He's very protective of his drugs. He loves them, he loves their names and the way '-ol' sounds like 'all.' He loves and considers their well-considered shapes. And he loves their contraindications. This one doesn't play well with that one, it was always thus. This one makes that one a real bull in a china shop. This one just eggs on that other one so much and that's usually such a gentle little pill. He could be... no, I mean, he was, once... flat on his ass in the middle of the warehouse district, nestled in a pile of all that urban jetsam that is always getting thrown back. He was weeping. He was arching his back. He was in distress. Mayhap... maybe, I said, that this current spasm of emotion might have something to do with your new regime of [name of drug redacted under advice of counsel]? And he leapt up, the pain on his face suddenly gone and replaced with entreaty. He brushed what looked like a dozen Tootsie Pop wrappers off of his upper back. No, I'm just under all this stress, you know? I'm just not expressing myself fully.... To which I replied, but you always say that. I'm not making a moral judgment against [name redacted]. I don't have anything against how [name redcated] goes about its business. There isn't a moral judgment to be made, it's a substance, the moral judgments would be levied at the users. I have a problem, kind of a problem with how it's working for you... He looked like he was going to take a chunk out of me right there. He looked like he was ready to roll for initiative... I swiftly backed down and gave the universal incantation for swiftly backing down: I'm just sayin'. And of course later we tenderly bundled him into the cab, another real mother and child moment, the taxi driver knew the deal.
And he was normally well-medicated or at least just medicated enough to be a lamb. I think I know what angered him. First I think what angered him was that I brought it up in the first place. He was tender, he was protective about his pills. He didn't want me coming in and saying they weren't doing their job, because he saw himself as right there in the thick of it, working next to his drugs. Forging a radiant peace and sobriety, he and his drugs sweating it out in the foundry. What right did I have and say someone wasn't doing their job? What did I know, with my doctor-suggested drug regime and my talking cures?
Doubly irksome it must have been, then, when I even brought up the concept of morality, even in a negative sense. And triply, that I suggested that I believed that [name of drug redacted by editor] didn't have a moral weight. He thinks it does, that it is dense with morality, you take it and it plunges down your throat and it leaves behind it a surging wake of benevolent gravitas. Its weight provides a moral anchor. Actively. The final insult then was that I was denying the pill, and by extension the rest of his psychopharmaceutical pantheon... that I was denying the pill agency. As the way of the constellations of the zodiac are thought by some to suggest courses of action, for him the constellations of oral suspensions, muscular injections... when weighed on the scale of indication and contraindication... urged a certain way of acting that was proper and efficient for whatever moral situation might arise. He would receive certainty and a true north from his drugs. Not needing intuition, being for all purposes ridden by his psychopharmacology, he walked serenely and with divine confidence from room to room, block to block, city to city.