For July 4th this year I had the honor of being included in a special satire themed issue of the Wrath-Bearing Tree.  Published alongside other great authors like Adrian Bonenberger, Mike Freedman, Paul Crenshaw, and John Milas, was my story “All Your Base Are Belong to Us,” a story based on my time at Walter Reed about empowerment, unity, and the God given right to play video games.  If you enjoy amputees on Segways, mid-2000s pop-culture references, and ridiculing officers, then this story is for you!  Head over to my Works page and check it out.

There’s nothing quite like Oxycodone, that reliever of the chronically pained and habituated.  Those little round, unassuming white pills that carry with them so much warmth.  A warmth that seems to settle into your skin forming a barrier between you and your body.  It’s like a blanket fresh from the dryer.  You hold onto it as long as you can, willing that comforting tenderness to remain.  But, it never does.  Eventually you begin to slowly lose grasp as you feel it recede back towards your center, leaving you exposed to the cruelties of reality.

And those cruelties.  They mount up like remnants of a good time gone past, like wrapping paper after a birthday party.  The longer time passes the more obvious and loathsome the pile becomes.  An aching in the back of the head.  Sweatiness on forearms.  A jitteriness in the legs.  Fingernails pressed into a palm.  But this is normal.

This is every day.

This is just the time between.

As these cruelties build up it gets harder to discern them from the real pain.  Are they the manifestations of that slipped disk?  That grinding knee?  The migraines?  Or do they belong to that more sinister scheme of the accustomed?  The fear of going without.

But it doesn’t matter, the prescription ensures that won’t happen.  Every four hours that warm blanket returns to shield you and you stop thinking about the time between.

This is calm.

This is how it should always be.

There’s nothing quite like Oxycodone.