Be–arrRGHH. FINE! Fine. I stare at the wall. It stares back.
I’m quitting. Now, applause! What, no praise? No loving support and offers of home-warmed canned chicken soup? When this guy I knew was trying to quit cigarettes, you could’ve sworn passing up on one tiny huff of cancer was the pinnacle of self-sacrifice and heroism. When you say “no one cares,” what exactly do you mean?
What am I quitting? While I did set off to forgo mornings altogether, I have since been set on the path to enlightenment (since the annihilation of a diurnal increment is supposedly “metaphysically” “impossible”). I’m not a quitter anymore: I’m a starter. And I’m starting right now. Drugs, that is.
On a technicality, I may or may not have unsupervised access to the teaching chem labs. I passed orgo with flying colors and I know enough about synthesizing meth to maybe not blind myself. Armed with a collector’s edition of “Breaking Bad” and a degree of sleep deprivation that should’ve killed me long ago, I go to start cooking.
Day 1: I was brutally thrust into the waking world at 5 a.m. when trucks started doing mysterious truck things by the football field. It’s nice to know that quiet hours only exist for students paying for room and board. The day trudges on with its usual innumerable small disappointments: Dougie running out of apple crisps just as you get there, the library being inexplicably crowded as folks gather to play solitaire in better lighting. In accordance with the instructions provided to me by my Good Friend the Nicotine Addict, every hour I seek out the nearest water fountain and choke down a chalky pill. It goes well. Colors do things. Did you know… that stuff is cool? Shapes are so there. Just like I need them to be.
Day 2: Mornings are still bad. Fortunately, after a quick sip and pill-pop, the repetition of my mundane existence can be turned into a game. Walk in a straight line up the stairs? Ten points! Take legible notes while some guy in cargo pants and a sweater issued by the Korean War drones on? Twenty! The world is humming. The world is my mouth.
At night-noon, which I think is 6 p.m. but also might just be a window obscured by a curtain, I skip one of my treats. I’m not amused. The weight of the world (editing the Campus Times’ Humor section) weighs down on my shoulders (ill-equipped to bear loads). Faster than a dorm mouse, but not as fast as the Quad Fox, I scurry back to Hutch to put the hopefully brief window of my sobriety to good use. As a reward, I get really, really high.
Day 4: So when they told me mornings would get better, I think I assumed the drugs would carry me on their angelic wings and sweet embrace through the cold light of continuing to exist in this reality; they do not. The drugs cry out at a number on the clock I honestly had forgotten about and boy, do they want me. Since I desire them as well, it’s a deal! Against all predictions (tarot, courtesy of my friend’s too-cool-for-her girlfriend; dream interpretation, courtesy of my mom) I cross the threshold of cursèd grounds also known as the hallway before the Sun has even stretched its stupid little arms out. I would say the abject misery of overnight withdrawal was on par for an average Wednesday wake-up.
Day 7: Hhhhhhnhaha. Haha. Hn.
Day 8: “Mom, I think I’m not depressed anymore! Do you know that if you close your eyes you’ll see your own death?”
Day 13: All’s for the best in the best of worlds. A friend-shaped mound of purple blorb waves a concerned hand over my face but I am Sauce in the Lost. There are psychiatric professionals trying their darndest to recreate what I’ve got going on. CARE reports accumulate in my inbox. I look away and swallow more chalk. Nothing can hurt me if I can’t feel it.
Day 14: I love mornings. I love mornings I love mornings I love mornings. When the Sun is awake I am awake and we are both HUNGRY. He wants my blood and I want to disappear. It works out! A giant cartoon squirrel holding a severed head balloon informs me that my refrigerator is running, and also that I have been shortlisted for a Nobel Prize in Medicine. The head says to press 2 for inpatient services. I hang up and go to the lab. My drug empire won’t run itself.