“I have to go to a discharge meeting with my wife and the social worker so I may be leaving you this afternoon,” I say, with the certainty of all delusionals. I can tell Bo hasn’t processed anything I said after books. He’s high out of his mind and still living on junk-time, which is to say, no time at all. Sometimes you say about a guy who’s high “he’s feeling no pain” but what you really mean is he’s feeling no time. I turn and leave him sitting there, still pawing through his shorts. I need to go get some coffee so I can be razor sharp for my parole hearing.
“I talked to Jessica today--” says Jonah. “The ladies hate her,” I interrupt. “The ladies hate everyone,” he says in a mournful voice, “that’s why they’re ladies.” He looks up just as Lindsey the amateur porn star leans over our table, spilling a bubbling brook of blond curls over her shoulders. She gently sets down a cup of steaming coffee in front of him, just like a waitress. “Two sugars, two creams?” she asks Jonah. “You know how daddy likes it,” he replies, winking at her as she turns to go back to the women’s table before they band together and kill her.
In the morning I’m up early, refreshed by Tranxene sleep and feeling only slightly the Suboxone-tamed opiate withdrawal. At morning medication I greet the med troll like an old friend, grateful to have her as my dealer. After giving me all the boring meds that sustain my life, and which I don’t care about, she dumps the Suboxone into its dainty white paper cup. I smile at her and gladly take the cup, beaming with happiness. Just before I toss it back I notice a problem. There are only two pills here. There should be four. “Oh wait,” I look at her as concerned as a surgeon examining a diseased organ, “I’m actually supposed to get FOUR, I think?” She gives me that we-are-sorry-to-inform-you look. “No honey, you get two now. Doctor tapering you down so you can get off that one.” This is deeply problematic. I don’t want to get off ‘that one.’ I want to stay on ‘that one’ forever. ‘That one’ is the love of my life, the only thing that stands between me and the void of despair and death.
“Listen to this!” I kneel at the head of his bed, flip through my Rilke book and begin reading: Oh speak, poet, what do you do? --I praise. But the monstrosities and the murderous days, how do you endure them, how do you take them? --I praise. Mildly intoxicated and brimming with euphoria and motivation, I think this poem is a profound commentary on both of our situations. If we could only learn how to praise…