Days Sick: 7
Drug addiction is back like Britney.
After a few days of office illin’ I still refused to take any medication. A lifetime of watching my family pop pills and living with two pharmacist roommates has convinced me that medicinal drugs are the devil, or at least very bad conversation starters. Not all drugs, once upon a time I was the first person to put something under my tongue, but the FDA-approved kind.
My vendetta against prescriptions not withstanding, I quickly found myself hiking nearly a mile to a pharmacy in Manhattan to fill an order for my boss. By Friday treked to the pharmacy 4 times in the week, to pick up pills that cost hundreds of dollars and use my boss’ debit card. However, my boss’ behavior began to get more and more eradic. By the end of the week Hundo was back to being the sweaty twitchy intense mess that originally hired me, but had disappeared lately. The newly re-twitchy Hundo was adament that I keep quiet about my pharmacy hikes, that not another assistant or manager find out where I’d been going. I would disappear for nearly an hour and leave my other bosses to do my work, and when I returned I had to lie about where I had been. They caught on rather quickly. And that’s when they started getting worried.
Primarily used to treat opioid addiction, Hundo’s medication can also be prescribed to treat intense pain (which he has in his foot), causes mild euphoria and increased verbal communication, and is the most abused drug in Scandanavian countries. That explains why Hundo keeps singing the first line of “Climb Every Mountain” over and over again before leaving his office to jabber random things at me before singing again. Euphoria. Verbal communication. Climb every mountain, for eight hours a day.
While ignoring my boss’ obvious drug problems and refusing to actually tell any co-workers or managers about my worries might be a bad idea for his personal health, making blind accusations about his drug use is a much worse idea. I’ve decided to make my peace with his addiction. And I’m not getting anything to battle this damn sickness.
However, the world decided that my Friday needed to be as unbarable as possible, which meant my unmedicated sickness became incrimentally worse when I awoke. Hoping to shake the malaise before heading to DC for the day, I packed my bags and left for work a little early… Only to be sprayed with garbage by the damn power-scrubbing street cleaner after it ran over the curb. Great.
Once safely on the subway and away from (copious) amounts of airborn trash I was greeted by a lovely young street urchin who deemed me the “suit and tie nigga” and proceded to barate me for a good 15 minutes before my subway stop. Fortunately, my iPod can be turned up louder than this kid could speak in a crowded subway. Unfortunately, I felt completely defenseless. How do you possibly defend yourself to someone who clearly just wants to make a scene? How do you reconcile other people’s race expectations with your own career goals? How do you explain that race has nothing to do with the potential to succeed? That clothing doesn’t dictate allegiances? And how do you ignore the small ember in you that says maybe you don’t fit in with your race, maybe you’re as big of a traitor as this kid accuses you of being. Turning up your yuppie iPod that’s tucked into your faux-Oxford shirt certainly doesn’t do anything to prove this kid wrong, nor does it do a thing to restore the masculinity that you’re quietly letting yourself be stripped of. Gentrification is an ugly process, whether it’s on behalf of the whites who “invade” the neighborhoods, the minorities that lose “their” neighborhood, or the quiet mixed guy on the subway who looks like part of the neighborhood and dresses like the other half. Meanwhile, all I could think about was getting to work on time so that I could buy Hundo’s drugs.
After my subway neutering I made it to work on time and realized I had forgotten my phone. If I was going to spend a weekend in DC with Weather Man it’s vital that I get my phone to let people know where to meet me/ make weekend plans/ etc. After some intense finagling my roommate got my phone as far as 6th avenue, I just had to meet up with him to grab it.
An hour later I had skipped lunch, braved the rain, and retrieved my phone. My sickness was worse, Hundo accused me of costing the company $65,000 in cancelations- only later to realize I was in the clear and had done a great job, and it occured to me that I was not going to go to DC. I was sick, tired, cranky, sweaty, hungry, and wet. Sitting on a bus without food or a change of clothes for 5 hours would not have helped.
And that’s when I had to deal with Crazy Face. For weeks her work has been piling up, to the point that other assistants have helped her with small tasks to help her out. Earlier this week Hundo pulled me aside and explained to me that if I didn’t help Crazy Face finish all of her new orders, she would be fired. And that was a problem for me since I was going to be her supervisor.
Supervisor? Promotion? Already? Sweet!
Talk and work with Crazy Face? Bummer.
Throughout the entire day I was doing all of my own work at break neck speeds, avoiding the expensive mistake I made earlier this week (which turned out fine), and then doing Crazy Face’s work. …While she made copies, talked on the phone with her friends, and walked around with her Crazy Face. And then left early.
Bitch left early!?! Hell no. It’s one thing for you to get fired if you work hard, that’s sad. It’s another thing to get fired because you’re slow at your job and then leave early. She’s awful at every job she does and hideous along the way, she’s the freaking Chris Kattan of my office.
By the time I got home I was far too sick to do anything other than lay around. Friday night in New York City spent being sick and cranky on a couch in Harlem and watching Pretty Woman on TBS. That’s just about rock bottom.
And that’s when an old friend called, drunk, to inform me of what structures he was going to pee on. As he spilled his drinks he also spilled the beans, and accidentally let me know that a mutual friend had a severe addiction to opioid medication. And it had gotten ugly. And no, our mutual friend isn’t Hundo.
Everyone I know is doing drugs, while not doing any keeps me on this damn couch. For now, my only addiction will be Richard Gere circa 1990, and Friday will remain the worst day here yet.
[play that song again. another couple Klonopin. a nod, a glance, and half-hearted bow]