I was walking the two miles home from J’s at, what I found out when I arrived home, was about eight a.m. on a Thursday.
I kept to the side of the road, freezing...
I woke up at J’s half-covered in a blanket, the XBox controller still in my hand. I must have passed out while navigating some goddam menu the console makes players go through. Leave it to Microsoft to make accessing a game as fun and easy as typing in a proper MS-DOS command.
The first thing I noticed, before opening my eyes and realizing where I was, was the extreme pain in my head. ...The same pain that's there every morning. I soon found that I was sitting upright... Still locked in the position I likely had been in when I first went to sleep.
Then the anxiety hit. And then I noticed I was shivering, and that J must have moved from the couch he had passed out on to his bedroom. For a minute I surrounded myself in the blanket I had -- made a cocoon out of it -- and laid on the couch he had occupied. I learned that leather likes to maintain its temperature, and that if it was going to warm up, it was going to have to steal from me heat I wasn’t producing.
My morning panic attack forced me into action. I don’t know why I thought it would be possible for me to go back to sleep under any circumstances. My drugs were back home; my pill-box was empty. I hadn’t planned on staying the night, and so I hadn’t brought my morning pills.
I needed ten milligrams of OxyContin and two or three milligrams of Klonopin immediately.
I searched J’s entire first floor for a phone. All I found were chargers for cordless devices I couldn't locate. ...I couldn’t be rude and wake J up so he could drive me home, so I decided to check to see if the weather was nice enough for me to walk home in.
...I had lied to myself, because I began walking down his driveway and up the road as fast as I could as soon as I stepped outside. I had known I was going to walk home even before I stepped out the door.
At least it wasn’t raining. However, whatever the temperature was, I felt if it was a few degrees lower I would have been able to see my breath.
...I tightened the ankle straps on my sandals to try to avoid getting blisters. ...This also locked in the gravel that already had crept beneath my feet. ...I couldn't make myself stop to shake out the pebbles because I couldn't suffer a drug-free moment I could avoid.
The sun was a murderer. It focused all of its rays on my right eye, where my daily migraines emanate from. I zipped up my jacket to my chin, put on the winter hat I had worn the night before, even though it had been about sixty degrees the day before. I wondered why I was so cold, both that morning and the night before, when the the level of magnesium in small tubes indicated I had no reason to be.
It passed the time as I walked up the big hill.
A car passed and I realized I was on the Walk of Shame, and I hadn’t even gotten laid the night before. And for the first time in my life I actually found it shameful to be walking home early in the morning in the same clothes I had worn the day before, freezing and disheveled. On all previous walks like this one I had been coming back from having sex, which I could never understand anyone being ashamed of.
My thoughts occupied me as I walked as fast as I could, head down against that bastard in the center of our solar system. The pain blared in my head like bad music trying to get Noriega out of a church and into an American prison... My panic attack forced me on.
Eventually, finally, I could see my house.
I pictured the two brown bottles... My Oxy and Klonopin, waiting for me on the coffee table next to my bed and its four blankets and comforter. Not close enough...
The sun hit my eye and I grabbed my head as though it had been pierced with an arrow... A person driving by in an SUV at the same moment probably thought a wheel had kicked a pebble in my face. Whoever it was didn't stop.
...Down the driveway, through doors, my pills were on their way to my stomach. I buried myself beneath my blankets and began to feel warm as I waited for them to kick in. As I did I thought of the fact that a large percent of the population in the Eastern time zone was beginning its workday. If the person in the SUV though he/she may have blinded or otherwise injured me, he/she couldn't stop because he/she was late for work... But the person likely didn't notice me at all because his/her mind already was there.
I envied whoever it was as I lay in the dark, twisted up in my blankets.