Prozactly, prozacted, prozactive, prozaction
Prozac is now in the dictionary, no more a slavish noun but a fully fledged adjective with rights of its own. According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, someone lively and excited may safely be described as ‘on Prozac’.
From an article entitled: Eternal Sunshine. The Guardian May 13th 2007
Prozac doesn’t care to remind you to take it.
I would like to part company with my crutch but fear what may happen if I do. I still take the drug knowing that I may do without it.
Just in case the sky falls in.
The sky outside of my apartment is blue, so blue it is almost untrue. The sea has the same unreal quality. It’s dotted with boats of all descriptions, all owned by rich wankers who think that this is their birthright. In fact, I have just moved from my comforting, if sterile, existence in the two hotels of Palma Nova to a wonderful apartment overlooking the bay of Palma (not bad for a fuck-wit?). I shared my hotel stay with lots of old people but the first bunch was much nicer than the second. I am now old-peopled-up and I want my writing again.
I spoke to my lovely wife again this morning. It is her birthday and I’m not there for her. We talk and talk and never want to stop talking, but we do. Then it’s back to me, just me, just me, and just me. Fuck me; ME can be so boring. I have also taken on an indifferent attitude to my passing days. Part of me tells me that this is fine, all part of the process; stop thinking, stop over-thinking. Over-fucking-thinking, a new part of the common lexicon which really means not thinking because thinking fucks you up. Thinking does fuck around with you, but it is also the reason that we know we are here. I think therefore I am…thinking…over-thinking!
Now, what was it that I was thinking about when I first took to the laptop again? I was thinking about not thinking and the waste of time that it would be if I didn’t get my shit together and start thinking again. The problem with the UK is that it does present problems to think about. Take my wife and the bloody lawn mower that refused to start. I knew that it would do that. I knew that it wouldn’t help the situation. There is my loveliness on her birthday and she wants to do something that needs to be done; the lawn. So the mower, the mower, decides, as it always does, to refuse to start.
“Why did you buy a piece of shit like that?” She asked me; and that was on her birthday.
“It’s not shit. It just takes a bit of coaxing.” Don’t we fucking all?
“That’s a rhetorical question isn’t it, sir?”
“Who fucking knows?”
I just caught myself in the mirror. I was playing some music on my iPhone in order to stop the progress of the day, to slow me down, to halt the Big-Dipper dipping into screaming madness. It was eighties music, Simple Minds, I Promised you a Miracle, and I saw myself, ME. I looked at ME and nodded. It was like looking at an old friend with whom I had parted company with a long time ago. We looked across the decades and smiled.
“You are okay, aren’t you?” I asked and the mirror ME nodded.
“We have been through a lot haven’t we?”
“Thank you for coming back, my old friend. Dude, I like you.”
I looked deep into him and he smiled. I thought I had gotten through it, I thought I had made it to the other side. No. There were more surprises. Perhaps the wine had been enjoyed too much yet I was fairly compos mentis.
“Did you do Latin when you were at school?”
“Caligula est in atrium. Fuck knows why.”
I am half way through my life and looking for meaning. When I looked at myself, I was reminded of all the things that I sought to do. I tried and I failed. It hurt. It hurt a lot. It hurt so much that I wanted to stop it all from hurting ever again. And I am here, on an island that is some way between Spain and England. It is not even strange.
Discourse marker: so, this is where I talk to you and have a chat with my inner self. What could possibly be on my mind when I am looking out to sea, a blue azure cliché that is trapped at the bottom of my balcony? Fucking rich people; and the occasional Dane who wants to reclaim Dane Law. More about the rest later as the real enemy is and probably always will be the rich. (that’s just my inner-sixth-form-proto-socialist knee-jerk).
I have taught the offspring of my masters before and never fretted so much about it. The old ME had become a new ME and cast aside such idealistic worries. I thought I had lost both MEs forever until coming here. Let’s get this right, I am still of the left but in the same way that only a western individualist can be. I hate orders, structures and regimes. I would last only minutes in any political party, especially the one that is now under the supervision of the career socialist, Jeremy Corbyn. That said, I am returning to the fold; I am starting to see the truth which is out there and all around me. The rich are amongst us and they are revelling in it. Again, I find myself teaching their over-privileged issue and it is becoming an issue.
They expect. They expect absolute fealty for the fees they fork out. Not only are they to be taught well, but they will have their work marked well and with as little input from them as is possible. A teacher of their children can never do enough for them. Take coursework. There was an expectation that I was really below-stairs staff, there to serve. Therefore, I was expected to complete the coursework for the students to a standard that would gain them a top grade. “All the teachers do it,” I was assured.
Now, I know these students had been through a rough time with the disintegration of the English department, but hey? Was the expectation that the teacher would write the coursework for the students and then mark it to the top standard? Perhaps, this may go some way to explaining the department’s Lady Macbeth attitude to coursework.
When I said that I would help them along with improvements, they sneered in a way that only rich kids can sneer. It was as if the gardener, whom they had kept imprisoned in the shed, one day turned around and refused to cut the lawn. How very dare he? If these rich girls had had the dogs with them, they would have set them on me; right then, right there.
This was a time to reach for my happy tablets. I was about to be savaged to death, torn to literal bite-size pieces, Peterloo’d for my insolence.
A shot of me when I got back to the apartment that evening.
In truth, many students who I have taught have wanted more than I was prepared to give. As a teacher, we have our lines, and those lines are not to be crossed. I have heard of some state schools going in for whole-scale-manufacturing of coursework. I have heard of cupboards being full of ‘just-in-case’ coursework. I have heard of arguments that centre on the fact that the rich kids have all the advantages so the disadvantaged need more assistance. It wasn’t the fault of these well-off offspring, it was me without Prozac.
I didn’t know if it was helping me or not. Like many people, I had a fear of being addicted to the drug for the rest of my natural, but, without it, I felt vulnerable. Interestingly, reports gained through the Freedom of Information act revealed that in half the 47 trials used to approve the six leading antidepressants, the drugs failed to outperform the sugar-coated placebos they were up against.
When they did, it was by only two points on a 52-point depression rating.