Bottoms Up

By A. P. Joye

I swallow the newest pill in the series of prescriptions my doctor has doled out to me. I used to study them and learn all of their possible side effects and physical properties. I’d even grow fond of them simply because they might finally provide me with the relief I’d been taught to want. 

At this point, I’m not sure if I care about finding treatment anymore. My loved ones seem more invested in finding a way to control my unwieldy brain than I am. Then, maybe I’d start pleasing them rather than worrying them. 

There was actually a time I believed enough was known about how brains malfunction I’d get to think like a normal person before I die. A pattern of failed meds and unfortunate therapy appointments later, I realized not only had I abandoned that belief but I wasn’t doing this for me. Whenever the newest addition to my medicine cabinet failed, my doctor, my girlfriend, my mom wanted the next medication to be the one to finally put me right. My mom would like to stop worrying and misunderstanding and my doctor would probably like to see other patients for once. My girlfriend, however, deserves some credit. She wants what’s best for me but has a hard time differentiating between that and what’s best for her, or us.

I put the orange bottle back into the cabinet and turn the label towards me. When I close the medicine cabinet, I’m left to stare at the bags under my eyes. The front door squeaks open. 

“Hey, babe,” Sam announces.

“Hi.” 

“Did you try the new prescription?” 

I know she’s analyzing the glass of water in my hand.

“Yeah.”

“ I hope it works.” Sam smiles and crosses her fingers. I take a deep breath and exhale.

“Me too.”