By John McLaughlin

“Youphoria can help you …”

No, no—it’s all wrong.

“Youphoria is the answer to …”

Better, warmer—but terrible still. Backspace, backspace.

The easy-injector is practically calling from my front shirt pocket; to hell with the rules. I feel for it, flick it open (an elegant motion) and drive the needle into my left shoulder. One prick followed by a black blossoming of pupils.

Youphoria is Sunday afternoon daydreams; scent of mothballs in Grandma’s basement; summer sunbeams puncturing clouds after the storm.

The cleaning lady’s vacuum bumps the desk and I’m pulled back into my skull. But the words still fail me.

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