I was nineteen and home from college for a weekend. Home for me was always a strange place, since I had never actually lived there. My parents moved into the house during my third week in college, making the dorms more familiar and comfortable than the converted attic I shared with my brother, who lived there full time furthing my disconnect from the place.
The night in question, was preceded by fourteen or fifteen nights of drinking, which was impressive but nowhere near the record. I don’t know what the record was, but I didn’t want to have to roll my streak back to zero, so I had my brother buy me some wine. Bums drink it, so I always pick it when I need to get drunk in a hurry.
I uncorked it, sat on my bed and chugged. My brother barely took his eyes off the television to watch his little brother all grown up. I set the bottle down, and lied down. I was asleep instantly and dreaming.
I was walking through an outdoor mall. It was sunny and cool and there were lots of windows and the air was crisp and tasted clean like it had just rained. I was holding a woman’s hand and it was smooth and slender. Her thumb caressed my forefinger. She tugged me in the direction of an electronic’s store. I pretended to not need to go into the store, but she knew my compulsion and dragged me in.
It was a great store. It had silver floors and walls, all brushed steel. Monitors and LCD screens hung everywhere, blinking lights, stereo equipment, chrome framed overstuffed leather furniture everywhere; literally a dream. As we were shopping for televisions, which were all somehow within my budget, I had the sudden urge to pee. I let go of her hand and the salesman points me to the bathroom, reminding me that everything in the store is for sale.
There are no toilets or urinals in the bathroom, just a step waterfall and several more flat panel televisions hanging at eye level on the wall. I heard a whir and tiny football players, like from the carnival game where you throw the football to a cardboard cutout with a hole in it, start running back and forth across the waterfall. I didn’t know what to do, but peeing through the hole seemed natural, so I did that.
The screens displayed cheering crowds. The more I peed through the holes the louder and more intense the cheering on the televisions got. It was thrilling. I peed so much, more than I have ever peed in my life.
Suddenly my crotch got very warm; suspiciously warm and in a flash I am no longer in the most amazing bathroom concievable, and am in my bed, covered in urine from the waist to the knees staring my brother in the face as he asks me, “What?” I don’t know what he means, but there’s no time to ask for an explanation. I run down stairs, use the actual bathroom, steal my dad’s sweatpants from the back of the bathroom door, throw my underwear in the trash can outside and go back to bed.
My brother tells me I was laughing and cheering, then I yelled, “that’s not right at all!” and popped up onto my knees in my bed, then I said, “something terrible has happened,” to which he replied only to be snubbed as I ran out of the room to destroy the evidence.
Years later, in my fifth year of college, I found a stable and fair supplier for some painkillers that were particularly enjoyable. They’re called norco, or I called them norco, some people call them yellows, I think. they’re basically a stronger form of vicodin, with less acetamenophin, which is the part that is more dangerous to your liver, I think. I’m not a pharmacist, nor have I ever acquired these drugs from a pharmacist, so I can only go on what my logic can compute.
One night I was playing poker with friends and I popped a norco, then another a bit later, and two more before the game was done. At this point there is eight times the reccomended dosage in me and it is working. It makes me feel great, which was rare at the time, as I have a chronic gastrointestinal condition which can be very painful at times, so for an evening free of this pain, I was grateful.
I went down stairs and got into my pajamas which consisted basketball shorts, sweatpants, socks, a thermal shirt and a hooded sweatshirt, because I lived on the bottom floor in a cement room with no heating vent and a flimsy, unsealed door between the non-insulated basement, and it was winter in the riverside desert on the top of a large hill, making it bone shakingly cold, and I was high as hell on opiates. I climbed into the bed under my quilt and two blankets and was out instantly.
I woke up covered in sweat. This was common, thanks to my GI difficulties I get night fevers that shake me from sleep, so this was no different. Usually I sit up, get my bearings, breathe deeply, and get back to sleep. This time, only my crotch area – from my navel to my thighs- was soaked, and I was in the middle of a sizable puddle in the middle of my bed. It was embarassing. I was embarassed to have wet the bed; but I was still high. So naturally, I rolled over out of the puddle, wrapped the blanket around me tight, shut my eyes and went back to sleep.
I woke up at noon and washed my sheets, hung the quilt and blankets out to get hit with the hose, and tossed my pjs into my hamper. I rarely tell this story. It screams “moment of clarity,” but it wasn’t. Maybe I have a problem. Maybe this collection of stories will become my goodbye letter to drugs and alcohol; or maybe they’re a symptom of a subconcious need for another story, another notch on the belt, or another step down a path that will one day lead to twelve more, but thus far I haven’t learned shit.