I Want a New Drug

The first three days of any given month in Humboldt County is a test of one's willpower. How long will you be able to maintain control and civility when a vast majority of the people around you (who have struck "pay day") are tweaking out of control? By day three I've had it.

The post office. On the streets. In the mall. It is as unavoidable as a Romero-inspired zombie plague. Their eyes scan the horizon looking for a fix, a face they remember, or something to steal. They roam the streets on hot bikes, looking for their dealer. In two weeks they'll be looking for loose items in cars. They congregate at the Heroin Hilton run by everyone's favorite slum lord Squires.

It's enough to make you want to burn sections of town down and start all over again.

Meth is the drug of choice here after pot. Pot, however, does not cause the same sores, twitchy movements and insane paranoia that is all too common with meth abusers. It is sad, tragic and downright dangerous. Heavy coats on when we're having one of our heatwaves. Pleading eyes from skinny girls trying to look sexy as they roam the streets, working those jaw muscles loose. Uncontrollable smiles in a mouth filled with teeth ready to fall out when the next breeze hits.

And to think Nazis used this stuff.

The first three days of any given month. Three days to watch people you thought were dead (because they look it), attempting to stand in line at the grocery store, unaware they are moving like we're in an earthquake. Three days of trying your best to avoid any conversation with anyone who looks like they might be under the influence. Three days of watching them dart out in front of your car and you wondering if you'll really get in that much trouble if your foot slips off the brake.

Humboldt County is a tolerant place. We let a lot of stuff go here. Part of that freedom involves dealing with this because the cops sure as hell want nothing to do with it. How would you like knowing any call to a meth related crime could involve you walking into a place where you should be wearing a hazmat suit (and I'm not kidding). Would you be quick to respond, or would you wait for the inevitable explosion to come and take care of the problem? I'd wait for the explosion. The kids in the house don't have any such luxury, however.

Three days. How fast can they burn through their money? If the bodies on the street are any indication -- fast. Damn fast. SSD becomes a distant dream in the hands of a meth addict. SSI is the same thing.

This addiction has taken its toll on the population. It is in the eyes of people who look like they either don't care or want to get off the ride but don't know how.

Three days. I can hear them outside my window, and I live in a quiet neighborhood (this is an anomaly). A passerby on the street. Screaming about needing an inhaler. Don't know if he's meth addicted or just mad. I've given up trying because I think you can pretty much throw a rock and hit someone under the influence of the drug these days.

Three days. And then it's back to the predator eyes ... for those who can still open them.

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