Michael follows his addiction into madness regarding aliens amid family life.

"The psyche is a world in which the ego is contained; perhaps there are fishes who think that they contain the sea." – Carl Jung.

That day, the day of the other and the little gas mask boxes, the man behind the counter tried to tell Michael how to take the pills.  He could not have been there very long.  For while Michael didn’t want any of the druggists to be aware of him and his addiction to codeine, any one of them who wasn’t aware that addictive amounts of codeine were being purchased by one fellow, by one shabbily dressed, bearded, blue-jeaned, sweat-shirted work boots was, to say the least, unobservant.  Michael was tolerant but impatient as the druggist explained that these pills, Michael’s supply for two good days, should be taken no more than two at a time and under no circumstances should Michael exceed the maximum daily dose of six tablets, less than a hundred measly milligrams of precious codeine per day.  If Michael had followed the instructions the bottle would last two weeks at the maximum dosage.  Two days was all he could get out of one giant-sized bottle.  Michael smiled inside himself.  Michael was not other.  He did not think the new druggist an other either yet.  Yet he allowed himself to purchase a brand of codeine that he didn’t usually buy.  Perhaps he went wrong there, perhaps there he made a mistake.  He bought a different brand of codeine with different amounts of tylenol, different fillers, different processing.  It might have been a mistake.  One place where Michael went wrong.  Another reason why everything went haywire.

He made it home and hid his drugs behind the kitchen sink where Lois wouldn’t find it or the kid stumble across it playing.  In spite of all the child-proofing of such bottles, it worried Michael sometimes that Bets would find his stash and kill herself or get really sick by accident or something.  Bets had been lucky so far.  So had Michael been lucky not to see his daughter on the floor prying open a giant-sized bottle of codeine, playing with the pills, eating them like candy, playing with candy-like tablets, sour and salt, bitter not sweet, hurting herself, killing herself the way Michael hurt and killed himself.  So far they had been lucky.

Lois and the kid were out.  Michael didn’t have to cough and fluster and make like he had a reason to stay in the kitchen an extra minute while he hid his stash.  Once Michaek didn’t bother hiding it and Lois saw two giant-sized bottles, one-hundred tablet bottles, in the medicine chest in the bathroom.  She never said a word about them but Michael coould tell she didn’t approve so he took to placing the bottles around the flat.  The best place was just loose in his coat pockets.  He’d empty the pills into the pockets of his ski jacket and chuck the empty bottles in the bottom of the garbage.  Lois ran across his hiding places sometimes but she never said a word, just looked the other way.  She was good at looking the other way.

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