A Journal of my adventures in the world I inhabit while I'm asleep.
|I find myself living in a rundown tenement building in a decaying city. My roommate is a druggie, and so am I. We heard about some do-good writer/ activist who is paying cash money to interview local people, she's doing a study on "the plight of the homeless" or some such bullshit. So about noon, once I shake the fog out of my head from the night before, we stumble on down to the park where she has set things up.
There's plastic cups of cheap punch and trays of stale donuts on the picnic tables for refreshments. We grab one of each (ain't no sense in passing up free food). We see a few of our friends from the street also taking advantage of the spread, and nod and make small talk.
The woman in charge has a tent set up next to the tables where she interviews people. She walks out of the tent with Sharon, one of the local working girls. She hands her a business card and says "If you change your mind and want some help, call me."
Sharon says "OK thanks, " and walks away smiling.
The woman looks at the rest of us an asks "Who's next?"
Without hesitating I volunteer. She leads me into the tent.
"OK, here's the deal. I ask you a few questions, we test you for drugs and offer you help, and then we pay you $20 cash. The test results are completely anonymous, we don't record your name or turn the results over to law enforcement, and you're free to refuse treatment after the interview. We're just doing a study and offering help, if you want it."
"Sounds good to me, " I say...
"Give me your hand, I need to take a blood sample. You're not afraid of needles, are you?" she asks.
"No, no problem," I say.
She wipes my ring finger with an alcohol swab and pokes it on the side with a lancet. She squeezes my finger and draws the drop of bood into a glass pipette, and drips it onto a test stip and places it into the testing machine.
I know a little about these things so I say "Those strips can only test for specific drugs, so how do you know what to test me for?"
"I've gotten pretty good at this, I can tell by the way someone looks and acts what they are into. I figured with you it was opiates... The test says I'm right, but it looks like a pretty low level, maybe you're into coedine?"
"I'm no junkie, I just had some cough medicine last night! " I tell her.
"I don't hear you coughing, " she says sarcastically.
"See, it cured me!" I reply in kind.
"So you don't do needles? Really?" she asks.
"Well, maybe once in a while, but I got it under control!"
"We can get you help, get you on a program," she says.
"No, I'm OK," I say, "Can I get my money and go now?"
"OK," she says, and she hands me a twenty along with her card. "If you change your mind, call me."
"Sure, thanks, " I reply.
I run over to the local liquor store and pick up a half pint of vodka in a paper bag. Back in the park I take a healthy swig off the bottle to calm my nerves. Jimmy comes out of the tent with his money about then and we find a local dealer and he scores some cheap ditch weed.
We head off into the city streets as the sun is going down. We don't have any proper rolling papers, so we roll a spliff out of an old store receipt and stuff it into a homemade bong Jimmie made out of a cardboard tube. We walk along, trading tokes and sips of vodka.
We pass an alley and hear a woman in the distance moaning, faking a climax, sounds like Sharon with one of her Johns. I say to Jimmie "I bet she'll be back in the park later. If we all pool our money, maybe we can get something stronger..."
Observations on this dream: I've never shot up drugs or lived on the street, but this dream was very vivid, it felt as if I was actually living it. Maybe experiencing someone else's life, or myself in some alternate reality?