Friday Night Story


It was a while ago now, when you told me you were addicted to Vicodin. I remember when you got through rehab, you were so proud (and so damn ashamed you needed it in the first place)- and you were so damn pissed off when House didn’t kick his Vicodin habit when you did- even when he had the chance. That was months ago; has it been a year?

Normally, I don’t think I would have thought anything of it. I think it was proximity; it wasn’t a week since you told me you’d started taking your mother’s OxyContin. It’d been going on for months. You were depressed, for months, and your mother started offering it to you, because she couldn’t stand to see you in pain.

In that same conversation, you told me what it was like detoxing, how it made you nauseous, how it was the worst pain you could ever imagine. And you told me how Suboxone killed the withdrawal completely, which was why you needed to get checked into rehab. Suboxone’s heavily regulated, because it’s another opioid- but with a longer duration action, letting the body detox slowly, without the pain.

It was less than a week after that, like I said. We were just hanging out, watching some Dexter. You said you hadn’t planned to be out that long, that you had to go home, that there was medicine you needed to keep from getting sick. I remember the pained expression on your face; it was a lie you felt you had to tell, even if we both knew the truth.

A few days passed. You flaked on some plans, but whatever, it’s not the first time either of us has done that. Then you didn’t show up at work, and I put two and two together. Your mother called me, and said you’d be gone two weeks; she couldn’t bring herself to say it, she just said you’d gone to “that place.”

It’s a few more days, now, and I’m in my car; I was halfway to your house before I turned around. I was going to talk to your mother, to intervene; I don’t know if it was prudence or cowardice that convinced me that letting others fight your battles was part of what landed you back where you are.

I’d like to go home and drink for a while, but under the circumstances that seems inappropriate. I push the accelerator as I get back on the damn freeway; it’s the only prescription I’ve got.

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