Hard Drugs of the Brain

by Nic Olson

A scientist somewhere along the line decided that our bodies are run by a brain that uses chemicals to transmit data from neurons to target cells which cause a physical reaction. When you are sick, the chemicals in the brain get screwy, and data gets changed.

This explains why I killed someone. Or at least why I had the feeling that I killed someone, on three separate occasions on Wednesday, December 26. At least, that is the only way I can possibly explain the feeling. The feeling that someone gave me speed unknowingly, that I blacked out for a moment, and that I when I realized what I had done, with the voices of hundreds of thousands of consciences yelling at me at once, the world was travelling exponentially faster. Depth and depth of field are altered exaggeratedly. Purposefully slowing my breath and my movements yields nothing. Fever-caused hallucinations will be the only ones for me. The brain has its own chemicals.

And it all starts with a feeling. The softest material in the world, woven in infinite length, clear as angels hair. Someone attempts to cut it, box it, distribute it. And I am jolted with blood on my hands.

None of this makes sense to you, I am sure. Four-day sweats and dreams about building and efficiency and waste, dreams made hellish with searing anxiety. It doesn’t make much sense to myself, but I can feel it. We once assumed these hallucinations were directly related to an allergy to nighttime cold medicine. Now I am moved to believe that it is just the hard drugs of the brain.

Several years ago I tried explaining this hallucinatory phenomenon in an essay for my book. It was juvenile. When talking with a reformed friend recently about hard drugs, she said not to even bother trying them, not that I had even planned to. Call me a prude or call me a square. I can see the world at a new angle by taking a step forward. Or by tripping on my body’s own hard chemicals. I can enjoy myself as myself, by myself.

Being sick for a week has given me a new focus. One that demands slowness, even less shits-given, and more security in personal time. Most of these seem to be out of resignation and the tiring of effort. Because more and more I see that the only person I can affect is me. And if I can’t even take the time to do that, then I might as well start taking hard drugs because my brain wouldn’t be worth anything anyhow.

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