Now as I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been IV’ing heroin since I was in secondary school, or what little I attended of it. And I’ve mentioned how the guards took all my heroin away when I was admitted to the Prison.
They give me methadone instead. It’s cardboard. In fact, it’s even worse than my parole-methadone. There’s no buzz, there’s only a tiny high that lasts for ten minutes and then you’re back to the Hell you just tried to leave. I’ve begged for some better stuff but the prison doctor’s a stubborn little man with thick glasses and wispy hair. Doctor Stern, they call him. He’s awful, and so, frustratingly obstinate on the methadone subject he makes me want to cry.
I remember lying on a bed in that prison, praying for bail and freedom, bemoaning the fact that I’d messed up the first time, and fervently hoping that McLaren, our band manager, will care about me enough to get me out of this godawful place, while all the time withdrawal symptoms were threatening to come on and memories of Nancy were assailing my mind. “Please,” I was begging this pitiless machine that was Doctor Stern, “Just give me another dose. You don’t know what I’m trying to escape from.”
“Sid, you have reached the limit of your daily dose. I shall not give you any more.” He had a robotic voice, too, cold and unforgiving.
“Just get me some proper stuff then. Or get me out of here. I can’t stand it, I feel sick.”
“There is a bucket under your bed. And, as you know, you are not about to leave Riker’s Prison any time soon. You know what you’re in here for.”
Of course, he knew the story. He knows everyone’s story, and he treats them with the appropriate levels of disgust. He picks on me most because I’m famous.
I asked for a bit of paper and a pen after that. There’s precisely nothing to do in the prison, except count the seconds until your next dose, so I decided I’d get to work. Remembering Nancy was getting too much for me, and, well, I’ve heard around that it helps to get your feelings out on paper.
Unfortunately, at a certain point Doctor Stern barges in with my methadone. I look at the bag and my heart sinks faster than the Titanic on speed. It’s almost like the doctor wants to save all the methadone for himself.
“What is that?” he asks, pointing carefully at the list.
“A list,” I say. I’m beyond caring if he reads it or not, which he does.
He handles the paper as if it carries some disease. “Why Nancy Is So Great,” he reads in a disapproving voice.
“Yeah,” I say. I am looking at the methadone.
“Number one,” reads the doctor in a repulsed and curious voice. “Beautiful. Number two. Sexy.” The doctor’s eyes flit to me. He looks as if he’s calculating how many grams of methadone he should subtract for saying that.
Well, wait till he reads the rest, I just want to inject what I’ve got.
“– Number three. Beautiful figure. Number four. Great sense of humour. Number five. Makes extremely interesting conversation…six…witty…seven…has beautiful eyes…eight…has fab taste in clothes…nine…has the most beautiful wet –” The doctor makes a double take. “I don’t think I shall continue reading it. Now, it was very endearing –” he said, in the way one might say lecherous or obscene or disgusting, “of you to write this list of attributes your late girlfriend had, however, it will not save you from the Prison nor the methadone.”
He hands me the small tray of the drug and quickly leaves.