The Drugs Weren’t For Me

In a moment out of time
I’m caught not being me
This door, the lights, my arm
All belong to another
Where am I? Who?
Which way am I to turn?
And why?
I’m not thinking this
Isn’t familiar
Because I forget to
I just am
But not I
Not this body or mind
The moment passes
Like a highway trance
Have I missed my exit?

This happened to me one day in January as I left CVS. I had stopped to pick up a prescription for my daughter, and as I was nearing the exit, my perception shifted for just a moment. Nothing about myself was familiar, and even though I kept moving, I wasn’t sure what I would find when I passed through the doors. I had no idea who I was or where I was. There was a fraction of a second, just as I left the building, when I expected to see our old hometown. (Expected is a rather strong word for what I felt…it was less than that.) Once outside, everything snapped back into place. I remember taking a breath and feeling relieved: Oh, yes, the car is over to the right. Turn right. Until that moment, though, there was nothing—no car, no town, no me. Very odd.

I wrote this not long after the incident and have reworked it several times trying to make into something…more. This is the original. I keep coming back to it, even though I think I could improve it.