One Small Pill

Planned, written and edited in a 35 minute time limit Weightless. Or at least it feels that way in my hand. One small pill that they said would change my life. I’ve hesitated for years, an inner turmoil over whether or not I’m a better man for not taking it, for doing without. Is it arrogance or something else? Maybe it’s a fear. I don’t want to become addicted. I don’t want that part of my life to be consumed by, and become dependent on that one small pill.

They said it would bring about vivid images, vibrant colours, and organise things I had already experienced subconsciously. I wouldn’t even feel it come on. They said one moment you’d be present then the next moment you’d be immersed in the effects of the drug. Some say they can fly after they take it, some get to experience a childhood fantasy, some see those they have lost long ago. The possibilities are endless. For me I just want to travel far away from here, to be if only for a few hours somewhere else. It would be easy. All I had to do was pick the right moment and swallow that one small pill.

I looked down at my hand, analysing the featureless capsule that contained the fine powder that would apparently change my life. I weighed up my options in one final internal debate. Then, before I had a chance to second guess myself, I placed it in my mouth and swallowed. I knew nothing would happen immediately, but it was an anticlimax nonetheless. There was no going back now. I was at the mercy of the drug and its effects on my body. In just a few minutes my body would begin to digest and break down the outer capsule of the pill, releasing the powder into my stomach. From that point it would be seconds until the drug made its way into my bloodstream and into my brain. So I waited, I waited patiently for the effects of that one small pill.

It was my focus that changed first. Not so much in a literal sense; I could still see fine, but it became harder to keep my mind on any one particular topic. I started thinking about my job, my life, my family, every decision a deviation in the pathway that led me to this exact place. Right here, right now. I thought about the first time I suffered with insomnia. About how crippling an experience it was emotional, physically, cognitively. I used to lie in bed for hours and hours, tossing and turning, an anger and frustration building that I couldn’t get to sleep. These feelings were only amplified if I had something important on the next day, something that required me to be alert and quick thinking. Caffeine was a saviour initially, but over time even its effects faded. Now a strong cup of coffee only introduces overwhelming anxiety to my sleep deprived body. But that was all about to change, now that I had taken that one small pill.

I forgot about the pill. I forgot about my frustrations. I forgot that I was at home, lying in my bed. The world I knew was replaced by the world I was experiencing. The environment was void of logic. The streetscape I was walking was a patch together of seemingly random elements of my life, both recent and long forgotten. The inhabitants seem to have been chosen entirely at random, as though everyone I had met throughout my life were represented by cards in a box, and the designer of this place was asked to draw fifty random cards to fill this peculiar setting. And then, as though a director had formally shouted Action!, the scene began. The inhabitants began moving about the environment, talking with each other. Talking with me. Every conversation rang oddly familiar, as though I had had each and every conversation before, I just couldn’t place where or when, or with who. And then it struck me. I must be dreaming, for I had taken that one small pill.