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.