pillsGag Reflex

by Mercedes Lawry

I’m taking a pill and another pill and, perhaps later, another pill. But not too many pills – oh, no, just enough. I need water to take pills. Even then I feel the threat of choking; I have such a strong gag reflex. If I see a character in a film or on TV taking a pill without water, popping the pill in her mouth and throwing her head back, I involuntarily gag. Usually that character is under severe stress, or has a drug problem or is in a hurry to solve a violent crime and I think, well, it’s an emergency, there’s no time for water and maybe if I had absolutely no choice in the matter, if there was a gun to my head or someone else’s head I could get that pill down without water. I’d have to weigh the factors but in the end it would be up to my throat muscles. I do not like the sensation of pill on tongue. Any size. I do not hesitate to take a pill, though. I will risk the gag. It is hard to recover from a gag because, understandably, you are all tensed up. But if you want the pill, if you want the results of getting the pill down, you will use mind over matter. I could hide the pill in a clump of food, but what’s the point, I would know the pill was there, unlike the dog or the cat, although the cat might know. Quicker is better. As little thinking as possible. The more thought, the more worry—breeding nervousness, tension, convulsing muscles and a bad result. Best to slam it down.

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Mercedes Lawry has published a lot of poetry, a little fiction and stories for kids, and once she was refused service at a restaurant for wearing pants. 
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