Detox Blues, Part Three

At the beginning of this chapter, my wife, Sascha, is in detox. I can’t get in to a detox center for two days, so I’m in the process of cashing a prescription because I’m dope-sick.)

I can’t describe the feeling when you walk out of the drugstore with the stuff in your hand. It’s like the whole world is yours, and you got one over on the best of them. I wanted to dance out of the store, but I just walked. I strolled over to the coffee shop next door and took that piss I had been holding since the doctor’s office. I then ordered a coffee to down with the pills and medicine. The hot coffee pumps the drugs into your system and there’s nothing so good as the cigarette with your coffee after the medicine slides down your throat. Then the high comes on.

I looked around the parking lot to see if anyone was watching. No one seemed close. I threw three 2-milligram Klonopins into my mouth and lifted the bottle of Tussionex to my lips. I held it up until the last of it spilled into my mouth, put the cap back on it, and stood it upside down on the seat for the residue to drain into the cap so I could suck it out later. I then lit a smoke and sipped my coffee as I decided what to do next.

I figured I would visit my wife. That was my first mistake.

Right away Sascha could tell that I was high and was pissed off that I didn’t save her any. I told her that I still had Klonopin to give her, but that wasn’t good enough for her. She started yelling at me and the people at the treatment center told me I had to leave. She said that she was coming with me and that I better have another croaker lined up for a script so she could get high too. I just wanted to enjoy my high and all hell was breaking loose. I knew it was going to be a big hassle to cop for her and she would complain the whole way there until we got it. I wished she would stay at the treatment center and I wished I hadn’t gone to see her there, but it was too late now.

I don’t know how I always keep making these mistakes over and over again.

The staff told her that if she left with me, she couldn’t come back, and if she stayed, they didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to come anymore. I knew that if she stayed they would try to turn her against me and tell her that she should find another mate. So, even though I wanted her to stay, I told her to come with me.

I was high and so I knew I would be at my best now for making another doctor’s appointment.

Sascha threw her clothes in her bag and we blew out the door of the treatment center. She ate two Klonopins as soon as she got into the truck and made me buy her a beer to wash it down. We stopped at a phone booth and looked in the book for another doctor. There was a doctor in Brandon. I called him and he said that he had one appointment left if I could get there by 4:30. I said, “yes” and let her drive so I could dig my head.

She yelled at me the entire ride. I chain-smoked and nodded while she talked. Finally, we pulled into the parking lot. The office was in an old colonial house; I went in. The waiting room was empty. The doctor came out and beckoned me in, and I laid my rap on him. He took my vital signs and listened to my chest. He thought it sounded terrible and wrote me a script for four more ounces of Tussionex, as well as one of those garbage inhalers and some antibiotics.

We raced to the drugstore, because sometimes in these little hick towns in Vermont they close really early. I filled the prescriptions for the antibiotics and the cough syrup, but threw away the script for the inhaler. I had learned that those inhalers cost a lot of money from past experience.

I got back out to the truck and told her I was going to do one ounce of the syrup, because I’d gone in to make the croaker and had done all the work. She complained, but there was nothing she could do about it. I ate two more pills and did a heavy ounce and let her do her three. She drained the bottle and took a few more pills.

I took over the wheel after we had coffee. We were turning onto Route 7, heading into Rutland, when I heard a screech of brakes. A guy almost hit us as we came onto the main highway. Then, the asshole started riding my tail. I just hadn’t seen him, it wasn’t my fault. The guy was beginning to piss me off, so I turned around and flipped him the bird. He had an older woman in the front seat and someone was sitting in the back seat, too.

My wife said to let it slide, but the dude was riding our ass real close, so I slammed on the brakes just for a second. He came up on me and freaked out, because he thought he was going to hit us. He locked the brakes and his car spun sideways, as I hit the gas and pulled away laughing like a loon.

—Marc D. Goldfinger

Marc D. Goldfinger is a member of the board of directors of the Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change news. Formerly homeless, he serves as the paper's poetry editor.

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