Donny knocked on Chase's door. The redneck answers. He wears a suspicious glance, and another camo t-shirt.
"Well, look what the cat dragged in," Chase says, looking unamused.
"hey, I was here to pick up that thing you were hanging onto." Donny says, with a wink and a smile.
"come inside," Chase says, "but wait by the door."
Donny feels cautious. Chase is in a sour mood. Donny has retained the $20 Amanda gave him. Drug addicts can be cheap, when it came to juggling their drugs and wages. Donny hadn't purchased anything with Amanda's money. The Jackson was in his hand, unbroken for change, or anything else.
Chase comes back immediately with the broken Oxy tablet.
"Give me my money, take it, and get out." Chase says with an heir of confrontation.
Donny forks over the $20.
"I don't have change," Chase says repugnantly.
Even after all the months of drug abuse, Donny still wasn't an easy transaction to be dealt with.
"Just give me another Oxy and a half." Donny says.
Chase breathes in deep, ready to yell at him. Donny glances over and sees chases head vibrating slightly back and forth in rage.
"Goddamit, Donny." Chase says, shaking his fist.
"Chill out, Chase," Donny says, raising his hands defensively, "I'm sorry, but I guess I didn't think this out."
"You're damn right you didn't." Chase counters.
In reality, Donny had placed quite a bit of thought into his actions. Donny wanted to ensure he could come back for at least one other half pill. So Donny intentionally didn't break the $20, knowing Chase wouldn't be able to give change. Drug dealers weren't change booths. You never got a receipt from a drug dealer either, to quote Jessie Baxters earlier business model.
Of course, this opened up the possibility that Donny wouldn't get any drugs at all. Chase sure looked pissed.
"You can take me to the store," Donny suggests,"to make change."
"I'm not a taxi service," Chase says bitingly, "just wait here, I'll cut it with a razor."
Donny sighs. Another disaster avoided. More drugs rewarded.
Donny's horizons on deception were expanding. He wanted to avoid the sickness again, at whatever the cost. The drugs were all that mattered now.
The exchange is made. Chase agrees to hang onto the other half, but Donny must come back with a 10 spot, to settle things. Donny senses their limited partnership is coming to a close. Normally Chase only sold weed. For him to make multiple Oxy sales was ratcheting things up a notch.
Donny was a black hole. Everything that came near him was decimated and vaporized. He pulled so many good people down, too. He screwed over Greg. How many others must suffer because of him?
Donny wished he was dead.
Being around Amanda helped him through. He became attached to her, to some degree. He depended upon her for survival. There was an emotional bond, but it was a simple thing to hurdle. They both knew the score. He was using her, and she was using him.
Amanda wanted to progress their lovemaking a little too fast for Donny's liking. Donny turned her down for sex, saying he didn't feel well. She had bought a ridiculous nightie, which more closely resembled a moo-moo than a piece of lingerie. Yuck. This eye candy was bitter. Donny didn't want to taste this particular flavor. Not tonight. He really was feeling a bit queasy, and not only because of Amanda's displays.
His doses were dropping. He had built up a tolerance for Oxy Contin for such a long time, he was now dependent on it. Since Donny had tackled almost 400 milligrams of the drug in 2 or three weeks, he was hooked.
Amanda was furious. She couldn't get the big O tonight, and that was what their relationship came down to. She ended up masturbating beside him with a vibrator that sounded like it took 4 D cell batteries to power on. Donny hazarded only one glance, and it was enough to make his skin crawl.
Amanda's body was jittering in sync with the dildo/vibrator. Her fat clung to her limbs like mashed potatoes with air bubbles inside them. Her gruesomely hairy bush was exposed, and Donny shakes his head in a negating plea. He will not sleep with that thing again. He can't. She was getting very demanding. When Donny had gone down on her, she kept saying filthy things. She asked him to lick her ass and he refused. It wouldn't be long before the bedroom dictated all other aspects. Donny would stay away from both her pink cave, and brown one as well.
How could he get out? Where would he go? Should he rob Amanda's place one day, when she left somewhere?
Donny couldn't believe he was thinking these things. Nobody wants to be a junkie when they grow up. Donny had a vague recollection of anti-drug commercials as a boy. There was the chick that dove into the empty swimming pool. The egg in the frying pan. The junkie getting tackled by a cop for theft, or something. The Reagen-esque cliches were lodged in his brain like pegs into a board. They really rammed it home, but still Donny feel into the trap of addiction. Fuck it all. The same society that produced those videos had put policies into place that lead to anti-social behavior, and craziness.
Donny felt it to be hypocritical to be against untaxed drugs, while still allowing alcohol to be bought, consumed, and regurgitated in parking lots and toilets all over the US. Donny could drive great while in an Oxy binge. The same couldn't be said of alcohol. Opiates didn't affect his motor skills when he was blitzed. Unless he was to the point of nodding out.
Many a time Donny had taken the meds while driving to college. It was a brief period when he was still trying to complete school. Finals were coming up. His accident happened on mid-term week, and Donny feel helplessly behind. He tried to make up the work, but then his drug supply ran out, and shit collapsed for him.
If someone was an alcoholic, they could get into the DT shakes, and start convulsing. Donny had seen some guy in just such a state. The dude was trying to get public housing assistance, and was a recovering alcoholic. All the money he got, he took and bought booze with it. WHen they revoked his benefits, he went without. Siezures were the price to pay for so much abuse of alcohol.
Amanda was pissed at Donny. She didn't come out and say it, but he could tell, in the snippy way she directed him about things. She left, saying she was going to her sister's, and asked Donny to clean the bathroom. It was phrased as a question, but was more of a demand. Donny was servile now. WIth a groan, he took the plastic bucket she had provided and filled it with water. WIth a squirt of cleaning solution, the water was soon frothing with bubbles. The bathroom was the slimiest room in the house. IT was a dirty job, but Donny tackled it with the same grim determination with which he did everything else. The first layer of lime and mildew provided a fierce resistance to Donny's cleansers. He brought out an S.O.S pad from the kitchen. Donny's whole life needed an S.O.S call. Someone rescue him from this embarrassment.
Donny didn't consider himself to be a sexist person, but when faced with scourging the tub with the wire pad, he felt it was more suited to Amanda's womanly prerogative. He did it anyway. Scrubbing the floor and walls was easier than collecting popcans in some kind of wanderlust. Kneeling made Donny's leg throb, but he ignored it. The main perc to having Amanda gone was he could smoke his Oxy without fear of her walking in on him. Drug use was like masturbation: nobody wanted to be caught in the middle of it.
Donny burned his last piece of dope. He stared at the charred, resiny pill. It was baked and clinging to the tin foil. He was chewing on the pen which he used as a tooter for the Oxy smoke. He plotted his next move.
The drugs came first, before Amanda. Without them, he would become sick, but without Amanda, he could get by. Donny searched through her room. He found the $5 bill in her beside table drawer. Winning!!
Donny knocked on Chase's door. A glass sticker of an elk was pressed against the window. It was sun-faded and yellowed. Donny wondered why he never saw this before. It was most likely because whenever Donny was here, his only thought revolved around the drugs.
Chase answers. He is not pleased to see Donny.
"I ain't got nothing." Chase says straight-away and goes to close the door. Donny plants his foot between the door and the frame.
"Whattya mean?" Donny asks, bewildered, "I thought you had that half you were hanging onto, for me???"
"I took it myself," Chase says, resting one hand on top of the door. His rough palm hangs down, like a farewell wave.
"What the fuck, Chase?!!?" Donny says, getting upset, "I need that!! You don't even know!!"
"I think I have an idea," Chase says softly, "I think I'm getting hooked on those damn things."
Donny notices that Chase has gradually gotten more and more thin with every visit. Come to think of it, Chase was way skinnier the first time he saw him. The guy usually lived off of deer venison and beans, which came compliments of Chase's uncle. Donny had actually eaten the deer-chili that Chase made one year, after the uncle once again sent down the meat. Eugene and Donny had both partaken in that delicacy, when they were still buying fat sacks of weed from him. Now, Chase was a shadow of his former self.
"I couldn't have it around me no more," Chase confesses, "I took that whole supply, plus that half-broken one. I need to get off it. If I quit now, it won't be so bad."
Donny is fighting back tears. Why hadn't Donny also quit before it got this terrible? Chase was no brain-surgeon, but he was intelligent enough to know a dead end road, and not to travel down it.
"I'd say that's a good idea," Donny says chokingly, "you might not feel too well for the next couple days. But you getting off now is gonna be better than the shape I will be in. If I don't get any, that is."
Chase had been staring at his feet, not meeting Donny's eyes. At the mention of Donny's possible withdrawal, Chase looks up suddenly. The guys blue irises are sun-faded, just as much as the elk in the window. Chase has worked construction, if Donny's warped memory is correct. He was a flagger for a construction crew, and last Donny spoke of it, Chase was collecting unemployment. Chase might now be trying to get into bigger drugs, signaling the wellspring of public funds may now have been tapped dry. His lined face looks as though the creators chisel had jabbed him a few times, around the eyes where his crows-feet were forming. The smile lines by his mouth and cheeks. His face was a rugged terrain, looking in some ways, just as troubled as Donny felt. Donny felt as though he was seeing Chase as a person for the first time, not solely as a drug-peddler.
"You should get out of it, too." Chase suggests, coughing into his hand. He hawks a big lug off the side of his slanted stairway.
"I told you, I'll get sick," Donny reminds, "its my medicine."
"That ain't medicine," Chase says with a foul tone, "it's fucking death in a jar. If we keep yanking more and more out, it's just gonna take ya over."
Of course Donny knew this was true. Greg was another casualty of Donny's addiction. Amanda might be the next. Donny could not control himself.
"I know the sickness will be bad--" Chase says.
"No, you don't know Chase. Not really," Donny says, his tears escaping.
"but it won't kill ya. You can live through it." Chase continues.
"You don't know, Chase. Don't know what it's like."
"Maybe you can get admitted to a hospital--"
"I'll see ya later, Chase."
"maybe get some detox drugs, or--"
Donny turns and walks away. He pivots on one foot, turing around on his sole and descends the steps. Chase studies him for a little while, then turns an indifferent eye back inside.