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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

Discount Therapy

Oh no, not this guy again. It’s time to go to my happy place while he talks my ear off. Different cologne? What’s that on his t-shirt? God I hope it’s only a food stain. He’s doing it again. Shit, I just washed those cushion covers.

I have a lot to tell you this week. I’ve been thinking about our last conversation. I don’t know if this is what you wanted, but I don’t care anymore. I don’t know how long I can keep doing this. It’s fucking painful.

Why does he have to throw them on the floor? There’s enough space on that couch. It’s big enough to lie on, that’s the whole point. People put their heads on those god damn things. Now I’ll have to get up after he leaves. God, I’m lazy. Do I have to wash them though? I’ll probably have to do the laundry all over again if I move. Shit, WHEN I move.

You were right, the drugs don’t help. Fuck that, I don’t even like drugs. I don’t know why I do them. It’s like a compulsion. I have them, and therefore I have to consume them. When I don’t have drugs around me, I feel uncomfortable. Do you know that feeling when you get off the subway and subtly pat your coat to check if your phone is still there? When it hasn’t buzzed in a while but you still check it, hoping that there’s an answer to unasked questions? There’s a comfort in knowing that it is there, and I can’t keep my hands off it. Drugs are like that. They’re now part of my everyday life. It’s part of my identity. I am a drug user.

I can’t believe my fucking landlord raised the rent again. That selfish motherfucker, trying to exploit me. Why didn’t I get a lease? I wish I could afford a place of my own. But then what will happen to my dream of traveling around the world? Fuck, I hate moving. I can’t afford to move, I can’t afford to stay. Should I get a roommate? But I hate dealing with people. Why do I hate people so much? My parents messed me up so good.

It doesn’t bother me the way it used to. I remember when I was seven and I stole my first sip of whiskey from my dad. I hated it. I never understood why someone would choose to burn their throats like that. I was ten when I smoked my first half-cigarette. I picked up that discarded glowing ember from my neighbor’s lawn. The butt was still moist, but the smoke enveloped the flavor of his lips. I coughed my lungs out. Maybe it’s about having control over the pain. I remember saying to myself after middle school D.A.R.E meetings that I would never do drugs. Now I tell myself that I’ll never do them intravenously.

Do I have to move back in with my parents? Oh god, I feel a panic attack coming along. Breathe. I promised myself that I would never go back. Breathe. I can’t do this, I need to figure this out. Breathe. I have to listen to them fight, I’ll get pulled into all that shit again. Why the fuck are they so crazy? I can’t entirely blame them though. It’s the middle-class neurosis. It’s the constant fear of being judged. This is what happens when you project your goddamn insecurities on every-fucking-one around you. People like that shouldn’t be getting married in the first place.

Drugs are fucking awesome though. They’re so good. They make everything better. Now, food tastes good. Music is worth listening to. Company is tolerable, even enjoyable. Netflix doesn’t suck. Art is interesting. My work isn’t boring. It makes everything better. Fuck, drugs make drugs better. Why bother rolling on molly when you can’t roll joints on the come down? I take a few bars when I go to bars. I love pairing my red wine with cyclobenzaprine. After I extract oxy from percocet, I mix it up with dextromethorphan to get my nod on. It makes the boring bitter brew bearable. It’s just like alliteration.

How do I go about doing the whole marrying rich thing? That sounds like the life for me. I could read books. Real books, none of this audio crap. Maybe I could paint. I’ve never painted before, but I can always start. I could even hire someone to teach me. Fuck, I could pay them to paint for me. Are ghost-painters a thing? I can pretend to have talent, open a gallery, invite people to lose themselves in the midst of beauty. Anything is better than doing this.

I remember when I was growing up, people were always talking about tolerance. About how important it was to have tolerance. Tolerance tolerance tolerance. Fucking tolerance. I have so much tolerance now. Tolerance for cocaine, but none for myself. Not for loneliness, not for company. I have built up cross-tolerance for opioids. Codeine does nothing for me, I have to snort H to feel anything. No tolerance for others nor their words. Cross-tolerance for all class of amphetamines. No tolerance for good sense. No tolerance for my conscience. Tolerance for marijuana. So much tolerance! I went from smoking joints to vaping. Now I have to hit dabs just to get the munchies.

Oh my god, is this guy still talking? He does this every goddamn week. Blah blah blah, sheesh, he thinks he’s the only one with problems. I wish I didn’t depend on his cash or I could tell him to shut the fuck up. That would be soooo rewarding. Fuck, look at what I’ve become. This isn’t what I went to college for. I had hopes and dreams but I let them all go. This is my punishment: to be a human toilet. People dump their shit in me all day and every night I drink to flush it all away.

Not all drugs are the same. I use them differently, for different reasons. And it’s not random, there’s a sick logic to it. I use cocaine to love myself, MDMA to love others, opioids to love the world, LSD to love the universe, psilocybin to love the spirit, carisoprodol to love sleep. I do drugs because I cannot, I do not L O V E. I have hole in my head. In my heart. In my life. I fill it with drugs.

Should I say something? Does he want me to stop him? Fuck, it’s not my responsibility to make him feel better. I mean, it kind of is in some ways, but he’s got to take the first step. People like this never change. He’s never going to stop doing drugs. Even if he does, it doesn’t matter. He’ll probably replace it with something else. He’s lost in the past, chasing a long-forgotten feeling over and over again. Looking for it everywhere except in the present moment. Jumping from sensation to experiential sensation without lingering or leaving a presence behind in this short time we exist. Choosing death over life, lies over truth, because you’re afraid of both life and death. Or maybe he’s running away from the conscious mind? Fleeing from a painful memory? Dulling the senses to build an armor around the past, pushing it deep down until it turns into a tight ball of fire waiting to erupt into full fledged psychosis? But what do I know? I’m just a drug dealer, not a psychoanalyst. I’ll take his cash any day. Especially now. Movers are expensive.

Drugs put holes in me too. Crack puts holes in brain. Xanax puts holes in my memories. Marijuana puts a hole in my wallet. Amphetamines have put a literal hole in my heart. I know there are consequences to my actions. To be honest, I don’t really care about what happens to me. What I hate is hurting the ones around me. It’s the source of all my guilt. I don’t let people get too close to me. I’m afraid that they’ll get hurt. When push comes to shove, I choose to push people away. That’s what happened to my roommate. He always knew I was an addict. We even joked about it. But when he finally summed up the concern and the courage to confront me about it, I told him to fuck off. Now, he’s moving away, and I don’t have anyone in my life. Am I doomed to repeat my mistakes over and over again? Will I never learn? Have drugs beco…

Wait. What did you say?

I was just saying that I don’t hate others, I really hate…

No, about your roommate? He’s moving? Bruh, you’re still at that rent controlled condo on the Slope? I’m looking to move. Maybe we can be roomies.

Really? Sure, I guess. I mean, wait, no. You’re not going to be dealing from there are you? I don’t want to get into any trouble with the law.

Look, I’ll keep it on the down low. Plus, we can make a deal. I’ll pay you rent in whatever stuff you want. I’ll even give you the family discount bruh. Let’s start right now. You can have that 8-ball for 250. That shit is uncut too.

Wow! Shit, that’s great. Really? Thanks! That’s sounds like plan.

Sucker!

And now, we can talk all the time!

Fuck