Tag Archives: drugs

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.

Tickling the Ivories

8 Dec

piano

Fran always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Like most people, he convinced himself that people who knew how to play an instrument were “musical”, or possessed some innate talent that he did not posses. Also, like most, he did not know that people who played an instrument, though sometimes possessing some innate musical abilities, simply practiced and practiced and practiced until they became proficient at their craft.

Fran always looked for the easy way in everything he did. He took pills to lose weight, lost thousands of dollars in get rich quick courses and only hooked up with women that came to him. These are just some examples of his mediocre way of doing things. Because there was no apparent easy way to learn the piano he just put off trying and admired those who could from afar.

One day Fran saw an advertisement in the back of his favorite gossip magazine that read: “Learn the secret of musical masters! No need for useless practice. Play your favorite songs in days! No prior skill required.” And there was a P.O. Box to request more information. He found it odd there was no e-mail address or phone number. He was also a little irritated by this as well. Physically sending a letter would be a lot more effort than he was use to expending for any cause. But this was special. This letter could make his dream come true.

A few months past and Fran had forgot that he had sent that life changing letter. He was reminded one day when he came home to a manila envelope addressed to him from the All Star Music Academy. He got very excited. He ripped it open and inside there was a business card with an address, a time and date that was a few days from today and a key, nothing more. The address was in a pretty bad part of town.

Although Fran did have a few reservations he decided that it would be worth any risk to realize his lifelong dream of playing the piano. It did not even cross his mind that such a risk could have been averted and his dream would have been realized by now by simply practicing a paltry twenty minutes a day over the past couple decades.

Fran arrived at the address. The house was not as bad as the ones to the side of it. He approached the door and there was a small hand written sign that read “Enter and take a seat at the piano in the living room”. Fran´s palms started to sweat out of nerves but “here goes nothing” he thought.

On the piano was another hand written note “Take the blue pill in the ashtray and stroke the C key 100 times” Panic struck Fran. Which one was the C key? He looked down. On a tiny bright pink post-it note taped to a key read “C”. Relief passed over him. He gathered enough saliva in his mouth to help the pill go down, inserted it into his mouth and swallowed.

He took a seat at the bench, extended his index finger and pressed down on the yellowed key marked “C”. “Pling” the piano sang. He repeated the process as the note instructed. When he got to 50 he started to feel giddy. The sound of the C note became hilarious. He looked to his finger. It looked to be 100 miles away. He took it off the key for a moment and put it close to his eye but instead of appearing closer, it appeared even further. His gaze turned to the piano, all of a sudden the keys were larger than cars! “What was happening?” he thought. Thoughts started to appear in his head that were clearly not his own but they were in his internal voice.

piano 3

This insanity went on for hours until he fell fast asleep. A few hours later he woke up feeling fine and with a renewed sense of confidence. For some reason he felt great to be alive. He had an energy that he had never felt before. There was another note on the piano. “Go forth and practice” it read.

piano 2

The next day, Fran bought a piano and a book of scales. He practiced the scales incessantly. Every waking moment that he could. When he was not tickling the ivories he did not feel full. In about one year he had mastered all the scales in the book. He played them so beautifully that they almost sounded like songs. He picked up a few more books, one about how to read music and some books of classical sheet music. In another year he was playing Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, and his favorite, the Brazilian composer Vila Lobos.

As he got better at the piano, he got better at all things he did. He became more organized. He stopped reading gossip magazines and instead opted for books. He exercised. He starting eating well. He was in great shape and feeling great.

On a lark he went to a local studio and recorded a few of his favorite songs. He would proudly give copies to his friends and family. One day he got a call. It was an advertising company. They offered him a job as a composer for commercials and to occasionally play in the office during big events. It was triple what he was currently earning in a job he loathed. He accepted the job and accepted his new way of life and succeeded at both.

Pot Apocalypse Part 2

24 Nov

streets

Please read Part 1 before indulging in this episode: Pot Apocalypse Part 1

Slim left the house hungry. He figured that when he got back, his mother would be there and then she would be able to serve him. As he made his way to the store to buy a lighter, he noticed that there were very few people on the streets. Businesses were closed. There were not very few people on the street. There were no people on the street.

As he walked up to the store and pulled on the door, he noticed it was locked. “What the…..” he thought to himself. He pulled out his cell phone. There was no signal. He tried to call his friend, Dean but there was no service. He started to get a little worried but he remembered he was high and that was enough to calm him down. “Must be the weed buggin me out” he thought. He decided to walk to Dean´s house. There was another store on the way and it was only a fifteen minute walk.

As he made his way to Dean´s he noticed the other store, a 24 hour convenient store, was closed as well. He decided to pick up his pace a little. Now he was coming down a little but still feeling a little paranoid. Now he was starting to worry.

He finally got to Dean´s house and banged on the door. The door opened just enough, with the chain still attached, for Dean to yell out “Who is it?”

“It´s Slim, let me in”

“Ok” Dean said. He closed the door so he could undo the chain. The door swung open and Dean grabbed slim by the arm and pulled him in.

“What the fuck is going on man?” Dean asked Slim.

“What are you talking about?” Slim asked, his paranoia increasing tenfold.

“Nobody´s around, man! They all disappeared. Haven´t you noticed?” Dean asked before putting his mouth to a medium sized bong and ripping a hit.

“Yeah, I noticed that something is weird. All the stores are closed” Slim said as he reached for the bong. “Let me hit it, yo”  of course Dean obliged.

“Does you cell phone work?” Dean asked.

“No” Slim answered as a billow of smoke left his mouth.

“Let´s go to Be´s house to see if he´s ok. You´re the first person I saw all day. I´m kind of freaked here, man” Dean said.

The two burned the rest of the contents in the comically large bowl and started off for their friend Be´s house.  Not before sitting around for some time though.

Pot Apocalypse Part 1

7 Sep

Pot

It was 11:00am. Slim’s cell phone barely wretched him out of his cannabis induced slumber. Without even opening his eyes, he reached over to the nightstand and felt for his bong. Splash!

“Damn!” Slim said, now wide awake. Sitting up, he could see the mess he had just made. There was dirty bong water on the carpet and the smell was terrible. “Mom is gonna kill me” he muttered to himself.

He made his way downstairs to get some paper towels and carpet cleaner. He tried his best to avoid his parents. His father would be easy to avoid. He had gone off to work over four hours ago. His mother would be tougher. She was probably in the kitchen making the pre-preparations for tonight´s dinner.

He snuck around the corner and peeked his head into the kitchen. No one was there. He felt relieved. He grabbed what he needed from under the sink and as quickly and deftly as he could, which was not very after years of constantly being under the effects of marijuana, he made his way to his room.

As he entered his room, he was hit with the awful smell of the bong water. He thought to himself that there was no way his mother wouldn´t smell this. He was about to attack his problem when he realized something. He hadn´t smoked yet. For Slim, the most satisfying smoke was the one after he had just woken up. He forgot about the smell, the worry that his mom would find out and about everything for that matter. What he needed at that moment was to get high. So he did.

He carefully picked the buds out of the carpet that had fallen out of the bowl of the bong and put them back to where they once were. He went to the bathroom to replace the water that was now staining the carpet. He was all ready. He went to put fire to the bowl and click…No flame. Click…no flame. “Awwww!” Slim said aloud. His lighter was out of fluid. He got on his hands and knees and looked under the bed for his emergency matches. “There they are” he said to himself, or out loud. At this point, Slim´s internal dialog sometimes made its way out of his mouth.

He struck the match and a beautiful flame danced on the tip of the small piece of wood. Slim marveled at it too long and it burned down to his finger tips rendering the match useless to light the bong. He struck another, this time putting it directly on the marijuana and sucking on the bong. After three massive hits from the bong he felt that familiar tightening behind his eyes.

Everything slowed down to the speed Slim liked to operate at. Concentrating on one thing was no longer easy and that was comfortable to him. Now that he had that familiar feeling, he was ready to go about cleaning the mess. But Slim felt the urge to use the bathroom so he grabbed his cell phone and went. Slim was so engrossed in a video game that he forgot about the mess and his legs had fallen asleep. He looked at the clock. He had been on the toilet for an hour. In that time, he had smoked the other half of a joint he must have started yesterday. Or another day. He really didn´t know. But he was baked. That he was sure of.

He went back into his room to put some clothes on. He was so high, not only did he forget about the mess, he did not notice the putrid smell of bong water and failed to see the cleaning supplies he had left on the floor next to the mess. He did see the lighter on the bed and remembered that he had to go to the store to buy another one.

He got dressed and went downstairs calling for his mother the whole way down. He was hungry and wanted breakfast. There was no response. It was a little odd, his mother usually did not leave to do her errands without having given Slim, a 29 year old unemployed man-child, his breakfast. But, if she had something really important to do, she would leave cereal in a bowl on the table with the right amount milk needed in a Pyrex pitcher off to the side.

Neither the bowl, nor the pitcher where on the table. That was odd. Now Slim was curious. “Guess I´ll have to get that lighter on an empty stomach, then” he said, out loud. And with that he left the house, forgetting to lock the door behind him.

(To be continued)

Pot Apocalypse Part 2 

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, along 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 didn´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 he had in Atlantic City. When he was in this state he was 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”