Tuesday, August 30, 2005
drugs and danger: a love story
It was a horrifying weekend. Not in the monsters/sharks/giant-homeless-guy-standing-outside-my-window-having-sex-with-bags-of-trash sense, but in a different, more realistic and tangible way. And yes, alcohol and narcotics were involved. Guess you didn’t see that one coming, eh?
First, booze. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I like to drink sometimes. I've actually been pretty good about this recently, though completely unintentionally. I would like to say that I haven’t been getting that banged up as of late, but I’m not sure if this is true, as my memory is getting very poor. I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night or how many daughters I have, let alone what I did three weekends ago. I guess I could find out by reading here, but we all know that this shit is all made up anyway.
But if I've been taking it easy with the booze over the past few weeks, that went out the window this weekend. Because there was a lot of alcohol consumption over the weekend. Tons of it. Scary amounts of it. Both nights, my friends and I didn't leave the apartment to go out until 1am after we were completely sloshed. On Friday night, I got home after 4, and after devouring a few slices of pizza and most of a Chinese child I picked up on the street, I stayed up to drink the remaining two beers left in the fridge and a half a bottle of opened champagne that had been in the fridge since we moved in. Not my finest moment.
I'm not sure what time I woke up the next day, but I didn't leave my bedroom until 6:15pm. About an hour later, I was in the shower sucking down a Bud Bomber (a 16 ounce can of Bud) getting ready for the evening's festivities. By the time the weekend was all over, my roommate Brian, in a moment of unquestionable gaiety, said, "I just want you to know, I'm proud of you."
Even so, the nights were relatively uneventful, or at least forgettable, due in no small part to all the booze. When I woke up on Sunday, my brain seemingly on fire or getting eaten by ticks that had somehow burrowed into my head while I slept, I didn't have any stories and couldn't recall much of the previous two nights. But such is life. I knew I had a good time, save for my current state of dying.
And this is where narcotics come in to play. Ever since my stress test, which proved that there was nothing medically wrong with my heart, I have been living with a little more abandon. Not only does beer taste better, but before I would have been concerned about having a dinner that consisted of eight mini chocolate donuts, some leftover cheese fries, two slices of pizza and a pudding. Thanks to the stress test, this dinner is probably the healthiest I've had in weeks.
Another thing that the stress test has breathed new life into is my drug habit. Now when I say "drug habit" I do so only to impress you. I know that women like bad guys, and so I use such a vague term so that all the ladies will think, "Geez - he's a badass AND he has a tiny penis! I want some!" But in truth I have been (mostly) clean of (many) drugs for a fair (but shorter than I'd admit here) amount of time. As long as this is understood, we can move forward.
This Sunday I was charged with picking up some contraband substances. I've always been uncomfortable with this. I don't buy any drugs, I don't handle them, I don't have them in my room or even, if possible, my apartment. I just feel like with my luck a buddy would say, "Dude, my girl's coming in to town - can you hold some of my drugs for me for the weekend?" And then that weekend, a cop would move in next door and would stop by to say hello with his drug-sniffing pet dog and would find an assload of drugs linking me to a major meth lab in Olathe, Kansas which in turn is linked to a major drug cartel from Oaxaca, Mexico. Three months later I'd be in jail giving handjobs for fig newtons while my friend got high and banged his newer, hotter, druggie girlfriend who let him film her in the shower and sell it online for a fortune. So I don't like to mess with drugs in that way.
But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and that was the case this Sunday. I didn't want to put the stuff in my pocket, so what I did was get my extremely underutilized gym bag and filled it with gym-type stuff (sneakers, shorts, pad lock, etc). I figured this would make me look less suspicious and would also generally calm me down - I'm just a guy, going to the gym. Nothing illegal going on here. Not at all.
So I took off, did what I had to do, and was on the subway coming home. No problems. I got off the train and was listening to my iPod, happy that in two minutes I'd be in the safety and security of my old apartment. It was then that horror struck.
Thanks to a couple of crazies, NYC, like other big cities, is on a heightened state of alert. This was exacerbated by the London bombings, when NYC moved to have some police officers in certain, high-traffic subway stations checking bags at random. There are only a handful of these such stations - Union Square, Times Square, etc. It just so happened that Canal Street, where I was about to exit, was one of these stations.
I saw the cops at the bag check table just past the turnstiles and I froze. It was a mish-mash of emotions, but the general feeling was somewhere between seeing a werewolf eating your cousin and watching your girlfriend have sex with 50 Cent. In that instant, my life and my future flashed between my eyes. I could see the headlines and news snippets: "Blogger Jason Mulgrew arrested for drug possession, shits self", "Internet Personality Jason Mulgrew, serving time in prison for possession, had a psycho-sexual breakdown yesterday. Mulgrew started crying before simulating violent intercourse with his mashed potatoes. He was eventually tranquilized...", "Jason Mulgrew was released from prison today after serving six months for possession. He announced that he was going into the Peace Corps, but only under the condition that he was granted a license to kill..."
I suppose I could have gotten back on the train and traveled to a stop without this checkpoint, but I didn't think of that at the time. Instead, I moved forward, trying to act as naturally as possible. I knew, from seeing these checkpoints before, that many bags were not searched. I was hoping that my chubby, affable white self would not arouse suspicion, but at the same time I knew I was very hungover, looked like an alcoholic, hadn't shaved, and what was a fat fuck like me doing with a gym bag anyway?
I turned up my iPod, straightened up, and walked through the turnstile. I headed straight for the stairs, and never looked back. When I reached daylight, I felt like I was going to cry. I hustled down Canal Street, cutting through the Chinese people and the tourists who I usually despise, and wanted to hug each one of them. I wanted to grab the nearest 170 year-old Chinese lady and say, "I don't care that you and your people are the reason this neighborhood smells like pubic hair on fire! I love you!" I wanted to grab the nearest 300 pound, fanny-packing wearin' momma from the Midwest and say, "Welcome to New York City! It doesn't even bother me that you walk slowly around the streets and stare at me like I'm a circus freak because I live above the Italian restaurant you're overeating in! Let me hold you!" It was truly a beautiful moment.
Despite the hangover, the rest of my Sunday was quite enjoyable. I relaxed, smoked a ton of my newly-acquired pot and ate almost a whole pizza. Really, what more can you ask for on the Sabbath? And speaking of the Sabbath, I'd like to thank God for making me white, chubby, and unassuming. Because otherwise, right now I'd be balls deep in mashed potatoes and fig newtons in exchange for the steepest price of all - my innocence. And $12. And twenty minutes of slow dancing. You get it.