Friday, July 3, 2009

And This is a Curb Stomping

I was completely minding my own business after leaving my great grandmother's house. There was apparently an LSU game going on, of which I had previously not been aware. The larger house in the neighborhood had college age kids spilling out of it, mostly guys. They were all in purple and gold garb and the word obnoxious falls short of their behavior. One who had painted his face yellow on one half and purple on the other approached me.

"Bro, yo, bro, are you a LSU fan?" I replied, "Well, yea, they haven't always been my favorite team, but I really appreciate them for where they've come in the last 5 years. I mean, I'm a native Memphian, so I have to support my tigers, but other than them, yes, LSU is my favorite team."

"Bro, you have to come in and have a drink with us to celebrate. You're one of us, bro." They were all drinking out of huge purple goblets filled with yellow fluid. All I could smell was alcohol. I went to reach out my hand to take the glass, but there was one girl, who was not wearing the typical LSU garb. She was just wearing a blue t-shirt. She had a look on her face of misery and she was shaking her head no. The "bros" couldn't see her. There was something about her, maybe it's becaue I'm a sucker for long brown hair and dark eyes, but most likely it was her expression and the sincerity in the way she was trying to keep me from drinking with them.

"You know," I said, "I better not. I have to drive home, and I live across town in Bartlett. There are so many cops around here, and after the storm with all the downed trees, I really shouldn't be drinking." I went to step into my truck and put the keys into the ignition.

"Dude, responsible guy, I like that man. If you want we have some fresh crawfish inside and some killer boutin if you want a bite?"

This was an offer I could not refuse. I don't care how obnoxious these characters were, their faux cajun hospitality was kind, and they offered me food. I can't turn down good food. I stepped out of the truck, and the now scared looking brown eyed girl in blue was sticking to me like fly paper. I had never seen this girl before in my life and I could tell she wasn't sticking to me because she was attracted to me, she was scared.

I picked up a plate and put just a few items on it. I said hi to the other party goers, turned down several more drink offers, thanked everyone for their hospitality and left. When I went to leave the girl tugged on my shirt and said, "I don't care where you're going just get me out of here, please!" I replied, "Sure, sure. I havne't had a single drink. You're safe with me, come on. I was getting a vibe that something was wrong. "Come on, let's hurry. If these guys see you leave with me I'm sure a scene will be made." We went in the general direction of where I had parked my truck. "Please, forgive my lack of chivalry, but I'm not going to waste any time opening the door for you and walking around to get in, there are too many of these guys and I don't want any problems."

Upon arriving to the location of my truck, all that remained was an empty parking spot. "FUCK, I left my fucking keys in the ignition!" I started looking around and I noticed that there it was, a block down. One of the bros had a flashlight and from what I could tell he was messing with the fuses under the steering column. He had a flashlight and was laying flat on his back. I gimp walked as quickly as I could over to him. He was oblivious to me.

With little warning, almost simultaneously I said, "Hey fucker!" while stomping on the bastard's head with my good leg. I then mounted him jiujitsu style, grabbed both of his ears and repeatedly slammed his head into the curb. The look on his face was one of terror. I then flipped him over and used the rough edge of the curb like a cheese grater on his face.

"You want to fuck with me?!? You want to fuck with my truck? You fucking cunt! That's my only way to and from work and you think it would be cute to fuck with it! Mother fucker I will kill you right now with my bare hands!"

I saw a broken tooth fall out of his head and he mumbled the phrase, "P-Please stop. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'll fix it." I rolled the guy over. His eyes were bloody and his face looked like hamburger meat. Most of the skin from the right side of his face was gone. His forehead and back of his head already had severe swelling. He no longer looked human, but like an orc, he looked like his true self. I got off the guy picked up the flashlight and saw where fuses had been pulled out, some barely plugged in, others rearranged. I plugged in the ones that were not in all the way but my ignition would not start. The guy pulled a fuse out of his pocket and put it into place. "I'm sorry man, I really am."

The girl in blue did not look mortified by my display of rage like I thought she would. Instead she looked relieved as if she had wanted someone to do that to the bastard for a while; some sort of Olive Oil complex I suppose. We got in my truck, exited the neighborhood and made it a few blocks down Germantown Pkwy. Then the adrenaline dump wore off. "I've got to pull over, NOW!" I pulled over into the Waffle House parking lot and began wretching and throwing up. This happens to me after I get violently angry or something overly excitable happens. After the adrenaline has run its course I get ill. I got back into the truck, got the little bottle of Listerene out of my glove box and used it.

I began sobbing. "I'm ao sorry about what happened back there. Sometimes when I get angry I lose control. It's like watchin a movie of someone else." I was trembling and crying. SHe leaned across the seat and put her arms around me. As soon as she touched me I felt warm. Most of my own fear was gone. "No, ir'a okay. He deserved what he got and you got me out of there. Thank you. Everything is going to be okay."

At this point I woke up in tears, sick to my stomach, and trembling. I hate waking dreams. I have them frequently, but this is one of the more disturbing ones I've had in a while. I wish my leg were better so I could get back into martial arts. I've had a lot of anger, frustration, and rage building up lately and I want to prevent this from happening in reality. I've been taking clonazepam and xanax to help with my temper. They don't seem to be helping enough. The ambien at night is helping me sleep, and I'm not sure if it's the chemical reaction of it while I'm sleeping that is causing these waking dreams or situational life changes that are making my subconscious run wild. I will say though, ambien always gives me the best 8 hours of sleep and I wake up on my own without the need of an alarm clock. In any event I definitely need more than a little chemical help if I'm going to maintain my composuew and stay out of prison.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do

So it was June 2006. I was heavily abusing amphetamines in the form of Adderall and Adderall XR. At this time I had a secure source for the 30mg for a mere $5, a real steal. My contact, Marquette, was a real gem. She and I had met in 2004 while I was taking summer session courses. We would pop addies and stay up all night studying. I was quite the efficient student in these times. My other connection, Frank, had a Rx for Provigil. Provigil is used by pilots. It eliminates the need for sleep, but in the prescribed doses is not supposed to have the effect on the dopmaine system that standard amphetamines have. It is only supposed to elevate the nor-epinephrine levels in the brain causing an alert state of wakefulness, increased productivity, and an ease in the flow of thought. Keep in mind, however, that dopamine is transported along the nor-epinephrine pathways. Open those babies up enough and you're high as a kite. Combine Provigil with Adderall, and you're good to go for 48 hours. I was popping Addies and Provigil, I would stay awake for several days, then when I would start to crash, my body would begin to give out, and I felt that I could no longer efficiently function due to overwhelming paranoia and my body telling me, "Fuck you asshole, feed me!", I would pop 4mg of Xanax and somewhere between 30 to 60mg of hydrocodone. Seeing as how Jack was steadily selling the downers, I was set. I was the workhorse Hilton wanted. I could analyze spreadsheets, find trends, and basically do my bosses job and mine with ease. Life was grand.

The use, overuse, and expenditure of all of my Adderall eventually led to my using methamphetamine. A-Boy and I had the use of meth down to a science. You see, amphetamines are sensitive to Ph. If you take them with acids, they enter the blood stream faster but the bio-availability is lowered. This means less dope, and less time staying awake tweaking. We could have none of that, so we would take lots of alkaseltzer 15 minutes before we would dose. Then we would snort a tenth of a gram of glass. Time seemed to fly by, we were blissful at the peaks, and the valleys were filled with nightmarish depression and self-loathing. He used his school work as an excuse to stay awake. Me, personally, I liked tweaking out, staying awake for days on end. I had friends to hang out with and we could always find things to do. I would wrench on the motorcycle for hours, wrench on the truck, take computers apart and put them back together with the cables neatly wrapped, all the dust removed, and with more efficient cooling systems. We would tear down our operating systems and rebuild them for optimum performance. I can't count the hours I spent compiling Linux kernels. Our paranoia grew to the point where we would only use AIM across gAIM with gaim-encryption enabled. This meant our conversations were behind 1024 bit encryption, practically impossible to break. A-Boy got so paranoid about being "watched by the feds", that he stopped using a wireless keyboard because he swore they could hone in on the signal and figure out his side of the conversation. My weapon and ammunition collection grew as did the amount of time I spent on my motorcycle and the time I spent fucking Martina. Motorcycles, guns, and fucking, these are the things a tweaker holds most dear.

As she and I became much closer, Martina and A-Boy drifted apart. She invited me to go to Jackson, MS with her and her best friend who was in town from LA. Gretchen knew all about the affair, did not care for A-Boy, and did not judge either Martina or myself for our transgressions. This was a huge relief for me. I followed them down I-55 all the way to Jackson. We stopped once for gas and insufflated large amounts of glass in the bathroom on our way. We arrived at her parent's house to a very warm welcome. Her father really liked me and knew that there was something between us. She and I slept together in her old room; they had no objection. Although, we didn't exactly sleep. We stayed awake all night fucking and talking in our down time. The next day we hung out in Jackson and in the afternoon I returned back to Memphis. At this point I had been awake for some 72+ hours. I returned and hung out with A-boy as if nothing had happened. I was such a dick, oh well. He and I stayed up tweaking well into the next day. We went bike riding all over midtown, drank a few bottles of wine, and before I knew it, I had to be at work. I arrived at Hilton geeked out of my mind, full of paranoia, and immediately went to my seat. I had no desire to talk to everyone, I felt as if all eyes in the room were on me, and I was sick to my stomach from having drank so much wine the night and morning prior. I'm sure I looked like death. Later, Ole Sarge told me that he could tell I had not slept for some time. My hands were trembling and when I stood I was dizzy. Periodically I would see the "shadow people" from the corners of my vision and the occasional sparkling star patterns would envelop my vision and I felt like I would blackout.

Just as I was beginning to feel settled and at ease with the situation, you know, really in the groove of my work day, the manager came around and told everyone to go into break. The manager, whose name I do not recall, was a fat black woman. She hated me. She knew that I got along with all the supervisors, and they respected me. She had a horrible attitude and would like nothing more than to fire me. She made me last person to go into break and I had just answered the phone. I did not notice that the roar of talking around me had ceased. I saw everyone around me stand up and walk away. I remember finishing the call in 6min 30sec. I finished, stood up, turned around, and saw a sea of people who were all staring at me, there was a video camera, and the VP of Corporate communications. Everyone was clapping and I had no idea what was going on. There was cake, streamers, and balloons everywhere. Not knowing what the fuck was going on, I began walking down the aisle and nervously clapping. My heart was thumping, my head spinning, and my throat was in a battle with my stomach to keep the wine down. Then the VP said my name out loud and started congratulating me on being awarded the highest honor available to Hilton employees, "The Spirit of Hilton Award". I almost shit myself. Here I was, wasted on cheap red wine, I'm sure my lips were stained purple, and I hadn't slept in some four days and I was practically hallucinating from lack of sleep and I was winning an award. If only they knew how dependent I had become on "job performance enhancing drugs" they surely would have rushed me off to some kind of rehab where I would have been administered electroshock therapy and forced to talk about my feelings of hopelessness and why I felt I needed to use.

She went into a ramble about how I had gotten it for impressing the area president of Europe and Africa while Hilton Hotels Corporation was purchasing Hilton International. Whatever, I didn't care. All I could think about was how everyone in the room was staring at me, my clothes were disheveled, and I didn't know how to stand correctly without feeling out of place. Then she asked me to give a speech about my time at Hilton. I could barely think, I couldn't focus, and I do not remember at all what I said, but apparently I did a decent job and didn't give myself away. The VP then made me take a slice of cake and eat it. I could not stand to look at it, let alone taste it. I could only think of how sugary and disgusting the cake was. The icing, lard and sugar, in my mouth, my teeth, blue and yellow, and how my throat was so dry I could barely choke it down. If hell on earth could exist, this was certainly very close to it. I think my anxiety about the situation could have only been increased if I were standing naked in front of everyone after having taken a dip in a cold pool.

After rubbing elbows with people and thanking the people who "got me where I am today", I sat back down and continued working. I would do anything to make this situation stop. I then took a break, went to the bathroom, and swallowed several hydrocodone tablets. I could feel my heart slow, my breathing ease, and the anxiety melt away like cotton candy. I sat back, rode the wave of apathy, and awaited the end of my shift. I would only be employed at Hilton for six weeks after. Sarge would later tell me that I had received the "Hilton medal of Honor" and that I could never be fired. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Foray into Stupidity, 2C-T-2

My great uncle was an amazing man. When I get older, I want people to compare me to him. If this happens I know I've lived a long and prosperous life. My Uncle Rodney is by far the kindest man I have ever known. He died from mesothelioma. He was an electrician and when he was younger he had been exposed to asbestos. My grandmother called me from Chicago University Hospital and told me that he would not make it through the night. At this point I freaked out. I wanted so badly to be able to go to Chicago and see him and tell him how much I thought of him before he passed, but there was no way I would make it in time. I felt trapped in my cubicle at work and wanted nothing more than to be able to get away. I felt anxiety and panic building in my stomach. I was nauseated, terrified, and I wanted to remove myself from the situation. I reached into my desk drawer and took 6mg of Xanax. An hour later it felt as if I had took nothing. I burst into tears, called my manager, Terri, and she told me to go home. I went back home and was calling my grandmother every 30 minutes for status updates. Uncle Rodney wasn't even conscious enough for me to speak with him on the phone. I was so upset by this that I walked down to Joe's, bought a fifth of gin, and started pounding gin and tonics. After I was halfway through the bottle I couldn't stand to be at home any more. I left, went to my friend Adrian and Cammy's and they were very supportive and really helped me get through the night. I got word in the morning that the visitation would be on March 4th, 2007 and the funeral on the following day.

While I am a very strong person and have always been one to keep my head through some intense experiences, dealing with death is not one of my strong suits. It's the helplessness of seeing so many upset people and not being able to do anything to improve their condition that I have a problem with. I hate feeling helpless or useless. I decided to go to the visitation completely sober. My mother, her boyfriend, and I all rode together. We went into Immaculate Conception. I walked in and was overwhelmed by both the beauty and tacky gaudiness of Catholicism. That night I did very well in holding myself together, said some kind words to my aunt and cousin, and then left. Once we got into the car I cried until we reached the bar. I drank three pitchers of beer and then returned home. Martina and A-Boy were waiting on my return. At this point Martina and I hadn't begun a romantic relationship and the three of us were great friends. She saw my headlights as I came up the driveway and ran outside to give me a hug.

"Payne-cakes! How are you doing?" I could smell her perfume. I still remember it hitting me in the face every time she would hug me. She smelled like honey suckles.

"I hate funerals. It was nice. My cousin seemed to be coping well. His wife looked good. Aunt Melinda seemed to be handling everything really well. I guess that they had been expecting this for a long time."

"Why don't you come up to our apartment so that you're not alone. Unless of course you want to be alone which I completely understand, but if you want friends, we're here for you. If you hang out with us though, at midnight it's A's birthday, so you have to be in a good mood. I'm sure we have something that can help you with that. Oh, and you have to wear a party hat."

"Okay, let me change out of these clothes and I'll be up. I need to put on something more comfortable." She gave me another hug and I went into my apartment and changed into my flannel pajama pants and a white t-shirt. I went barefoot up stairs to their apartment. A-boy was at the computer when I walked in. Their apartment was very warm and I could smell the heater was on full blast, which was very nice because it was a dreary and rainy day. A-boy walked up and gave me a hug, asked if I was okay, and then pardoned himself while he finished his school work. He finished up early and then we all sat in a circle and smoked a joint. We exchanged tales of various funerals and what not, and I felt much better. They were very empathetic and really understood what I was going through. They were great friends. A-boy and I walked into the secondary bedroom and examined the mushrooms. They were growing up pretty well. We took out various flasks and beakers and the conversation geared towards producing methacathinone. He told me how he had done it once, left the apartment with the equipment on high, and when he returned the heat had make the flask explode and the red hot Pyrex had left burn marks all over the floor. We both thought it was funny. I can't accurately describe his mannerisms, but when A-boy got worked up, he was a real hoot.

"It must be that time!" yelled Martina. She walked in wearing a birthday hat and threw confetti everywhere. "It's time for someone's birthday par-tay, you boys are right on schedule."

I wished him a happy birthday. "So what party favors would you like Payne-ee-cous?" Martina h had several variations on my name. Lots of them I don't remember. My room mate detested her. I'm sure they're burned into Floyd's memory forever. She opened up a cardboard jewellery box that was in the shape of a top hat. Around the bottom of it, it had a piece of notebook paper pasted to it that said, "Do you like my hat? Why yes I do! Thank you very much!" Yes it was silly, but it was appropriate. This was the dope hat and it is where the stash of only God knows what was kept. I said, "It's A's birthday and the birthday boy always gets the first piece of cake. Let him decide what he wants first." A-boy reached in pulled out several capsules with white to off-greyish powder in them and a triangular shaped orange tablet that had 3 holes in it. He put the capsules in one hand and the tablet in the other, raising one and then the other as if to represent scales.

"Hrm... I think I'll go with this one." He quickly popped one of the capsules into his mouth. Then looked at me all bright eyed with his "I'm very satisfied with myself" smile that I had seen all too often. Martina took the ecstasy tablet and I asked what was in the capsules after he dropped one in my hand.

"It's 2C-T-2. It's not as visually stimulating as 2C-I or 2C-T-7, but it's fun to trip on." I asked him for the who's and what's of the chemical trusting him 100%. There are not many people I would trust when it came to drugs. I have met very few people who's knowledge of them could rival my own. A-boy's far surpassed mine. He assured me that each of them was weighed out to 35mg +/-2mg. I took it, rolled another joint, and we all sat in a circle telling ridiculous stories, coloring, and drawing. We listened to upbeat music, trance, happy hardcore, and MSI. Martina was the first to feel her drugs, ours would take over an hour before we felt anything. She and I were on the couch laughing, and A-boy sat on the coffee table and we all had a good time.

Before the T2 set in, the first thing I felt was nausea. It felt as if I had swallowed a ball of cement and it was growing inside my stomach. It ached a little, but that soon passed. The nausea soon gave way to a light feeling. I felt a little stimulated, conversation seemed to flow easier, at least I was more talkative, and the lights began to get brighter. Minutes after the initial onset, my vision went to complete shit. Everything was very blurry and I was happy and giddy. My problems were miles behind me and I began laughing at the most simple things. I found that conversation was harder to follow and I couldn't help but smile. The muscle in my face seemed to be non-responsive. It felt like there were invisible strings attached to my face that were controlling the muscles and contorting my face into this stupid grin. I wondered if this was how Jack Nicholson's character would have felt in Batman after the bad plastic surgery job. My mind began to make farther and father reaching comparisons. I tried to talk, to comment on Martina's story.

"I know what you mean..." My dialogue was interrupted by my own fits of laughter. I was trying to hold it back, trying to convey what was going through my head, but nothing intelligible would come out. I was rocking back and forth trying to fight back the laughter at what I was about to say, but it wouldn't come out. I think we were talking about Vasquez, something about Johnny the Homicidal Maniac or Invader Zim. It was probably Invader Zim, because what then came out was, "Squirrel... hehehe... LIKE THIS!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" I fell to the ground. Everyone was laughing. I don't know if they were laughing at me or what I said, but I was rolling on the ground in laughter, completely unable to communicate all of the random thoughts that were going through my brain. It was as if I had been reduced to a six year-old serotogenic schizophrenic.

After hours of this going on, I realized it was very late and I had to go to bed. The funeral was about 4 hours away. My muscles ached and I was physically exhausted. A-boy gave me some Seroquel tablets so that I could sleep and so that I would be emotionally numb for the funeral. I hugged them both, thanked them for such a wonderful evening, and told them how happy I was that they were my friends. While there are many details about this night and what was said that I will not be able to remember, it was the night that I became very close to both of them.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thanks, Elle

It was another warm summer night and me and my friend Johnny were entirely too bored. We had gone through our usual outlets to try and score some MDMA from Tommy the Asian, but he was too smacked out of his mind to try and do anything productive. Tommy was on the outs with his Laotian friends because of his increased heroin use. At this point in my life I had no idea what heroin was about, I just knew that from watching Tommy's downward spiral that I wanted no part of it. Previously, Tommy had the best rolls in town. They were always the same; blue Porches. They were pure MDMA, no speed, no MDA, no PMA, no bullshit. Well, as previously stated, this wasn't going to happen tonight.

Johnny had given me money for "some rolls or some trip or some shit like that". Johnny and I had a language no other person on the planet could really understand. That was in part to his nearly incomprehensible accent. No, accent is not even the right word. The man barely spoke English. When we first began hanging out, he would call me on the phone and without his body language and being able to read his lips, I had no fucking clue what the man was talking about. Initially, his girlfriend, Amy, had to translate everything for me. You see, he was from Cullman County, Alabama, and his teeth were rotting out from years of abuse. His accent was so heavy that he pronounced, and for months, I thought he was from Oldeman County, Alabama, a place I could not find on any map.

The third player tonight was Elle Boogy. I love Elle like a little sister. She and I grew up together since elementary school. If you took a Barbie doll and shrunk her down to about 4'4", that would be Elle. She and her beau Paul were broken up and she was with some new guy named Bear. I'm not even changing this guy's name. His Christian name on his fucking birth certificate was Bear. He was only slightly taller than Elle and from what I could tell, White trash. Now, I'm not one to judge and given my past I hardly have a leg to stand on and presently I only have one leg I can really stand on, but Bear was no good. Through him she had connections to mushroom chocolates. A week prior I had gotten some from her that were almost no good. I had eaten one and it was so weak that outside of a few chills, slightly distorted vision, and a little head change that only peaked at slight confusion. I was sorely disappointed.

I had taken the money Johnny had given me, called her, complained, and she swore that the new chocolates were a lot better. She said that half of one was stronger than the two she had eaten last week and she apologized profusely. Now, I had no reason to doubt Elle, she was a sweet little girl, and I do mean little, but I didn't trust Bear. I really didn't trust his redneck friends and this was the source. I picked up 6 of the chocolates and she gave me two extra. I rode over to her mom's house on my motorcycle, picked them up, and rode back over to Johnny's.

"What de fuck is dis shit? Deez ain't no fuckin' trips! Dis' is fuckin' candy. That purty little girl dun ripped you off." He interjected with his laugh, which if spelled phonetically would be something like, "Ah-haw. Ah-haw. Ah-haw."

"Germy," (he has never pronounced my name with three syllables) "boy, I don't know what to do about you. We ain't even goin' to get to try these out tonight. Casey is commin' over here so here, you try a few before we all do them tomorrow night and tell me how they treat you."

He gave me two of the chocolates, wrapped in foil. I nodded, unwrapped one, and ate it just as I had eaten the one the week prior. This time, however, something was a little different. It was the same kind of baker's chocolate, but this time, it was horribly more bitter, grittier, and I even came across some straw like material. I bit the second one in half and examined the middle of it. The center was full of this whiteish gray like straw and powder that was held together with chocolate. Johnny kept me there until Casey arrived. Within the ten minutes that had passed, I began to feel disassociated, off balance, and the lights in the room had gotten considerably brighter. I knew this was going to be different when I got the goose bumps and cold chills that start at my elbows and shot both up and down my arms at the same time. The hair on my arms was standing at attention, and I looked like I was slowly turning into Teen Wolf. I decided it was time to go.

On my way to my bike, I nearly tripped over the curb, my own shoes, and then almost fell over my the Kawasaki and planted both it and myself onto the pavement. Lucky for me it was a very light bike and when I fell, I was able to keep it from completely dropping and caught myself with the other arm. This would indeed be a very different experience. I noticed on the ride home that the cold chills had subsided and I was very much enjoying the warm night air. One by one as I passed under the street lights I noticed my attention was being diverted from the road in front of me and up to them. At one stop sign I took my glasses off and just stared up at the stars. They were beautiful, not only twinkling, but together they were winking at me, as if they were collectively trying to tell me something in Morse code, some cosmic secret that they were always trying to tap out but I was ordinarily too busy to notice.

I decided not to go straight home, but rather, to ride around a bit through some of the winding country roads. I enjoyed this until I had to come to a stop and then pick back up again. I realized that my motor skills were so badly distorted that I had trouble working the clutch and the gear shift. I stalled the bike out, it puttered and convulsed to a stop, and then I had trouble cranking it back up. A police officer was passing and slowed down once he realized I was having trouble. Luckily, I was able to get the bike going again and he didn't pull me over. This was a good thing on many levels. For one, I'm sure my eyes were dilated, two I had no motorcycle endorsement on my license, no insurance, and I don't think I could have effectively communicated my identity or address to him with an English sentence. I made my way back home and almost spilled pulling into the drive way.

Once I had gotten off of my bike I noticed that when walking I certainly was very dizzy, but had a lot more energy, was moving very quickly, and all of this combined with the auras and halos I was seeing around everything made me very nauseous. I decided at this point to cool off, I went to lay down and my head felt extraordinarily heavy. I hadn't even taken off my helmet. I collapsed on my back in my front yard. I'm very glad that my neighbors were good sports. I looked up at the stars and watched as they began to move around one another. Organizing in clusters, making patterns, and then systematically scattering back into their original formations. I felt lighter and the grass felt cool against my skin. For a moment I felt like I was hovering above the grass. I felt kind of itchy, then I felt bugs on me. I jumped up swiping them away, but there were none there. I started scratching all over and I felt like something was in my throat. It was scratchy. I tried to cough it up, but I couldn't. My hair felt like it was growing and the physical sensations I felt were very unnerving. The itching became much worse. I took my shirt off and began clawing at my chest and back. Then as if I weren't uncomfortable enough, my mucus membranes woke up. Here I was, in my front yard, shirtless, scratching like a caveman, all while snorting, sniffing, blowing, coughing, and spitting, trying to expel all the mucus that I was producing. I don't know for how long this continued, but after a while I felt even more nauseous and went to the side of the house where I dry heaved a few times and drenched myself with the water hose and dried myself off with my shirt.

After this show in the front yard at 1AM, I decided to go inside. I felt really warm and decided to strip down to my boxers. It felt very good to take off my clunky boots. I remember spreading out on my bed and wiggling my toes, but I could not get this almost allergic reaction to stop. I turned the lights off and put on some music. I listened to Jack Johnson on repeat for a few hours. The music must have really gotten me going, because I went into a frenzy and decided to clean my room. I use the word "clean" because at the time, that's what I decided to do, because I couldn't find anything and I was getting increasingly more frustrated with the condition of my room. I began to think that my life was just as cluttered and that I hadn't found my purpose or rather that I was avoiding it. This really made me mad and instead of cleaning my room, I went into the kitchen, got several large lawn bags out of the pantry and returned. I started searching my rooms in the manner of a drug enforcement agent. I was emptying drawers into the floor, flipping the mattress over, taking the mattress off of the box springs and the bed frame. I took everything out from under the bed and threw it into the center of the room and then I moved to the closet, the dark, ominous walk-in closet.

At first I was completely mortified by the idea. I knew I wouldn't like what I would find. The door was slightly cracked open and that really bothered me. It reminded me of the scene from Lost Boys when the mother puts the youngest to bed. I flipped out, dove to the floor and covered myself with my blankets. I still don't know what I was scared of or why I had any negative thoughts at all, but then I started hearing this bell going off. I was taking random objects that were on the floor and began tossing them at the closet door wondering what it could have been making that noise: a shoe, darts, a dirty balled-up sock... Then I realized that the sound was coming from my computer. I realized further, that I was getting instant messages from my friend, Dove. I began laughing hysterically. I went to the computer, sat down, and began chatting with her. She made me feel much more at ease and I was able to very easily pound out my ideas on the keyboard. After she went to bed I attacked the closet, going through my things, trying to throw out everything that I didn't need. I eventually nodded off and fell asleep on a pile of clothes in my closet.

I awoke the next morning to a shit storm in my room, I was exhausted, and I really wanted to just relax. I did however finish the task I started, and cleaned out and completely rearranged my room. I felt beter about my situation in life afterwards and had come to the conclusion that I had to et out of my dad's house and get a better job than what I had at MCI. The trip would change my train of thought for the better, and my life would undergo some major changes in the following weeks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have an idea for a Christian children's cereal. I had to get this published as quickly as possible so that I could get credit for it before that big ole mean devil gives it to some long haired liberal:

little oat crosses, whole grain of course.

marshmallows as follows:
yellow holy grails
green palm leaves
red hearts (the vision of Mother Teresa)
pink vaginas, obviously for Mary Magdaline's snatch
blue Stars of David, hey, Jesus was a Jew!
little white silver pieces that Judas Iscariot received for betraying Jesus

The best part, when you add milk, it it turns red.

Now just think of it, "Eat of my flesh, drink of my blood, receive eternal life, eat your Crucifix-ios"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

7-7-7 Part 3: Fear and Loathing in Tunica

I don't remember much of the ride to Tunica. I do remember after doing the first few lines of cocaine my brain was completely scattered. I was beginning to believe that we were being chased by police. The paranoia and anxiety were overwhelming. I thought that Elvis was an undercover agent. The pistol, the drugs, the casino, I thought it was all one big red herring. I hid behind my aviators. If people could not see my eyes and I didn't speak, no one would know how out of my mind I really was. I agreed with whatever suggestions Elvis had made. I currently can find no words to describe the amount of fear and dread I had looming over me. I was completely consumed by it. Every thought, every action, every step I made, I felt I was being observed, monitored, and judged.

We entered the casino and surprisingly it wasn't overly full for the 7th day of July in 2007. We sat down at a roulette wheel and immediately the board blanked out. This even greater led to the ominous feeling that something bigger than me had intentions on my having a disastrous evening. While I do possess the ability to think logically, when it comes to gambling, I throw logic out the window, with the exception of odds and probability, and I find myself easily giving into the delusions of luck. We commented to the pit boss and he said that the board was on the fritz. This would continue to happen throughout the evening. For me, it meant that I would not be able to see what numbers had previously come up, and would have a harder time predicting the numbers that were yet to arise. No matter, there were drugs to be done.

Elvis would palm off the bullet to me at intervals and I would go to the bathroom stall to toot up. I was not the only one in the casino who had this idea. I couldn't have been. Why else would there be people making huffing and sniffing noises from a bathroom stall? Oh God, perhaps it is best if I just think they were all doing cocaine. After running back and forth to the bathroom a few times, we were both increasingly thirsty.

It's imperative that I state that at this time in my life I did not drink bourbon. I drank gin, only gin, and I drank it with zeal. This day however, I felt that by ordering a gin and tonic and trying to speak on my own would alert the authorities that I was out of my mind and I would be thrown out or arrested. Elvis was ordering Jack Daniels by the shot. Following suit, I did the same. He told them that I didn't talk much, they probably thought I was a retard with big sunglasses and Elvis was my handler. Being about the same size and having just shaved his head as well, we probably looked like to Neo-Nazi goons. After waiting for a half hour for an ordered drink, giving the waitress a dollar when she took the order, another when she returned, a third immediately upon taking the shot, and asking for another, Elvis was very unhappy with the service.

"Payne, take your money off the table. We're not going to play. BOSS! Pit Boss! We came here to drink and spend money in your casino. If you want us to spend money, we need shots. We'll take good care of the ladies, but we won't be thirsty while we play roulette."

The boss understood, the ladies, returned, and they remained at our beck and call for the evening. We were tipping rather well, but we were also doing very well at the wheel. My mind, having been in such a negative space, was stuck on Martina. I was playing her birthday, my mom's birthday, my birthday, and my sister's birthday: 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 16. When I play roulette I always play 9 numbers. When I get up I start to play more, but I always play 9. The other number I would play were the ones that appeared to visually rise off of the table. As I was vividly hallucinating, the numbers appeared to be growing and shrinking. The numbers that grew the largest with the brightest halos encircling them were the numbers I picked.

Four hours, twenty one shots of Jack Daniels, and three Heineken later, Elvis and I were completely fucked. I however, being on copious amounts of LSD, did not appear to be nearly as drunk as him. After spending our time there, we asked for our buffet tickets, and made our way to the opposite end of the casino. En route, Elvis detoured to the bathroom where he spent 20 minutes throwing up. I practically carried him into the buffet area, where we both filled up plates, and he then went back to the bathroom to vomit some more. I went to the casino gift shop and purchased some Alka-Seltzer tablets. After dragging him back to the buffet area, I gave him the good ole "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" and he was able to hold down his meal.

I am unlike any person I have ever met when it comes to cocaine. Cocaine will stimulate my appetite and I can ravenously eat several large portions without hesitation. Being the American that I am, I ate until I could barely walk. Elvis and I stumbled out of the casino and he began to drive us home. It was at this point I discovered his psychological illness. He began to tell me about his trials and tribulations with Zyprexa after having been diagnosed schizophrenic. I did not have my glasses, it was night time, I was wearing sunglasses, on too many drugs, and I was lost. I however, was not bothered by this. I was more concerned with my driver's ability to color inside the lines and not go off the page.

After an hour and a half we make it back to his house near Lamar. Elvis immediately passed out and uttered the phrase, "mi casa es su casa" before collapsing on his sofa. I certainly did not have the capacity to sit there alone on a head full of drugs in his house without any form of entertainment. I had to get out, but I didn't have a vehicle and there were a few miles of dangerous territory between his home and mine. I set off walking in the direction of my home, at midnight, wearing sunglasses, having nothing more for protection than a pocket knife, and too many chemicals coursing through my veins to have the sense to be scared. After getting lost in Orange Mound and finally recognizing Cooper, I made it to the Young Ave Deli. Upon arrival I called Floyd who didn't mind my calling him at 1:30AM to pick me up and bring me home safely. I guess he figured an annoying room mate who paid the bills was better than a dead room mate who did not. I would say I gambled quite a bit that day and was very happy to return home to the safety of my own bed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

7-7-7 Part 2: Gearing Up

My friend Jack has gotten me into more trouble than anyone I know. After returning home from certain death or disfigurement on the pavement, I walk in to apartment to find a strange man standing in my living room. I scream and fling my motorcycle helmet at him, but don't come anywhere close. It's just Jack. He said he had heard about the untimely end of my affair with Martina and brought over a bottle of bourbon. Ordinarily I wouldn't touch the stuff, I much prefer gin and tonic, but I wasn't myself. Jack mentioned a friend of his who went by the name of Elvis who was looking to trade a F&N Herstal FiveSeven for two pounds of weed and wanted me to ride with him for the trade. I asked if the guy was white trash with a name like Elvis, but he insisted that the guy was real cool and didn't like people to know his real name. Jack, at this point, failed to mention that I had already met Elvis at a party and he is a raging coke head, alcoholic, and borders on anti-social. Thinking I would get to meet someone new and because I had nothing else to do at this point, I decided to go along.

Having to be in the company of someone you don't care for and being on a headfull of acid is not a good idea. You might come to say or do things which would be uncharacteristic. We arrive at "Elvis's" house on Manilla near Lamar. Jack knocks on the front door, no answer. He taps on the window. No answer. We hear the sound of a gun being racked. "Who the fuck is there?" yelled out in a loud cajun accent from inside. Jack replies, "It's just us, man. I've got my backpack and it's hot outside, can we come in?" Normally, this would have been enough for me to leave, but normal rode out a long time ago. He tells us to go to the back door and he'll let us in. We walk around the small fence and I can hear someone turning the locks on the door. Slowly the door creeks open but no one is standing there. We walk in and the guy closes the door behind us. I'm in shock and immediately recognize the guy. He is coked out of his mind, has a pistol in one hand, the door in the other, and has no idea who I am. He asks who I am, but I don't reply, Jack intervenes. "This is my friend J. He's a nice guy. Doesn't talk much though. He was just here for the ride."
Jack hands over the bag full supposedly full of pot. Elvis walks us into another room. There's a big screen, a leather couch, and a glass coffee table with a shoe box lid covered with cocaine. Elvis sits down and does a line, offers us some, we both decline, nasty stuff. Elvis pulls the almost kilo of pot out of the bag. He looks at it and inspects it very closely. "This stuff's old and has gone moldy. No wonder you only wanted 800 for all of it. I can't do nothing with this. Nobody will buy it. If you want the pistol, the light, and the ammo, I need shit I can sale. Go back home and get me the other bud." Jack tried his best to convince him otherwise, "Naw man, that white stuff? Man those are THC crystals. I told you I didn't kief this stuff first." I could tell Jack was lying. Elvis put the bud back into the backpack, opened the window, dropped it onto the ground and said, "Get out. Stop wasting my time and come back when you have some decent stuff." We leave.

We're headed back to my place and I lay into him.
"What the FUCK was that about? You bring me along for a drug for gun trade and the drugs aren't even good? Have you lost your fucking mind? He's a coke and weapons dealer. You don't even own a gun, Jack. Why would you even do business with this guy? Don't you know he can just take your shit? You dumb mother-fucker!"
"Man, be cool."
"Be cool?!? Me? I'm on a headfull of acid right now. I know that guy. You know I knew him and you didn't tell me who he was. Why the fuck would you do that? God damnit, just take me home you stupid fuck!"
"Man, be cool."
Jack's phone rings. I can't tell what is being said, but apparently it's Elvis. Jack sums up the conversation for me.
"That was Elvis. He said he recognized you as being Martina's 'stand in boyfriend' while A was off studying. He wanted to know if you wanted any coke... I told him it wasn't your thing."
"No, no I don't want any fucking coke. I want to go home."
"He also said to tell you that Martina is a two bit whore and you shouldn't be upset about her."
Now I was not only pissed off, but confused, frustrated and bordering on enraged.

We get back to my house and I help Jack start to clean off the buds. We are using a solution of 20 parts water to 1 part vinegar to remove the mold from the pot, then we place it all under a cake lid with tangerine peels to "cure" and change the smell. This was not a problem for me because it allowed me to take my stress out on the tangerines, peeling them and compulsively devouring them one after another. After a few hours of being under the cake lid, it worked. The smell was completely different and the pot had "fluffed" up a bit. We returned to Elvis's place to find him full of cocaine. He made the transaction with Jack and then invited me to join him at the casinos:

"So Payne, you a gamblin' man? I'm going down to the casinos, have a quarter ounce of blow to take with me, and would like some company. Do you play roulette?"

Fuck, was this really happening? Did I just get an offer from Satan himself to forget my troubles and play my favorite casino game on a head full of cocaine and LSD. I believe I did. I gladly took him up on his offer, ditched Jack because I was pissed at him, and headed for Tunica.

Oops, I'll pay to have that fixed...

Ever have one of those days where all you want is some ice cream? All you want to do is sit back, relax on a hot day, mind your own business, and eat your double scoop on a waffle cone. Then just as you're about to enjoy that first taste, the fucker rolls off the cone, down your shirt, your pants, and finally depositing itself onto your shoe. This is the kind of day I was having. It had been a fucking horrible day at work, it was beautiful outside, and I was trapped inside. I had called a connection on my lunch break, everything was setup as soon as I got off.

At this point in my heroin career I was up to about a $40 per diem habit to stave off the effects of the sickness. I say heroin career because being a junkie is a full time job in and of itself. Hey, at the time shooting heroin and forgetting how shitty my day was seemed oddly more rewarding than going to a bar and drinking alcohol with a bunch of fucktards; people who I wouldn't cross the street to piss on if they were on fire. My daytime job was really just a part time gig. I only worked for an investment bank to have the means to maintain my real full time job. A $40 bag was by no means going to get me high or satiate my thirst, it was only a more temporary fix to a bigger problem with inevitable consequences.

The floor above mine was filled with people my age and like children running home when the bell rings, they would all simultaneously stampede out down the stairs to go home for the day. Ordinarily I wasn't leading the pack by any means, but today, today I was in pole position.Today however, was the pay day for that bullshit morning job where I pretended to be someone and something I wasn't. Today I was going to get high.

B picked me up from work and we headed in the general area of the airport. We stopped outside of a dollar store, made a call, and before we could even finish our cigarettes the man had arrived. We headed back to my house. I remember this stuff. We opened the cellophane and the smell of vinegar and tin was intoxicating. This is the smell I associate with good heroin. It was yellowish or whitish powder. I dropped mine in and tried to dissolve it, but it was chunkier than usual and I had to apply a little heat to it. I of course did this after I drew up the water and added more to melt down the chunks. B asked me if he thought I should do that much and I didn't see a problem with it, I was going to get high today. I had spent too many days and too much money just keeping myself from being sick. It was time for the real reward. The brown powder turned completely clear when I heated it. I shot and before the needle was out my ears were ringing and it felt as if my soul had left my body. I heard B:
"J, J! You've got to breathe man, you're turning blue."
"Nah man, I'm fine."

Next I felt my knees buckle and I fell to the ground. At this point I gasped for breath. I had walked the line, bordering on overdose, but had will enough to come back. It was amazing. For a brief moment I thought I had slain the dragon. The phone was ringing as my senses were returning. It was my Arab friend. He and Hawaii were at his place, drinking and doing blow with some cute girl and they wanted to know if I would stop by. My Arab friend and I had a habit of sharing drugs with each other. It was an unwritten, unspoken rule. Whatever one was using, the other was always welcome to partake.

Upon arriving at his house, I could see they had only put a dent in the eight ball they had bought from Jack the night before. I asked Arab if he minded if I dipped my spoon in and fixed myself a shot in the bathroom. He was reluctant, as he was not a fan of my using a needle, but none the less, he obliged. In my past I had used better coke than this. This was nothing special. I had used some with him when he first procured it. I drew up 20 units of water, combined it with the dope in the spoon, and when it was all said and done, I had a 65 shot of cocaine in a 1cc syringe. There is no way I can accurately describe the terror I was shortly about to succumb.

As was usual I could feel my arm go numb and warm, I the taste of cocaine in my mouth was overwhelming, I couldn't move, I couldn't talk. All I could hear was the sound of a train. It sounded as if I were standing right next to a moving train. I could yell as loudly as I wanted and I'd never hear my own voice, just that fucking train. I must have been at this point for quite a while. I have no idea how long I was actually in the bathroom in this state, but I was later told it was about 15 minutes. I had tried to conceal my gear, stand up, and walk out of the bathroom. Instead, I fell off the toilet, and my body wouldn't obey the most simple commands. Get up. Move your right leg. Slide the left knee under you. Put both arms outright and use the wall to stand up. Fail. Back down onto my knees, unable to answer my friends whom I could now hear calling my name, asking if I was okay. I grabbed the sink and attempted to stand. I ripped the sink from the wall, hit the ground and was convulsing. I could feel the water spraying my face from the section of wall where a sink previously resided. The water was cold. It felt good. Next my legs locked. I went from a fetal position to locking both legs straight out and in doing so I kicked my friend's toilet in half. Rather, I shoved my right leg through the base of the toilet. I can't tell you how glad I am that there was clean water in the toilet. By this point Hawaii had forced the door open. I had control of my body again and leaned over into the tub, ripping the shower curtains down in the process, and proceeded to throw up several times.

I don't really remember so much the details of conversations I had shortly thereafter. I convinced them not to call the paramedics. I went rummaging through my jacket, found my prescription for xanax, placed 4 tablets under my tongue, and swallowed an additional 6. 5mg of alprazolam should be more than an adequate dose to counteract the effects of a speed ball overdose. After the tablets had dissolved under my tongue all I could say was, "I'm done. No more drugs. I've done them all and I've done them all to the greatest degrees and I'm still alive. I'm done."

Hawaii tried to talk calmly to me, "J, you don't mean that. What about the psychedelics? Pot? You're not done with them, you just need to quit doing this hard shit."

"No, I'm done. I'll pay for all the damage that has been done to your apartment. I'll pay for it all. Right now I need to go to sleep."

I slept for 20 hours. I woke up in the throws of severe heroin withdrawal. Later that day I would find myself attending my first NA meeting. No one describes heroin withdrawal like John and Yoko:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In Heroin Veritas

Forewarning: Some of you may find this post disturbing, more so than others. You have been warned.

There are many ways a person can measure their worth. I have found one of the most honest systems of measurement is to strip someone of all the things they feel make them important, leave them truly hungry and desperate, and then see how much of their bullshit ethics and flighty pacifist ideals they cling to. The truth of the matter is that when most people are in dire straits, and you were their best friend for years, once they lose sight of anything beyond their own noses, they wouldn't cross the street to piss on your head if you were in flames. I'd like to think I am better than most of those people. Much more so than any of you who will read this, I know what a real struggle is.

I had started using heroin back in November, I had used it in the past, but opiates were always a constant in my recreational/therapeutic drug menu. Weekend warrior in November, avid user by Christmas, and daily user before Ground hog Day. I have no idea how my employer didn't know I was a junkie. Everyday at 3:30PM I bolted for the door, cell phone up to my hand, either calling my "best friend" or one of our shared connections. Even if it meant buying Brandon a bag, I'd prefer to pick him up. He knew the best dealers, got the purest dope, and dope was always more fun when you had someone to use it with. Also, it was much safer to use with a friend. If one of you started to turn blue and pass out, the other could, usually rouse you, hopefully without the use of Naloxone.

My first accidental overdose happened on a Sunday evening. Brandon and I went to see his contact, Nico. Nico does not look like a pusher, nor does he talk like one. Nico is a gentleman. Brandon had called him while he was eating dinner at Beni Hana's. If nothing else explains how much money we were spending on heroin, this will: Nico invited us to come in to the place, sit down with him and his family, and eat dinner on his tab. We met his wife, some of his cousins, and his son. While we were there making small talk, Nico slipped off into the restroom, fixed up what we had asked for, and slipped it to Brandon as he took his seat. We left the restaurants, and being the junkies we were, I was snorting mine off the dashboard while I was driving, and Brandon was cooking a shot on the bottom of an old soda can in the floor board. This wasn't the kind of dope that had been going around. It was a deep, dark brown and smelled very strongly of vinegar. I could smell it through the wax paper before it was opened. The shit was good, no doubt about that. It was real good. Once we got back to Brandon's house, we realized that we had made a mistake. We didn't get enough. I don't say that to mean that we were jonesing for more, I just mean we would want some for the next few days. Dope this good didn't come around often.

We get back to Brandon's house, and being the kind of junkie I am, ate again. I am the only person that could ravenously eat under the influence of drugs. Benzos and opiates tend to have the strongest effect on my craving of foods, but I could do and eightball of blow, sit down at a kitchen table, and polish off a whole cherry pie on my own. After I ate again and Brandon and I played a few games of pool, we decided to call Nico to get some more that night so we wouldn't have to hustle in the days coming. Nico had dealt out his supply to his cousins that were at the dinner table. He gave us contact information for one of them, and we set out, across town to a motel by the airport in the pouring rain to score. I waited outside as Brandon went in and came back out. This was so sketchy. Anyone who had any idea of what a drug deal looked like could tell what just happened. When we arrived back at Brandon's he promptly went into the bathroom to shoot another bag. He warned me, he told me it was good. He came out of the bathroom and he was visibly altered. I had never seen him like this.

"Don't do both of your bags. Just do one. It's...." his eyes began to roll in his head a little. He was already on the nod, "it's some good shit, if you're not out of the bathroom in five minutes I'm coming in there."

Brandon had given me a "setup". For those of you who don't know what that means, it's all the gear you need to shoot up with, safely. There's a lot of shit that they show in the movies that isn't true. The thing I find most disturbing is the tie off. Maybe I have good veins, Brandon had destroyed most of his, but I have never, ever used a tie off. I could hit damn near any vein in my body without using one. Besides, using a tie off is a good way to get a clot if you're injecting into the vein, not drawing from it.

First thing first, I took the spoon out, laid it on the marble counter top, and flattened out handle. I did this so the spoon would sit evenly and be more balanced for when I go to draw up the dope into the syringe. Brandon had even put a few cotton balls in the bag. I, am not a fan of using cotton balls, I much prefer to tear a piece of the filter out of the end of a cigarette. The fibers aren't as fine and are less likely to draw up into the syringe. If you do push that poly or poly-cotton fiber into a vein, you will regret it. It is a sickness known to the junk world as "cotton fever". It has happened to me once, and will save you that bit for another time...

Also, in the movies, you always see people cooking heroin. Okay... let's get something straight. Heroin is a compound that is highly sensitive to heat, light, and moisture. Cooking it is all wrong. I dropped the dope into the spoon, took the orange cap of the 1cc insulin syringe Brandon had placed in the bag, and I crushed the brown rocks into a fine powder. I then filled the orange cap with water, pulled back, and let her go. By this point I had figured out that with a certain amount of force, I could pull the plunger back to 60 units and let it go quickly, the air would escape and I would be left with 20 units of water. I then sprayed the dope with the 20 units of water and stirred the mixture with the cap. Then I took the cotton from a cigarette, balled it up, and placed the fine edge of the needle on the cotton. The cotton's purpose is to keep anything bigger than the needle out of your veins, also, it allows you to soak up all the fluid from the surface of the spoon. After drawing up, I added another 20 units to the spoon, boiled it, and drew it up. I should have only had 40 units of water, but with all the dope, I was sitting at 85.

As I mentioned earlier, I have good veins. I don't have to use a tie off, few do. Also, you don't hit veins by sight, you hit them by feeling. Mine don't roll, and they protrude from my arms. In with the needle, I could feel it break the skin, and find its resting place inside my vein. I drew back, dark red, I was definitely in. Then I pushed the plunger in and emptied the contents into my arm. I almost passed out then and there. The room begin to move, I was dizzy, I had to force myself to breathe, and I was very nauseous. I was able to clean up my things, and secure my setup and my dope in my jacket. I walked, stumbled rather, out of the bathroom, and Brandon could tell I was most noticeably altered. I sat beside him at the computer while he was working on a new song. His father and older brother were in the room. The last thing I remember hearing was his older brother yelling, "CATCH HIM!"

This next portion is not from my memory, it was told to me later. I had most certainly overdosed. I was blue in the face and my lips were purple. I wasn't breathing, and I didn't have a pulse. I was clinically dead. Brandon began CPR on me while his father called 911. It was Brandon giving me CPR that saved my life. The next thing I feel is pain all over. My gut, my head, my entire body feels like it's being put through a meat grinder. I sit up, fighting 3 men my size that are trying to restrain me. They had no doubt pushed Naloxone into my system. It works by taking over the opioid receptors in the brain. It puts you into instantaneous withdrawal.

"I'm fine! I'm fine! Dear God, where am I? What's going on? Let go of me! Stop it!"

My outbursts had attracted the attention of a Bartlett police officer who had been called to the scene.

"Let me go. I'm refusing medical attention. I'm okay. I don't know what happened but I'm ok now." I wanted them to let me go so I could get my fix. I felt like shit from the Naloxone. Yes, that's how strong the physical addiction to opiates is, I had just killed myself and was begging to be released so I could do it again.

The firemen were very kind and told me that they would be happy to let me go after I signed an AMA form. AMA stands for Against Meical Advice, I was familiar with them. As soon as the police officer heard this he jumped into the back of the ambulance.

"You either go with them or you go with me, it's your choice."

I laid back down on the stretcher. At least the hospitals wouldn't feed me some wet ass bologna sandwich and taunt me while I went through withdrawals, try to make me sweat it out in an interrogation room and try to get names and phone numbers out of me, no, the hospital was definitely my choice.

They rolled me in, did the routine workup on me, "What have you been using? How long have you been using? How much did you use tonight?"

They got nothing out of me. I told them that I had prescriptions for Xanax, Effexor, and Hydrocodone syrup for a cough and that is how this happened and I didn't know why. They knew I was lying, I knew I was lying, but it beat telling them heroin and having to talk to an addiction specialist when all I could think about was getting out of there.

The problem with Naloxone is that it only lasts about an hour, heroin lasts several, so it must be re-administered several times. They would take my blood oxygen levels, for me to be stable to leave, they had to stay at 90. They would jump up to 95 and then within 45 minutes, would drop to 60. They assured me that if I fell asleep, I would die. The doctor came in and saw me, I told him I wanted to go home, but he said only after an evaluation and 3 days of rest. Ha! Rest, now I know is meant by celebrities going into rehab for "rest". At this point I kept pulling the mask off of my face while I slept that they secured it to me with rubber bands. I woke up a few times, the final time it was 6:00AM. I had to be at work in 2 hours.

Panic. I looked around the room. On a table I found my glasses, a plastic bag that had my clothes that the paramedics had cut to ribbons, and a vial of Naloxone. The Naloxone hadn't been opened and was there to use on me, no doubt, when my O2 levels had dropped again. I struggled to pull the mask off because I could feel that my lungs were full of some kind of fluid, probably vomit. The nurse came in as I had pulled it off and was throwing up. She insisted I keep it on. I told her that I could feel fluid in my lungs and if she knew anything about medicine, then she knew it was imperative that I cough it up.

I pulled the mask back and started coughing up mouth fulls of a chalky brown fluid. I did this several times until I no longer felt or heard the rattle in my chest. I could feel myself starting to go back under. I took the vial of Naloxone and put it in my bag with my clothes and I asked the nurse for another shot because it made me feel better, or so I said. They gave me the shot and my breathing went up to 99. I cleaned myself up as much as possible and asked the nurse to remove my IVs. She said she couldn't do that. She was not the kind nurse I had spoken to earlier. She knew I was a junkie, and she didn't feel like wasting her time on me, that much was apparent.

"Ma'am, I know you don't want to take care of me. I know you have better things to do, but I know that I'm not going to let you charge me and my insurance company $700 for a bag full of Sodium Bi-Carb and water. Take the IVs out or I will." I said this directly but politely.

"Sir, just lie back down. You're not going to take out your IVs, you know you won't...."

I had had enough. I took the tape off of my right forearm and slid the IV out. I'm a needle junkie, come on, did she really think that would bother me? Blood began spurting from my arm and she was mortified. She had really never seen anyone do that before. She got the attention of a much more seasoned nurse who came in and was very polite and kind. She commented on my tattoo and piercings, said she ran the shop where my piercings were done. She took the IV out of my left hand, gave me another shot of Naloxone, and I got dressed while she printed up an AMA form. I got my phone and called Brandon, he came and picked me up.

Before I even made it to his house the Heroin was starting to overpower the Naloxone yet again. Once we arrived, I drew the Narcan up into the syringe, capped it, taped the cap, and slid it down into my sock. I went to work that morning. I took one quarter of the dose then, and then continued with 25 units every two hours while I worked. I would feel the heroin creep up on me and I would just go into the bathroom and shoot some into my thigh. I worked the full day and shot my remaining bag once I got off work. This was my first of several overdoses before I would kick the habit.

Monday, April 6, 2009

And my diagnosis is...

The DSM IV has various stratifications of this term, "Bipolar Disorder". I happen to be Bipolar Disorder II. It's not what you think. It's much more than the new and improved version of plain old manic-depression. You see, Bipolar Disorder I are the crazies that scare the world shitless. They are the guys that try to bankrupt the casinos after watching Ocean's Eleven, they're called upon by God to serve a higher purpose and throw of the chains that enslave humanity by breeding the platypus, sometimes they go on killing sprees with smiles on their faces, their motor skills are so fine tuned that they can walk blindfolded down the interstate and move out of the way of cars traveling at speeds of 80mph, they're the crazy women that happily go skipping of cliffs, champagne bottle in one hand while donning their wedding dress. Ok, you get the point right? They're the ones that make the news.

You don't hear much about the people like me. I'm Bipolar Disorder II. I'm not prone to flights of fancy and your delusions of grandeur brought on by Bipolar Disorder uno. My highs aren't so high, but my lows go much deeper. My highs only get to what is called "hypomania". Think of this as mania lite, "now with 30% MORE sleep!" There's not really any middle ground for me. I'm either a little bit higher than I should be or I'm way down depressed. With typical BPD, doctors are afraid their patients are going to "become a threat to themselves and others" so they over-prescribe a myriad of mood-stabilizers and anti-psychotics to suppress these dangerous, selfish, and compulsive thoughts and behaviors. I have been on such drugs: Depakote, Zyprexa, and Seroquel. All of these robbed me of my creativity, independent thought, brilliant memory recall, and drive. I became the world's happiest vegetable. I went from an A- student who never went to class because I was too depressed or too "activated" to becoming a B+ student who went every day and had to struggle to grasp the most basic concepts. I also gained so much weight so quickly that at 19 I got stretch marks on my sides (hot imagery, I know).

I was first diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when I was 18, almost 19. I was having panic attacks, trouble getting any work done, could barely function socially for fear of the next panic attack. I was too depressed to get out of bed most days. I made my doctors aware of my past drug indiscretions and he prescribed Celexa. Celexa at this time was the mildest of the SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake-Inhibitors). It was meant to increase levels of serotonin in my brain and stave off the depression and anxiety. It did just that and it worked rather well for about 4 months. Then it just stopped working. I experienced side effects with it that were pretty common: dry mouth, sweating, persistent yawn without being tired, insomnia, increased energy, and I had a little trouble getting off. At this point I could fuck for hours and not get off. My dick was bruised as was my girlfriend's ego. Being that I don't lie to my parents, doctors, or lawyers, I told my doctor. He suggested we switch to Lexapro. It was *NEW* and shiny, and it was an isomer of Celexa, could be administered at lower doses with higher efficacy. It wouldn't have all those nasty side effects. He assured me...

Two weeks on Lexapro and I was noticing some strange effects. I was able to get off during sex, but I was really distressed. I would break down into tears at things which ordinarily I wouldn't find disturbing. While running the meat slicer at work I thought, "I wonder what it would feel like to run my arm down the blade?" What the fuck? Where did that come from? Odd... While looking off the balcony, across a field, I looked down. I thought, "I wonder what kind of design my body would make if I jumped off and became a splatter paint on the concrete below?" and I would chuckle. Then while driving I had equally disturbing thoughts about driving into the support pillars of an overpass. I shared these thoughts with my girlfriend. I told her that lately things like that had been crossing my mind. I wasn't suicidal, I assured her, but these really weird thoughts kept passing through my mind. She did not laugh. She was mortified. Then as CK was prone to do, she broke into histrionics.

"WHAT? How often do you think shit like this, J? That's just not fucking healthy! That's not normal! We're taking you to my doctor. Dr. Klein is a good man and he'll get you straightened out. Lexapro is not working for you. Besides, your doctor's name is Steve Martin. Didn't that tell you something? I'll call him and make you an appointment or you can just go with me on Thursday. Jesus, now I have to worry about every time I go home, coming in and finding your dead body."

My doctor's name was in fact Steve Martin, but he was a nice guy. We go to see Klein, CK was the 2nd of my girlfriends to have seen him. He knew me by reputation already. Apparently The Good Reverend had opened her mouth about every instance of ecstasy taking and pot smoking we had done. After a little interrogation of Katy and I, he was kind enough to give me 3 months worth of samples of Wellbutrin XR and told me it was a cure all for the kind of depression I was experiencing. Boy, was he right. I began taking Wellbutrin and the effects were immediate. I was full of energy and creativity, I found myself smoking fewer cigarettes, and I wasn't prone to raiding the fridge, something I frequently do when I'm depressed. Instead I was only sleeping for 3 or 4 hours a night, all of my class work was finished before deadline, and I felt very confident.

After the third day of taking Wellbutrin, I was making a lot more money selling cocaine. I attributed this to the fact that I wasn't sleeping very much, but I didn't care. I was happy. CK noticed that my ego was becoming a little inflated, that I was a little more hostile to people, talked down to them, and was really mean. I didn't care if they didn't understand. They were stupid, slow, and just another inconvenience. They couldn't go fast enough and they were always in my way, slowing me down. I hadn't noticed that I had stopped smoking, but I did notice that I couldn't stand to be in the same room with a lit cigarette. The smell made me nauseous. I tried smoking one for fun, because I genuinely enjoy the way they taste. It felt like sand paper was being rubbed against my throat and that something acidic was filling my lungs, my head spun, and I threw up in my mouth a little. Definitely effective at getting me to stop smoking.

After the first week, I had to force myself to eat. I would only eat when I felt my blood sugar was so low that I was going to pass out. Usually this happened after class while working at the deli. Doing all the prep work, I would just make myself a salad wrap and devour while doing counts in the freezer. Also, the freezer was the only place where I didn't feel like my skin was on fire. It was the only place I could be where I wasn't sweating profusely. It was nice. I started isolating myself from people as I saw them merely as sources of frustration. I was surrounded by people who couldn't think or move fast enough. My tongue was getting sharper and my temper shorter. Poor CK, she endured a lot. Mostly she endured me fucking her, all the time. No drug on the face of the earth has skyrocketed my libido like Welbutrin.

After two weeks of Wellbutrin the good doctor recommended I go from 150 to 300mg. I did as were his orders. The 150mg is the starter dose just to get you used to it. The 300mg is the maintenance dose. Things became stranger and stranger. Everyday seemed to get longer and longer, all the while my patience got shorter and shorter. I looked in the mirror and noticed that I looked very thin. Even I could see where I had lost weight. I stepped on the scales and had indeed lost weight. I was no longer 215lb, I was a solid 200. I had lost 15lb in two weeks. I weighed less than I did when I graduated high school. In the time since graduation, I had developed and kicked a cocaine habit and had stopped smoking. How is it possible that I had lost weight? The next two weeks were a blur to me. I know that I stoped sleeping in the conventional sense. I would just take the occasional power nap. I was staying up all hours of the night, associating with other drug dealers. I gained connections for any drug I could have wanted, although, I had no desire to use any of them.

After two weeks of a 300mg dose regimen, I stepped on the scales. I now weighed in at 185lb. I had lost another 15lb in two weeks. My manager at work mentioned how thin I had become and asked me if I was using cocaine. This really took me back because I fueled that deli with the cocaine that made its workers competent. She made me particularly uneasy with the questioning. I had in fact, not been using cocaine, but when I lifted up my shirt, I could count my ribs. I looked pretty sick. I had dark circles under my eyes, and my cheek bones protruded from my face. I took a physical exam at the university. My resting heart beat was 93bpm and my blood pressure was 133 over 85. They told me this was not healthy for a 19 year old. I believed them.

The next 5 days were a complete blur to me. I do not really remember much other than becoming completely delusional, going from no money after having paid bills and in a single night, I raised $500, used that money to buy a quarter ounce of methamphetamine, bagged it up into quarter grams, still not using any of it, attended a party, turned that $500 investment into $800 and left the party with 2.5g of meth, used that money to buy a quarter ounce of cocaine, went on a shopping spree, and still had $200 in my pocket. I was riding with Sarah and CK and they told me we were going to go to CK's mother's house to house-sit while she was out of town. I remember the drive there because Sarah and CK were terrified at my erratic behavior. CK kept asking me if I had been blowing coke or smoking meth. I answered honestly that I had not. She eventually put 2 and 2 together and recognized that I was having a full blown manic episode. Upon arrival to her parent's house she noticed how I was very agitated and couldn't focus. The details of that night are very blurry to me as I don't remember much. Some how, even though I whole heartedly disagreed with her, she convinced me to take a sleeping pill. I took it and nothing happened. I took another, nothing. After 3 hours of delirium I became stark mad. I was completely delusional, having hallucinations, and talking in complete nonsense. 45 minutes after my third dose of trazadone, I fell out. I woke up 4 hours later and had that same energy. CK had taken the liberty of scheduling an appointment for me. After we arrived, she explained the details to my doctor. I was very quickly diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder and given a prescription for Zyprexa and Celexa.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sleep Suicide

I had been to the doctor 6 times, in 5 months for strep throat. Finally I had met the requirements of my insurance company for getting my tonsils and adenoids removed. My doctor referred me to an ear, nose, and throat specialist and gave me a prescription for a potent antibiotic. The ear, nose, and throat doctor had my entire medical history in front of him documenting my troubles with anxiety and depression, but insisted that I should stop smoking in the weeks up to my surgery. This was the same surgeon who had removed a blood clot from my face when I was nine. There was no reason for me not to trust him.

I began taking Chantix and I can only compare it to having taken Ritalin. I woke up, took the pill, stopped at TigerMart on my way into work, got a biscuit and a large cup of coffee. I noticed about an hour later I wasn't struggling to wake up as was usual for a Wednesday morning. I felt more energized, driven. I was sweating a little bit, but I wasn't hot or uncomfortable. This trend continued for a few days.

The fifth day I took Chantix, I noticed I had trouble sleeping. The two kids from next door had come over and smoked pot with me until about midnight. Elizabeth and Josh were both delightful kids. They were both only 18 and I continually picked on them for not having been born in the 80s. They were the first people I ever really associated with who weren't alive during the 80s; no memories of Thunder Cats, G.I. Joe, or the original Transformers. As midnight was nearing, I really wanted to stay awake and hang out with them, but I knew I had to be at work early, at the east location, at 7am. They left and I went to my room and collapsed on the bed, still fully dressed.

A few hours later I woke up, my mouth was very dry. This had become a regular occurrence as well. My thirst was insatiable and I had to piss every hour or so. I woke up, opened one of the plastic bottles I had recycled and filled with water, these lined one quarter of my refrigerator, drained it, and headed back in the direction of what I thought was my bed room. Apparently I was still mostly asleep, because I was very disoriented and had gotten turned around. Being so tired, I didn't care, I collapsed on the couch. What seemed like minutes later, I woke up on the couch, remembered I didn't have my alarm in the same room with me, and headed back to bed.

I wake up again, an hour later. Only now I am standing in my living room. This is very odd. I distinctly remember my bed, and now I'm standing in my living room. I'm no longer fully dressed and my clothes are on the opposite side of the room. I am in socks and boxers. I returned to bed. I woke up an hour before my alarm should have gone off, still dark outside, only now I am asleep on top of the clothes I had taken off earlier. I was sleep walking. Also, as was very out of the ordinary for me, I had ceased to dream. I thought about it and I hadn't dreamt a single night since I had started taking Chantix. Feeling completely drained, I made some hot tea, turned on the Chili Peppers album "One Hot Minute", and jumped in the shower. I was completely drained. As was my usual morning regimen I took my Effexor, my Chantix, and my antibiotics.

The entire day I felt like I hadn't slept at all. At my desk at work I had made a pyramid of "caffeine shots" that were offered free with TigerMart coffee. Everyday I had grabbed a hand full of them and jammed them into my pocket. I was making a pyramid out of them at work and some of my co-workers found it amusing that it was growing. I also gave them the caffeine shots, they were appreciative. The lack of sleep continued. I began consuming more and more of the caffeine shots to be able to get through the day. I was falling asleep at my desk, nodding off for a minute at the time and then snapping back to attention. It was like I was back on heroin, on the nod, only my body ached, my head was throbbing, and I was emotionally empty. I felt depressed, I had no interest in anything, even food had lost its taste. I didn't feel alive any more. The strange sleep walking had continued. I was waking up in various rooms in the house. There were nights where I wouldn't sleep at all or would only sleep for an hour or two. My patience and attention span were gone. Then the nightmares began.

I was having that nightmare where I would run and run from something. It was as if I was in a scene from 28 weeks later, but everything was black and white. There were no sounds or interactions with people that I remember, I was just running. I would wake up in a panic, gasp for breath, and would be unable to return to sleep. This trend continued for a week until one night I lost it. After missing so much sleep, my body finally gave in one afternoon. I had returned home from work, let my dog out, played with him for 15 minutes, and shut him in my bedroom with me because I knew I had to sleep. Zeus was thrilled to be able to sleep with me, as I usually made him sleep in his kennel. We curled up together, I closed my eyes, and don't even remember going to sleep.

I didn't feel Zeus get up and move, I just didn't feel him. I opened my eyes, something was wrong. I had that ominous sense of dread, anxiety. Zeus was gone. Something was wrong, something was going to go wrong. I began to search for him in the house. All the doors inside were open; pantry, bathroom, both bedrooms, cabinet doors, and the door to the laundry room. Zeus was nowhere to be found. I tried to open the front door but it was stuck. It didn't even budge. I looked out the windows and the world outside was monochrome. It was raining, but the rain was this black oil that fell slower than the rain. It was almost as if it wasn't falling, but rather creeping down from the sky. Long tentacles of black oil stretched down from the sky so thin until they would snap and turn into droplets.

This rain began to gather and collect on the windows and cover them up. I don't know why but I felt paniced. I had to get out of the house. I tried to open the windows. First the large one in the living room near my fig tree. It didn't matter which way the latch was flipped, it wouldn't open. I got a spreading knife from the kitchen and tried to pry around the edges of the window thinking maybe they had been painted shut. They had not and my efforts were fruitless. I tried one window after another. None of them would open. I went to the bathroom because when I showered, I usually opened the translucent window above the tub. I knew it would work. I couldn't open it and now the oil was coming in from around the window and under the doors.

The dark water began to fill up my apartment. I tried to break windows. I picked up a vase, an incense holder, my statue of some Catholic saint, the tiny statue of Ganesh I threw them one after the other into the same window and nothing. They hit and bounced back, not even making a mark. I was now chest deep in this dark water and climbed up on the kitchen sink. I jumped up off of the counter and caught the edge of the loft above my washer and dryer. I pulled myself up. I looked down and watched as the dark water continued to rise. I decided there was nothing else I could do, so I let myself rest on top of the loft. I could feel this cold water cover me. I fought and hit the ceiling, finally giving in and breathing.

I woke up, covered in sweat, with Zeus giving me his, "stupid human..." face. It was now midnight, I had slept for seven hours. Zeus and I stayed up all night and he sat in my lap while I played Zelda. I vowed never to take Chantix ever again. I began smoking again, but was smoking a pack a day, up from a pack every three. I didn't care because once again I could dream.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mario Should Have Stuck to Mushrooms

I've never been one to push drugs on other people, but at one point I had acquired a copious amount of 2C-I. Through semi-regular use it was something I had grown accustomed to using. I knew the body load, the effects of the visuals, how well I could function, etc. Hell, I would take it and go to work. Unlike other psychedelics it gave me the focus of a high dose of amphetamines and as long as I ignored the geometric patterns overlapping the faces of my co-workers and superiors, my job performance was well above par. I remember one night while working on the second floor, the windows were really throwing me off. They were that tinted, tempered kind of mirror glass, but not only were they like that on the outside of the building, they were also like that on the interior. So here I was, performing my job, while being able to see images myself and my co-workers in every direction. It was like a bad scene from "Enter the Dragon". Needless to say I survived the night and was able to fly under the radar. I made it home safely on my motorcycle in the morning; always a joy to ride while on psychedelics.

After taking up to 90mg orally in a single day, 30mg doses repeated every 6 hours, I decided to take it to the next level. A few years prior Josh Robbins had overdosed on a similar compound 2C-T-7. He had insufflated a rather large dose. You see, unlike 2C-I, Josh snorted a drug which, in and of itself, has MAOI properties. Autopsy reports indicated levels of ephedrine and MDMA in combination with the 2C-T-7 as a result of his death. Well, after doing research and learning that 2C-I had no MAOI like properties, I decided I would insufflate my usual 30mg dose. For me this was not a problem. It burned. I have snorted methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, and probably my own weight in cocaine, but nothing has ever burned like this. Instantly I wanted to vomit, but I fought the urge, drank some Tang (the best drink on the planet), and I felt much better. The onset was extremely sharp, and as with other phenethylamines, the dose response curve is much steeper when you insufflate the drug as opposed to ingesting it. The feeling was so unnerving that I wanted to peel out of my skin. This is a common occurrence for me when I take large doses of psychedelics and I usually have to shower to feel better. I took a long shower, pulled myself together, and felt like a new man. I enjoyed the rest of day laughing at various things, walking around midtown, and working on my motorcycle.

The next weekend I told a co-worker, Mario, of my experience with 2C-I and being quite the psychonaut himself, wanted to try it. He asked me how he should do it.

"J, you said 30mg is a heavy dose, should I snort it or just swallow it?"

I hadn't really thought out my response very well, and after having just snorted 30mg myself, I guess the sadistic part of my personality wanted to share with him the pain I felt coursing through my sinus cavities.

"No man, don't swallow it. The bio-availability is much higher if you snort it. It burns for a few minutes and tastes like cat piss smells, but that's the worst of it."

This was not the best advice I could have given him. This was probably the closest thing to bad advice. Looking back on it, I couldn't believe I told someone to insufflate 30mg of 2C-I for their first experience. My room mate, Floyd, didn't believe in putting anything up his nose; he swallowed his cap. We were enjoying some old Merry Melody cartoons when I noticed Mario was completely silent. He was glaring at me. I had never seen this look on his face before. He was sweating profusely, fidgeting, and obviously very agitated.

"I think I'm going to throw up now." That was all he said.

"Don't fight it man, you'll feel better after you purge. Think of it like mescaline. You can go outside or feel free to use the bathroom. Try throwing some cold water on your face. You're body temperature is probably just elevating rapidly from all the excess serotonin."

Throwing up is something that has never really bothered me. I go with what my body tells me. If I feel nauseated, I throw up, it's mildly unpleasant while it happens, and then I feel better. This is not the case for everyone. I'm not saying I enjoy vomiting. It certainly isn't one of my favorite pastimes, but I generally feel better after a good purge. Mario is one such person who certainly did not like to vomit. He went to the bathroom and my roomie and I forgot how long he had been in there. We could hear water running, the toilet flush a few times, and then nothing. Floyd says, "Maybe you should check on Mario, he's been in there forever."

I went and knocked on the bathroom door. "Yo, Mario, you okay man?"

"FUCK YOU! Why did you tell me to do that? Why did you tell me to snort it? God damn you!"

I felt a little bad, but I couldn't help but giggle. I was tripping balls. You'd giggle too...
"Yea man, but I mean, are you okay? Can I get you something? A cold towel? Maybe you should take a shower, it usually helps me feel better when I trip really hard."
I was trying my best to be there for my friend. Mario was one of my favorite co-workers and to this day one of the most intelligent and kind people I know.

"Dude, I'm really embarrassed. I shit myself. I was throwing up into the toilet and then at the same time, I shit myself."

Okay, I'll be honest. I'm a good friend, but I giggled again. I made sure he couldn't hear me this time. I had to ask.
"Seriously man? Like, you shit yourself? How bad is it?"

"It's bad," he replied. "Real bad."

Mario just kept repeating himself, "Why did you tell me it was okay to snort that much? God, why did I listen to you? I've never felt so bad in my life. I can't get that taste out of my nose and now I'm covered in shit! Why did you tell me to do that? WHY DID YOU TELL ME TO DO THAT?"

"It's okay man, I'll go get you a change of clothes. I've got some clean boxers, shorts, and a t-shirt you can wear. They'll be a little big on you, but they should be really comfortable clothes for tripping."

I was doing my best here to make him feel more at ease and make myself feel less guilty. Just to put things into perspective, I'm 6'4", weigh 240lb, and at this time had a 38" waist. Mario is about 6', weighs all of 160lb dripping wet, and probably has a 32" waist. There is no way my clothes would fit, but I knew between the three of us, we could safety pin him or something. I gathered up a pair of shorts with an elastic waist, an anti-Bush T-shirt, I figured he needed something positive, and a pair of boxers and passed them through the door to him. He suggested I get some plastic grocery sacks and I took his advice. He passed me back the bath mat and his excrement covered clothing inside the Kroger bags.

There's nothing quite like having to help your friend change out of his clothes, do a load of laundry, and clean a bath mat covered in shit and vomit while on a head full of hallucinogens. It was a very humbling experience and not an easy one to explain to the neighbors. At this point however, they had learned to stop questioning my odd behavior and the sounds that came from my apartment. They probably thought there was some kind of S&M scat play that had gotten out of control and I was washing off the evidence with the hose outside.

Mario got out of the shower, into clean clothes, and enjoyed the rest of the evening. I don't think he'll ever trust my dose suggestions concerning any drug ever again. We are friends to this day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lawyers, Guns, and Cocaine

Warren Zevon was right. Lawyers, guns, and money can get you out of nearly any predicament. If you find that they can't, you're fucked. I have always said that there are three groups of people to whom you never lie under any circumstances: your parents, your doctors, and your lawyers. If you find yourself lying to a member of a person in any of those groups, you're fucked, but you can only blow coke with a member of one of those groups, unless Tony Curtis is your father. This is the night I met my lawyer.

I had just completed a stressful day of doing my supervisor's job of pulling and analyzing mind-numbing statistics for a call center. The only fun part of this was that I, through the use of a little charm and politics, swayed her as to who was "unpromotable". I still find it funny that an rapid-cycling-circus-act of an amphetamine junkie like myself was able to continually have the highest statistics and win the highest award the company gave out. Oh hospitality industry, I fucked you like a Bangkok whore. Anyway, I called up Jack and told him I was in dire need of some pain killers, a few xanax bars, a fifth of gin, 2 liters of tonic water, a few limes, 10 hits of ecstasy and Martina, who I would fuck senselessly. All of these things would help alleviate the negative effects of amphetamine and remove the lack of REM hallucinations which were beginning to set in. Being the sot that I was at the time, I had about half a fifth of gin and a little Sprite on hand so they would do until his untimely arrival. Martina staggered her way through the door with some vodka and Poma, something I detest to this day. "Close enough," I thought. These will have to do until Jack arrives. I proceeded to try to erase all memory of the day I had at work at the toll the amphetamines had had on my patience after being awake for 96 continuous hours.

Jack shows up at my house with Black. For those of you who aren't in the know and are too scared to venture outside of suburbia, "Black" is like "John" of the hood. I never knew Black's real name, I didn't want to know. Jack knew him and that was close enough for me. The two walk into my apartment with a duffel bag. Jack had not followed instructions and inside were not the contents for which I had asked. Jack needed to store a few things in my house. Being the good friends that we were I told him that this wouldn't be a problem, but of course I would get to sample whatever this stash might be. They proceeded to remove the contents one at a time. First they removed an ounce of cocaine which looked like a bar of soap, then two shoe boxes full of marijuana, each one weighing a pound, and finally two pints of hydrocodone syrup. Black always refused to call them pints, no matter how many times he heard me say the word. He always insisted on calling them "paints" and no matter the color of the syrup, it was always referred to as "that purple". Given that "that purple" cost $30 a fucking ounce, and the bottles were sealed, I wasn't about to pay that kind of money. Instead Black thanked me for the use of my house to do his deal, handed me a baggy with 6 hits of ecstasy, and left. Jack informed me that in no way could I use the syrup because he had gotten that on credit and he would have to charge me for it, I understood. Off of his ounce of cocaine he shaved off about 2 grams and told me I was welcome to have it. I hate cocaine. It is merely the molecular structure for a pattern of psychological addiction which does not lead to intelligent or creative thought. It is a foul substance, but given that I didn't have anything else to do with my time, I figured, why not?

After doing a few rails I remembered how much I detested this foul powder and called up my room mate's friend and a good lawyer, Big Rod. Big Rod is one hell of a guy and had half a script of Percodan left over from having his wisdom teeth removed. I told him that if he brought me the Percodan he could shove his face in all the blow he wanted. What Jack thought to be about two grams, when broken down, was enough to cover a dinner plate. I knew this would be a long night. Big Rod shows up and gives me about 50mg of oxycodone. I knew that the ten tablets were 5mg each, they had the 512 imprint code on them, I knew that well. I chewed them up, rinsed some gin around in my mouth, and swallowed the foul concoction. Being that there were now three of us, Martina, Big Rod, and I each snorted two hits of "ecstasy". I knew that these would not be MDMA, but rather some combination of MDMA, MDA, and meth, because Black had assured me he knew they were good because he couldn't sleep after taking them. (On a side note, a high enough dose of pure MDMA can induce sleep, and will not keep you awake; MDA, amphetamine, and meth all will.)

Big Rod began to tell us the stories of law school and he would not shut up. Martina and I were fucked up and enjoyed his stories and spent most of our time making our own coloring books. They were as fucked up as what you might see on but maybe a little more innocent and definitely more creative. The combination of the "ecstasy" and pain killers was nice, but all the alcohol had made me a little sloppy. I decided to do more cocaine. For those of you who aren't aware, alcohol increases the levels of cocaine metabolite in your blood stream by 30% and taking opiates with cocaine has killed many a rock star and is usually referred to as "speed-balling". Apparently the amount of cocaine I had done was a bit much and I was becoming a little paranoid. I knew the cops were going to kick in the door at any moment arrest me for having Jack's stash and I would be there totally defenceless. I couldn't have that, no sir. I went into my room, dropped my high capacity clip into my .45 auto, tucked it into my waist band, loaded my twelve gauge and stuck it behind the door to my bed room. I did this without Martina noticing, Big Rod was a little more, how we say "aware".

Big Rod insisted he and I go out on the porch for a smoke.
"Bro, why all the heavy weaponry? What's going on? Are you okay man? I think the shit's starting to get to you."
"No, no. They're out there. They're on the other aide of that fence and they're waiting for just the right moment to kick the door in and arrest us all, but I'm not going down without a fight. I've got 13 rounds in this clip and I'm a dead good shot."
Big Rod pulled out 4mg of Xanax.
"I was saving these for later, but I'll trade them to you for the rest of your cocaine, there's only about a quarter of a gram left. Also, if the cops do break the door in, I'm a lawyer, you'll be fine."

After the Xanax removed the effects of the cocaine I certainly felt fine. Big Rod finished the cocaine, talked for a few more hours, and passed out on the couch. I proceeded to fuck Martina several times, I still don't know how her boyfriend didn't hear us.