A puff to blow the worries away. A sip of giggles to help waste the night away. Have another puff, then repeat. The night had started early; so we roll another, pop-off some caps and repeat. As the air filled with smoke, I noticed my body and my mind finally feel at ease after the day’s toil. Oh, how I longed for this moment, each and every day.
Porter sat on the edge of the couch, twiddling his fingers, legs shaking and eyes swaying from side to side.
“Yo Porter. You alright?”
“I… um.. I think… I… I will… walk… I will walk home now.”
He stood up and walked straight out of the door.
“What was that about?”
I looked at Dennis, puzzled but nothing else was said after, nor did I think of anything more about it. The man just wanted to go home, albeit it was pretty early and the night had only just begun, Porter was always one for a heavy night out.
Waking up into this waking life, I existed once again nursing a drought in my head. I got out of my cradle, rolled one and stepped out into my balcony. Inhale… Exhale… Much better, although the sun was coming down. I always hated myself for doing this every weekend. But I just accepted it, this was me, my weekend-being. Inhale… Exhale… I stared at the horizon as dusk slowly blanketed the city.
God. Who could it be? I just wanted to enjoy this before I do anything. Inhale. Exhale. Sigh…
“Can you come over?! RIGHT NOW! I NEED HELP! It’s Porter!”
S**t! That sounded urgent. I sprinted to my room and grabbed any clothing that wasn’t my robe and headed straight down to Porter’s place. He didn’t live too far away. Upon my arrival, I jump the fence and notice the glass sliding door was slightly open, so I let myself in only to find myself unable to fathom the horror that laid before me. The white walls were covered in holes, and in one, a knife.
“He-Hello? Porter?! Tash?!”
[Tash is Porter’s sister who lived with him; she was the one who called]
No response. What the f*ck was happening?! I was simply flummoxed. I scrambled around the house, trying to find any clues as to what was happening and where the two were. The place was a mess, the positive thing that I could only think of was that there was no sign of blood. Thank God. I soon decided to walk out to the street and tried to contact Tash. I rolled one. Inhale… Exhale… as I look down the street, phone cusping my ear, Tash was walking towards me. She got closer, wearing a face of despair but… at the same time she seemed calm. It only puzzled me more.
“Tash! What’s happening? Porter?”
“Porter just had a bit of an episode, so I just went anywhere to get away for a bit. If he’s not home, then he’s probably out somewhere as he usually does,” she continued, “sorry I called, it just gets a bit scary when he’s like this and I know you guys are close.”
A bit of an episode? As he usually does? So this has happened before? Or rather it happened more often than you’d like. Despite her being relatively calm, regarding the situation, I couldn’t help but congregate horrific scenarios in my head. Inhale… exhale… I took my phone out and called Porter. He sounded drunk, and not long after picking up he openly invited me to get drunk with him. I accepted his offer and met up with him at a bar in the city, although I had no intention to have a ‘jolly’ drink but to clear up what was happening and if he was okay. However, when I got there, I had the misfortune of being unable to confront him about the incident. I was uncomfortable, so as a young naive adult; one drink, two, three, four… then I lost count. I almost forgot everything until I felt a numbness in my nose and a lump in my throat, I felt brand new.
It turned out to be a great night out once again, this was why I always said that Porter was a wildcard. Sunrise came, and we were walking down the road towards his home. We sat down on his front porch, rolled one; inhale… exhale… passed it on, repeat. I looked up and was reminded why I was out in the first place. A knife. I was staring at the knife, and as I did I felt Porter noticing me notice what happened.
“… Yeah… I get really nasty when my medication doesn’t arrive…”
He proceeded to tell me his story about absent parents who turned to feed him prescription medication at a very young age. For as long as he remembers, he’s been taking all sorts of medication for his ‘mental disabilities’ and is probably why he was able to tolerate consuming the number of substances that I would see him take. He seemed completely normal to me, but as what was evident, he mentioned that if he ever goes by without taking his medication, he gets fueled with rage. Ever since I’ve known him, I felt like he was a very decent person and completely competent. Although people had described him to be a bit of an oddball, I never thought of him in that way at all. But then again, I think every single person I meet is weird, never in a bad way, but that’s what makes everyone ‘normal’.
“Hey… I’m sorry I left so suddenly the other night. I just… Sometimes… I get a weird feeling and I can’t focus… I get these images in my head. It’s hard to describe.”
The events of that night have continued to mark a stain on my mind. I could only imagine what he was going through, but this was the door to a world that I knew existed but never really experienced in encountering.
As the days go by, and weeks past. I’d roll one, sometimes two after each day in order to relax and feel at ease. I started to notice my habits and addictions. Were any of them actually ever necessary? What would happen if I were to take one of them away? I know now that back then I was definitely an alcoholic, giving excuses like “I just party a lot”, numbing myself down with almost anything and completely dependent on other things to enable me to get to sleep or to wake up and work. In hindsight, I was only numbing myself cause I didn’t want to feel depressed. Moving to a new country, having no family, the death of one of your first friends as an independent young adult at university, a grandfather’s illness back home, and living a never ending cycle of waking up an d working then sleeping. This made me confront that person, that coward that I see every morning pissing in the toilet bowl. It’s time to stop, feel everything, embrace what the world has to offer. Cold turkey.
The final weekend had come, the weekend of a new beginning. I was going to get everything out of my system. Rolled one; inhale… exhale… take a swig… inhale exhale… repeat. Once everything is blurry, I numbed my face until I felt like a king. Then, lights out I passed out.
I woke up again, with a drought in my head. Nothingness. That was what filled my head. I got up and rolled one. Hold on. I wasn’t supposed to do this. So I placed it back on the table and just sat on the balcony, watching people that walked passed below me when suddenly… my vision blurred while my legs shook. My fingers twiddled around in circular motions as my jaw tightened, rolling… rolling… rolling...