last night, k. shot me up with heroin.
we cop in a shed of stereotypes, downtown, skid row. hooded black men, shifty-eyed asians and two surprisingly relaxed pink people.
apparently, my r.e.m. runs racist.
we score plastic baggies stuffed with black goo. black tar licorice babies, minus the sugar rush.
just the rush.
we lie on a hotel bed, a nice hotel. crown moulding. white linen. k. gently, generously injects me first. i feel nothing. as i tell him this, a hole begins to gape and widen on my thumb. my thumb is smiling. "ehhhhhhh....". so fonzie. i am hallucinating, but i am not high. this time he shoots straight, and my head lolls back as in my dope fantasia. mickey is conducting; the elephants are twirling. but even as i nod off, euphoria eludes. i have not even brushed the dragon's tail.
she meant well.
but, today's dental hygienist was clueless.
i got the distinct feeling that she was threatened by my 30 year war. she cataloged anecdote after anecdote over inattentive, irksome physicians! and how often she'd come to her poor husband's emotional rescue! cape flying, defiant, arms fisted, planted on her hips, "you're not listening to him!", she would proclaim, sucking fierce at the thin straw of insecurity plunged into her power shake.
"i've been very fortunate. i've had amazing relationships with my physicians.", i offered.
"like, the other day, i tore my rotator cuff..."
["ahem. is this thing on?"]
"and i was in so much pain, i had to go see my doctor. i don't like to, because i'm really a natural girl..."
["yeah, you're sooo natural. you with the bleach blonde hair and your peroxide pearls..."]
lock up your medicine cabinets, folks, the bitch is back.
"so he said it would heal, but that i needed pain killers. now, i don't like to take pain killers..."
["seriously. who are these people?"]
"but, he prescribed me something called tra-ma-sol..."
["that's tramaDOL, you sacrilegious dolt..."]
"well, i was supposed to take 2 tablets, but i thought, i better start with 1..."
[that's funny, i used to think, i'd better start with 3..."]
"WHELL. the next morning i woke up trembling and shaking and dizzy..."
["in a good way?"]
"i couldn't drive, i couldn't go to work, i was in bed until 4 pm THE. NEXT. DAY..."
[someone please bring back whiskey and the stick to bite on. it would be less painful.]
"and it was so sweet. my 24 year-old son kept coming in to check on me. he told me that people use this stuff recreationally! that i could get a lot of money for those pills!
["tramadol? yeeaaahhh, not so much."]
"so we just threw the rest away..."
[she died painfully. death by verbal diarrhea.]
and as motor mouth putted along, i u-turned back 14 months ago. pill popping with pez-dispensing glee in a pharmacy parking lot.
pop rocks dissolving. gobstopper crushing. i want candy.
3 crowns later, i was dethroned.
ears bleeding. jaw seizing. gums throbbing.
no painkillers prescribed.
no advil allowed.
yet, a curt compromise.
now, i was never a fan of the muscle relaxer. i didn't want to sleep. i wanted to make it last and last and last, like veruca salt's gum. right to the blueberry-popping end.
but, when i filled the bottle i thought,
"i could keep them all. i don't have to tell k. i don't have to tell l."
there's a line drawn in my sandbox, now. and playing alone isn't any fun.
so, i called my sponsor. and she concocted a blueprint of titanium design.
"you come here.
you give me the bottle.
and i will give you 3.
one for now. one for tonight. and one for tomorrow."
and i told my husband. who has a safe full of backlogged narcotics, including my favorite, the poor man's powdered heroin; her overshadowed sister: oxycodone. and he holds the key. both keys.
"so, this is our new normal...", i breathed, as i took my soma, and texted l.
"i took my pill at 5:38 pm. thank you, l.! i love you!"
and although warned of a strong effect, my tolerance still registers somewhere between keith richards and nikki sixx. and i floated to flatline. tiny native indians burn bonfires in the back of my mouth, whooping it up with a banshee wail.
but inside, a line has been crossed.
the thin line between love and hate.
yes, maybe, i'm starting to like myself after all.