…The room further our had a smell of hummus and patchouli. The hallway, leading into the ‘unnamed’ room? Bare from top to bottom, such as, what someone would find in an office building filled with accountants.
The ‘unnamed’ room had been loving called such because it had seen more than it’s share…More than a living room does. More than a kitchen does. And, perhaps, more than a bathroom.
It was New Year’s Eve day, 1988. The small for it’s size, apartment building/dorm/co-ed frat house, sat close enough to Northeastern, but not too close. More importantly, while up on the roof on a clear night…not only could you see forever, you could see the ‘green monster’ that out stretches Fenway Park.
In it’s heyday, the ‘unnamed’ room most likely housed a large Irish Catholic family. Currently, it’s tin ceilings were decked out in an array of tapestries…made in Bangladesh. An over stuffed couch, bound by duct tape, originally from Kenmore square with a free sign pinned to it’s arm.
There were several Lava lamps of various fluorescent colors. One stand up model Bong. Several packages of opened and unopened Zig Zag rolling papers. Even more than enough…Bic lighters. A calico cat named Garcia. An episode of Gilligan’s Island playing on a black and white RCA TV, approximately 12″ tall. The sound had been turned down…but everyone knew the episode. It was a favorite among Potheads…
‘Smile You’re on Mars’ had been in a tie with Twilight Zone…when it came to stretching the outer limits of the philosophical mind.
With all of this…exterior stimuli…And, a Dead bootleg from Sullivan Stadium turned to 10 on the Radio Shack tape player…Marie, still felt alone in the bathtub!
Marie, two boys from Northeastern and a black lab, named, Duke, stood in the bathroom directly at the end of the only other hallway.
For as long as she could remember, and most likely will recall in the years to come…Marie started each chase of a high…the same exact way. With the same exact thoughts…
“I get embarrassed just thinking about where I am. Every high I chase is not something I want to take…it’s just a given. And, it would appear, I’m in a constant search for the ‘giver’. I know I’m an addict. It’s like the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
Been down this road before…almost totally fucked up. Right there at the edge of no return…and, then…The memories of that first rehab. That weekend furlough where I picked up the black truck driver who had smuggled in an ounce of weed.
Why is it, when you’re physically sick, there are matronly nurses, flowers and balloons? In the shithole I went to…being emotionally sick…there had been vomit bags, decks of cards missing at least two spades, and, walls stained with too much smoke…”
In between the knock on the door and Duke lifting his leg on the sink, Marie had been offered a sort of ‘peace’ pipe.
‘Do it…it’ll bring ya’ into heaven on the back road…’
A nameless boy had been, oh so encouraging, when it came to taking a hit of the Iron Lung pipe.
Names were never important when it came to free drugs. Looks were important. And, also, a willingness to succumb to ‘you’re interrupting my high’ sex!
There is an unwritten hierarchy when it comes to the ‘becoming’ of an addict.
First, there is the booze. Booze is easy. Booze is acceptable. Booze is cheap.
Second, Liquid Incense, Buzz Juice, easily obtained at any Head Shop. Quick high…ten to twenty seconds. Days of recuperation.
Third, Pot, weed, grass, Mary Jane, whatever…a drug of choice to catholic girls. Cheap, easy to hide and fits nicely into the pack of Marlboro Red’s…
Fourth, mushrooms, shrooms, again, easy access. Just visit your local dairy farm impersonating an agriculture student from New England College.
Fifth, LSD, blotter, acid. This drug is like the ‘last toll’ for 100 miles. This is it! LSD is a chemical substance developed by Albert Hoffman. Acid, originally, had been devised for chemical warfare. It should be noted that Blotter, is cut with Strychnine, rat poisoning!
Two items of note:
Strychnine can cause severe muscle spasms and irreversible scarring of the liver and kidney.
The second, more disturbing side effect for the Tuning In Enthusiast? A bad trip. Because the drug has never really been regulated, hallucinations and uncontrollable terror, confusion, etc, come to visit you…and never leave.
This elusive high was known to drive, Crazy Eddie, up into a tree, never to come down…at least, that is the urban legend, Marie had been told.
In other words, a long strange trip can indeed,,,turn into a forever, long strange trip.
Regardless, Marie enjoyed the out of body experience and was willing to play the odds.
After Blotter, there is Coke, cocaine. After, Powder, Crack cocaine…a step down. A poor man’s drug. Then there is H or Heroin.
Of course, there scads of choices, but the ‘Monarch’ notes on drugs can be endless.
It had been in between the verses…
Now when your mother sends back all your invitations
And your father to your sister, he explains
That you’re tired of yourself and all of your creations…
Maybe you want somebody you don’t have to speak to
Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane?
That, Marie took pipe in hand. Held the Beaver Bic up to the chamber, flicked, shut her eyes…inhaled…
that Marie, out of nowhere asked,
‘Is this the hash…that just came in?’
Nameless Boy number one, answered. The boy that just gave Marie his BU, stone gray sweatshirt; had been from Rhode Island or some place small. Maybe Delaware!
With one boyishly, charming nod of the head, NO! Marie, began to think twice. A habit she was not fond of doing. Handing back the pipe to it’s owner. Marie stumbled out of the tub, fell over Duke, and banged her head on the lid of the toilet. It appeared as though…Marie had seen a ghost.
Was she tripped up? Fuck, yah. Had she smoked a joint to prolong the hallucinations? Amen, yes! Was she ready to finish a game of Mexican? Sure as shittin’! There was still a half of Jack left!
Marie, however, did not take that last, long, forever, and ever, eternal hit.
“Crack? I’m not up for that! I’m an addict…for fuck sake!”
Had the seed been planted? Perhaps! Is that what it takes…to get sober? What made her stop?
Maybe that is how recovery works…by not working. By prying, pushing,..tugging at its victim…until the time is right.
Tears out running laughter.
Prosthetic limbs handled by the pain sniffing feral crackheads.
Bakers dozen when it comes to counting the sleepless dead.
Baggies of junk
filled by money makers.
In it now…
with blown veins…
brought to you by heaven’s break down lane.
Did I say that I want you?
What if I did and I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
I come clean