Flash in the Pan


A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

White Pills


by Eric Boehm

I slumber in a mélange of general ill-being, in fogged-tense head, sore eyeballs, and hot skin stickiness. Then, a chill sweeps over me. I go to bed, a blanket covered cocoon. My eyelids grow weary and droop. I flirt with awakeness to read. I nod off, then, drop off into unconsciousness. I wake up, cold toes, cool skin, not aware of time, stumble out of bed, take a pee, wander back. Moments later, I'm asleep.

Next morning, awake, I ponder upcoming tasks. I go to work, I feel slow motion, like a dormant bear sauntering out of winter hibernation. Mind and body don't make purposeful action; auto motion sets human gears in motion, stumbling steps, fumbling hands.

At home again, my hand sweeps over my head feeling nothing, no hair. I demand comfort. The room seems small. The bed invites me over. I slump into it, dutifully removing day clothes, getting night clothes on. I relax, purposefully, from toes to neck. I unbite my bite.

Next day, I pop white pills. The pills go down like little pebbles. Not enough water. At morning, at noon, at 4, at 7.

My budding hope drifts to boredom, indecision, unmotivated, monotone speech and sluggish thoughts. The pills become slugs; I'm overwhelmed by the thick, fuzzy sensation: clogged head, clogged throat, clogged stomach, sore muscles and limpness.

That night, I make hope into an intellectual pillar. I hold onto it. These white pills are going to help.

Next morning, I have a chai. I ask the barrista to make it with lots of ginger. Ah, I feel better; chi moves with chai.

I want no carbohydrates, dairy. Nothing mushy. I want a crisp bite, like chomping on a carrot, hearing it crunch. Snapping the backbone of lettuce.

I feed my muscles with crisp, energy-boosting nutrients. They course through my body and shape my mind, giving a renewed, invigorated feeling, like 7-UP bubbles rising to the top of a bottle.

I throw the pill bottles to the floor. Outside, I drink in sunshine. I leisurely walk. Wellness, is around the corner. When days before, the corner boded illness, a sweeping, broad corner, where patterns and behaviors stood in the way at its apex, today I shooed them away. I breathe in fresh gulps of crisp air, limber limbs arise, brighter thoughts jump to the forefront in my mind - like a fluttering butterfly, not yet alighted.

Now, its wings relatively rest and I watch them wave in the two directions - up, down. The wings go together in a slender, single color inside out; the color is inside, hiding. Then, the wings rest open and I see all the colors on the surface. And smile.


Eric Boehm
Sebastopol, CA
email: eric_boehm@yahoo.com


Thirteenth Flash


Still Water by Linda C. Wisniewski
Letting Go by Michelle Baynes
Hushed Haven by B.j. Yudelson
Forget/fullness by Kenna Lee-ribas
19 To 19 by Carol Howard
My Soap Opera by Ginger Child
4th Grade Fragments by Ken Rodgers
Impaled by Mark R. Trost


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