Patients II - Final Discussion
By Angel P. Vermicelli
Patients II begins where Patients I ended, with "Truck Farmer" Jim's impassioned declaration, "Angel, there is nothing and I mean nothin' man that I'd rather be doing right now than smokin' some rock." And, I'd just told you I believed him, unquestionably. His eyes read somewhere between revenge and lust, yet a revenge and lust once removed, distant, as if he were visualizing...no, experiencing the idea of this "rock" concomitant with the knowledge that he wasn't.
Now, I don't claim to know too awfully much more about the Crack game now than I did when I first checked into to Dazenhel. We tried not to dwell on re-living the problem there, but rather the development of viable methodologies we might employ to identify and avoid the consequences our addiction, "using". I did pick up a few new terms, because Farmer Jim couldn't help but brag just a bit on the purity of his dope, which he enhanced by some laborious method or other, and the high quality of his "screens" and "strainers". What really stuck in my memory, however, was the "coffin".
"Angel, did I tell ever you about the coffin?" I acknowledged that I hadn't yet had the privilege. Biophysicists amongst the readership may recognize the mechanics Jim describes as either fact or fairytale. I don't know the answer, but I have to tell you that I believed him then, and still do today. It's not unreasonable in my book, and anyway, it's not really important. What's important is a description of the lengths a Crack head will go to in order to more completely enjoy his Rock.
Jim explained, "I'd heard the other Crack heads talking about how much better the high was when the surrounding air was cold. That's when I was just getting into it, Angel, and hadn't yet perfected my techniques. Hell, I wanted to try it out but it was summer you see--it was all the Honeywell could do to keep the house down about 55 degrees (F) going full bore. That's when I got the coffin."
"I ordered it special, biggest Gawddam horizontal almost-industrial-sized meat locker I could find in the catalog. Real high energy efficiency rating too, Angel. I'd crank that sucker down to ZERO(F), MAN, CLIMB ON IN, SHUT THE LID, AND FIRE UP THE PIPE!!! Shit fire, it's the ONLY WAY TO REALLY DO YOUR ROCK!!!"
"Uh...weren't you..., cold?" I asked quietly. He said, "Nope".
The other character in Patients II are alternately humorous, and pathetic-usually both at the same time.
Pecos Paul'd landed the coveted post of pistol-packin', pinto-ridin' mascot of his university's football team. Standard-issue faux-pistolas did not meet muster for our Paul-didn't have the requisite authenticity. (Makes sense to me) He acquired a brace of reality, and packed 'em with duds to sport and shoot up into the air at the games. High on crystal methanphetamine (his favorite) at a game in Southern Somewhere, he shot the ass-feathers off the then rather stunned and howling Detroit Duck, Hall-of-Fame Funny Mascot Personage. Motivation for discharge of firearm with intent to roast Duck? It seems Pecos' cherished university-logo-emblazoned-sombrero-hat had blown off, as it was a windy day, and it seems that the Duck had snagged it and was "humping" on it....
Doc Silver washed up to go in for a C-section, as surgeon. He read the chart on the door and saw that he'd done the job the day before, but didn't remember BECAUSE DOC WAS IN A TOTAL BLACKOUT FOR 100% OF THAT OPERATION. Believe it or not, a gifted surgeon, Doc was just about top man as his place of business.
All Catalina Clive could seem to remember was that he owned a nice boat and took people out fishing. "Tuna fishing, man, man, it's the best ya know what I mean? The tunas hit the line, man, what a rush. Big tuna, 200+ lb. tuna. You ever been tuna running? Tuna's a beautiful fish man...."
When a new guy came down on to the unit from intake, we'd ask him about his "drug of choice". Ya gotta get a some kind of benchmark on people, ya know. Tom told us that he was "in" for smoking too much Marijuana. The room went silent. Farmer Jim walked up, calm and deliberate, drawling out in his best Texan, "Boy, I can cure you of a-wantin' to smoke that grass-shit, one hit off the crack pipe and you'll WON'T NEVER WORRY ABOUT IT EVER AGAIN." What we didn't quite comprehend until later was the diurnal AMOUNT of marijuana our amigo Tom smoked, measured in OUNCES.
Then there was this High IQ Society character, who made up DRUG ANALOGIES ALL DAY LONG in the fashion of: (3 MINUTES IN FRONT OF THE SECOND PLACE RUNNER IN THE BOSTON MARATHON AND ABOUT TO WIN) : (YOU'RE AHEAD) :: (SMOKE DOPE CONSTANTLY AND ABOUT TO PASS OUT) : (?) (ANSWER IS: "YOU'RE A HEAD")
Well, dear reader, I figure I have to stop now. I only wrote about this because of the tidal wave of curious letters and email Mr. Thoth was forwarding to the Administrator. Truth be known, addiction will kill you dead. I spared you the complete description of Cincinnati Cid the Cocaine Addict, and how he wound-up Christmas Day shoving an ice-pick up his nose, "Over-the-counter-decongestants weren't working for me anymore" and removed it to find his nasal septum impaled on the end of that bloody spike.
So, it's not so funny after all. BUT, THERE IS HOPE. One day
at time, and if you are ready-trust me, help is available. THERE IS A SOLUTION.