With Dana in the corner of my eye, I imagine my own profile, a cutout two dimensions wide. She looks pleased, a face full of anticipatory judgement. Self-aware, my body devolves into rigid mechanisms. I take my pill dry. Dana smiles. ‘What you swallow,’ she says, ‘does it make you happy?’ My throat rasps, unprepared. I tell her that’s not what they’re supposed to do. There’s no satisfaction in it for her. She won’t let go. ‘Why do it then?’ Why do anything. To be like you, I tell her, like everyone, to make the lie more bearable.

Advertisements