Intoxication

Today is Saturday. Julian is drinking an 8-oz. glass of water. He finishes it in six gulps, and then pours himself another glass. He’s read somewhere that one can actually drink enough to drown oneself, called water intoxication. But how does this happen if one relieves oneself by going to the bathroom? As he is about to do right now? Perhaps one can keep drinking gallons of water every day, training the bladder to hold more and more water. It may take weeks – even months – until finally the body can retain more and more water, and more and more. On the way to the bathroom, he grabs the bottle of anti-depressants and then flushes them down the toilet. Just like that, they whirl down in the water that is just a touch of blue, in need of more Clorox Blue. How many gallons of water does it take to flush? He read somewhere it takes anywhere from three to five. If you hold your water longer, you will save water because then you will let it all out in one big piss, instead of running to the bathroom, pissing and flushing with each piss. Or you can piss and not flush and just try to remember to flush the next time you piss.
One or two anti-anxiety pills pop back up the toilet, and for a moment, Julian sees a reflection of Symantha’s concerned face. The hazy face speaks to him: “Tisk, tisk tisk – I told you so. The drugs are an ill replacement for the magic of the dream.” Magic of the dream. Magic pills. Julian grabs the two pills out of the toilet water, rinses them in the sink and returns them to the bottle – just in case.
Just be. And the dream will create its own reality.
Water is the stream of life. The human body is made up of – what did he read? – up to 60% water, the brain something like 70%. The brain on water.
In the bedroom, he pulls out a rolling backpack from the closet, stuffs it with clothing fit for one day, including a mini-toothbrush, toothpaste and aftershave. He places the bag carefully in the trunk of his hybrid car, gets in and takes a drive up the coast.
The sound of car doors slamming and children screaming with delight awakes him. This has to be the first time in a dozen years or so that he’s slept straight through the night in a vehicle. Or has he ever done so? He can’t remember exactly, but feels certain he must have out of defiance against the unwritten family rule that one should never sleep overnight in one’s car (or any car for that matter) anywhere, not even in one’s driveway. Especially not in one’s driveway, because what would the neighbors think? Why is that young man sleeping in his car in his driveway when he has a perfectly decent home in which to sleep?
The water splashing against the shore in the daylight is lovely. He can’t remember anything after pulling up in the parking spot nearest the shore, nothing visible in the blue-black night but the moonlit, shallow waves. What if one was to drink in as much salt water as possible? One would not last very long. But spring fresh water. He has plenty of that at home .

– (excerpt from Slumber Citizens)

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