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The International Writers Magazine: Pick Your Poison - Archives

Anomaly Jones

My mouth feels as if a fleet of mountain bikers just went tearing through, kicking up dust. My makeup feels like sticky plaster and my hair is almost to the point of throwing in the towel and cleaning itself. Another quiet night, watching movies. This is always the end result. Of course I can’t forget about Jack.

It must have been him. He’s the reason I sit here now, dazed and a bit confused. I’m known to confuse even myself sometimes. But today is different. The sun is shining, I’ve got air in my lungs, or at least the half that isn’t completely riddled with thick tobacco and all the lovely bonuses that come with that. Today is different. Today means something. But what?
How do I end up here? What were the events that got me to this point exactly? It’s always rather a blur. Is this my future? What’s worse, is this all our futures?

Pick your poison. You’ve got alcohol; marijuana; nicotine; caffeine; heroin; cocaine; meth; ecstasy; prozac or valium. There are uppers, downers, lefties and righties, legal or illegal, natural or man-made. There’s a drug for every colour of the rainbow; for every colour of your mood. And whatever colour your mood might be, you surely need a drug for that.
‘For what,’ you ask? ‘I’m perfectly fine.’
‘Oh no,’ you’re told. ‘You could always be better.’
Is that it? Is it the natural human instinct to better ourselves that drives us to drink, smoke, pop, snort or shoot? Is it a lazy way of self-improvement?

Judging by what I’ve seen in my short time on this Earth… judging by my misjudgment, that’s a theory for the birds.
Is it just about feeling better then? Surely we all feel better when we’re on drugs or there really wouldn’t be quite the market. But what about tomorrow? Do we ever feel better? I can’t say I do.

But it’ll be the same thing tonight, tomorrow night and most likely the next. Some days I wonder if there will even be a next. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not some angst-filled wrist-cutter who drowns her pain in ‘the biggest bottle you have please. I’m just your average middle-class girl. My family is your average middle-class family. And my friends are your average middle-class type of people. Honestly, there’s nothing extraordinary about any of this. In fact, it’s all quite normal. Another day, another reality set sideways by the right mixture of influences.

They say we live in a wonderful time. What a wonderful time indeed. Aside from the threat of war, the threat of disease, the threat of crime, the threat of death, the threat of poverty, hunger and humankind actually causing our only planet to self-destruct…aside from a few minor details, life couldn’t be better.

We’ve got television, computers, iPods, fast cars, airplanes, speedboats and spaceships. What’s not to love? We don’t even need to lift a finger. Hell, we’ve got machines that do our jobs for us, clean our house for us and even socialize for us. We could get by quite the same if we all locked ourselves in dark one-square-meter cells with nothing but the internet and that faithful bottle of Whiskey.

These are our links to a society that once existed. A society we once created and later destroyed. We’ve taken our basic instinctual behaviour and warped it into what is presented in a rather nice light as evolution.
We’ve evolved to the point where we can’t count on ourselves to do human business without the aid of a brainless, material substance. Evolution indeed. A revolution we need.

But in the meantime we can chase the dragon, spot the train, build a snowman or even trip the bloody light fantastic. And in the end we’re exactly as we were. And we’re alright.

© Anomaly Jones December 2008

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