyone would take this up as a social-bonding-time-passing-activity, much less as a lifetime habit? So I won't look very cool if I ask the 7-11 guy to please pass me a pack of Salem, uh, the green one, that's Menthols, right? No? Uh, (run run run).

So probably you won't see me punctuating every sentence with a puff anytime soon. Although it is a tempting image. What writer worth her syllables doesn't smoke? Or drink? Or become a suicidal manic-depressive?


Won't be updating this section as much for about a month because my astonishing knack at procrastination and merciless lecturer have granted me the pleasure of working on 3 major projects that are to be finished in a month. Check out Section 03 for updates on these projects. Wish me the immense relief of not having to repeat any subjects.

previous entry: not quite fiction (pt6) (april 14, 2002)