Outdoorsy Pacific North Westerners, may remember fishing with uncle Henry or aunt Henrietta as a kid. Good times. Fishing is also a junkies term for a heart stopping cocaine, or meth overdose, not so good times. I think about them every day.
Etched on my mind is John, brother of Michael, whom I spent plenty of time in state prison with and considered a home boy. “Put in a little more”, John said. In the spoon, he meant. Cocaine is like Russian roulette, you never know which chamber is holding the bullet.
John was persuasive, like most every junkie I ever met, so I complied. This was the umpteenth shot of dope in succession that night, so no big deal.
As soon as it hit his blood stream he started foaming at the mouth and crashing in to the walls. First the shelf of books nobody read hit the ground. Then the coffee table was upended and obliterated. That’s when the other three nameless junkies beat feet never to be seen again.
John was like that big Halibut that landed on the deck panicked for lack of water. It was truly remarkable and instantly sobered me up. He was literally bouncing off of the floor about three feet in to the air. I had taken C.P.R. in another life, I looked around and it was only me.
I couldn’t remember if it was three pumps to the chest with five seconds in between or the other way around. Fuck it, I launched in, cleared the foam out and gave him mouth to mouth, yuck. I pounded on his chest, probably a little too hard, he had a bruise.
He came to.
“Get the fuck off of me, who the fuck are you?”
He didn’t know who either of us were for a time. I calmed him down to the best of my ability and recounted the story. He was happy to be alive before demanding another hit.
That’s what I’ve got to look forward to if I ever go back.
Grateful to be sober today.