Seventeen Prescriptions

3 min readOct 16, 2023


This girl I know? She isn’t perfect but something about her seems balanced, like she’s found ways to address her pain and limit her screen time. This girl says she has seventeen prescriptions for many common ailments, big and small. She shared them with me, so let me share them with you.

1: She dissolves a Disprin in a glass of water for the occasional headache.

2: She takes a song from childhood each time she’s dumped. The song works like an analgesic, and temporarily softens her pain.

3: She swallows poems for her abandonment issues, the Mary Oliver ones work better than the others she claims.

4: And a Dolo (just one) for every bout of fever.

5: She often takes a walk to dull the sharp, pressing edge of anxiety. She also takes a walk to digest her food. Walks work for most troubles, she says.

6: She looks at old photographs of her family each time she feels uncertain about her future. (Something about her grandmother’s lost eyes at her wedding, makes her own life seem less chaotic).

7: She adds jeera to warm water when her tummy feels odd.

8: She holds her warm, purring cat close, scratching him under his ears, for a quick dose of oxytocin.

9: She sings when she’s feeling lonesome and the thin, gravelly tone of her voice filling half the hallway and most of her bedroom, makes her home less empty, and her less alone.

10: She cooks a meal to fill her soul, starting by picking each ingredient by hand. She wanders through the market, pressing tomatoes to check for firmness, breaking the pointy ends of bhindi to confirm their tenderness, lifting fish gills and patting down gourds (for effect mostly) and after much sniffing, touching and occasional small talk, she comes back home, puts on a YouTube video and cooks all afternoon, just for herself and sometimes even a friend.

11: She likes to bask in compliments every now and then. How she does manage to get these compliments? “I have a dealer,” she whispers, conspiratorially.

12: She doesn’t recommend Meftal Spas but she swears by it and a hot water bag. She does recommend screaming or venting or a bout of tears- whatever comes naturally. “Before or after the Meftal?” She doesn’t answer, just rolls her eyes.

13: She listens to feel more present. She claims even silence has sounds if you enough pay attention.

14: “I haven’t read a book in very long, I can’t seem to. Do you have something for that?” I ask her. “Murder your phone,” she replies. “What? Stab it?” “No, bury it somewhere deep where its screams can’t be heard.”

15: She recommends a deep breath. “For what?” I ask her. “Most things,” she replies.

16: She likes the movies: Amelie, Spirited Away, In the Mood for Love, Lost in Translation and Baton Baton Mein to cure the uneasiness, dichotomy, confusion and emotional laziness that life sometimes afflicts you with. I don’t probe further, she’s weird sometimes.

17: She says there’s nothing as healing as eight hours of sleep. (She’s also obvious sometimes).