A couple days ago, while going about the always fascinating business of my life, I was overcome with an astonishing sense of well-being. It was as though zen-infused Karo Syrup was oozing throughout my veins. I believed, as I walked along the aisle of Target that I had found the true meaning of life without even looking for it. Euphoria was my best friend. I was the epitome of enlightenment. Eckhart Tolle was a mere sham. When I exited the store, cartoon bluebirds were sprinkling cartoon flowers all over the parking lot. I could swear I heard Katrina and the Waves singing “Walking on Sunshine” as I headed toward my car.
The next morning, while attending a holiday souk in DC, the exact same thing happened, only this time my zen-like state was
accompanied by the distinct feeling that I was getting sick. I felt like a guru with the flu. I briefly considered the
possibility of throwing up, but I am averse to giving up food under any circumstances. Then I remembered that I hadn’t eaten that morning. Since food is the Universal Antidote to everything except possibly overeating, I purchased a Middle Eastern Something that was unheated and tasteless. It didn’t do the trick.
I told my friend I had to go home and wouldn’t be able to go to the movies as planned. At home, I languished on the couch,
watching TV and sleeping. After a few hours, both the vague queasiness and the euphoria were both gone. It was only later that evening while talking to another friend about her sciatica and hearing her use the word “hydrocodone” that my brain fired. I remembered taking Advil for a headache the morning before and finding some white pills in the Advil bottle that
I assumed were calcium (I sometimes combine my pharmaceuticals when traveling). I popped the calcium and the next morning, popped another. A look at the one remaining pill confirmed that it was, indeed, hydrocodone, and not calcium, and I had taken it that morning on an empty stomach.
Today, I am drug-free. No euphoria. No cartoon birds with cartoon flowers in their beaks. No Katrina and the Waves. Not even one small Wave, humming out of tune. And it’s cold and windy and the sky is doing that pissy little “I’m-not-really-raining-but more-like-spraying-a-fine-mist-over-everything-which-means-it-doesn’t-matter-what-you put-over-your-head-you-will-have-Clown-Hair-at-the-holiday-party-you-are-going-to-tonight” thing.
Sometimes, the post-enlightenment crash can be a bitch.