Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'll probably never understand addiction.

I used to smoke, but I was the worst kind of smoker: I'd have a pack on me at all times, but forget it was there until someone would ask to "borrow" one from me. Over the span of 3 years, I probably gave away 90% of my cigarettes. I didn't smoke at home-- I never felt the need. The only reason I "started" was because that was the only way I could get breaks at work. I tried just going out back and standing with the smokers for 5 minutes or so, but I would inevitably get caught and yelled at. It's so backwards. My bosses were fine with people taking 15 minutes to slowly kill themselves then go back into the restaurant, reeking or stale smoke and coughing like they had TB, but I couldn't take a small break just to rest. It's a very unjust system.

 I do like Cloves, though. I've had the same pack of Cloves in my purse
for almost two years.

I've never done any drugs. I've gotten a tiny contact high off someone smoking pot at the Art Alexakis solo show. I once took too many Tylenol cold & flu for my body size when I was in 9th grade. That's about it.

My mother is always afraid that I will become an alcoholic. I guess it's never too late to be looking out for that sort of thing, but I think I am past my drinking prime. Andy and I were talking about it the other day, and he doesn't remember ever having seen me drink myself into oblivion. One Halloween, I made Jungle Juice with 180 octane Everclear and drank most of it myself, along with some keg beer and 6 Stella Artios'. I just puked and laughed a lot. Alcohol has never really appealed to me. I just get a little warm after one or two beers and then I have to pee.

I've bought a few lottery tickets in my time. The day after my 18th birthday, I went to a casino and lost $40 to nickel slots. I never make bets.

I like carbs. I love noodles. But if someone told me I could never have noodles again, I would probably be fine. I can go weeks and months without coffee or tea. I don't drink pop. Caffeine isn't something I need.

I like water an awful lot, though.

Andy and I have said to one another countless times that we are really lucky that neither of us have any addictions that are costly or noticeable. Both of us have cravings, as all humans do, but it's not like we live on a rush of adrenaline or a high of any means. Maybe we're boring.

What brought this on was seeing a former co-worker at the pharmacy today. Let's call him Richard. Richard is a disgusting person. I can't even begin to tell you... ugh. I worked with him for 2 years and I don't think he once showered that entire time. What's more, he has like 5 kids and I'm pretty sure he's married. Anyway, we were checking out at the pharmacy at the same time today. He had two prescriptions adding up to $14. He said he couldn't afford both. In hindsight, I might have offered to pay for them, as he sounded quite ill. At any rate, he said he could pay for one-- the $4 one.

I felt pretty bad for Richard. People not being able to afford their basic needs like medication is one of the worst things I can imagine. I've been there. But I've never been an addict.

He declined paying at the counter for the prescription. I thought nothing of it. But I was driving out of the parking lot, and I saw him: prescription in one hand, a cube of Pepsi in the other hand.

Why? WHY? I just don't understand. If you need medicine, and can't afford it, why can't you put off buying 24 cans of battery acid that you're going to deposit straight into your stomach? I stopped feeling bad for him just then. Now I'm starting up again though. I suppose in the same way that people can't understand my mental state most of the time, I will never understand the idea of addiction.

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