Tag Archives: addiction

The Long Way Home

27 Jul

*note from author: I debated long and hard if I should post this or not. If you choose to read on, you´ll see it is pretty graphic. X rated, even. A part from a few details in setting, the story is fiction despite the opening line. I really want to make that clear. The exercise was to write a fist person, raunchy story. With that said, reader discretion is advised.

party

The following story is factually true. Take into consideration it is being told through the distorted lens of a drunken teenage boy. Seventeen years already has history distorting powers. Let´s take into consideration the alcoholic soup the story swims in. Reader discretion advised. Enjoy.

It started off as a typical Friday night. Warm ups included whatever was the cheapest thirty pack of beer the store had to offer and taking turns on the gravity bong. The gravity bong for the uninitiated is simply the most ridiculous homemade device for smoking marijuana. Google it. Ours was a one gallon milk jug in a bucket of water. The same bucket we used to clean the house. Who am I kidding, the house never got cleaned.

We were good and wrecked when somebody suggested we go to frat row in down town New Brunswick, New Jersey to “get fucked up”. We were all attending an educational establishment too embarrassing to mention here, so we piggy backed the party scene at Rutgers University. We decided I was not sober enough to drive so someone else, who was probably equally inebriated but could hide it better, did.

At this stage of my life, Friday and Saturday nights had two purposes. Get wasted on whatever I could get my hands and cumming. The former happened regularly, the latter, at least at the hands of others, not so much. We got to the party and I set my internal radar on drugs, alcohol and any girl with self esteem low enough to touch me. On this fortunate night, I scored on all three fronts.

As I said, full recollection of this story is impossible but some things are still clear. The girl I struck up a conversation with was blond, so skinny she could elicit pity and had awful teeth. I remember the teeth because this is a pet peeve of mine, but I was talking and she was listening so I looked away. I remember playing a few rounds of beer pong when she suggested we find somewhere a little more private to enjoy each other´s company.

The Rutgers frat houses are strange structures. They are the old mansions of Johnson and Johnson executives from a century gone by. They are full of little hidden hallways, staircases and rooms that are hard to imagine what purpose they once served. We found an unoccupied room that only fit a bunk bed. You had to contort you body just to get into the thing. Bingo! We found our love nest.

We started making out and I managed to get her clothes off. She was too drunk to get mine off so I was obliged to help. I don´t remember much from this passionate encounter but I remember a few things. First, we did not have sex. As you will see, it would have better if we had because I would have been able to break her evil spell, get away from her and the rest of the night would not have gone down the way it did. We were then interrupted by a chubby fellow and told to leave the ex slave´s quarters immediately.

I pretended to like her for a few more hours with the hopes that she would make that sneezey feeling in my crotch that seemed to be the focus of my life. The party was winding down and I noticed my ride had left. She offered her place to crash. What a coincidence. I wish I could give more details of what happened next but I really don´t remember.

I do doubt we had intercourse because no black out is stronger than an orgasm. No matter how drunk or high I was, I remember them all and file them to be later used in search of manual relief. When I refer to this night in my mind, a message comes up “file empty”. But the story does not end here.

I woke up in a strange place. I was cold. In fact I was shivering. I pulled the covers over my shoulders. Colder yet. What gives. I looked around. I was clearly in a girl´s room but there was no girl. I put my hand down on the mattress. I realized what had happened. Exactly what I feared most as a twelve year old when I slept over at friend´s houses had happened. I made water in her bed, Miss Daisy. It was a gusher too. Everything was wet. My mind raced despite the pounding headache. I thought about gathering my things and jumping out the window. We were on the third story.

I did what any honorable man in my position would do. I pulled my jeans over my pissed in underwear, put the rest of my clothes on and went down stairs. She didn´t even look up from the television. This I remember as if it were yesterday. I told it was fun and it was nice to have met her. I even remembered my manners and told her she had a lovely home despite the fact it looked like a future hoarders episode. It was a few years away from that but that´s ok because the show hadn´t been invented yet. Like the gentlemen I was, I offered my phone number. She told me to write it on the dry erase board on the fridge. It had the grocery list and I felt bad about erasing it so I left it alone.

This was an age before cell phones. I had no cash for a cab and not even the bus. I was a good five miles from where I lived. Talk about walk of shame? This was the Bataan Death March of shame. I put my head down low and took that walk. I threw up a few times along the way but I made it. I was greeted with a round of high fives. I regaled them with my tale and I was awarded the “green hit” from the gravity bong for my troubles.

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Work Makes Free

5 Jul

Work Makes Free

Rudy needed to be shaken out of his destructive patterns. His partying, which started out as fun on the weekends, had started to seep into the work week. His mind started to see Wednesday, the middle of the week, as a bridge to the next weekend. Then Tuesday became a bridge to Wednesday, Thursday a bridge to Friday night, until Rudy realized he was not partying anymore but strait up abusing drugs.

Rudy was honest with himself. He knew what he was doing was wrong but he could not stop himself. He would wake up saying to himself that this was going to be a clean day. Cut to moments after work, he found himself in the gas station in check out with two tall boys in hand asking for a pack of cigarettes. On his way home, the two beers would give him the courage to say no to saying no and he found himself at his pickup spot and yet another night was forgotten and another morning was difficult to face.

Rudy decided to call his uncle, who lived on a farm an hour outside of the city, and asked him if he could crash there for a while. His uncle understood why without Rudy even having to say so. Rudy´s uncle was a wise man so he made Rudy tell him regardless. He wanted Rudy to admit it to another human, out loud, knowing this would help Rudy manifest the necessary changes.

Rudy was fortunate to not have physical withdrawal. He was using for such little time that his body never adapted to the point it needed it. In fact, Rudy didn´t even miss getting high. Being on this other path made Rudy´s brain forget the need for escape. The only hard part for Rudy was waking up so early. Breakfast was at five in the morning and they were at work by five thirty.

After a week, even the early wakeup call became easy. Rudy´s uncle was getting used to the help. It was a big farm and good help was hard to find. When he did find it, it did not last long as the workers were generally migrant and did not stay put in one place for too long. Rudy felt great. He believed his system pretty much reset to zero. Rudy felt he could go back and face the world.

His uncle asked him to stay for at least another week. He explained to really make these changes concrete, Rudy would need a little more time. Rudy felt confident. He wasn´t even thinking about getting high. With a lot of reprehension in his heart and an open invitation to return, Rudy´s uncle said his farewells. There were even a few tears shed by both men during the farewell.

As Rudy pulled into his apartment complex parking spot he felt and acute, heavy darkness. He looked around at all the fairly new, financed to the gills, fancy cars, the dilapidated low rent buildings and felt a little confused and a little disgusted. This is life, he asked himself? Live in a particle board box, go to an unfulfilling job just to drive a car that is barely affordable on a month to month basis. Rudy didn´t have the tools to stop such negative thinking. He climbed the rickety stairs to his one bedroom apartment.

He opened the door and a waft of familiar smells greeted him. Stale cigarettes, a glade air freshener and musk attacked his senses. He hadn´t had the foresight to clean his apartment before his farm retreat. In the ashtray were two half smoked cigarettes. One was a standard tobacco cigarette and the other a hand rolled marijuana cigarette. His first impulse was to throw them away. But something told him not to. That something told him that he paid money for those things and one does not throw money away. If he wasn´t going to consume them, at least a friend could, he thought. Of course he was kidding himself because he had no friends.

He put the ash tray under the sink and turned the TV on. At the farm, he would have already been sleeping by now. After flipping through the channels he realized how bad TV was. He hadn´t noticed before because he was high. Even commercials seemed to reveal  deep secrets of the universe while high. He told himself he should go to bed but again, something convinced him he was not even tired. That something told him to light the marijuana cigarette. It would at least make this unbearable television more palatable.

He gave in and smoked the joint down until it burned his fingers. Then he lit the cigarette and waited for that familiar feeling. As the cigarette burned down to the filter he realized he felt no different. There was no altered feeling, no euphoria, no giddiness. Nothing. The feeling of nothing actually made him feel worse. Why did he break his drug fast if he weren´t going to feel high? Since he had already started the engine, he was going to have to at least “go deep” as he liked to call getting high.

He got in his car and drove to the pickup spot. He got his usual little plastic baggies and barely drove away before pulling over and consuming the contents. He was desperate. He could not get the drugs into him fast enough. He used more than the normal dose and immediately nodded off. As he rolled in and out of consciousness thoughts of the farm passed through his head. As he did chores in his mind his physical body, planted in the front seat of his car, went through some of the motions.

He would come to, see where he was, cry a little and nod off again. This went on for a few hours when his dealer knocked on the window. He rather impolitely told him to take his party elsewhere. Rudy obliged. He was so out of it in his mind he was starting the tractor and not his car. He told his dealer that lunch time was over and that he´d get back to work. The dealer, perplexed, told him to go wherever he wanted, just to get out of there.

Rudy made his way towards his apartment but missed the exit. He kept driving. He came to and found himself on the highway. When he was not driving slowly on the highway, he was cleaning pig troughs or spreading fresh straw. He drove until he found himself back at his uncle´s farm. He opened the car door, stumbled a few steps, fell down on his face and passed out.

In the morning, Rudy´s uncle walked outside and on his way to the barn saw Rudy´s car. A smile came to his face. As he walked to the car his smiled vanished in an instant when he saw his nephew face down in thick mud. He ran to the boy´s body. He tried to wake him. There was no pulse. He was not breathing. He cried for help despite the fact he was the only soul for miles.

Rudy´s uncle called an ambulance. Rudy was pronounced dead on the spot. Only an autopsy would reveal if it was the drugs that killed him or if he was asphyxiated in the mud. Rudy´s uncle could not shake the chills from the irony if it were the latter. The farm offered salvation to Rudy but in the end might have been his demise.

Half Assed

18 Jan

wife

Martha dreaded Saturday mornings. It was the time when she had to clean the house. It reminded her of everything that was wrong with her life. Why couldn´t she had married a guy with the means to contract a housekeeper? Why did she have to live in such a shabby house? Why was her body giving out on her at such a relatively young age? Just bending over to sweep dirt onto the dust pan gave her pains in the back. Pains that as of late have been ever so increasing.

One Saturday morning, Martha decided that she would do a half assed cleaning job but double down the next week. The next week came and she did another half assed job. After a few months of half assed Saturday cleanings, her poor performance started to show and this raised some concerns from her husband, Merrill.

One day Merrill brought his dissatisfaction to Martha´s attention. “Honey” he started “the house is starting to look like a pig pen. What´s going on?”

Martha steamed. She took it as a personal attack. “What do you mean a pig pen? You see me cleaning every goddamn Saturday morning don´t you?” she shot back.

“Honey, calm down. I´m just saying, the line around the bath tub has been getting darker and darker and the toilet has that awful ring around it” he said, carefully monitoring her reaction. She didn´t look too stable.

“You know where the supplies are” she snarled. “Clean it your damn self”

“Listen, I don´t want to fight here, love. It´s just that you decided that you didn´t want to work and part of the deal was, I pay the bills and you keep the house up” Merrill said, regretting terribly that he had breached the subject.

“Well, mister money bags. Bringing home the bacon. Keeping us is luxury in this piece of shit house!” she screamed, spit flying from the corners of her mouth. “Peggy has a house cleaner come twice a week!”

Merrill felt rather hurt but he held his composure. “Yes, well Peggy´s husband earns a considerable bit more than I and furthermore, Peggy brings home a little extra with her crafts on E-bay”

This flew Martha into an even bigger rage, “So why don´t you marry Peggy if she´s such a better wife? I´ve seen the way you two look at each other. Probably got something going on for years! Don´t you?”

“Of course not!” Merrill answered though not being completely honest. “Let´s just drop this. I am sorry I brought it up. Hey, how about if I help you today”

“I´m not cleaning shit today! You do it all by yourself” Martha was sobbing uncontrollably. She had a strange distant look in her eyes and they were a little glassy. As she made her way to the front door she even stumbled a little. She slammed the front door, then the car door, then she was off. To where, Merrill had no idea but he decided to clean the house anyway just to smooth things over.

As he was vacuuming the hall carpet, the vacuum cleaner bumped into the air vent grate and it simply popped off. “That´s odd” Merrill thought. It should be held on by two screws. He looked and looked for the screws but they were nowhere to be found. He was crawling around on his hands and knees when he noticed a cigar boxed purposely put in the air vent that was now without its grate. He pulled it out.

When he opened it up a wave of horror and surprised washed over him. There was an array of prescription bottles all with warnings to not operate machinery and addiction cautions. Some were empty, some were half full. There were colorful pills in little baggies with no description. Merrill dropped the box on the floor as if it were too hot to hold.

Merrill was not a man of conflict. He avoided it at all costs. He slowly picked the box and its contents up and put it back into the air vent and carefully placed the grate back over the hole.

As he Googled “divorce attorneys” he thought to himself, “Well that explains a lot”

Liquid Werewolf

12 Mar

werewolf

 

For Rick, reality seemed as slippery as a bar of soap in a prison shower. It didn´t help that Rick was altering his consciousness on a daily basis. He would celebrate good occurrences by “going deep”, as he put it. He would escape the bad movements by “tuning out”, as he put it. But this had to change when he met Pamela. He was in love with her and Pamela did not approve of such behavior. He loved the feeling she gave him more than that of the substances, at least for now. Of course that feeling will fade and the sudden urgent hit of the substances will call him back. Not to mention the high will be increased by his abstinence making it harder to say no. But for now he is towing the line.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon while lying in bed after a hardy fast food lunch that made them sleepy, Pamela hit Rick with some shocking news.

“Rick, what do you think about kids?” she asked.

“They are great. Far from me” he answered. His words felt like a well placed punch in Pamela´s stomach.  “Why?” he asked.

“No reason” she said, trying to hide her real emotions.

Over the course of the next few months, Pamela did everything she could to hide her ever growing belly from Rick. Besides what he said on that rainy afternoon when she tried to tell him the news, deep down she knew he´d be a lousy father. He was 35 years old and living in a room in an old woman´s house. Their deal was, he´d keep the grass cut and the rent would be cheap.  The grass was knee high.

Pamela´s belly got to the point that no garment would hide it. She was nervous. She had a strange attachment to Rick even though she knew she could do much better. In her heart she knew she had to do better for herself and her unborn child. She wanted to have a dialog with Rick and she thought that maybe a few beers would loosen him up so she picked up a 12 pack on her way to Rick´s house.

When she arrived she offered him a beer. A wave of fear washed through Rick´s stomach. It was as if a self aware werewolf saw the first sliver of a full moon.

“Oh, I shouldn´t dear, I just took a Tylenol and that´s not good for the liver” he said, proud of his own quick thinking.

“Just one, hun. I´ll have one with you” she insisted.

“Just one” he said.

That first beer went down his throat as if it were honey descending a silk lined golden tube. It tasted so good. The slight alteration in mood felt so familiar. The air smelled better. The future seemed to not matter yet so much brighter at the same time. If one beer made him feel this way, another would make him feel that much better.

“Pass me another on, hun, that hit the spot” he said. He was careful to form the words perfectly. He did not want his tongue to defy him. He knew that it was already becoming a little rebellious.

“Sure” she said as she past him another.

He drank it down even more greedily than the first. The bright warm feeling starting to turn a little dark with this beer. The future seemed to matter even a little less, though the brightness was gone. The switch was thrown.

“We really need to talk” Pamela said not knowing that the chemistry of Rick´s brain was changing like a hot summer afternoon with a storm rolling in.

“Sure, babe, pass another beer” he said.

“Ok, but take it easy, you don´t want to get drunk, do you?” she said jokingly.

He didn´t pick up on the playfulness in her words and said “What is it to you if I get drunk. We are together for a few months and you already want to control me?” he felt an old anger that has been with him for years. “I want a cigarette”.

“You smoke?” Pamela asked with a shocked expression on her face.

“Sometimes” he said as he reached passed her and pulled the third beer from the box.

“I didn´t know that” she said.

“Yeah? Well, there are a lot of things you don´t know about me” he said with a face that was not hiding the sourness he felt in his soul. He chugged the beer without even taking a breath. He reached for the fourth.

“What´s going on here?” Pamela asked.

“You told me to” he answered. This really confused Pamela.

“I have to go” Pamela gathered her things and went for the box of beer when a hand grabbed her wrist and pulled it away.

“You can leave that” Rick said.

“Ok” she said with tears in her eyes.

That night Rick went on a bender that ended three days later. When he finally passed out in a burned out house on a pissed stained mattress in the seedy part of town, Pamela had already crossed the country to lay her head on the silk pillow in the luxurious guest room of her sister´s home.

Giving it up

18 Feb

art_or_insanity

“That´s it, you either give it up or give me up! I´m outta here if you don´t stop it” April said.

Bruno could not hear her because of the Wifi signal that buzzed in his head and scrambled his thoughts. At least he thought it did. A long with many other things that were going through his mind that indeed were not true, at least not in this dimension. In fact, there was nothing for him to give up. He was having what his doctors called episodes of psychotic behavior and he was blaming his actions on heroin use. The truth was, Bruno doesn´t even drink coffee, let alone do drugs.

Bruno was in a semi-lucid state for the moment. He had to think of a way out of this. He loved April and didn´t want to lose her. On the other hand, due to past experience, he knew that this could go on for at least another few weeks and up to a few months. He didn´t want her to know about this side of him, yet. He had an idea.

“April, I choose you. I´ll go to rehab” he said.

Tears welled up in April´s eyes, “Oh, I love you. You´ll get through this. I´ll be there for you” she said.

Bruno had no money. During this last episode, he lost his job and spent every last dime of he had in Atlantic City. When he is in this state he is more likely to engage in high risk behaviors. April was not that bright, so it was easy to get her to believe things.

“Give me 70 bucks so I can get a bus ticket” Bruno asked in a commanding tone.

“For what?” she asked.

“For bus fare to get to rehab” he answered.

“Oh yeah, of course. Here´s $200. I made good tips last night” she said and handing him a crumpled up wad of bills with pride that swirled in her stomach. “When are you going to go?” she asked.

“I think I should go immediately before temptation makes me change my mind” he said. What he really meant was, before he loses his feeble, finger tip only, current grip on reality.

“But if you go tonight, I cannot see you off. Make it tomorrow” she whined.

“No, it´s gotta be tonight” he said.

“Ok. Where are you going?” she asked.

Bruno looked around for an idea. Eureka. A bag of gold fish crackers. “Pepperidge Farms” he said looking at April crooked to see if she bought it, he nervously added “it´s a government run thing, free even” he said, now convinced she believed him.

After a long embrace, April said to Bruno, “Get better”

“I will” he answered.

On his way to the bus terminal, where he intended to buy a ticket to Akron, Ohio and wait out this episode with an aunt, the city started to turn into a jungle. “Oh shit” he whispered to himself as he felt reality become rather slippery.

As the cab pulled up to the terminal, Bruno was already planning how he would enter without getting attacked by the jaguar he saw following them for the past three traffic lights.

He skillfully made it through the front door of the terminal and as he wheezed deeply to catch his breath he said to the cashier, “One ticket to Atlantic City, please”