Riding on the 1 heading downtown yesterday afternoon, I watched this guy sip from a plastic bottle of red juice-like beverage. I also watched him eating a red-flecked twinkie-like cake from its cellophane wrapper. But I didn’t get the cell phone out in time to snap the pic. It’s burned inside my eye though. The last bite. He seemed proud and giddy to gobble the last third of it in one smushy chomp. He mumbled to himself and snickered.
It was pretty obvious he was high. And since that was obvious, I didn’t mind chuckling to myself at his glee. I suspected he was on heroin, though I could be wrong, but he kept nodding and nearly spilled the drink a few times. I wondered if he was aware of that and just messing with the other folks sitting on either side of me whom maybe I sensed were feeling the same suspense I was. Finally he jumped up and started babbling some funny (to himself) gibberish (to everyone, no one).
Economic downturns tend to be economic upturns for alcohol and drugs. I suspect, and I’ve been watching it progress in my neighborhood this past year, that there’ll be more scenes like this fella in town. Under the bridge near my place, there’s a new blond junkie. There’s been a couple of them, or the new one makes it a few, in the nine years I’ve been here.
They look like run-of-the-mill middle class blond druggies. Over a period of several months or so, they start to decay. Eventually their partner props them up to walk them down the street to back under the bridge overpass. Then they are gone.
At a Damien Hirst show I remember a painting series he did of a blond drug addict depicted over time. I thought his paintings were kind, but obviously you knew what came next, or last for her.
I always wonder what to do. But I do nothing. Drug addiction and, even and especially, drug recovery is a solo journey. You fall in, you dig, you get out or you don’t.
Ok. There’s some work to finish up for class tomorrow. This class is my drug.