Folly Within The Fable, “Slumber Sets Sail” by Jeff Richmond & Austin Lambert (Thanks for writing this song, guys!)
Falling Apart On Jeff’s Floor
By Alex Ziperovich
I’ve been awake for seven days. No, six probably. Yeah, six or seven days I think. Jeff’s eyes are red whirling tops in the twilight of his bedroom. Everyone’s asleep again but I can’t sleep anymore. The same screaming fun-fun done-done thing keeps repeating: a day happens and then when it gets so dark that it’s almost light everyone stops talking and the fun stops and the done starts but I don’t know how to turn it off, turn off my fun button inside the pulsating, psychopharmacological experiment that is my brain. I’ve been stumbling around in circles trying to find someone to listen to me ramble for hours. Now I’m sitting on Jeff’s floor crying, playing with my pill bottles and panting.
“I don’t know what’s going on.”
He turns away from me to face the wall, “Go to sleep, fuck, Alex. You need to sleep.”
“I know but I can’t.”
He twists his body back and cranes his neck to see what I’m doing and turns back away, “Stop playing with those fucking pills.”
My brain is buzzing fuzzy, I am not feeling lovely and in fact my brain is fucking me, “I know but I can’t. Christ.”
He’s tired and lost, “Dude, c’mon. Let’s just sleep.”
“I am losing it, Jeff.”
I’m pouring various pills out of the bottle into and through my hands letting them slide through my cold fingers down into my throat.
I convinced my fraudulent junkie doctor that I have ADHD. He gave me three or four different stimulants to try; I’ve been trying them with gusto. Once, his eyes wide and scorched bloodshot, he said, “I try everything I prescribe.” He’s my psychiatrist. We get along great.
I remove my shirt and look in the mirror and I see patches stuck to me, transdermal patches all over my body. Daytrana patches. Selegeline patches. Uppers. Downers. Mono-amine Oxidase Inhibitors.
Attached like leeches to my skin.
I feel like all I’ve been doing is eating handfuls of pills of all kinds.
That is all I’ve been doing.
I’m looking at the bottle of Atenolol I have clutched hard in my fist. A beta blocker. A blood pressure medication. If I take more than three it would probably stop my heart. Yes, I have enough to take me away, to take me somewhere to finally get some rest. A place to give the day away.
Suicide is seeming like a seriously viable option. I remind myself that I’m having a psychotic break from lack of sleep. I’ve been heavily abusing amphetamines among every other fucking drug for weeks. How long can this go on? I crawl into Jeff’s bed and I’m crying and I’m laughing and then I’m silent, listening to my heart thudding in the darkness.
“I hate this. I can’t fall asleep, no matter what I do.”
“I know, me too.”
“I’ve taken like 20 bars tonight, man.”
We’re both laying there with Ritalin and Adderall and Desoxyn and Ketamine and Psylicobin and Xanax and alcohol and weed coursing through our blood streams in the snowglobe of his room trying to listen to the snow falling outside.
“You know it snowed like six inches tonight.”
“Yeah it keeps snowing.”
“We need to sleep.”
I say plainly, “I think I’m gonna kill myself.”
“Dude, what the fuck? Just sleeeep.”
I’m back on the floor in my pile of pills picking up bottles, reading labels, looking for new ones. I feel like one of these pills in one of these bottles will do it, one of these pills will fix me. One of these will make me feel right. I wont ever have to take another fucking pill again. I just have to find the right one in this pit black box and everything might be okay.
I know everything about pharmaceuticals. Benzodiazepines are the only drug, excepting barbiturates and alcohol, you have a real chance of dying from when you discontinue their use or in other words, go through a Dante’s Detox, you think not? Xanax is faster-acting than Klonopin but lasts half as long. Valium is good for relaxing your muscles and works well sublingually. Tylenol is the most dangerous thing about Vicodin and Percocet. You can smoke, snort, and shoot Oxycontin if you know what you’re doing. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing you can. Ask me anything about a psychoactive pharmaceutical and I can probably tell you about whatever aspect of its psychopharmacology you’re interested in, everything except how to stop or how to feel happy on them or off of them. I have everything but the answers I need.
“I’m calling your mom dude.”
I nod as I put another klonopin on the tip of my tongue. God, it’s like strawberries flavored with laughter…
I hear my moms alarmed, high-pitched voice surging out of the other end as Jeff explains that he needs help with me, that I’m breaking down, that yes I’ve been taking “those damn pills” and no he doesn’t know how many. She knows the junkie shrink gave me stimulants. They both warned me.
How strange that it’s snowing and I’m on my friend’s floor seriously contemplating pharmacide.
My parents drive through the snow to come rescue me. They feed me a Seroquel; I feel waves of calm, warmth come over me like a veil and my body begins to relax and my mind finally surrenders and I sleep, dreamless.