by Andy Tu
He found it yesterday. A fly weaseled in through a hole in the window screen; James chased it around with the swatter and smacked it through the air, falling it between the cupboards and refrigerator. He crouched down and saw it in that crack of space, barely visible from the afternoon sunlight pushing through the window—the pill.
He’d broken the habit two years ago. It must have been some straggler that scattered down there back in the day when he was popping them three at a time down his throat.
He could barely remember the feeling; something like the earth turning on its axis and spinning the other way, that was the best way to describe it.
All his connections were gone, he’d deleted their numbers. And those times he’d gone looking for his dealer at his corner, he’d find himself alone and missing the secret handshake, the little snap at the end. The other dealers didn’t have it, just offered him little bags of powder they claimed were stronger. Better.
His family had wanted to send him to rehab, didn’t think he could kick it alone, but he proved them wrong: two years sober, his cravings gone like a forgotten grudge. It was all the weight-lifting and juicing that pulled him through the cold sweats, the headaches and shaky hands.
But there it was, beckoning his curiosity, asking him: don’t you remember? Don’t you want to see how far you’ve come, if I’ve changed? If you’ve changed? If life has changed? He didn’t say yes, not consciously, but found himself slowly emptying the fridge—every ice cube, box of strawberries, every organically grown chicken leg. He pulled it away from the wall with all those muscle fibers he’d built in his arms. It was not heavy, not at all, but he felt like he was moving a mountain.
Andy is quitting his job soon to pursue writing full-time. He hopes to not starve.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'The Last Pill'
'The Five Year Plan'