Fall 1989 • Vol. XI No. 4 FictionOctober 1, 1989 |


I poured a Schweppes into a Styrofoam cup and broke a plastic envelope of concentrate over it. There was plenty of quinine water, but Vernell hadn't reordered the Bitter Lemon. A little swirl of the swizzle stick and I had a bitter lemon tonic to wash down the pain relievers I was about to take. It was just a few steps along the middle aisle to the aspirin and antihistamine section. You get a headache this big and there's nothing you won't try. I had been taking aspirin until my ears were ringing louder than the white noise of the traffic out on McKinney Avenue. I never knew when I got one of these if it was my malaria coming back or allergies. I suffer terrible from allergies, and I picked up malaria when I was stationed in Panama. The army doctor was able to stop it with quinine, but it always came back, and then I'd have to go back on the quinine. It was ruining my ears, but what can you do? I'd had this throb in my head for most of the week. The bank had called the note they

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