As much as I love ‘em, I was bitching about our old pal Basil’s rants, which bitch about his slightly-glamorous, yet low-paying job driving hookers around. For a lot of us, that would be a dream job. I made the argument that he should tie his rants to larger sociological circumstances, and am beginning to think I was wrong. Perhaps such an approach would give his writing breadth, but on the other hand, perhaps his depth would suffer.
Regardless, I thought I’d tell a story. Yer old pal Anonymous is pretty drunk and high right now, courtesy of a little chemical know-how, some weird Internet pills, and cheap light beer.
The other day I ran into a 75-year old woman vomiting on the sidewalk. We both used to score high-powered narcotics from a guy who died recently, so we knew each other beforehand. I was a little worried about her – there are a lot of creeps who fiend for crack in her neighborhood, so I sat down with her for a bit so she could get her bearings and tell me about the time she shot her third husband and the time her first husband shot her in the ass. Now, these are New Orleans-area folks; they know how to milk every system they come across, and can live quite well without ever having to do anything but trade pills to someone literate enough to fill out various forms. But I digress – the point is these old ladies in the opiate and muscle relaxer-filled handicapped community next door know how to hustle way better than any small-town America white dude ever could. But I do quite well.
I just told the reader that I sat down with the lady because I was worried about her. And the reader probably believed me. If you still believe me, I’ll let you know I do all kinds of work with the handicapped and the elderly: keeping them company and so forth. It fulfills me spiritually and gives me an opportunity to help those in need. Plus her son’s a heroin dealer and I kept hoping he’d come home while I was talking to her so I could score a $40 bag. If he didn’t come home, I was gonna hit her up for some of her pills that make heroin look like baby aspirin.
But it didn’t happen. My psychotic wife darted into the parking lot, pissing off a taxi driver because she didn’t signal and basically almost caused him to broadside her – in my uninsured car. Yes, my wife is a professional party pooper. She shows up, and any happy mood that existed among people interacting evaporates. The disposition she expresses toward people makes them want to avoid her, especially addicts. Addicts are experts in practicing avoidance, and we hate conflict to the point we’ll do anything to get away from it. Conflict always calls for drugs or alcohol; whether we are convinced drugs and alcohol will give us the balls to deal with the conflict or if we are convinced that they will help us blank it out, I do not know, but we sure do like it when things go smoothly. I suspect drugs and alcohol help us to accomplish whatever end we wish, but the more advanced the addiction, the more likely that blackout is the desired outcome, and the more likely we’ll run into unintended consequences for our fucked up behavior.
So back to the story; my wife shows up and demands that I leave with her and go home. The old woman with whom I was talking told my wife to sit her ass down and tell her about her father. Yes, the old lady wanted to know about my wife’s father. At least that’s what she told my wife.
It was a sinister tale I’ve heard many times before: her father was a drunken asshole who beat her mom and her older siblings. Then he’d force her mom to cook up a chicken that he had killed with his drunken buddies, and she’d have to pluck it, clean it, boil it, and feed it to the crowd of drunks who had suddenly converged upon her house. You don’t generally get this type of story from Americans; the fact they were all Mexicans made the story more real. Among New Orleans folks, it’s more likely to be a common story.
So my wife tells the elderly woman the story. They swap tales of bad men and the badder women whom they claim to be, always placing the woman on top in the conflict. Normally I wouldn’t bother listening to an hour’s worth of this bullshit, but I kept hoping her heroin-dealing son would get home, so I stayed, interjecting when appropriate, and supporting the stories of both in whatever way made me look like a good guy. Part of this choice in tactics was so that the elderly woman would later talk about what a good guy I was to her son, therefore (hopefully) increasing the quality and take on whatever drugs I subsequently scored from the guy. I was and am very conscious of the fact that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his mother, and if the man is a drug dealer, it’s good to have his mother on your side. When he stiffs you and you complain to his mother, he’s likely to be in a greater world of shit than he would be otherwise.
The heroin-dealing son didn’t come home that night, at least while I was there. A couple of days later I walked over to the store to buy some beer and his mother stopped me, told me what a good guy I am, and told me that it was probably the fact she drank Budweiser (as opposed to Coors Light) two nights before that she became ill and vomited on the sidewalk. My response was something to the effect of “Oh yeah, Budweiser will do that; that’s why I drink Coors-labeled beers.” She said she was going to get back inside and finish watching Roadhouse, but to take care of my wife. I said “of course!” Being nice to this woman has created a good image of myself which she will share with others around her. That’s how propaganda works. Not through the message, but through the people that carry the message to others.
The moral of my story? Well, there probably isn’t one. It’s full of immorality and hidden agendas. I should probably feel guilty about my fetish for “visitin” with the elderly and the infirm, but I know that’s the ticket to good drugs. I mean, I went 2 years (until he died) milking very potent legally-prescribed narcotics from a guy in a wheelchair. A lot of junkies sit around fiending, sucking dick, or pawning stolen shit to support their habits. I play the “nice guy” role, under the guise of “helping others,” and have been able to maintain addictions off and on for years without doing anything I can’t live with.
So there you have it: that image in our heads of a junkie strung out on heroin sucking dick under the bridge is a horrifying image someone borrowed AND created to try to steer people into religion or something equally sinister. A junkie can get by on just being a nice person. Maybe my modus operandi has morally questionable components, but for an addict, getting high is the greatest morality, and doing it within the behavioral confines of what “civil society” claims to be just is perfectly moral.
Cheers to all, especially to my old pal Jerky!