The way in which Jo attempts her first attempt to swallow a pill is so… Jo. Day never worried about it, started takings pills when he was seven without fuss.
Why does she want to try?
Because she sees Day swallowing three capsules every morning. These are well-being pills, the sort of stuff which people pay through their nose for and pop for no other reason than to feel good. It contains the likes of ginseng and cactus and other “good” ingredients which have actually worked on Day as it puts some pink in his cheeks and a spring in his step.
“She doesn’t want to lose out,” said KK, “that’s why she wants to take it. I know her. She’s just like me.”
She holds a capsule in one hand and a cup of water in the other, for over 30 minutes, working up her guts and worrying herself into a frenzy. The entire time, she is plagued with What Ifs.
· What if the pill gets stuck in my throat? Will it make me choke or vomit?
· What if I can’t swallow it and I keep it in my mouth? Will the covering melt?
· What if there is an air bubble in the pill which enters my blood and kills me?
KK helpfully gives her a demonstration.
* Now you see it
* Now you don't
I don’t say anything, I can’t, because I can’t swallow pills.
She sits at the kitchen table, stares at the pill, mutters her way through all the things that could go wrong, gets up, paces, goes to the balcony, stares out into the night, perhaps thinking that it may be better if she doesn’t look at any of us or the pill, slowly brings the pill up to her mouth, puts it down, turns around and goes to the living room, peers over Lulu’s shoulder as Lulu tries to work out a Chinese app on a handphone, brings the pill to her mouth, puts it down.
By the time she’s done upping and downing, the pill covering has turned soft and squishy.
No, she doesn’t down it. I think she feels like she has failed.