“On the Pills, Off the Pills” by Kevin Catalano

On the Pills (Riding the Long, Cool Wave through the Dark Gap)

7.5 mg/325 mg oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet); 5 mg/5000 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicodin); 5 mg hydromorphone (Dilaudid oral liquid); 60 mg oxycodone (OxyContin); 50 mg meperidine (Demerol); 65 mg propoxyphene (Darvon); 30 mg codeine sulfate (Codeine); 60 mg morphine sulfate extended release capsules (Avinza); fentanyl citrate lollipops (Actiq), and 50 mcg/h fentanyl transdermal patches (Duragesic); 5 mg methadone hydrochloride tablets (Methadone); and, preferably, 40 mg Methadone wafers.

Off the Pills (Paralyzed by Paradox in a Broke-Down House)

I am stuck in the Dark Gap, unable to move an inch.  Movement, after all, is a paradox: for anyone to get from point A (the bed) to point B (the kitchen, where the linoleum floors are warped and the sink drips and drips), one must first go half the distance from the bed to the kitchen (say, to the bathroom, where the tawny ceiling sags from water weight), and to travel to that halfway point, one must first traverse halfway to that halfway point (the off-balance dresser, to put on shorts and T-shirt), and before that, halfway to that halfway point (feet on floor, the tickle of air breezing through the splintered hardwood), but first, halfway to that (from my crooked back to my cagey side), et cetera, et cetera. There are an infinite amount of halfway points, and therefore, I cannot move.

Substitute the Pills (Renovating Broke-Down House, Filling Gaps)

10.1 oz acrylic latex caulk plus silicone; ½’’ x 8’4” moisture-resistant drywall; 10 oz liquid nails, heavy duty construction adhesive; 12 oz Big Stuff gaps and cracks foam sealant; 1 qrt spackle paste int/ext; four rolls of self-adhesive, fiberglass drywall tape; 61.7 lb pail of all-purpose joint compound; 6’’ x 75’ butyl rubber with polyolefin film facer flashing tape; 30 year, three-tab charcoal shingles; 150 sq. ft roll granular surfaced leak barrier; 5 gal. asphalt flashing cement; 10 ft traditional white vinyl style gutter; 6’’ x 3’ mill hinged gutter guard; 3’’ x 10’ rust-free aluminum round corrugated downspout; 9 oz white advanced gutter and flashing sealant.

Back on the Pills (Renovations Complete Except for One, Giant Crack that Can’t Be Sealed)

10 mg/650 mg oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet); 10/660 mg hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicodin); 8 mg hydromorphone (Dilaudid tablets); 80 mg oxycodone (OxyContin); 100 mg meperidine (Demerol) tablets; 65 mg propoxyphene (Darvon); 60 mg sulfate (Codeine); 90 mg morphine sulfate extended release capsules (Avinza); fentanyl citrate lollipops (Actiq), and 75 mcg/h fentanyl transdermal patches (Duragesic); 10 mg methadone hydrochloride tablets (Methadone); and, always, forever, 80 mg Methadone wafers until the walls fall away.

More fiction at Used Furniture.

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