When I met Enzo, he seemed every bit the eccentric character among characters who happen to be eccentric, which is to say, he seemed normal. As it turned out, my initial appraisal was accurate to only four decimal places, leaving the fifth and sixth open to investigation. Each morning, as Enzo warmed up his diesel-powered Mercedes, the sound of his didgeridoo melded with the smoky sputtering of his car's motor, leaving many of us to wonder when he might trade for a quieter, cleaner automobile. At the same time, someone who was wondering in a different direction asked how it might be possible that Enzo was up and around in the first place, considering the pile of prescription containers on his living room floor. Shielding my eyebrows, I turned toward the asker with a question of my own, but the look in his eye told me everything I needed to know.
Lowering my shields, I rose to my feet just as the memory of the previous night regained its footing in my conscious mind, yielding another unspoken answer to a question I hadn't even thought to ask. The night before, I had gone outside to inspect a constellation when I noticed Enzo standing in his doorway, glaring at me as if I had stolen his didgeridoo, or his Mercedes. Both insinuations struck me as preposterous, considering he was holding the didgeridoo in his right hand, like a club, while the Mercedes was parked less than ten feet from where he stood. Having become accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of my neighbors, I shrugged it off and went inside to recount my blessings.
During the days that followed, the reasons for Enzo's behavior became increasingly obvious. This was largely due to his confessions, which came to me by way of his mouth, which always accompanied him when he came over to sit on the bench outside my door. On the night in question, he had decided to modify the effects of his usual painkiller regimen with additional ingredients, resulting in a psychotic episode. One of the paranoid delusions featured that night was a body in the backseat of his car, which led him to suspect me, which in turn explained why he was staring at me as he contemplated bashing my head in with his oversize didgeridoo. Like so many mysteries, the answer is a no-brainer once the formula is known.
Within the class of pharmaceuticals known as narcoleptic analgesics, one in particular stands out as a subprime example of too much, too late. Conceived in a clandestine facility deep within the subconscious of a former bodybuilder, OxyMoron® has been widely credited with the ability to turn the most promising mind to dumplings, while those with less promise are expected to sing for their suppers. Carrying a tune from one point to another can be a challenge under the best of circumstances, but a pill-based diet only greases the downhill slide, especially with a large, lip-driven instrument in tow. Sadly, whether we lay the instrument of blame at pharmacology's door—well away from Enzo's slit-eyed drooling—or blame the instrument for its own monkeyshines, the only certainty is much didgeridoo about nothing.