Friday, June 15, 2007

That peach colored box.

There he rested. On his back, white belly sunny-side up. The zipper on his 501's halfway down, the metal button carrying the stressful burden of keeping his blue jeans on. White socks, stained by the dirty concrete parking lot, peeked out from under the frayed cuffs of his dirty jeans. One foot crowned yellow, the other stamped with the Hanes logo.

Thick, black hair crowned his head like a Halloween costume. Sideburns, thick and reminiscent of Elvis, crawled down his puffy cheeks, in front of his sun burnt ears, to his thick jaw line. Chapped lips and a pot-marked nose with large hairs crawling from each nare sat atop his puffy, round face. His eyes squinted at the sun as he lay resting, trying to stay awake, on the graveled lot of the bar-b-que joint.

I approached the vision and saw his fat belly slowly rise and fall. He was flat on his back in the parking lot, next to someone else's car, overdosed on heroin. Another two steps, and I saw his drunken eyes floating back and forth at all the towering uniformed people standing above him. His superferlous nipple greeted me as I bent closer to speak to him.

Beads of sweat framed his hairline like dimples on a baby. I bent down close to him and talked forcefully.

"If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you," I said as my shadow casted authoritatively over his poor soul.

"Where are your needles? I don't want to get poked. That makes paramedics very angry when they get poked."

As he slid his worn hands down his body towards his pocket, I reminded him once again.

"If I get poked, I'm gonna be mad," I said.

He rummaged around his tight blue jean pocket. Out came a red lighter, some gas receipts, and more folded papers.

"I don't have any," he slurred trying to keep his eyes open.

I patted him down like a cop in a dark, back alley. I pinched his pockets and rolled him from side to side, scanning his back pockets as well. I grabbed his ankles and pulled the frayed cuffs up, looking for needles tucked into his socks. I moved to his waistband and pulled the belt loop from his sweaty belly, keeping an eye out for needles tucked around his waistband and in his groin.

I grabbed his ankles, the firemen grabbed his arms, and like a burlap sack of potatoes, we lifted him onto the bed. He slept peacefully in the suns heat as we exerted ourselves to move to lethargic 250 pounds of overdosed flesh.

"Thanks guys," I said to the firemen as they closed the back doors.

"Don't give me any of that narcun," he slurred as I grabbed a sweaty arm for a blood pressure.

"My friends overdosed and you guys gave him some of that stuff, and he looked horrible because of that."

"I tell you what," I replied. My mood was surprisingly patient. "If you stay awake, I won't give you any."

The metal box bounced down the highway, the sun setting as its rays made last attempts to shine through the snow-covered mountains in the distance. I sat with my laptop and punched buttons as we bounced down the highway. Then, from the front of the ambulance, my partner turned the black dial on the am/fm radio. The volume increased and George Thoroughgood's voice rasped an old blues song about whiskey, scotch, and beer.

"I love this song," he said as he laid his head back, closed his eyes, and began to enjoy his high again.

His mouth moved sluggishly as he worded the lyrics of the song to himself. He had forgotten that he had overdosed, that he was under arrest, and that he was going to jail. He had forgotten that, under these circumstances, the ride in this ambulance was not supposed to be a high-enhancer. We weren't there to safely transport him from one place to another so he could remain high on heroin.

I grabbed the small black, metal box. Popped the silver hinge and thumbed my way through the colored boxes. Finally, in a row like soldiers, were the peach colored boxes I was looking for. I grabbed the small, rectangular box, popped the cardboard top, and slid the small, glass tube out. I popped off all the red safety features and screwed it into the plastic administrator.

He tapped his fingers on the railing and, like Jimmi Hendrix, visualized the music in his head.

I screwed the Narcan into the plastic IV port, straightened out the IV tubing, and shot 1 milligram of the life -saving liquid into his veins.

I sat next to him and waited.

Thirty seconds later he opened his eyes. He gasped a couple of times and turned pale in the face. He sat bolt upright and squeezed the handrail with his restrained hands. Then, he looked at me.

"What the f*ck did you give me!" he screamed.

"You broke our deal," I said.

"What the f*ck did you give me!" he screamed.

And with sobriety slapping him in the face, he gradually pieced everything together. Thoroughgood had stopped singing and the colors of the music had disappeared. He had stopped taping his fingers and had returned from wherever he was. He closed his eyes and began to cry.

He was not high anymore. And he was not enjoying the ride.

I discarded the peach-colored box and went back to typing my report.

14 comments:

Max X said...

Cold, man.

Cold and pure.

Loving Annie said...

Life can suck sometimes, but I've never understood why people take drugs.
Highs have such a price tag, and the cost to your health and your brain are too high (no pun intended) to make it worthwhile.

I'm not trying to be prissy here. Although I'm sure it comes off that way.
I just don't get it. Getting clean has to be more painful than never going there in the first place...

Loving Annie said...

Good morning Rocky Mtn.,
I added you to my links maybe 2 weeks ago -- are you getting any extra traffic from it ?

Your posts are good, and I wanted more people to know about them / your blog !

David lo pan said...

I don't mean to question your sound medical judgment, but I will. From your colorful narrative he sounds as though he is maintaining a patent airway. He also sounds as though he is mentating well enough, as evidenced by his recognition of George and the destroyers. So it seems that being a little too happy was your criteria for the narcan? I have heard of folks being terminated for incorrect/punitive uses of narcan. I would hate for that to happen to such a fine writer such as yourself.

Rocky Mountain Medic said...

loving annie: yes, and thank you.

DLP: this is fiction, so there is no critieria. It's all make believe.

Loving Annie said...

Good Saturday morning the 23rd, Rocky ! Just came by to say hello and see waht was new with you --

David lo pan said...

but your "tagline" says and I quote-
you can't make this stuff up. Which implies that this is NOT fiction but truth. We all understand the need for vagueness with regard to patients and address' but with the colorful prose about these calls I had expected that you wouldn't make up treatments as it could lead the uninitiated amongst your readership to the wrong conclusions.

Rocky Mountain Medic said...

you know, you have totally misinterpreted the reason for this site. That is a shame. If you want to be petty, go somewhere else.

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

When I initially read this post, I had some hesitation. I know you and your medicine, so I know how you function and have respect for the way you work. I saw, however, that WHAT you wrote may upset some people, becaue it came across as punitive and unprofessional, two things I know you're not. People who don't know you would not know that, and I thought they may have some problems with the content of your writing. They did. They'll get over it. You'll write something more satisfying to the masses, and everyone will move on. I think the best thing to do would be to make a new post, and we'll all forget about what you imagined yourself doing (what we all find ourselves hoping we COULD do, or would like to do) and grab your stolen radio, stolen shirt, faded pants and worn out dream catcher and roll in your beat up rusty Festiva on to the next fantasy call.

Fried Pie

Loving Annie said...

David Lo Pan and Fried Pie need to find other blogs to read... Or write their own...

Really, if you don't like it here, you don't need to be here...

I like what Rocky Mountain Medic writes. I didn't take offense at anything.

Being deragatory to someone on their blog -- when you came there of your own volition -- says more about you as a commenter than it does about them as an author.

Hope you have a good Sunday the 24th, Rocky, and I look forward to reading your next posts -

Jane said...

imaginary story or not, rocky mountain medic said "i won't give you any if you stay awake" After giving narcan he said "you broke our deal" which implies to me that the guy didn't stay awake.

Banjo said...

Jack Burton: [speaking to Lo Pan] Are you crazy... Is that your problem?

Peggy7777 said...

It is a very good idea for any drug "experimenters" out there to learn that cops and ambulance people won't kindly support and nurture their highs.

MonkeyGirl said...

Wow. I just came over to tell you how much I love you, and look at all the crayzees you've got over here. I thought they were all in my ER.

Well, those of us with a clue got what you were sayin' and loved it as usual.

Damn Crayzees.

*shiver of horror*

I think it's contagious.