Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Crash Course

When I was nineteen years old I got a hold of some methamphetamine. Now I'm not talking about that stuff that Walter White was cooking up in a motor home. This was pharmaceutical grade meth. Back in 1969 doctors were prescribing methamphetamines for weight loss, so it was sitting around many a suburban medicine cabinet. Which I am sure was the source of the pill that I swallowed. Back then I was working the midnight shift in a factory, so the idea of doing some speed to help me through the night appealed to me. The thing is that I took the pill two hours before my shift. I remember sitting on a friend's car parked in the driveway of his parents house, in Markham, Illinois. I also remember talking a lot, and being very happy as I went on and on about nothing. There were four of us there and we were all high on the meth. Here is the problem with this scene. At eleven thirty at night I left my friends and drove to work, still all hopped up on this pill. I then went out to the factory floor and started my shift. It was probably the best two hours I have ever spent operating an injection mold machine. However, around two hours and ten minutes into the shift, the pill started to wear off. To this day I cannot remember ever crashing as hard as I did that night, and I still had six hours to go. That right there is the reason that I never, ever allowed another hit of speed to enter my body. I hated the come down.

The reason I thought about this episode of my youth is Christmas. Christmas is like a hit of speed during the shortest and darkest days of winter. It begins with a few folks stringing lights outside the day after Thanksgiving, peaking a few weeks later when everybody who is going to, has lit their homes up like an airport landing strip. That is the time of year I enjoy walking the dog in the evening. All the lights, all the colors, it's great and it really lights up the dark streets. But what gets lit up, must get turned off, and the day after New Year's all of the lighting comes down. Suddenly the streets are dark again and I am walking Chandler in the dark. It's a real letdown, the big Christmas crash. So now everybody has removed their holiday lights, except for the house at the corner of 24th Street and 17th Avenue. Those guys leave their lights up forever. I mean, it is like March before they decide they've had enough. Honestly, I think they may be addicts.

Oh, and that factory job. That job that paid really good wages, that my dad helped me to get, I eventually got fired. No it wasn't the speed. I think it was more likely the  pot.

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