All the talk about hedonism yesterday - or the day before - produced some interesting snippets, including how alcohol drinkers tolerate chemotherapy better than tee-totallers.
I remember when my father was on his last legs, he would sit upright in bed with his eyes shut, saying that if it were not for the pills he was taking, he would feel fine, but they were making him very nauseous.
They were some sort of opiate pain-killer, and many people react badly to opiates. Occasionally, I have taken high-strength codeine and, after the first wave of nausea, they make me feel great. It isn't so much that they take the pain away, more like they make it not matter so much. I wouldn't have minded using them for recreational purposes, but that's a down-hill route to take.
Heroin users describe the feeling as like being wrapped in cotton wool - protected like a precious Faberge egg. I can imagine that the one thing which street-dwellers never really experience like we who tend to take being cared for for granted, is the feeling that someone, somewhere, regards us as precious and wants to protect us. No wonder heroin is the drug of choice.
What would you think of if you wanted to weep at will - say, if you were onstage playing the part of someone recently bereaved?
For me it is the image of a grossly obese man, locked in a room and crying like a baby because he has been denied food.
This does it every time for me. I have moist eyes now just thinking about it.
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