Tag Archives: drug addiction

A Speedy Recovery Part 5 (Final)

4 Nov

Part 1    Part 2     Part 3    Part 4

Sweeping

Months went by and although business was gangbusters, Carl had a lot of questions. First, where was Dustin? Second, how did his business go from almost going under to breaking all previous sales records if basically nothing had changed? He sold his entire stock every single day since the promotional party that Dustin threw together.

One Saturday night, as Carl was sweeping up, Dustin appeared, from what seemed like out of thin air, walking from the kitchen into the dining room.

“Hey” he said, startling Carl half to death.

Carl was at a loss for words. On one hand Dustin had, for lack of a better term, pulled a Dustin. On the other hand, things were going great and quite possibly the promotional party that Dustin had produced may have played a role.

Carl sighed “Hey. Where have you been?” he asked.

“You’re never gonna believe this” Dustin answered.

“Try me”

“Well, let me show you” Dustin said, before vanishing.

Carl demonstrated his shock with a loud “Huh?”

Dustin appeared again. “Crazy isn’t it?”

“What’s going on?”

“I’m dead Carl!”

Carl just fixated on Dustin without blinking or saying a word.

“Well, I owed someone, like, a lot of money. So I decided to sell our stash to pay it off because they were going to kill me! But, the deal went bad and I got “got””

“Oh my…” Carl said, putting his hand to his mouth, “That’s why you disappeared”

“Yeah, but check this out. Apparently, on the other side, where you go when you die, you get to call up a favor. Even a scum bag like me! So, I felt bad, for like, fucking you over, so I asked to help out the shop with my favor”

“I’ll be…” Carl just stared at Dustin, even passing his hand through him.

“I know you said ‘no fuck ups’, but I made it right, didn’t I?”

They talked through the night until Dustin had to go. Carl told of the success of the shop and Dustin told what he was allowed to of the other side. Dustin also told Carl that the shop would only continue to have success if Carl personally ran it. As soon as he stopped or tried passing the shop along, the favor would not work anymore. It was part of the “Rules”. Dustin promised to visit Carl as often as he could and that made Carl very happy.

The End.

A Speedy Recovery Part 4

28 Oct

A Speedy Recovery Part 1

A Speedy Recovery Part 2

A Speedy Recovery Part 3

bucket

Weeks past and business boomed. The store was crowded from the time it opened until the last call. No one had seemed to be the wiser about the special ingredient.

Carl was very conscience about trying the sandwich himself. After all, he had watched the movie Scar-face and rule number one was “don’t get high on your own supply”.

Dustin was good about keeping the supply of product flowing but was a little flakey about actually coming in and working as per the agreement. Carl was okay with that as long as he had his special ingredient.

Carl didn’t worry much when three days passed and Dustin hadn’t shown up. On the fourth day, delivery day, he became rather upset when neither Dustin nor product showed up. In fact he panicked.

With the prior stress of being in the financial doldrums, mixed with the new stress of his illicit activities, he was already having small panic attacks. Now that his special ingredient, the chi of his success, dried up, he was experiencing full blown anxiety.

He needed an escape. He wanted to feel better. He wanted to at least feel different from what he felt currently. He decided to eat a sandwich to see if it would make him feel good. Thousands of local customers couldn’t be wrong, could they?

He sat down at a table with a root beer and thought to himself, here goes nothing. And that was exactly what he felt after downing half of the sub. Nothing. He thought he should eat more but he could only put down another half because he was so full.

He felt no different, except that he was stuffed. He was perplexed. The bread was made this morning. He went to the vat that held the remainder of the secret ingredient. He scraped enough to make a pretty decent sized line and laid it out on the stainless steel prep table.

He cut a third of a straw off and snorted the substance. “What the fuck?!” he yelled aloud, eyes watering. He knew nothing about drugs but was an expert in baked goods. It was nothing more than manioc flour.

“I’m gonna kill Dustin!”

 

To be continued…

 

 

 

A Speedy Recovery Part 3

19 Oct

A Speedy Recovery Part 1

A Speedy Recovery Part 2

sandwich

A few weeks later on a Saturday afternoon, the place was packed.

“It worked! You really pulled it off. How did you get D.J. Cyanide, one of the biggest DJs around to agree to do this?” Carl asked Dustin.

“Well, I’m a fan of his and he’s a fan of a certain product. I just called in a favor” Dustin answered.

“I’ve never seen so many people here before. This is bigger than when 94.1 ZROK did a remote from here 15 years ago!”

“And everyone’s eating sandwiches!” Dustin added, rubbing his hands together in a sinister fashion.

The place remained at capacity until closing time. Dustin and Carl had to practically beg a few stragglers to leave so they could clean up and count the day’s money.

“We did well, Dustin. This is by far the most successful promotion the store has ever done” Carl said as he sorted debit receipts from credit receipts.

“This is nothing, bro. This just gave the public a taste. The real “W” will come when the people are trying to smash down the door to get more”

“Your mouth to God’s ears”

“Ha! God…I’m not sure He’s gonna be a big fan of this endeavor”

The next day Carl saw a crowd in front of the store as he pulled up. It was only 7:00am and the store wouldn’t open for another three and a half hours. He was there to make the day’s bread.

The crowd cheered as Carl stepped out of his car.

“Sandwich man!” a man in the crowd shouted.

“We’re hungry!” another voice shouted.

“Folks, we don’t open until 10:30!” Carl said “I still have to make the bread”

“I’ll take some dough raw!” a voice cried. It was followed with a salvo of “Me too!”

Carl had a sinking suspicion that he may have gotten himself in over his head.

 

Fear of High

9 Sep

Door scratched

 

“I’m exhausted” Adie said aloud, though to herself, as she poured vodka into a glass. She had just put her baby, Belle, to bed after much fussing. As she put the bottle down, she reached for a half smoked joint. She went right to the kitchen window and smoked what was left.

The alcohol and marijuana always offered the same one-two punch. The booze numbed her while the weed sunk her into a pit of guilt and memories, deep inside her mind. She sat down on the couch with a familiar feeling of satisfactory intoxication and echoing regret.

“Why am I here again?” she pondered. The feeling was compounded by knowing she told herself she would “take a break” today, when she woke up with a slight headache from the previous night’s exaggerated indulgence.

These thoughts vanished like a puff of smoke in the wind when she heard a desperate scratching at the front door of her apartment. At first she thought it was a cat. Then she thought, but how? None of the neighbors on her floor even had a cat.

Furthermore, how would a cat get through the front door of the building and past security? After that feat, it would have had to either used the elevator or managed to open two fire doors and climbed the stairs to the fifth floor.

She was petrified with fear. The scratching continued, slightly more frantic now. Belle started crying. Belle only woke if she was sick. Something must be dreadfully wrong. Adie rushed into the baby’s room and immediately locked the door behind her.

She soothed the agitated baby; herself shaking all over. She couldn’t focus on a single thought of the many swirling in her head but they were all colored by terror. “What kind of mother am I?” she thought. “I can’t even protect my daughter, I’m so high”

As Belle calmed down, Adie fought back sobs. She put the baby back down to bed and went to confront the threat.

“If I die tonight protecting Belle” she thought, “At least my life was useful for something. Up to this point I’ve been a worthless loser” Calling for help was completely out of the question when Adie was in this state. Her paranoia of people didn’t even let her answer her phone when she was like this. Hearing footsteps in the communal hall sent her into panic so she knew she had to conquer this on her own.

She fumbled with her purse for the mace and stun-gun she had never used. Everything fell to the floor. Between the panic and the inebriation, her motor skills were compromised.

The scratching reduced but had not ceased. As she walked to the door, she played out many scenarios in her head. None ended well for her. After what felt like a long journey, she made it to the door.

First, she undid the chain, then the bolt. When she went for the lock on the doorknob the scratching picked up in intensity. She threw open the door. A shadowy figure darted for the couch. In the melee she couldn’t make out what it was.

Her eyes focused. There sitting on the back of the couch was Hope, her very own cat. In her intoxication she had forgotten she had one. That night she promised she’d reel it in and clean herself up. It wasn’t the first time she made that vow and it wasn’t the last.

 

The Teacher

21 Dec

teacher

Melinda dedicated her adult life to the education of children. Even as a teenager she volunteered to work with kids every moment she got the chance. It was a dream come true to open the doors of her very own pre-school. It was a conquest three years in the making from the time she wrote her business plan.

Her philosophy was to learn through play. She didn´t believe in disciplining behavior at all. She didn´t even believe in verbal reprimands. A child was to express themselves, no matter what. That was her creed.

Her first prospect came through the door during her open house event. Joann entered, dragging her son Chad by the arm. Melinda gave them the well-rehearsed tour followed by her even more well-polished sales pitch. Joann wasn´t even listening. She was going to sign on the dotted line, even if the tuition was her entire substantial life savings.

Chad had been kicked out of every child care facility in the 30 mile radius. Joann couldn´t take one more day with him at home. Every appliance was now broken, windows were shattered and the cat was dead; all by the hands of Chad. She thought about trying to lock him up in some kind of troubled youth facility, but her mother in law would in turn, cut off the checks. The checks were too big to waive off. She had to attempt to throw one more Hail Mary.

Melinda smiled at Chad and he snarled back “See you next week, Chad” she said, never breaking eye contact and ignoring the animalistic sounds coming from the boy.

The first day of classes came. Chad had been the only student matriculated. Melinda saw this as an opportunity. She realized he was going to need some special attention.

“Good morning Chad! Welcome to the first day of school” Melinda said.

“Where´s the TV?” Chad snapped.

His mother was gesturing as if to say “No!” She leaned towards Melinda and whispered into her ear “Don´t let him have any screen time, it agitates him”

Melinda answered with pride “This school is a screen free zone. Even my cell phone is in my car”

Chad moaned and sprinted towards the door that was still somewhat ajar from when he and his mother had entered. He went right for Melinda´s car. There were only two cars in the parking lot and the other was his mom´s. He picked up a fairly large rock for his size and launched it at the driver´s side window. “Phone!” Chad shrieked. Luckily, the rock bounced off without leaving a scratch.

“Chad!” his mom screamed.

“It´s ok” Melinda said, “You can go. I´ll handle this”

“Are you sure?” she asked with her keys already in her hand as she was inching towards her car.

“Yes” Melinda answered.

Melinda took Chad by the hand and led him inside. Once the door was secured shut, Melinda kneeled down to Chad´s eye level. She gave him a big hug. Chad wept. She explained at length why what he did was wrong and how he was still a good kid who just needs to make better decisions. She also discussed why there were no screens in the school. Surprisingly, Chad understood.

Chad acted out, to a lesser extent, three more times that day. Each time, Melinda used the same tactic. Chad started warming to her, a lot. When Joanna came to pick Chad up, he didn´t want to go. He screamed, he scratched the walls. He even peed in his pants.

“I don´t know what you did or how you survived today, but…” Joanna said, perplexed “but you did something right”

As the school year went on Chad´s behavior, in class, was impeccable. Like a yellow Labrador, he wouldn´t leave Melinda´s side. At home, on the other hand, he was spiraling out of control. He went as far as to try to burn the deck to the ground. He was even fairly successful. The school was flourishing. Melinda had to double staff and even had to put potential students on a waiting list.

One day, a fancy dressed lawyer showed up to the show. He sat in Melinda´s office and produced a photo of a child. “Do you know this student?”

“Yes, of course, that´s my Chad!” she answered.

The lawyer made an inquisitive face at her response. “Indeed. Your Chad. This is the meaning of my visit Miss…”

“Doce, Melinda Doce”

“Yes, Miss Doce. I represent Chad´s grandparents. His mother has past…”

“What?!”

“His mother has passed away. She overdosed on a mix of pills and alcohol. His father does not want to continue with custody. His grandparents feel they are too old to properly care for him and besides, they could not control him to save their lives. He speaks of you fondly. Quite often. They´ve noticed a lot of positive change in him since he has been studying here”

“Oh my God. What´s going to happen to him?” tears were flowing down Melinda´s face.

“That depends on you Miss Doce. His grandparents have a proposal”

“What kind of proposal?”

“You get full custody of Chad. They want to see him quarterly and perhaps a little more in the quarters that have a major holiday. You´ll receive $15,000 per month for the rest of your life from a trust they will set up. Besides this, all of Chad´s expenses will be taken care of, clothing, medical care, athletics, eventually college…”

“I´d take him for FREE!” Melinda cried.

“His grandparents said that if you were to imply such a sentiment that the monthly stipend shall increase to $20,000 per month”

The lawyer went over more details and Melinda signed some paperwork. Chad became not only her student, but became her son. Her school grew and eventually opened franchises all over the region. After completing university, Chad shared the reins of Melinda´s educational empire. They were a happy family.

 

 

 

Can´t Do It Anymore

18 Oct

Rig

“I can´t do this anymore” Pietro sniveled.

“Well, I can” Gustavo said with his eyes sharply fixed on Pietro´s rig.

“I don´t even get high anymore” Pietro said while searching for a vein to inject his first dose of heroin, of the day.

“I do” Gustavo said, but upon further reflection, he realized that was just not true. After a pause he added “What else the fuck we gonna do anyway?”

“You got me there” Pietro all but whispered. He had finally found a vein and was afraid that any extra movement would result in him losing it.

Pietro carefully pierced the skin and maneuvered the needle into the tiny vein. With a heavy thumb he pushed down on the plunger. He awaited the warm comfort to spread from the site, but it didn´t. He internally panicked. He thought he must have bought garbage with his last ten bucks. Those ten dollars could have been a million in terms of level of difficulty for him to attain. He was already imaging fighting off the dope-sickness.

These thoughts were slightly alleviated when he felt something, a sensation. Relief. This thin relief turned to curiosity which turned to fear as the sensation was anything but familiar.  

The injection site was icy cold, yet a burning tingle washed over him. Gustavo looked on in horror as Pietro´s eyes rolled into the back of his head. Pietro started to convulse. His eyes ceased to perceive the outside world. He only saw thick blackness with flashes of red. The pain in his body was overwhelming at first, but started to subside.

As the pain ebbed, the blackness followed suit. It was slowly replaced with light and at the same time, numbness started to cover him as if it were a weak tide coming to shore.

Gustavo shook his lifeless friend to no avail. For a moment, he almost felt sadness. It was fleeting. It´s departure was accelerated by the notion that the rest of the bag was all his.

Gustavo looked at Pietro´s earthly remains and said “I guess you really couldn´t do this anymore”

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.