Sunday, December 18, 2016

Six

Jake, with all the grace of a frenzied animal rummaged through his dresser drawer in hopes of finding the dope he'd scored last night. These days the hangovers never really went away without H. You kick (for the moment), you're miserable, you pour yourself a drink because it's better than being a "junkie" and then an alien presence is born. Something that sticks around even after 2 back to back stints in detox. These demons never really leave they just back off long enough to trick you into thinking you miss them and then... Junk-sickness and alcohol coalescing into a malignant tumor of a habit. "Pain killers" yeah...sure. They'll kill all of your pain as the the metal phallice pierces the vein. It's the ultimate form of sex after the full weight of the load is shot. But there's a price to pay with every ill gotten orgasm. Just as Jake (who was quite the William Burroughs fan) was thinking about how junk-sickness had infected his mind like a virus from outer space (William Burroughs had some interesting thoughts on this subject but I digress). His phone rang right after he pocketed his lost treasure; a green stamp-bag marked #6.

"Hey what's up man?" T's disembodied voice boomed from the other end.

"Not much...Shitty. Dopesick."


"Fuck man, so uh... I guess your dry huh?"


"Yeah," Jake lied, clinching his ticket to escapism tightly.


"Fuck, fuck fuck. Please man you've gotta have something. I've been tryna kick but shit's not going so well ya know what I mean."


An uncomfortable silence persisted.


"I've got some M-Cat if you're down for any of that," 


"M-Cat?"


"Yeah, 4-methylcathinone."


"The hell is that? More of that fake coke?"


"Well... it's not really like that but you know."


Jake could hear the frantic pacing, He could smell the smoke lingering from T's pack a day habit. He felt the tremors and the reverberations of his voice drifting off into an infinite dispersion of long forgotten sound and light... Jake understood desperation.


"Shit, I guess I'll take some man. Come on over. Just got some fresh rigs if you need any"


"Okay!"


Within 10 minuets, Jake was on a bus to East Hill. Time to start the day off right.


After some passage of time, Jake took the final pull off of whatever cheap rum he'd been carrying around in his Misfits flask, got off the bus and found himself on T's front porch.


"Hey," A strung out T half whispered after peering out the window, unlocking and (finally) answering the door.


T's place was a monument to squalor. The entire room smelled like a lit cigarette tinged with a whiff of mildew. A stench that no amount of gas-station incense could mask. Dishes and used needles, strange bedfellows under normal circumstances were piled up in the sink. Light faded into hushed shades of grey beneath a tapestry of blankets covering the windows and faintly illuminating free-falling particles of dust  all soaked in the sound of TV static.The stage set for a perfect Greek Tragedy or some sort of pretentious post-modern installation art project (who's to say really?)


"What's good?"


"Eh, I've got nothin."

Jake chuckled a bit not an easy task given his circumstances

"So how much you tryna get for that? I mean I'm good for it. I'm definitely fuckin good for it and all. Shit's just been... slow I guess."

Six month's ago, Jake had been double majoring in music and computer science. He was doing everything right. Perpetually lonely, sure but by all socially acceptable standards. He was doing everything the right way... All it took was one line a ethylphenidate to fuck that up. The Dark Net was fresh off of the launchpad and now getting high quality recreational compounds was as simple as ordering a Christmas present for a relative.

"It's alright man. Pay me in spikes."

"Uh... yeah. Fuck yeah man. I've got ya."

Lines were cut and fiendishly inhaled. Boundless energy and conversational nonsense about conspiracy theories filled the air. Jake wondered what his sister was doing. He honestly didn't know how long it had been sense he'd spoken to anyone in his family.

"Hey, I've gotta piss. Where's your bathroom?" Jake asked.

"Oh yeah, it's a uh, the last door on the right down the hall,"

Jake locked the door, let the water run, checked the medicine cabinets (nothing but empty Delsym bottles. Fuck), cooked up and fired away.

...

"We're on in 30 Allison."

"Yeah, yeah fucking Christ Charlie, can you  dim those lights?"

"Uh yeah, sorry. Here how's that?"

"Okay... better. It'll do."

"And we're on in 6,5,4,3,2..."

"Good evening. This is Allison Fields of channel 5 news coming to you live from the epicenter of the opioid crisis. First respondents have just confirmed another overdose in the East Hill district.  Another casualty of a war that many are all too familiar with. The channel 5 team, myself included extend our deepest sympathies and through our continued investigation promsit this community that will shed light on this in an attempt to answer the question that is on the minds of everyone in the greater Sharronsburg area; what can be done to end this?"

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