Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Losing Confidence

“You seem like you know which one is best,” he says in lightly accented english. We’re both standing in front of the decongestants, looking at the little cards they make you take up to the pharmacist in place of boxes since people use the good stuff (pseudoephedrine) to make meth.

I explain to him that the stuff that you can buy off the shelf (phenylephrine HCL) has been shown in recent studies to be about as effective as a placebo, but then, in the middle of my explanation, I become suddenly shy - like, what if I’m misremembering the studies, or what if he’s allergic to pseudoephedrine and him buying the real stuff actually kills him?

“...which is why I buy it, anyway, but, you know, your mileage may vary,” I trail off lamely, even as he continues to nod enthusiastically.

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