Monday, January 4, 2010

Last Call, Last Stand Part 3

People mischaracterize meth heads as addicts, here in the great groaning portapotty that comprises American Popular Psychology. But the assumption is wrong, and has always been wrong. A tweaker is a special breed of drug user, the ugly mutant offspring of the speed freaks of the 90's and the balls-to-the-wall heroin junkies of the 70's. Allow me, the Reverend Jon Mackey of the Last Church of Gonzo, to explain it to you.

By the time a person is so addled that the sulphur demon is attractive to them, they will put anything at all in their bodies-from Xanax to Boone's Farm to miles and miles of syphilitic dicks. If you use crystal, it is because you are so desperate to be outside yourself that you will use anything. Crystal can give you that-in fact, in some ways it is the best of drugs, because it can give you that for days. But take that away, and there is always Vicadin, pot, speed, yay, hash, cheap wine, Yellow jackets and Robotussin. The modern meth head is desperately uncomfortable within the greasy confines his or her own skin.

Cristal (like the overpriced drink, not like crystal-though the irony was not lost on me) was my now ex's least favorite co worker, and she was no exception to the rule. The smooth lines I'd cut on the coffee table snared her as neatly as peanut butter on a mousetrap. "I don't normally do coke," she chatters to me, with a thin line of blood running from her nose, making a stark track in the makeup. "But it's like, been a hard day, and like this bitch Eva kept upstaging me, so I was like..." I tuned her out, bend to do my own line.

I could still hear the news in the background. The most common phrase is 'Inter-racial backlash.' No one is offering live footage of the city anymore, not even from helicopters. The yay traced a burning white line in my brain, sharpened my view of the news ticker. It reads '...death toll from flooding now at 400; riots death toll still undetermined; national guard in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan mobilized...' I found myself caring somewhat less than I cared about the last girl to leave sobbing from my apartment.

Cristal and I fucked violently, at frenzied coke paces to the flickering light of CNN on the tv-they were replaying the Chicago Gang Rape footage again. Afterwards, I light up a cigarette and spend a half hour or so pointedly not talking to her while she fidgets awkwardly next to me trying to figure out a way to ask me to cut up a couple more lines.

The clock hit 7:34 before the term "MARTIAL LAW" appeared on the ticker. I spent a little time listening to the president's press secretary, some pasty white guy with a name I can't remember, give the usual disaster spiel. I even caught some footage of APC's rolling down the highway in knee deep water while Cristal made small frightened noises in the bed next to me.

Not entirely heartless, I sent her off with a bump for the road, and started to get dressed for work. The rain was coming down harder, and the news was getting worse. They had just announced a media blackout on not only Chicago, but the rest of Illinois as well. Even filtering the news through a couple of tokes, I found it barely tolerable. How was I supposed to get my human suffering fix now? When you've watched the human mob burning and raping their neighbors, how is celebrity drama going to have the same kick? Unlike a tweaker, I have selective taste.

I left the house at 8:12. By then I had put her out of my mind. But it was still destined to be the longest day of my life.

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