What an obscure comparison. Like I’m comparing a pharma to a shoe. The only reason I noticed today that the manufacturer of the Lorazepam I take has changed was because the pills are now twice or even 2.5 times the size of the previous pills. Much bigger pill made me think much bigger dosage but that appears not to be the case. Until now, as far as I know, the only manufacturer’s Lorazepam I’ve taken has been Teva. I wouldn’t even have known that if the jumbo-sized pills of today had not made me check to see what had changed. Will it make a difference? It is not supposed to. A generic is a generic, the CW pronounces, with identical ingredients as the brand name and all generics are the same as each other. Right? So far, I feel no anxiety, as I might at this time of day had I skipped the pill.

It reminds me, though, that pharmacists are supposed to inform you when the manufacturer of your prescription changes. I mean, they have done that in the past, and at the time, it seemed like they did so as a requirement. It seemed like a reasonable and thoughtful gesture. They would let you know that the pill looks different because it’s from a different maker, but the medication is exactly the same. No one did that this time. This being a controlled substance, I would think they would have been extra vigilant in covering all their bases. On top of that, I also remember getting phone calls from the pharmacy to see if I had any adverse reactions to a new medication. I didn’t get that call when a pill changed manufacturer, only when it was a whole new pill. Those calls do not happen, either, and frankly, I’m fine with that. If I have issues with a med, I don’t think the pharmacy is my first recourse. But maybe I underestimate the pharmacists.

This morning surprise, the switch of Lorazepam from Teva pharma to Leading pharma, is exactly the kind of thing that stokes the very anxieties the pill is intended to quash. I considered calling out from work for the day in case this change caused problems, but I gave it enough time to see if there would be shakes or twitches. No side-effects seem present, but I’m not in a demanding role right now. I am not shaking, as might be the case of Leading pharma’s Lorazepam was placebo. Shakes can be hard to interpret sometimes. I was naked in the shower, shaking, not because of anxiety but for the cold. Similar situation right now. I am not naked (you are welcome), but I’m in the break room at work sitting right next to an air conditioner. I have often come away from these morning ruminations feeling shaky, but it’s just because of the cold air.

Enough of this. I seem fine, with the new pharma Lorazepam. So far. I am the type, as one might assume, who takes his anxiety meds pretty seriously. I wish I did not need them. I don’t like the morning ritual of taking a bottle cap full of pills every day.

Look at that! I just walked across the room and made it back without falling down. Small successes lead to triumphs.

Change of subject. I hear people talking about past occurrences, war stories from their mutual pasts, stories told with gusto, and good cheer. It always makes me imagine a scenario, which has happened to me but not too extensively, where someone I know starts recounting epic adventures we shared years earlier, delving into intricate, evidentiary details of the circumstances and consequences. Except for one troubling issue. None of these events ever happened, or if they did I was not involved in any way.

Something like this happened long ago, in high school. A waitress at a Wag’s restaurant in Brandon, Florida, had a bit of thing for me, and I thought she was cute, too. I and some friends went to that Wag’s a number of times until we stopped going. I don’t remember why, though the drive to that location was pretty far. Some months later I made a solo appearance at the Wag’s. She remembered me, saying “It’s been a while” with a tone of voice mixing disappointment at my absence with a little bit of enthusiasm for my return. We spoke, about what I do not remember. Minutes later, I heard her talking in clear voice to another customer about how I had been a hero for her, getting between her and an unruly customer who had been flirting uncomfortably with her, and making pjysical advances. In her memory it was I who stood up for her, told this guy to fuck off, and made her feel safe.

None of this ever happened, not involving me, at least. But she believed I was that guy and I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing. Saying nothing is often wise. In this case it caused no harm for her to substitute me for some other guy, or else fabricate the entire incident. If this had happened in later years it’s possible I could have conducted myself in such a heroic manner without remembering it, because I was drunk. But I did not drink at all in high school, tough I was, as now, prone to blacking out big chunks of time and experience.

But that is not what happened. I never defended this woman’s integrity. That’s not to say I never would or that I would be incapable of such chivalry. But the situation never presented itself with this woman, despite her fully-formed narrative.

So when I overhear people talk about their shared memories and reminiscences, I imagine them looping me into the conversation, remembering how I was on an LIRR train with them once, talking about restaurant menus and how certain items are prepared, then diverting the conversation to how the train had mechanical failures so we all had to sit on a train between stations for a few hours, going stir crazy, eating every last snack in our bags until the sugar made us do crazy things. One dude recalled reaching into my messenger bag and pulling out a menu and reading from it like it was a sacred document. Everyone laughed while also acting solemn at the priestly reading of a Gyro platter and all its ingredients.

None of this happened but I imagine this type of encounter happening some way, some place. A fully formed memory of experiences that never occurred, made whole and made fact by my lack of denial or questioning whether they mistook me for someone else. It suits my belief that life is a quagmire of lies. Most love is a lie. If not a lie then love is a fantasy. Most of us have many many lies to keep track of and sustain, not all of them our own. The wisest way to secure and keep those lies is to say nothing.

That is the wisdom of my years: Don’t say anything. Hear I am saying it.