Posted on October 30, 2019
by Steve Janowick

Was I being punk’d?  

Who knows.  All I know is that when I laid out all four of my pills for my overnight trip with my wife – they were all the same shade of sky blue.  I had never consciously noticed this before, but now that they were all bunched together in the plastic baggie, it was like I was finally in on the joke.  Did the marketing wise guys at all the different drug companies secretly consort to develop my pills with dubious intentions? To subliminally trick me by correlating them with a color that represents the male gender – with masculinity?  To reassure me right before they slide down my gullet that I’m not some kind of weak, dependent sufferer, but rather a proactive man’s man doing what he has to do to stay in the game?  

I think I’m going to acquiesce to my sensible side on this one and say that it’s probably just an ironic coincidence and not some hair-brained scheme.   

Either way, I took the first one at morning’s light the next day.  While overlooking the waves crashing over the sand from our deck, I swallowed the Synthroid tablet with a big glass of water and let the acids in my empty stomach do their thing.  This little guy takes the place of my missing thyroid that I had removed decades ago. It regulates my hormone levels and keeps me somewhere in the safe zone between a catatonic zombie and tweaking meth-head.  

An hour later, after we enjoyed a nice, relaxing breakfast on the boardwalk, it was time for my second little blue buddy.  Mr. Z came into my life about a year ago after the bad thoughts became too unbearable. When the visions of dangling nooses and antifreeze jugs danced in my head.  When my moods swung more than a 1970’s couple hanging out at the Regal Beagle on a Saturday night. But now, thanks to Zoloft, my mind stays out of the margins, my thoughts don’t drift to the dark places as often, I’m emotionally leveled-off, I’m more predictable and less mercurial – and I have the argyle sweaters and perfectly creased khakis to prove it.  

Later that evening, as the sun was sinking low and the alcohol fully kicking in, the little lady and I found ourselves back in our room, and it was time for us to consummate this overnight getaway.  For us to christen this bed with our undying love…and drunken libidos.  But first I needed to run into the bathroom and take the third of my four little blue pills- the V shaped one.  Yea, that’s right, because of all the sexual side-effects of the Zoloft, I now had to wait an hour while the Viagra transformed my over-cooked spaghetti noodle into an al dente, stuffed manicotti before doing the deed with my wife.  And let me say, that can be a real mood killer sometimes.  

But I guess a rain delay is always better than a cancellation – because at least you still get to play the game.  

About an hour after our midnight pizza run, my wife was sleeping soundly next to me while I was staring at dots on the ceiling.  But it only took a few more minutes for the blue Tylenol PM to kick in, do it’s thing and send me off with her to visit the sandman.  The only over-the-counter one of the bunch, I’ve been popping one of these a night for years to break my conscious state. Probably more psychosomatic than anything, I’ve convinced myself that I can not and will not get a good night’s sleep without them – because in my warped head a little long term addiction to a benign thing like Tylenol PM is way less scary than the prospect of acute insomnia tonight.   

Who knows, maybe Tom Cruise is right.  Maybe we’re all just brainwashed sheep addicted to the propaganda and fear-peddling coming from Big Pharma.  Or maybe we’re just ignorant and lazy and want a quick chemical fix for all that ails us, rather than the more progressive approach with natural and holistic alternatives (which I’m totally open to).  But, until acupuncture and herbal tea can take away my depression while giving me the high-hard one – I’m gonna make out like Vinnie Barbarino and say…

Gimme drugs…Gimme drugs!

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