The lesson in a Pill
It’s only an oval pill, chalk-like, the size of a coat button. Engraved on it are the minuscule red word Tylenol and a number 500. I know for a fact, millions of people all over the world are taking it this minute, for a reason or two. I know there are people who utterly depend on it, habitually down it, dispense it freely, never let it expire. In Ra’ sweaty palm,
nonetheless, it remains. The boy has been staring at it suspiciously with his goggling eyes, bloodshot with a high fever. I bring him a large cup of Seven Up filled with ice, and coerce him to swallow it quickly and get the business over with. Place it in the back of your tongue, take a large gulp of soda, and tilt your head back to let it run down your throat. It will be over before you know it. It is such an agony to see him struggle with the tiny capsule, to watch him ponder the actions, weighing the consequence, debating silently. Finally, with the courage of a hero, he inhales deeply, looks upward, releases his jaws, and drops the bitter seed in with a gush of soda. “Pah!” He spits into his palm the slimy devil. “I can’t do it. It’s horrible, wouldn’t go through.”
I agree with him. “In my time,” I elaborate, “We used suppository. The pill goes in your butt hole, easily.”
“In where, how?” He cries out, disgusted. “What happens if you need to take it everyday? … You would be scarred for life.”
With a decisive thrust, he pops the pill in and gulps it down. Something must have clicked mentally, and the lesser of two evils is chosen.