That Medicine


A taste that invokes a blurry and lousy point in my life. That medicine. That purple gel pill that I can never swallow. I am mentally unprepared to take any medication that isn’t in liquid form. I can’t. I won’t. But my mouth aches with so much pain. I look at that pill with anger and fear. Time and time again I’ve had to take it. Finally, I give in to my mouth’s despair and carefully slice the pill to allow its lively purple liquid to slowly squeeze out. I grab the most yellow banana and unpeel it to reveal its soft and funny-smelling interior. I then grab the cold, hard, lifeless case the liquid was held in, and quickly throw both into my mouth.

I’m immediately transported to a putrid, rotting, and oddly spicy taste in my mouth. Why? How could something meant to make me feel good be so cruel and foul? My body wants to both curl and explode at the same time. My eyes are sealed shut, as if closing them hard enough will make the pain dissipate. A burning groan rises throughout my throat and releases out of my nose, roasting my nostril hair along the way. The ticks from the clock accelerate in speed and base, and I cover my ears from the piercing sounds of time.

 I’m coughing. I’m gagging. I quickly grab my clear water bottle and chug it, my hand crushing the bottle to get every drop of water into my mouth. It’s the medicine to my medicine. All I want to do is turn back time to undo this awful mistake I just made, but it’s already made its way down to my stomach. My back hits the stiff cupboard as I slide down and hit my ass on the tile floor. I lay there on the ground, having just experienced an exorcism, as I shed a tear.

But from the outside, all my grandmother sees is a little boy squinting his eyes and doing a funny dance. She comes into the kitchen because she believes she’s overheard little squeaks coming from a little mouse, but really, it was just me. 

“¿Qué pasó, te ha comido la lengua el ratón? ¿O te enchelaste comiendo los sopes?” she asks, which translates to: “What happened, did the mouse eat your tongue? Or did you get stuck eating the sopes?”

As I lay on the tiles, my mouth wounded from the war, I muster out, “La medicina.”

She turns to the left to find the poison sitting on the counter. As she lets out a small chuckle, she notices the banana peel patiently laying on the ground, waiting for its time to strike upon my vulnerable state. She quickly throws it away before I make a fool out of myself any more than I already have.

Jose Arturo Venegas is from Southern California. He is a first-year undergraduate student studying Civil Engineering and Energy and Its Impacts. He has never been much into writing; however, after taking a creative writing class, he found a new passion in expressing his feelings through descriptive scenes of his memories. Creative writing has become his favorite form of literature and is a great way for him to ensure he remembers core parts of his childhood.