Joy Overdoses – 15 July 2013

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
English: Giant Tiger Discount store, Cannon St...

English: Giant Tiger Discount store, Cannon Street, Hamilton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I approached Joy she was doubled over, holding her knees. When she lifted her head her face looked pale and gaunt.

“You don’t look very good,”  I said.

“I don’t feel very good. I’ve been this way for five or six days now. Can you spare some change so I can get some Gravol. I can’t seem to keep anything down. I even tried my grandmother’s remedy of burnt toast scraped into water. It’s supposed to have the same effect as the charcoal they give you when you o.d.

“One time I got picked up by the police and I had a bunch of prescription drugs on me. They didn’t check, they just threw me in the back of the cruiser. I wolfed down these pills, I nearly gagged. When they got me to the station I was kind of dazed. They said to me, ‘You weren’t like this when we picked you up. What did you take?’ They found the empty pill bottles on the floor of the cruiser. The Desk Sargent asked the cops, ‘You didn’t check her for drugs?’ They didn’t know how many pills I’d taken so they sent for the ambulance. I went to hospital and had my stomach pumped.

“Even granny’s remedy didn’t work. I couldn’t hold that down. Since last Tuesday I’ve been going from the sofa to the garbage pail. Half the time I don’t make it. I’m tired of mopping my floor. At least I don’t have the runs, but since I don’t have any food in my system there’s nothing to come out.”

A lady stopped by and handed Joy a blister pack of Gravol and two slices of dry toast. ‘Bless you,’ said Joy.   To me she said, ‘ I didn’t think she was going to come back. I’m going to save the toast for later. I can’t face the idea of eating right now. I  think I’ll just stop for a cup of tea.

She took two of the tablets and waited a few minutes. “These are supposed to make me feel better, but I feel horrible. They have an orange taste, like the Tang we used to mix with vodka. Remember that orange powder stuff? Supposedly the astronauts drank that —  Yuck!  I think I’m going home.

“I have to stop at Giant Tiger on my way. They have those frozen burgers on sale. I can just fry them or nuke them. If I can’t eat them it’s not much to throw in the trash. I hate going to Giant Tiger this time of day. It’s when all the skids are there. They smell so bad. I don’t know if I’m going to be able take it.”

“I haven’t had a drink for six days. Jacques is the same way. We just can’t face it. I feel chilled, then I feel hot. Jacques gave me this purple hoodie. I put it on, then take it off.

“I was really pissed off last week. I told you the cable guy was supposed to come by Tuesday. I waited around all day, but he didn’t show. He came Thursday — that meant I missed my appointment with 507 to see about my health card. Greg was acting all pissy about that, but I couldn’t phone him to cancel or explain because the phone guy didn’t leave me a phone. He said, ‘We don’t do that any more. Too many phones were being stolen.’ I have to admit I’ve stolen a few in my time.

“At least I have television now. That makes a big difference. I don’t have to watch the same old shit all the time.”

Comments
  1. Never heard of gravol before, but burnt toast YES. When I was pregnant and couldn’t hold anything I had a thing for burnt pizza. I think prefer it. Sounds like she’s gonna be ok, right ?

    Like

  2. Kind of weird clicking “Like.” Am thinking she is in the throes of withdrawal. She needed to go to hospital. Oh my.

    Like

    • dcardiff says:

      I was thinking that as well, since other alcoholics have told me they have the ‘dry heaves’ every morning before they start drinking. I asked Joy about this, she said, “No, I’m drinking. It’s just the heat.”

      She has applied for her health card (after much nagging by me), but she doesn’t like doctors. They always tell her not to do things she likes, or to do things she doesn’t like.

      Thanks for your concern,
      Dennis

      Like

  3. you’ve been captivating me for the last 2 months !

    Like

  4. Ah, television – a great anesthesia for suffering. Sad, and so true.

    Like

  5. suhaengja says:

    I hope Joy can find some happiness in this life. TT

    Like

    • dcardiff says:

      Joy is surprisingly happy most of the time. She has bipolar disorder, among many other disabilities, so she can go from laughing to crying in a matter of seconds. Her life now has some semblance of order. I hope to find her happy tomorrow.

      Cheers,
      Dennis

      Like

  6. whenexactly says:

    TV the great escape artist .

    Like

    • dcardiff says:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, Joy has television now, but she’s afraid of becoming too ‘human’. She takes each day as it comes.

      I enjoy your blog and especially loved your post “I am worthy…how about you?” To quote a cliche, “You might as well be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

      Cheers,
      Dennis

      Like

  7. Pamela says:

    So sad. But the reality is that there are many “Joys” in the world and very few people who stop to hear their stories. Your caring heart is making such a difference in the lives of these people. Thank you for reaching out to them.

    Like

  8. bagpipesandbells says:

    You know, reading stories like this really helps put me in my place. Just when I think *MY* life is bad, well, this makes my life look like I’m at a five-star resort!

    I hope Joy gets better. Hopefully her luck will change soon.

    Like

  9. I wish I could say something intelligent about how much I enjoy your stories and how real they are, and what a great writer you are, but my brain isn’t working too well today so that’s it.

    Like

    • dcardiff says:

      I am glad you enjoy the stories of the homeless. It is all their words, so I can’t take credit for anything but writing them down. I write them as I hear them. Homeless people are thought of as unintelligent, but many have degrees, many have been in high position jobs. It is always interesting, sometimes heartbreaking, to learn about the choices they made and why.

      Cheers,
      Dennis

      Like

  10. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article
    plus the rest of the website is also really good.

    Like

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