So I walk in to Rotten Ron’s Diner and the place is quiet. A little too quiet. The teenage girls working are huddled at the drive thru window, paying no attention to the scumbag who just walked in. (Me.)
So I head to the single serve bathroom they have there to gather my bearings. I’m having a panic attack, full blown. It is unfun. I sit on the toilet and check my pulse. I regulate my breathing. I try to suppress the fact that I smoked crack a few minutes ago. I’m not entirely certain of how long a crack high like I was experiencing (crippling paranoia, increased self-loathing) is supposed to last, but at this point (20 (twenty) minutes later) I think it’s just my brain juices getting fucky. My stomach is dancing the Lambada all the while.
I stand up. Too quickly; sit back down. Try it again, slower this time. Alright.
So as to not arouse suspicion, I flush the toilet to signal to anyone listening “I took a shit in here just now.” OK. They know nothing. Wash my hands and avoid looking in the mirror. Push the button for that weird air vent hand dryer thing that frightens small children. Why’s it so loud? Oh, right! It signals to anyone still paying attention “I cleaned my hands. There was shit all over them.”
I slowly open the door, shutting the light off as I exit. There is exactly one (1) customer and she is sitting alone eating a Big Xtra. She looks sad. Fat and sad. They close in 5. Don’t be sad cause you’re fat.
A man suddenly materializes in front of me. POW! He caught me off-guard. He wants to get past me. I’m standing in front of the bathroom door.
I put my head down and head straight for the counter where I finally order this Big Mac. It’s sure to restore balance to the Force.
At this point I just want to get out of there. One (1) Big Mac to go, plz.
We do the transaction, I grab the bag and bolt. I walk across the parking lot and back onto the sidewalk. This feels good. This feels right. I eat the sandwich in 3 bites, fighting each one down like a fucking Dr. Zhivago Seagull/Man hybrid.
Now that that was over, I was halfway home. My gut is doing some fucked up things in there. Maybe it’s a gutworm? Nope, it’s just gas.
Just gas. I wish. I could feel that hot lava-like feeling. That feeling of dread. A gust of cold wind cut right across my backside, confirming my suspicions. With every step I took, the worst it got, too. I could feel it in there, spreading itself across my buns like warm, shitty syrup. This was bad.
For the rest of the journey home, I felt certain that if it got any colder outside I would be leaving a trail of steam behind me. At this point I could no longer hide it. The chafing was now making me walk like I just shit my pants. That was it. Every passing car took with it a piece of my self-worth I’ll never get back.
Finally, I’m home. My mom’s in her room. Good. I tiptoe to the bathroom, but she knows I’m home – it’s a fucking mini-home. I proceed to undress and promptly dispose of my underoos. Nobody must ever lay eyes on them. I turn on the shower and get in. I clean up any poop or crack residue left on my body.
I get out and put cream on what is essentially a diaper rash. I can’t go out there yet. This is where another great idea comes to me. I look in the mirror – I’m gonna cut this stinky, greasy hair. That’s right. Fuck it. I gotta kill time, anyway. Plus, it’s certainly not the worst decision I’d made that day.
So, using tiny scissors, I cut all of my nearly shoulder-lenght hair. It was a lot more work that I imagined it being. My fingers were sore. Regardless, I did an amazing job considering the circumstances.
So I clean up and get dressed. I open the bathroom door slowly and look down the hall – OK. My mom’s sleeping. High five!
I get to my room, and then, finally, my bed. As I lay on my back, smoking a cigarette with a shaky hand, I reflected one last time on my day. And how walking normally is gonna be a challenge tomorrow.
I don’t know how crackheads do this, day in/day out. The petty theft, the pants shitting, the crack shacks, the paranoia, the shady people, the sweating…all of it. It’s exhausting.
In retrospect, it seems that just that one time had wreaked so much havoc on my nervous system and, along with the LSD and the mescaline I took regularly, set me up for a lifetime of neurosis, a penchant for overanalyzing everything and a fondness for speedwalking. I also shit my pants 1.5 (one point five) times a year, on average, since that day. Never been the same, y’all. That’s real talk!
I’ve also never did any hard drugs after that day. If I did, it would destroy that last braincell I have. It hangs from a thin thread inside my skull. Sorta like a lightbulb in an unfinished room. I can’t risk that. I wanna get chickens this summer.
Don’t smoke crack, k?