Realizing he had a nearly endless supply of speed and with the almost non-supervision from his sister, Paul started using the yellow jackets more frequently and sometimes in greater quantity. Every night he would have either his friends or the two brothers down the street come over, smoking pot and drinking into all hours of the night. Paul realized that as long as he provided the place, he hardly had to buy anything – only every now and then – which worked out well for him since the only income he had was his part-time job and the money his parents would send him to buy food (he used very little of it to actually buy food). He also realized that with the yellow jackets he could party as late as he wanted, go to all the parties he heard about, and he could still be alert in school and get enough of his homework done to make sure he at least passed his classes so he could graduate. He was hardly sleeping at all.
When Paul’s parents came back for his graduation ceremony, Paul made sure the house was all straightened up and that everyone knew to not come by for a few days, until his parents had left again. He also made sure he didn’t take any of the speed while they were there. His parents had a graduation party for him the day after the actual ceremony. It was really small compared to most of the bashes he had been to recently. There was beer there for the adults. Paul and his friends weren’t old enough to drink, but Paul’s parents looked the other way when Paul would grab a bottle for himself or one of his friends. They drank them out of sight, in the garage, where they also smoked numerous joints.
Even though he felt tired because of his lack of sleep the past couple months, and not having his yellow jackets to pick him up, Paul was surprised by how much he actually enjoyed himself while his parents were there. He thought that maybe he should stop all the heavier partying he had been doing lately. Before leaving again, Paul’s dad told him that his job relocation should be wrapped up in another few months and then they’d be back for good. He left with Paul’s mom, returning to their temporary residence hundreds of miles away. Once they were gone, Paul forgot about everything he had ever thought about slowing down.
Although not as frequent, there were still good parties to go to on most of the weekends following graduation. If he heard of one, Paul would go. If there wasn’t one to go to, Paul would just party at his house with his friends or the brothers from down the street. It was great when they came over because they always had pot, hash, or opium to smoke and they were always willing to share it. Plus, being years older than Paul and his just out of high school friends, they were legally able to buy beer and booze at the nearby party stores, for themselves or anybody else who had the money and wanted some. Paul knew that at least one of the brothers had shot up heroin in the past – he thought that was crazy; “how could anyone stick a needle in their arm?” Plus, from what he had heard, you were pretty out of it when you did heroin and it could be really easy to overdose on it if you weren’t careful. Paul knew how to be careful with the yellow jackets. Even though he didn’t need them to keep up with schoolwork anymore, he was still taking them every day, throughout the day, because he liked the way they made him feel. They gave him a great buzz and seemed to intensify everything else he did with them for the better, especially if he took two or three of them. He didn’t need anything else, and it was all perfectly under control.
Just before leaving for the party he had been at the night he ended up on the hood of his car, Paul was trying to remember if he had taken three or four yellow jackets. This would possibly be one of the last post-graduation bashes – he hadn’t heard of any others coming up – and possibly the biggest of the summer. Paul wanted to make the best of it. To be sure he took at least four – if it happened to be five, no big deal – he swallowed one more down before Bryan, Tom and he chugged a couple beers and left his house.
They were at the party only a short while when Paul felt the headache coming on. At first, he tried to ignore it, but it intensified quickly. Bryan and Tom had wandered off somewhere and he had found himself standing in a group with four or five other guys he had never met before. They were all talking about music and bands they liked and passing around a joint. Paul couldn’t remember if it was one of his or one of theirs. He found it hard to think of anything except how badly his head was starting to hurt. A sharp, stabbing pain like no other headache he had ever had before. He knew there was something wrong. He turned and walked away from the group, towards the door, heading for home.
“Hey man, aren’t you going to finish it? You just lit it up.”
Paul didn’t reply. He just walked out the front door, got in his car and started driving home. The next thing he knew, he was curled up in a fetal position, on the hood of his car in his driveway, immobilized by the pain.
It was all Paul could think about before he lost consciousness.
Copyright © 2015 Mr. Flying Pig