Trading Water for Poison

And the Aliusterans line up to trade water for poison. And they drink it until it has numbed the pain that living in Aliustera causes. They don’t think to remove the causes of the pain. Life in Aliustera is painful. This is just how it is. They wouldn’t know where to begin. Those few Aliusterans who don’t drink the poison are veiwed as somehow deficient: “Does he have a poison problem?… Why doesn’t he drink the poison?” And drinking the poison may be enjoyable for a time. It helps Aliusterans to temporarily forget their pain. It pacifies, sometimes¬†until the next morning. Like a tourniquet, the poison holds back the pain for some time. Then, as though releasing it all at once, the pain floods the individual’s perception of the world. The Aliusteran’s body rejects the poison, often spewing it with anything that had been consumed during a window surrounding the imbibement of the poison. But it is means to release. The act is means to a sort of temporary vacation during which Aliusterans may feel entitled to act without regard for their responsibilities. The poison works as a scapegoat: “It wasn’t me. It was the poison.” This is the true draw of drinking poison, the social permission to act irresponsibly. This is the real trade for Aliusteran’s water and even the sickness that follows.

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