I felt no nausea or immediate physiological effects -- so I had that going for me. And as I spent my day walking around Downtown Dallas in the unforgiving Texan sun, I actually felt a little optimistic. It didn't feel like I was getting roasted. Perhaps the pills' magick was legit -- or at the very least, maybe the placebo effect was powerful enough to cover my epidermis with a forcefield of good intentions.
I know about the power of the placebo effect. When I was 16, my older brother gave me a marijuana brownie and, after eating it, I was so sure I was profoundly baked that I ended up listening to The Dark Side of the Moon and deciding that my mind had entered a new, enlightened plane of existence. In reality, he'd merely given me a Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie -- a dick move, but one that taught me that the mind can certainly influence the body when it comes to medicating.
A few hours later, while cooling off in a friend's pool, I felt the slow, oncoming dread of ugly truth: My skin was going to be bright pink before sundown (which would be a fantastic name for a Jimmy Buffett song, by the way). By the time I was drinking sassafras tea at dinner, my shoulders and face were as red as an NRA convention in rural Alabama hosted by Ted Nugent. By midnight, I had a full-scale burn, the likes of which I haven't experienced since Daytona Beach, circa 2010, when I fell asleep after cracking open a few too many cold ones wearing nothing but a lime-green Speedo that said "Spring Break 4ever."
Basically, I fought the sun, and the sun won.