by Siegfried Haug

“Looks like gout to me,” Herman, my doctor, says.

I had gingerly, very gingerly, pulled down my sock for him.

“I’ll give you some prednisone. Start with 60 milligrams. Then you titrate.”

I was in pain and uncharacteristically compliant.

Not being a pharmacology devotee, I opt for a supplementary alternative addition: Four little black round pills that my dreadlocked acupuncture person had suggested at an earlier chi-impasse.

Huang Lian Jie Du-something.

That, though, was later in the day, hours after the first six prednisone pills had hit my system. At that point I already had accrued a modicum of mental/spirituality alacrity. Awareness on steroids.

As I pour four hamster-poop-type globules into my left palm, one escapes the inner crease of my hand, the extension of my heart-line, actually, and does this gravity-thing down to our wooden kitchen floor.

“Blip – blip blip — blipblipblip – blipblipblipblip . . .”.

As tonal/spacial intervals shorten, volume decreases — and then there is pill-spin, materializing, as I watch in fascination, as a corresponding body-twist. And concomitant pain. For grounding.

The tiny manifestation of ancient Eastern pharmacological wizardry bounces with barely concealed mathematical precision. As it moves, it moves ME.

This is where I come to real-ize that this is a kairos, a sacred moment.

The pill rolls in a slow circle around me.

Clockwise. Clockwise!

It is a fractional helix. This, folks, is the very same cosmic gesture we witness in galactic expansionism.

Energetic fields, I know, inform and affect each other.

Me, the Dropper-of-the Pill, now, by virtue of an observing self (“awareness, awareness, awareness” — the nexus of all spiritual real-estate) am now slightly torqued, compelled to partake in this non-linear process.

There is pain involved in this synced twist.

There is, of course, always pain involved in trying to be in sync with the non-self. Narcissism might well be a kind of gravity. Going beyond it hurts. Catalyzed, this experience is, by a micro/macro cosmic interfacial pivot for a sphere, earthbound via my very heart-line.

Awesome, awesome, awesome.

And then and there, here and now, I recognize her. It is the wind-pill. Remember Chinese medicine 1.01? Earth, fire, water, air.

And at her/my painful, agonizing terminus (we are one), I am forced to bend.

Bend down deeply.

Way beyond my comfort level.

This is not metaphorical bending.

This is not a metaphorical pain.

This is mundane, podiatric, one might quip: pedestrian discomfort of gout-like proportions.

I need to catch my breath before I pick her up. Not a cleansing-breath, this, more like a gasp, really.

Pain waters my eyes.

Wind, spirit, prana, ruach, sacred wind. All rolled into one.

Ah, oneness.

Yes, I am picking you up.

In a sacred manner I will pick you up.

I am emotionally drained.

Tomorrow, with food, it is only going to be five prednisones. 50 milligrams of steroids.

A metaphysical countdown of sorts.

Six — five — four — three — two — ONE.

""Siegfried Haug is the author of I WANT TO SLEEP, a workbook for insomniacs. A suspense novel, BAD SLEEP, will be published in early spring, 2019. Retired now from clinical work and teaching, he lives with his wife, a ceramic artist, in the foothills of the Berkshires. When warmth is hard to come by they migrate to Key West.

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