Last Thursday I had to go back to my hometown of Bryn Marw (outside of Philadelphia) in order to attend to some important matters that I could not sort out in NYC. I drink a lot and always feel hungover. My family has a history of drug abuse, even though no one right now has a problem. I said to myself, a day or two in PA will do me good, and I will rest and cool off a bit. I had swapped the last of my Ativan (the lowest class of anti-anxiety benzodiazepines, a weaker form of Xanax) for four painkiller pills, Percocets. I popped two first thing in the morning before I got on the bus, and two half-way through the trip.
My friend picked me up at the station and as soon as I got home I walked to the store to get cheap cigarettes. I couldn’t attend to my business, which entailed me going to the DMV, because I was supposed to have made an appointment, and I hadn’t done that. I decided that, as part of my cooling off, I would head to the gym where I used to workout and pump some iron and pamper myself in the sauna. Then in the kitchen I found more painkillers that were prescribed to my mother because she recently dislocated her shoulder; I thought that by this point there wouldn’t be any more. I decided to take only one, to make going to the gym more enjoyable.
Well, as luck would have it, I also stumbled across a full bottle of Ativan, which apparently was prescribed to my sister to alleviate some rather nasty side-effects of something else she’s on. For some reason, the idea popped into my head that I ought to crush a few up and snort them, because I hadn’t been particularly enjoying it taking them orally. I did that and then went on my computer. After an hour or so, I said to myself, forget about it, I gotta use these drugs, and I took another painkiller. It seemed like that couldn’t possibly be enough, so I took another one. It was around four in the afternoon and I finally left my house and walked over to the gym, which is about ten minutes away.
I was feeling some damned good. I called my aunt on the phone and chatted with her while I walked and chain smoked. When I entered the gym, which is one of those salon-gym combos, I walked over to the owner and told him I was just in the town for the day and said hello – I used to work there doing laundry, etc. He was so pleased to see me, and I was so pleased to see him, that I said, “give me a hug,” and I gave him a hug. I asked him if I could use the gym for free and he said to go ahead.
In the sauna I was starting to feel a little queasy and overly tired. I began to worry about falling asleep in there. It was 100 degrees Celsius, just how I usually like it. I decided that I would wait until I broke a good sweat; then I would get in a cold shower and re-enter to cook some more. That seemed to help a bit, and it helped to drink water and burp a few times. I relaxed, lay on the towel, stretched my hamstrings, etc. Afterwards I steamed for a while in the adjacent steam room, and ended the affair in the hot tub. This rigorous spa routine is enough to feel like you’re on drugs even if you’re not on drugs, so I was feeling pretty damned good. When I got out I walked over the salon area, feeling like an article of freshly laundered clothing, and entered the area where they shampoo people. I said hello to my good friend Kevin who cuts my hair and gets fucked up with me when I’m in town. He was glad to see me; I told him that I was on a drug bender, and he asked me if I could still get him percs. I had to tell him that I really didn’t have that many. I winked at an attractive looking girl who was washing another attractive looking girl’s hair. I don’t know said hair-washer’s name, but I used to see her there all the time and I always flirted with her. She smiled.
Outside, I smoked a cigarette. That was so nice. Then it occurred to me to walk over to this vintage clothing shop because a couple of months ago I met one of the girls who worked there and had thought she was a cutie. She wasn’t there, but there was another cutie and I started talking to her about where she had gone to school, what she studied, friends in common, etc. I told her she should move to Brooklyn, but she said that was too close to her ex-boyfriend. I said, “the city’s pretty big that shouldn’t be a problem.” Then all of the sudden it occurred to me that I should sell all of the clothing I hadn’t taken to Brooklyn with me. I immediately proposed this idea to the cute salesperson and told her I’d be back in about twenty minutes with a sack of clothing. At home, I railed some more Ativan. I was about to do the same with a painkiller, but my friend on Google Chat said I’d better check the internet first. Indeed, it’s not a good idea to do that, so I swallowed two instead. I felt a little guilty about using my family’s supply of drugs that they actually need, but not bad enough to stop taking them.
Back at the store, I sold about half of what I brought for $30 store credit. I tried to make a case for all of the items with the salesperson, who laughed at each plead, but this was to no avail. I tried on some shirts, each time modeling them for this cutie who seemed pretty into it. I took three, and said goodbye. I was supposed to meet my family for dinner, so I called them up and told them just to meet me at a nearby restaurant. While I was waiting I got a bottle of wine and a mickey for later. Since the rest of my family doesn’t drink wine, I drank most of the bottle.
When I got home I gathered my things to get ready to be driven to the bus stop. I saw my ex-girlfriend on Google Chat – which was unusual because she makes a point of never being visible, even though she’s on all the time – and started messaging her. She’s pretty pissed at me for a few things and I didn’t get any replies. That was a little sad, but my crazy neighbor knocked on the door and we smoked a cigarette. I also told her that I was on a bender and that we would go on a Xanax binge the next time I was home.
I don’t know how my parents didn’t know that I was pretty lit. I guess because my anxiety level was low and that paradoxically made me act lucid. In the kitchen where the pills are kept I popped another painkiller. My mom almost caught me, but I said I was just taking a bottle of Tylenol to bring along. When she left the room I took three more Ativan to do when I got back.
On the bus I sipped gin and started to feel shitty. I passed out and when I was in New Jersey near Manhattan, I woke up and felt great. I called my roommate and told him that we had to party as soon as I got back. At my apartment, the two of us railed the rest of the Ativan and drank a 24oz can of Bud each. I was feeling tired, so I bought an Adderall off of him and took that.
We didn’t know where to go or what to do. There were no parties happening with out friends. We walked to Goodbye Blue Monday on Broadway in Bushwick, but it was closed. My roommie remembered a place called Tandem in the same neighborhood so we walked there. I wanted to hit on some hotties or at least admire attractive girls, but the place was dead. I ordered a PBR, the cheapest drink, not surprisingly, and the two of us sat in the back, feeling somber, bored, and certainly a little horny. We left; I hadn’t paid for my drink, and they had my debit card. I only got around to getting that back today.
At home I started to feel empty and pointless, kind of like Stephen Dorff in that scene near the end of Sofia Coppola’s new movie, Somewhere. My roommate went to bed and I watched Youtube videos. Then while going on my own Facebook, I saw a photo of my ex-girlfriend and I lost it. I was beginning to feel embarrassed about my sobs and worried that my sleeping roommate would hear, so I took an Ambien and got in the shower, which is always a nice place to have a good cry. I lay down in the tub and let the water cascade down on me, which for whatever reason seemed to alleviate the distress and sorrow I was feeling. I went to bed feeling OK.