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Marijuana

and

The 7 Secrets

 

by

Francis Taylor

 

15 Years ago….

 

I slowly became aware of myself, but did not open my eyes. My head lay deep in my dirty pillow, which was soaking with the saliva that had drained out of my mouth. The furry brown carpet on my tongue made me gag as I closed my mouth.

 

It was time to get up. Not for anything in particular, least not for anything cared about. The cat wanted feeding, but it could wait. It knew better than to swim between my legs in the morning.

 

If ever I had a short temper, it was when I was trying to get up and get going, that was when I was at my worst…, trying to ignore my floating , dream-like state, but it was difficult…, like trying to watch a movie that I just wasn’t interested in…, trying to reconnect somewhere, with this thing I called ‘my life’.

 

Every morning was now the same. In fact every day was now the same. I'd wake up at some point, usually about 10 or 10.30. I’d lie there, bursting for a pee, or if I had the strength, I’d sit up and use the old tea pot that’s kept under the bed. Most days, the tea pot was still full from the night before… or the night before that.

 

I never had breakfast, least I never ate food. As usual, the joints from the night before had ensured that I had stuffed my face with everything and anything I could find in the refridgerator. Pizza, chips, fries, breakfast cereal, soup, candy bars, and a few cans of beer. That was my supper, or some variation of it, every night for over ten years.

 

And now, breakfast was a cigarette and a coffee, repeated until lunchtime. When I could eat a snack and then rest on my couch. If Detective Columbo was on, I’d usually watch that. It was easy to watch, I mean, they actually show you who the bad guy is right at the beginning. You can see just how he did it. You don’t need to think at all…

 

Since my divorce I’ve been cooking for myself. No problem really, just needed to master the controls on this second-hand electric cooker. One of the elements is temperamental, if not dangerous. It literally goes hot and cold, it’s got a mind of its own. Bit like my ex-wife. She kept the old cooker, (which is newer than mine, if you know what I mean), it was part of the divorce settlement. I had to leave the marital home… leave everything… and I did. I left everything… somewhere…I didn’t even argue… and never even saw it go…

 

My even meal is always…, how do they say it?…. It is ‘substantial’. I usually eat enough to keep me going till later on in the evening when my ‘munchies’ take over. So, I eat well. Fries, baked beans, bread, burgers. Food that makes you sleep.

 

The bar is open all day, but I only go at about 9 o’clock. The guys in the bar usually slope in between 9 and 10. We talk about not much at all really. The game. The price of beer. The price of cigarettes. Women and how much they can ruin your life.

 

We drink, we smoke and we have a joint. I feel great when the first lung full hits my head. Somehow, the world feels a little better, and what harm is it doing anybody? The bartender doesn’t mind us smoking dope, as long as we don’t make it too obvious.

 

Some of the guys talk about work, but to be honest, they are getting on my nerves. I lost my job 12 months ago. It’s like the boss said, someone has to go, and he said it was me. He said he knew I’d ‘lost interest’. He said he’d heard about my ‘problems’ at home and that maybe a fresh job might help? And besides, he said I was hardly ever in on time and when I was, my work wasn’t ‘up to standard’. I just couldn’t be bothered… Anyway, I know I’m only twenty nine, but I’m not as fit as I was, so maybe it’s best that I find a less demanding job…? But, right now, I just couldn’t be bothered with work at all.

 

This tiny apartment they gave me stinks. It’s small, there is black mould coming through the ceiling, the walls are paper thin, but, well, I guess it’s OK for now. The government pay the landlord, (some rich guy, who I’ve never met, who lives somewhere in the country), and as long as I keep my nose clean, they say you can stay as long as you want.

 

The neighbours are people who, I guess are like me, you know, who are ‘down on their luck’. They are quiet during the day, but once the boys have had bit of ‘action’, they can get naughty, so I keep my doors locked and the bar down. It’s not that bad…

 

14 years and 6 months ago…

 

The truth is, I cry a lot. Most days. Usually in the afternoons, but mornings and evenings too.

 

You see, the truth is, I can’t take much more of this. I can’t think straight. My mind is all over the place. What I mean is, I am unhappy. There, I said it. Mind you, I knew deep down that something was wrong, maybe a long time ago… I guess I never fully acknowledged the part I played in the marriage break-up, and then there were some ‘family issues…’

 

I started to tell the Doctor, but I just couldn’t find the words, I cried, I sobbed, I was ashamed… but I couldn’t stop. So he gave me prescription for Ativan or Lorazipam or something like that.

 

I had always thought that people who take antidepressants needed to ‘get a grip’ or ‘pull them selves together’, but now… He told me to take three pills a day. I did at first, but, along with the alcohol and the marijuana, they were just too strong. So now I always keep one or two pills in my pocket, at all times, just in case… for emergencies.

 

Antidepressants! I had no idea how good they were!

When the terror starts… when I think I am starting to ‘go over the edge’… when I can feel the urge to scream or cry and feel I will never stop… that is when I reach into my pocket. I pop the blue coated angel under my tongue and wait. Relieved, I know I will soon be OK, when I can feel the tablet starting to dissolve… chalky white powder taking me away. Making me safe. And numb.

 

14 years and 3 months ago…

 

I cannot go on like this.

I smoke 60 cigarettes a day.

I smoke marijuana every single night.

I am addicted to marijuana.

I didn’t even see it happen.

I drink alcohol every day.

OK…, let’s be honest.

I am an alcoholic and have been so for over 10 years.

These tranquilisers are a double-edged sword.

They are helping me… yet I feel they may be the nails in my coffin.

 

Some days, maybe when I change my jeans, I forget to put the pills in my pocket. Talk about panic! It’s a catch 22 situation. I panic because I forgot to bring the pills which stop me from panicking…

 

My life is no longer my own.

It is a distant memory….

My life… my dreams… are a distant memory….

 

Please… somebody… anybody… help me.

Help me! Please please please please please HELP ME!!!

 

If there is anybody out there, please HEAR ME!

 

Can’t you see? I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE!

 

I never wanted this…

No, I never wanted this…

I just want….

I just want to be…