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I suppose a simple “no thank you” no longer packs the punch it used to. Apparently, this is not sufficient justification for my not wanting to snort percocet and oxycodone and kill bottles of red wine with you on a Tuesday night.

Let me tell you a little a story about me and oxycodone. Oxy and I were pretty chummy one summer about 6 years ago. You’re aware of the story actually—when my leg got caught in my bike frame and cracked in half, and I lay in the ditch in the woods for four hours, spent a week in the hospital, had a 12-hour surgical spree, and ended up with that contraption on my leg for 7 months. Yes, the crowd pleaser. Not to mention how it was repeated, on a somewhat lesser scale, last summer—no contraption, just more broken leg, and only 8-hours spent naked with Dr. Fine under bright lights in the operating theatre (why do you have to be naked for knee surgery? why was Dr. Fine so fine?), and 5 months on crutches. No, not to mention the brief reprieve of our partnership that left me only sallow in a faded summer’s tan and lethargic with limply wasted afternoons.

So after the first break was when I had to move back home for a few months in order to remain completely incapacitated and brain dead and sleep in my old room. Oxycodone was my consistent, consummate companion during those months. They were happy times. Hour stretched into hour, giving me ample opportunity to work on my novel, my play, my collection of verse, a long letter to someone dear. But too much free time spent on painkillers can be a harsh and unforgiving taskmaster. I squandered most of these hours by sitting on my parents’ front porch chain smoking, brooding and dwelling, shifting frequently from one teeth-grindingly uncomfortable position to another, wondering if I would ever again be able to engage in any sex that wasn’t totally vanilla.

My brain was slowly turning to tepid cheesewater, but without the oxy and percocet, pain just backed up, rising like a Tenessee spring flood to take me under. Cut to the calendar on the wall, it’s pages torn by and flung into the winds of change. Months passed in a whirlwind of searing reminders that coffee will always spill on you no matter how slowly you walk with crutches and twice-weekly physical therapy sessions. These sessions were crushing to the ego and spirit, not to mention masses of scar tissue that had accumulated around the injured joint and needed to be PAINstakingly attacked, one centimeter at a time. But these months yielded two wildly fabulous results: 1) I could walk (although with a heartbreakingly quasimotoesque limp) and 2) I stopped popping percocet and oxycodone. Do not think the two results unrelated, friends. The mind is a mighty powerful muscle and I needed it to be in tip-top shape to beat back the poor me-ing and breathe through the pain and push my vanity past the scars. As long as I was numbing my susceptible little numskull with the percies, I was crippling myself.

Luckily, the second time around, I wasn’t as soft. Regardless:

I HATE those fucking drugs. They are not fun. They have no entertainment value for me. They remind me of depression; they smack of desperation. Why would I ever, ever feel that they could momentarily spring the catch on this little cage of flesh and allow me to press new prints into old mental dust and enhance my experience of this life at all? (Those being the only reasons I engage in drug use.) Good grief. No thank you.

Not to mention the evening held all the promise of a soporific nightmare. That’s right. I prefer my metaphors and my drinks mixed.

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