“Peace at last”-the last coherent thought he could form before removing the syringe from his forearm. As the dim lights blurred, he felt an embracing warmth. The slow music faded, its origin incomprehensible, as if it were playing in his mind. The lights began to spin in an eccentric pattern. He was happy in this alternate reality of blissful contortions. A place where he could be anything he wanted to be, not subject to judgement and ridicule. He had formed his own belief system, convinced that the reality in which the vast majority choose to live in is riddled with drudgery and lack of meaning.

He woke up the next morning groggy and weak. A day of fake smiles and greetings lay ahead of him, etiquettes his employer stated as “fundamental requirements for the job”. He went through with it everyday; after all the job was essential in order to sustain his alternate reality. Halfway through his day he began sweating heavily; mild tremors began. He needed it. His body demanded it. His mind tried to fight it but the tremors increased. He called in sick and rushed home, pacing himself, panting, sweating profusely, his heart pounding in his chest. The other side had begun its sinister serenade, taking control, drawing him towards it, like moths to flame. His heart stopped as he saw the broken lock on his door. He opened it frantically and rushed to look under his bed. Gone! He was robbed of all his money and stash. How was he going to buy his happiness?

A sudden rush of demented rage took over him and he started to throw and smash everything he could get his hands on. He punched the mirror and as he saw his reflection on the broken shards which fell on the floor he became aware of this dystopian hell he was in, of his own making. He had foolishly relinquished control, letting a substance enslave him. He was the architect of his own doom.


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