The day started out bad
Things went downhill
One saving grace
Sanity held together by a sliver
The internal mantra
It’s only the drugs
I told myself
Freak on a leash playing
In the background
It’s only the drugs
As if it was true
And had some sort of power
It’s only the drugs
I’m not sure what year it was that this happened, but happen it did.
Walking out of the local Albertsons a couple months ago a man asked me for thirty three cents. His cloths were filthy and stank slightly. His hair was only hand combed, and also dirty. My first reaction was a slight sense of revulsion; I say slight and I mean that. I’ll explain, and with a hope this never has to happen to me again, at several points in time in my life I have been homeless. So when I say I was slightly revolted it was because of where I have been; not because the state he was in. To be asking for that specific amount of money meant only one thing. He needed a drink.
I was about to tell him that there was a better way to live when I recognized him. We used to party together. Now don’t get me wrong he wasn’t a close friend of mine, more like a friend of a friend. But I think I drank and did drugs with him a couple of dozen times. I remember thinking that dude can put the drink and drugs away just like me. And like me he would burn hot then disappear for a while…normal behavior for people like us (the kind of person I used to be).
I have to tell you something about him, and this was the only reason I gave him the thirty three cents, also the reason I didn’t try to talk to him. He wouldn’t remember me, probably barely remembered his own name. About fourteen years ago some extremely strong drugs hit the streets, first meth, and then LSD. Being in the same circles we had access to the same supplier. Almost like mirrors we both got spun out, for about a month, and then the LSD showed up.
This shit was strong, the body high was amazing, and the visuals were fucking unbelievable. After about a week solid of tripping I was still in pretty good shape. Ok, I have to say that I thought I was doing pretty well; I weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds, and at six foot four I looked like the walking dead. So thinking I was the fucking LSD master with a mind like a steel trap I decided to take about four times what I had been taking, and to wait about a half hour and take as much again. That is the problem with drug addicts, insane shit makes perfect sense.
So I drop all of this acid and proceed about my day, I have very little memory of the day except for the culmination. Sitting in a Lazy boy chair and I was talking with a couple of friends, Will and Ben. Will was tweaking (on a large amount of meth) and Ben was tripping balls on shrooms. My memory kicks in and we were in the middle of a conversation about the different levels of consciousness brought about by different kinds of drugs. It is amazing looking back how deep some of the conversations on drugs are capable of being. Now I could go into the spiritual or metaphysical aspects of this but I won’t. One minute I am hip deep in intellect and the next I wasn’t even able to form a coherent thought! I could see the energy that was flowing between everything, in colorful particle streams…and I could feel the colors!
Even trying as hard as I can I can’t remember much more about that night, or much over the next three weeks. One thing I do remember was sitting on my front step and watching the grass grow and the street lamps drip light. This may sound strange but I think that the only thing that brought me back from the brink of permanent insanity was telling my-self almost constantly that IT’S ONLY THE DRUGS! Will came over every day to check on me. “Dude, are you still tripping man” he would ask, and I would say yes “but it’s only the drugs”. Than he would ask if I had taken anything else and I would say no, and we would smoke some pot and he would leave. He wanted to know if I was still taking more LSD. I wasn’t it just wouldn’t wear off!!
Of course eventually it wore off or I would be a drooling idiot with filthy hair, dirty cloths, sitting outside of the local Albertsons begging for thirty three cents for just one more beer. That would be all I was capable of.
Yeah I knew that man, I gave him the money, and I didn’t try to talk to him. I was lucky enough to come back, he wasn’t. Fourteen years later and he is still out there on the edge of reality where you can see the powers of the universe flow…a place where the human mind is too small to handle safely.
Chris McQueeney 1/18/12 12:39 PM
http://www.threewordwednesday.com/ this link takes you to a site that prompts three words a week to be used in a poem, short story, or flash fiction. On that site you will find links to other authors participating in 3ww.
Also the story is being submitted to Blue bell books short story slam Again if you want to support more authors please visit and read!