The pill slugged down his throat.
He unpacked the next one and took it.
And took another one and another one.
He dry swallowed them at first, too eager to get this done with, but as time and pills went by, in this dark enclosure in which he found himself,
he had to find water to ease their way to his intent.
It was dark all around. This happened a lot.
It was no point living like this.
Like this? Like what? He thought, grabbing the next blister pack.
Whenever he was lucid enough to think and be aware, he forced down the next one, against his nausea, against the desire to lay back and just be,
against the whispers that the rest of his mind that had taken on defeating him would spread in his head. Against the next..
He had to fight it, long enough to stuff more pills into his mouth, then he was sure it would all be over soon.
It was not simply dark, he realized one time when he came from under its effect, but oblivion. Like before birth. And now it permeated him.
Stealthily it came, biting off chunks of his life, nibbling at his moments, chewing him up and closing the range to his grave more and more,
where it would spit him out only a short distance away, enough to get some measure of what he had missed.. forever.
But he wasn’t giving in to that. He was going to hack it at the knees instead and have some say in when and how he was going to clock off.
There was going to be pain, he had no doubts about that. But there was pain now, and there had been pain before, just of a more disembodied nature.
Every once in a while he thought he’d done it, finally made it through. He thought he could glimpse a..
He was in a small room, white-walled and moderately furnished. It was the small bulb hanging from the ceiling that beat back the sight into his eyes.
Another light came seeping through the shutters. It was the sun. He couldn’t remember when was the last time he’d seen it.
A young man came into the room at that point, with a small cup of water. He couldn’t recall anyone coming in before.
But he was almost automatic in his reaction, reaching to the pack on the commode and popping out the next pill. he knew this was what he did. He took the pill.
The young man noticed his eyes hanging on to him for longer, quizzically, and something like a knowing look swept through his face as he gathered some empty cups and left the room.
Three men were standing at his bedside, cloaked in white uniforms and beards. Had he really made it through?
He cleared his throat. What is this? He asked.
Congratulations, sir. You’re now with us.
The new treatment is working.
Your memory lapses are becoming less frequent and you’re pulling through the curtains of your amnesia.
The episodes used to carve chunks out of your consciousness altogether, impairing your short-term memory and blurring your long-term ones.
At first they were so strung together that it was effectively like a long blackout, but you must have noticed the episodes getting more spaced out as the treatment progressed.
You’re back on! They smiled.
He beamed back, too proud and exhilarated to say anything. Because he had kept taking the pills.
He had just kept taking them, once he’d known that was what mattered most,
lighting a spark into the darkness each time and fanning what small flame that lit for long enough to invest one more battle into himself.
He watched them silently as they left. He was back on.
And through the next off, he knew, he’d be back on again.