She’s worried sick, and I’m in the middle of trying to kill myself. However, I could care less. I’m already streaming the next episode in my head as I lay here. This place feels like one big service station. I recall another time almost dead, and as they’re rolling me into the back of the ambulance, I came to, and asked if I had to go. How do people do it? How do they work in these places? How can they go home to their families after seeing people like this all day, and night?
A familiar man’s voice begins to chuckle right outside my door. What was the joke, or were they only catching up on some new television series? The next time I decide to relapse, I’ll staple a note to my chest that reads, “To whom it may concern, in the case of an emergency or if at any point I should become unresponsive, please take me to the service station across the street. I’d prefer any hospital where the people don’t know me.” My door makes that loud obnoxious click sound, and it swings open. Wouldn’t you know it, it’s Glad, or Mr. Glad (the familiar voice I heard talking outside). How did he know I was here? Does he live here? They must all live here. How does he always seem to wear a slight smile on his face? What is there to be pleasant about? “Obviously you aren’t feeling well, so I’ll spare you the questions. I assume you’re back in the cycle again. Here’s my card. Please call me when you get serious about wanting help.” The door closed.
“He told me we were going to get a few pills from someone he knew, and that was it.”
I can see Barb pacing back, and forth behind the windows of the hospital lobby. The entrance doors slide open, and the smell of her cigarette quickly fills the hallway. She spots me, and starts to power walk toward me. She throws her skinny arms around me, and says, “Don’t ever do that to me again! I thought I lost you!” She begins to cry, and my hands stick to the back of her shirt. She’s soaked with sweat, and I’m punched in the face by the smell of whiskey on her breath. Barb liked to drink, but sensed that she’d had way more than normal tonight. Maybe this really did scare her? Maybe she really does care for me? I still wouldn’t allow myself to feel one way or another about it. She cussed up a storm the whole walk back to her truck, and we fought all the way back to my apartment. I guess she assumed I’d submit, cater to her feelings, and forget all about my drugs. She hopped down from the driver seat, slammed her door shut, and then tried straight for the apartment door. “Hold on. Where’s the rest of my stuff? I know you have it. Hand it over.” Barbara got loud with me, and said, “Seriously?! You almost just died. Fine. Here!” She reached into the space above her trucks’ headliner, and with force– struck me in the chest with it.
BEEP.. ZING.. BEEP.. ZING..
I look up at my light, but it’s still blue. My legs won’t stop messing around. My bones feel like they’re bending, and twisting inside. I can’t begin to explain just how much I hate donating plasma for drug money. Possibly one of the worst things a person could do while detoxing from heroin. “Excuse me, sir. You’re gonna have to sit still, and firmly pump your right hand for me. Okay?” I can’t seem to get comfortable with this bed. It’s not a “bed”, but that’s what they call it. My phone receives a text message, “I don’t want it to always be like this. Tell me it won’t always be this way.” My thumbs stall. How can I keep her hoping? Once we smoke, she’ll drop it. She’ll come around then. “Well, you’re all set, sir. You receive seventy five dollars today, and we’ll see you next time. Thank you for your donation, and enjoy the rest of your day.” It’s about time. I made my way out, struggling for steady feet back through the clinic. My phone starts to ring, but I decline the call. It’s like she’s watching me, or something.
5 missed calls, 1 new message
The bell hanging from the door to the gas station slings off the hook, and crashes behind me. A-T-M, WHERE ARE YOU? The funny thing is, I’ve been here more times than I can count. I’m running out of time. I’M HURTING, AND STILL have a drive ahead of me.
“Your money is being dispensed..”
COME ON. COME ON. COME ON.
Now, let’s just hope they’re home.
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