The Detox Blues: A Memoir (Part One)


I kept drinking the wine so the withdrawal from the Klonopin wouldn’t hit me. I didn’t want to have a seizure out here in the country. My wife, Sascha, had already gone into detox at a place called Canterbury Farm. Serenity House said that they had an opening for me but it would not be until Monday. It was Saturday morning and they might as well said eternity.

I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could make a doctor. I pulled out the phone book and flipped to the yellow pages. There’s not a hell of a lot of doctors close by in the hills of Vermont. It felt chilly and I threw a couple of logs into the wood stove. Back to the phone book. Dropped my finger on a doctor that was in the town of Ludlow. A woman doctor.

Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes not. Usually a woman doctor can be conned the first time, but every now and then you can run into a real bitch. I crossed my fingers and then dialed the number.

Two rings. Click. It was her nurse or secretary and she said she had an open time at 1:30pm. I looked at the clock on the wall. Almost 11:00 o’clock. Fuck! Two and one-half hours and not even a sure thing. But I had to stop drinking the wine ‘cause she’d never come off with the script if I smelled like a boozer. I thought that I’d try for both cough syrup and the pills. That should hold me until Monday.

I smoked a joint of the homegrown and walked outside. The rabbit cages were covered with snow again and I brushed them off and put fresh food inside the little bowls. I brought their water bowls into the cabin, popped the ice out of it, filled it with warm water, and brought the bowls back out. I looked in and realized that there was only one rabbit left in one cage. I decided to eat it. I pulled out the black and white bunny by the ears and put it down on the ground under my foot. Held it tight while I pulled out the .38 and pumped one bullet into it’s head. It jerked for a moment and then lay still. Slit it and cleaned it and pulled its skin off like taking a foot out of a wet sock.

Then I brought it back inside and made some sauce for it to soak in. Usually I like to let it soak for a few days to improve the taste but I was out of food and didn’t want to waste money on food that I might need to cash the scripts. I’d cook it tonight if I was loaded. If I couldn’t get any drugs I wouldn’t be hungry anyway.

I looked at the clock. Almost half-past twelve. I figured I’d pull out and go to the doc a little early. Maybe her first appointment wouldn’t show. Maybe I could just catch her going in and she would take me first. Maybe maybe maybe. Three miles of dirt road in the snow and seven of country highway. Good to get a start on things anyhow.

I grabbed my props: an old bottle of Tussionex from a previous script and a vial of pills with just the right run-out date on it. I always could come up with them because I had a satchel of them saved just for this purpose. A lot of doctors would come right off with the drugs if they saw that another doctor where I used to live gave them to me also. Chronic medical conditions. Bronchitus. Anxiety because of the respiratory ailments. I’d chain smoke non-filters all day before the appointment and my lungs would sound like I was really sick.

I loved it when I came down with a real bad chest cold because then I would travel all over the countryside making doctor after doctor. I could even get people to bankroll me on the scripts because they knew I was almost a sure thing. It always seemed funny to me how, when I was high, the doctors would come right off for me but if I was dope-sick, that’s when I would have the most trouble.

I was dope-sick and I was nervous. I tore apart the dresser drawers just hoping to come up with a pill or something. I went through the satchel with all the Tussionex and Hycodan bottles to see if maybe I had left the wash in one of them. No luck. I guess I had gone through them and already done that. The thought crossed my mind that this seemed all too familiar.

I put the rabbit in the pan up on top of the fridge, got my hat and coat and boots on and grabbed the keys to the truck and crunched down the drive to the pickup. It cranked slow because of the cold but it kicked over and I rolled down the incline into the dirt road. I had snow tires on all four wheels and the back of the truck was loaded with sandbags so the going wasn’t so bad. I smoked the rest of the joint and then ate a lifesaver to kill the smell. I don’t know why I smoked the joint because all it did was make me more paranoid. By the time I got to the doctor’s office I felt like my head was going to explode. (To be continued… Part II click here please…)

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