I’m not the type of individual who partakes in pill taking. I prefer to take my medicine in liquid form. From a frothy glass of cheap domestic, to an ice-filled glass of dizzy water, I’m a sorted individual who visits the liquor store on a regular basis to fill my prescription.
Back in my heyday while attending my alma mater, DMACC, (go Bears…yea, a community college had a sports team, though I discovered that fact at the end of my tenure) back when I was an idealistic commercial art student, I spent less time studying art history and perfecting my craft, and more time playing Grand Theft Auto III, or getting obliterated while watching the hyper-violent, sci-fi/fantasy erotica masterpieces known as Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal 2000. Sure, in hindsight I realize that my priorities may have been misplaced all those years ago, but it sure was a fun ride.
Yet, those drunken nights weren’t all for naught. Some grand ideas came to my roommates and me when we were addled. Like, for instance, the bra pillow. I know what you’re thinking, the bra pillow sounds kind of pervy, well, I assure you that it was. The bra pillow comprised of a large discarded bra from the laundry room that we fitted around our throw pillow and stuffed with Kleenexes like a tween at a sock-hop. Yea, it was funny, but back then a group of guys manhandling a complete stranger’s (possibly) unwashed unmentionable that was stuffed like a moose head didn’t cross our minds as weird and pathetic. Though, the saving grace of the bra pillow was the fact that it made a great napping pillow. There was something deeply maternal about catching a few winks with your head buried in an artificial bosom.
The bra pillow eventually met its fate by the hands of its maker. One night while drunk I thought it would be funny to start the bra pillow on fire, only to find out the Kleenexes are just slightly less flammable than gasoline-soaked rags.
So, being that I have such a rich history of abusing my body, you’d assume that I was a pill-head as well. Well, you’d assume wrong. I only had one occasion where I partook, and was so decimated from the incident that I swore to never do them again.
It was in my second year of college (go Buffalo…I mean Bears…I think). I was hanging out in my next door neighbor’s apartment. The tenants in this apartment started out with the truest intentions of furthering their education so that they could become contributing members of society. The apartment eventually devolved into a drug den where you could retreat from your respective straight-laced roommate, and partake in illicit substances. In this apartment lived Zach, the aloof stoner who wasn’t big on hygiene, wore sandals in the dead of winter, and would occasionally draw a line down his face with a marker with a specific color that reflected his mood (I sometimes didn’t like to hang out with him in public). Also living in that apartment was Jeremy whom I don’t remember much about, except for that he appeared very weak and had a very pale complexion. Also, I lost his VHS copy of Basketball and I never bothered to replace it. It still haunts me every day. And lastly, there was Ryan. Ryan was dismissed from the army under suspicious reasons, and had a medicine cabinet of anti-psychotics that could rival Walgreens. Ryan was an intense individual with a bi-polar personality. He always looked like he was on the verge of tearfully hugging you or violently stabbing you with a rusty screwdriver.
One evening I strolled over to their apartment to enjoy their company and found that they were well into an evening of debauchery. Ryan immediately grabbed a 32oz. plastic convenience store cup and proceeded to fill it half-full with Absolute vodka. Personally, I’m not a Vodka drinker, but I thought it would be rude if I didn’t oblige his warm hospitality. While politely sipping the plastic cup of room temperature vodka, Ryan ran off to his bathroom and came back with a handful of pills in assorted shapes and sizes. He said, “Here, take these.” I asked what they were, and he informed me that they were a mixture of tranquilizers, muscle relaxants. And being the responsible individual I am I simply said, “Sure”. I asked him if he had any water to wash them down. He said that I had a cup of Vodka right in front of me. I said, “Of course”, and feeling silly for asking, I proceeded to wash down the handful of various prescriptions with vodka.
It seems like it was only a matter of minutes before my body felt like warm tapioca that was slowly being swallowed by their couch that reeked like stale incense. My eyelids began to droop like stage curtain as I tried with all my might to balance my basketball head on my broomstick neck. After a few more polite drinks of vodka, I clumsily stood from the couch and said, I think I need to go back to my place now. They all laughed in a knowing manner, and I stumbled the fifteen feet back to my door.
I immediately climbed under my sheets and proceeded to have a night of terrifying dreams and coma-like sleep. I awoke at some time in the night still reeling from the pills and decided that a cold shower could sober me up. It was when I stood from my bed that I realized that I had no sensation in my legs. Losing my footing, I grabbed for the nearest object which happened to be my roommate’s 19” television. My fingers desperately seized the edges of the TV, and instead of regaining my balance, I pulled the TV down on top of me on my quick decent to the floor. Lying on the floor with the wind knocked out of me with tranquillizers and muscle relaxants coursing through my veins, I felt like a man trapped beneath a two ton boulder. I mustered what little might I had and managed to push the TV off of my chest and onto the floor next to me. I then managed to find my footing and stumbled into the shower. After a shower that could have been ten minutes or two hours for all I know, I shut off the water and then couldn’t find my way out of the three foot by three foot shower stall. Apparently I got turned around and was trying to exit through the wall. I traced my hands against the wall and then the next wall, and then the next wall (that’s when I began to worry that I was trapped forever in my labyrinth of a shower) and finally I found the elusive curtain. I then went straight back to bed while avoiding the hassle of drying myself off.
I crawled back into bed and proceeded to sleep for 14 hours until my roommate came home and asking a dazed and confused me why his TV was on the floor.
After that traumatic event, I swore off pills and considered myself lucky for not asphyxiating on my own vomit. By the end of my school career, Jeremy got too deep into pills and by the end looked like he was a good sneeze away from the grave. Zach continued on his course of weed smoking, and eventually got a nasty case of head lice. And Ryan ended up getting kicked out of school because he cut his wrists with his shaving razor, and proceeded to go on a “military run” in the dead of night while leaving a blood trail on the walls and carpet of the apartment building.
My last mental image of Ryan is of him being escorted by a couple Ankeny police officers wearing rubber gloves. It was after that incident that I was content in dropping him as my pharmacist.