As Miki is still glued to his bed, I insist on a cab.
“This has better not be one of your fantasies.” Annette says as we bounce and swerve our way down California Street.
“Yeah, I’ll do my best to almost die but not quite.” I say, slumped down in my seat, a soggy, warm dish cloth pressed to my face.
At the reception desk a young punky girl with a pierced cheek asks me to fill out a form and then wants to know what drugs I’ve taken.
“You want a list?” I ask.
“Well, yeah.” She says.
“Okay. Well let me see, I suppose the first drug I did was coal gas, bubbled through milk when I was about nine-years-old. That got you pretty mixed up. I probably smoked my first hash when I was about –”
She holds up her hand.
“Please. Just the ones you’ve taken today. Okay?”
“Oh. Right.” I say, then summoning my best martyr expression, “I should be so lucky. Look I’m in a lot of pain, so can I please get some now. Anything you’ve got handy would be greatly appreciated.”
“You’ll have to see the doc for that.” She says. Then grabs her purse and has a bit of a rummage.
“Hold on,” she says, “Might have some downers here somewhere.” She looks up at me. “You’re cute.” She says in that direct way American women have that still shocks me slightly.
I smile and wince.
“Thanks. Look we’re playing the, er … “
“Mabuhay.” Annette supplies automatically.
“Yeah. There. I’ll put you on the door if you like.”
“No need, honey.” she says, “I’m bar tending there tonight.” And she hands me a couple of little yellow pills. “Percocet.” She says.
“Please to meet you, er Percocet.” I say, “That’s one of my most favorite names.”
I dry swallow the pills. By the time I get to see the doc I’m smiling, albeit a bit crookedly. The doc is some long hair who looks like he’s taken more drugs than he’s prescribed. I immediately take a liking to him.
“So you think you might get blood poisoning and die, eh?” he asks, peering at his clipboard as if it’s a long way off.
“Right doc. Straight into the old ticker and before I know it I’ve popped me Doc Martens.” I say.
“I have no idea what you just said. However, your pupils are dilated. What are you on?”
“Er, perco summat.” I say vaguely, hoping I won’t get the receptionist chick into trouble. “Took the edge off the pain a bit. Nowhere near enough though,” I add, “Feels like a morphine job to me Doc.”
“So that’s your expert diagnosis, is it? As a …” he peers at the clipboard again, “guitar player.”
“’Sright.” I say, trying my best to look like a puppy badly in need of a hug, or in this case, a drug.
“Well, as a medical professional I’d say you are in no immediate danger. You need a dentist. And a couple of aspirin. Have a nicer day man.”
And he wanders off. I don’t really care that much because the percocet has kicked up a notch and the ache in my jaw is now almost pleasant, in a sick semi-sexual kind of way that’s hard to put my finger on. I often find it hard to put my finger on sick semi-sexual pleasures, although God knows it’s not for want of trying.
Causes Luke James Supports
Doctors Without Borders