Running on Empty Part 2: Doctor Shopping and Crowbar Dodging

The pharmacist had grey hair and his glasses rested down on a bump in the middle of his nose.  The woman working the counter came over and I handed her the scripts. She asked me for my address and wrote it on the scripts.  I hated when they did that if they didn’t cash them because then you had to take it to another pharmacy and the evidence was there that one pharmacy had already turned you down.

She walked them back to the pharmacist and he looked at them for what seemed to be an eternity, then started to type.  He walked to the back and I saw the thick yellow liquid in the Tussionex bottle. He shook the bottle. I feel as if I might have said something if he didn’t shake the bottle because in the prescription instructions it says that the active ingredients settle to the bottom, and you’ve got to shake it before you take it.  He poured and it came out slow; I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I heard him shake the pills into the dispenser and then he finished typing and handed the two packages to the woman working the counter.

She called my name.

I can’t describe the feeling when you walk out of the drug store with the stuff in your hand.  It’s like the whole world is yours and you got 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 that I had been holding since the doctor’s office, and 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 two milligram Klonopin into my mouth and lifted the Tussy jug 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 lit a smoke and sipped my coffee as I pondered what to do next, eventually deciding to visit my wife.  

That was my first mistake.

Right away she could tell that I was high, and she was pissed off because I didn’t save her any.  I told her that I still had Klonopin to give her but that wasn’t good enough. She started yelling at me and the people at the treatment center told me that I had to leave and she said she was coming with me and that I better have another croaker all lined up for a script so she could get high too.  I just wanted to enjoy my high, but all hell was breaking loose and I knew that it was going to be a big hassle to cop for her and she would bitch incessantly 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.

They 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 any more.  I knew that if she stayed they would try to turn her against me and tell her that she should find another place to live, 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 doctors.

She threw her shit in her bag and we blew out the door of the treatment center.  She ate two Klonopin as soon as she got into the truck, and asked me to 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, and asked if I could get there by 4:30.  I said yes and let her drive so I could dig my head.

As expected, she bitched at me for 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 and I went in. The waiting room was empty. He 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 and gave me one of those garbage inhalers and some antibiotics.

We raced to the drugstore because sometimes in these little hick towns in Vermont they close real early. I filled the antibiotics with the cough syrup but I 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 I told her that I was going to do one ounce of the syrup because I went in to make the croaker and did all the work. She complained but there was nothing she could do about it.  I ate two more pills and did a heavy ounce, then 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 into Route 7 heading into Rutland and I heard a screech of brakes and this guy almost hit us as we came onto the main highway.  Then the creep starts riding my ass. I just hadn’t seen him and it wasn’t my fault and he 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 because he thought he was going to hit us, so he locked up his brakes and his car spun sideways. I hit the gas and pulled away laughing like a loon.

He was on us again like maggots on garbage.  Coming real close and looking real grim when I peeped into the rearview mirror.  We were coming into town and the lights on the highway were green. I saw that the light by the Mobil gas station by one of the main roads into the shopping section of town had changed to orange and he was still coming up on us.

 When I stopped and looked into the rear view mirror I saw a giant woodsman type of guy, over six feet tall, ripping out of his car with a crowbar in his hand and I knew that we’d screwed the pooch.  

To Be Continued in the Next Issue of Spare Change News.



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