Mefloquine Nightmares

21 days to leave the system is what they told us all; then why, years after, do the dark, lonely nights of terror still persist?

Vivid horrifying figures still rush through my mind and body while it’s at rest. I awaken screaming and cussing, cold sweats and gritted teeth. This is the price they make you pay for not contracting malaria. The most effective, yet now the drug of last resort.

Reach for the scotch, take the edge off. Cry my eyes out and hyperventilate whilst my heart rate spirals into stealth almost supersonic accelerated palpitations.

Lie, deny, and wait for them to die is what they said behind our backs as they laughed aloud whilst the House of Lords shook hands with their friends in Big Pharma.

An eight-week course of Lariam with a lifetime sentence of panic attacks and fucked-up dreams. Lawsuits aplenty, no prior psychoanalysis given; one thing is for sure: the deceitful, treacherous, backstabbing cunts will never be forgiven.

Sunset at the Cafe del Mar

The Balearic Mediterranean summer Sol sets over Sant Antoni de Portmany.

Soothing sounds by Gelka and Afterlife play aloud through industrial-strength speakers, yet never deafening or disturbing, neither distracting or discerning as the decibels carelessly drift across the boardwalk and float into the bodies of humans and water.

Conversations in English, Catalan, and Spanish collide, as do the rocks with the bay’s gentle tide.

The red, yellow, and orange, yet somehow ultraviolet gleaming solar disk hovers and dances just above the horizon. Silhouettes of lovers embrace and hold on to the disappearing finite day.

As we sit and wait patiently in silent aura upon jagged Moorish stones, your radiant smile melts my sunburnt elements, a bottle of San Miguel ever-present almost permanently attached in my left hand, an iced piña colada in your right.

As we gaze out at yachts we’ll never ride and boats we’ll never own, my perspiring right palm grips into your left like the missing piece of a long-lost jigsaw.

The fizzling star vanishes as twilight and dusk settles upon our vibrant scene. A hundred million Estrellas illuminate our celestial sphere. I kiss your lips with eyes closed and heart open, yet skin blistered.

Applause and cheers fill the atmosphere likened to when a pilot safely lands a plane. “Beautiful” by Mandalay accompanies our nightfall; the lyrics explain it all: you, this moment, this setting, this scene, and what remains of the happiness you can grasp in this world.


Green meadows blaze past in as much of a blur as my bleary eyes from an afternoon of vodka and tonic with premium lager. Endless delays and its frequent platform reconfigurations. English Riviera bound eventually to be greeted by Cornwall’s sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and delicious seafood. The behind-schedule Edinburgh to Penzance service will soon be stopping in Cheltenham Spa. Inhale horseshit, exhale stale alcohol. Fluffy clouds aplenty, count them for ages, much more than twenty.