Updated: Mar 8

Society views substance as an obstacle to an individual’s priorities. Substance abusers

view substance as the priority. This dilemma fosters a cycle of confusion as the very society that bears judgment is the same that forces individuals to turn to substances in the first place.

I wake up at 10:30 AM with a level of difficulty and sorrow. I could use a couple more

hours but it’s time to get my shit together. Motivation is dry and there’s really no reason to leave bed. What’s concerning is I know exactly what needs to be done, yet that alone won’t spark the fire. To do so, I look to the holy trinity: Adderall, coffee, and nicotine. I really should stop being so generous with the Juul rips because I’m out of pods. Looking at my desk, I see that black bag of American Spirit next to the bong, and my problem finds a solution. The black bag is lethal, it’s the strongest tobacco available at the corner mart. I want that head rush. I need that head rush. All the coughing and all the dizziness are worth that head rush. I pack the bowl, rip, and then bliss. I take a second to snap back to reality but when I come to, I suddenly recall taking the last Adderall last night. My next refill has 5 days to go. I’m gonna have to pound coffee at this point.

My sociology paper is due in six hours. 10,000 words and I have yet to start. I’ve done

more with less - or at least I always tell myself that. Insanity is repeating the same action over and over to failure and expecting different results. Time and time again, I put my work off and expect that the will to just get it done will fall right into my lap. I had every intention to at least get a good start last night, but then 7:00 PM came across and Murphy knocked on my door with the proposition to drink. That’s my issue. My excuse to dodge my work is the same as my excuse to drink. All I hope is that this realization is not useless. I digress.

1:00 hits the clock and still a blank page. I am in limbo. Maybe a little weed will get the

creative juices flowing. I pack the bowl, rip, and then the haziness. I was wrong as I find myself locked under my sheets. Shit, did I really say that to Callie last night? I was acting a fool. These ideas along with every awkward exchange and every little regret take my stream of consciousness, regardless if they took place three years ago. Suddenly the idea of completing my paper seems farther and farther from view. I could care less about that shit at this point and would rather take a nap.

Phone buzzing, eyes open. Fuck, it’s already 4:30. I should stop evading my work. It’s

flip night. Flip is the greatest bar promotion ever conceived. On Wednesdays, the local bar has this deal where you order a beer. Before paying, the tender flips a coin and you have to call Heads or Tails in which if you’re correct, the beer only costs $1. An open invitation for all the booze bags and scoundrels in a five-mile radius. I go to the syllabus and refer to late penalties because this paper was not going to meet the deadline, I pretty much have already accepted this. 1,000 whatever words are enough for now. I’m still stoned. The common misconception of being stoned is simply that you’re high. Being stoned is really the feeling one has when the weed leaves their system. Your brain feels like salt on a snail. I stay in place. After precisely 55 minutes, I get the notion that a shower would suffice. I open the mini-fridge and pull out a can of Schweppe’s, what’s left of a New Amsterdam handle, and pour them into a coffee mug. A quick sweep of texts and snaps consumes my time while I consume the booze. I notice my room is a fucking mess. Every outfit from the past week or so piling high, empty water bottles scattered: I can’t bring a girl back here tonight. Clearly, I care about my appearance more than my own self-care. I toss all my clothes in the hamper and empty the trash. I mope down to the shower, where I stay set a deep house playlist, and just sulk in the steam. God knows for how long I spend in the shower. The hot water running down your back with a nice buzzing leaves there no room for a better place to avoid all responsibilities - other than sleep does this hold true. Head resting on the arm that holds my head against the wall, I rift with whatever idea pops into my head. I seem to be at first fixated on the idea of aggression while I think of potential one-liners in regard to the prospective and hypothetical argument in my head. This very rift takes its own course and takes me to different realms of the subconscious. Still stoned as I lay on my bed, wrapped in my towel. It’s that time of year when the darkness of winter fills all gapes and gaps. 30 minutes until my paper is supposed to be due. I’m still in a haze. Drinking should fuel the charisma I’ll need to get laid tonight. I go downstairs

to see the boys. They have already started boozing. Not drinking, boozing - or binging as the American Health Association defines it. I start by shotgunning a beer, or two. I got the

strongest gullet east of the Mississippi. At that point, I feel the buzzing in my stomach start to enter my brain. However, that feeling goes to bat with the haziness. That’s not really helping so I reach into my wallet and take out a little white bag. All the blow fiends in the room circle. I’m too generous. I pour out 7 gator tails onto the iPad in the center of the room: three for me, four for the rest. It’s almost ceremonial to rip a line with a blue hundred dollar bill. The irony lies in the fact that I spent my only one on this very bag. I have to listen to “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” by The Rolling Stones when I blow down. *Sniff Sniff* “Wooo”. The big bad wolf blowing down doors. I begin to start speaking faster than I can think yet I keep thinking faster with less focus. The thought of the Jim Beam bottle in the freezer provokes me to stand up and head for it. I like it on the rocks and poured it to the top of the glass. The postnasal drip makes it easier to take down. I need the iPad again. I reach and grab it and pour out three more lines from the bag. *Sniff Sniff* “Woo”. Moments later, we leave for the bar with a heap of steam. We got to get there before it’s packed. I want my dollar beer.

“Two Southern Tier IPAs”. They’re both for me. The bartender flips for the first one

and looks at me as he covers the result. “Heads”. Its tails. Then the other. “Tails”. It’s heads.

I’m 0 for 2 and $14 in the hole but the tab gets left open as I’ll be coming back for more. I head back to the table where Callie, Kat, and Zelda are sitting with the boys. The boys are yipped up and the girls are too sober to be dealing with our bullshit. I have been trying to slow play it with Callie and I have her ear at this very moment. The pacing of my jokes is off. I’m scatterbrained and all over the map but she laughs anyway which is a good sign. I offer her a drink, which she accepts, and we make our way to the bar after downing our drinks. “Two Southern Tier IPAs and a Twea”. “Tails”. Fuck yes, it's tails. Tails never fail so I call it again but am proven wrong as its heads. We head back to the table where I find Murphy trying to get my attention with one finger holding his nostril and his eyes rolled back to his head. A popular method of cocaine usage is the key bump, in which you collect powder with a key from the bag and promptly sniff off the key. That’s what Murphy was referring to. He wanted to conduct a business meeting in the bathroom stall. So there we head. He’s got the key and I got the bag. *Sniff Sniff* woo. We look in the mirror to be certain that there isn’t any nostril gospel on our faces then head back to our seats. I was on a Rick James level of yippie. We go back to the table. The problem with cocaine is you think it sobers you up but instead makes you an obnoxious fuck. I could tell that’s how I was being based on the shift from embrace to disgust I received from Callie. She starts to silence me out but I keep talking. After my last attempt, I think the booze will be my lay tonight. So I chug. Murphy makes the same gesture as before and I quickly point to the bathroom. We head to the bathroom stall. The key enters the bag as the stall door slams open. Fuck me. By the size of the body under the black shirt and given the circumstance, it had to be the bouncer. The bag is in my hand so it's my collar he grabs. It didn’t take long for him to get me from the bathroom to the bar. I glance towards our table and they all can see. I glance around the whole bar and everyone sees. I’m not worried as I can

easily entertain myself on the walk back home. I’m a sad little duckling. I get home, pour

another Jim Beam just how I like it, then text Callie hoping she’ll write that off. I text her only for the read receipt to pop up immediately. Fuck. My only companion is at the bottom of this glass.

I wake up with that “Where am I?” sensation. It’s just the couch. I can hardly remember what took place last night. My phone is dead and I have no idea what time it is. I run upstairs to charge my phone but only after I take a rip of tobacco. I pack the bowl and rip, only that when I try to pull the bowl out, it sticks and I swallow all of the smoke. Flustered, I try to rapidly self-induce burps to get it the fuck out of my stomach. Then the light fades to black. Not again. I wake up to my phone blowing the fuck up. I jump up. Unknown number - just a telemarketer. I am surprised that there no texts, just missed calls from the boys. I’m relieved in the sense that there are no urgent matters that need tending to but sad that no one reached out to me at all. The cocaine comedown hits along with all my problems. Every shortcoming from Callie to the paper to disappointing my parents and wasting my education to be a scoundrel. I’ve been here before but never wanted to come back. These thoughts induce circular thinking that just worsens and worsens. The only solution I can think of is at the bottom of that Jim Beam bottle.

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