The Junkie’s Soul

The first is the worst, second is damn close, and the third, well, you’ll have no problem with the third. Hell, you’ll have no problem with anything after the third bag.

There on the sad little depressed sofa with the white stuffing all puking out of the cushions I slouched with my little sandwich baggie full of God’s best pizza topping and recreational snack. Mad Mike, Montana Mike, or whatever he was called took my money with a shake, slapped it in my hand and pulled me close to him, his breath hot in my ear.

“Mike says,” he often spoke in third person, “You better slow down homes or you be seein’ doubles.”

Doubles? Ha! I took a pinch, letting my tongue bask in the flavor. I giggled to the empty room. No effect. Did Mike sell me bad shrooms? I took a pinch more.

I wiped my running nose with the back of my wrist. I jabbed my finger on the little red advertisement that Poker Time Pizza had tucked in my door yesterday when I lay passed out. Soon I was going to need something to eat, and being in this reality was not a part of my plan.

“Pizza. Pepperoni and,” my mind wandered for a moment. Mother always said to eat vegetables with every meal. “Pizza with pepperoni and bacon!”

“Bacon’s not a vegetable you moron,” I said in a mock whine from the other side of the room.

Startled, I slammed the phone on the hook so hard that the unit fell off of the wall, dragging out with it the phone cord and the white dandruff of drywall.

There I was, sitting on the couch, and standing by the kitchen, all at the same time. I had to poke my chest a few times to believe I was real.

“You’re real,” other me said. “I’m real too. Wipe that stupid look off your junkie face.”

“How?”

He, I, pointed at the baggie on the coffee table with the cracked glass top. As he tapped the surface it teetered back and forth.

“No. Wait,” I stammered. “I mean how?

“You should’a listened to Mad Mike,” he grabbed the baggie, sifting through it. “Let’s do some more soul searching.”

“Wait man! I can’t afford two pizzas!”

I was too slow to stop him. I leapt at him, tripping over a red tricycle in my living room, banging my head on the arm of the sofa. Other me tucked a twenty in my hand.

I looked at the twenty in disbelief. Written in black Sharpie was “Save for Pizza Man” right across Jackson’s proud little forehead.

My fingers were a little bloody, from the knock I took. I also must’ve cut my palm on the broken mug I left on the floor two months ago. The twenty in my own pocket had written across it the same exact reminder.

“Save for Pizza Man”

“Jeez man, this is my same twenty!”

Other me stood up, stretching his back. He scratched at his scruffy beard showering me in bits of cookie I had eaten earlier.

“Get up. You have to order another pizza because I’m not going to be in any shape to order it in three… two… one…”

I was on my feet about to give myself a piece of my mind when suddenly…

“Who’s ordering pizza?”

“Not me!” me and other me shouted at third me stumbling out of the bathroom. My jaw dropped. Other me guffawed.

“Third me!” he shouted. They embraced.

“Other me!” third me shouted, then pushed other me away, gazing longingly at the small baggie on the coffee table. Like a moth to the flame, he took small zombie-like steps, drooling, and wiping that drool from his chin. “Is that… no. You kidding me?” he grinned ear to ear. “Which one of you two posh bastards went to Mad Montana Mike? You really shouldn’t have!”

“No!” I thrust myself between him and the bag of shrooms. Four of me in the same room would be absurd.

He pat me on the shoulder like a sympathetic sibling, “If I can’t have any, that means you can’t have any, and the logical conclusion is that you’d never deprive yourself of soul-splitting recreational godliness.”

The circles around which he talked had me tracing the absurd logic in the air with my finger. He handed me another twenty with “Save for Pizza Man” scribbled across it.

I was on the phone with the pizza man, suspiciously watching my dopplegangers laugh and joke with one another. A slimy residue coated the bottom of my little baggy, but no mushrooms remained.

“Please, please, add two more pizza. One of me wants one with sausage and the third me wants feta, spinach, and banana peppers.”

The girl on the other end paused.

“Mister, who is this first one for?”

“Me. It’s for me. The other two are for the second me and the third me. Does this matter?”

“Credit card?”

“Cash. All cash. I have all the cash.”

Third me took a cigarette I had been saving between the sofa cushions. I kicked the phone across the floor, almost running out of cord when I snatched it out of his hand.

“We can only accept credit cards on large transactions.”

“I have three twenty dollar bills with ‘Save for Pizza Man’ on them!”

“Mister, have you been toking up?”

“I’ve been taking shrooms! Bring me my pizza before fourth me appears!”

I slammed the phone on the receiver over and over again until I caught my thumb in the assault.

“You look distressed. You know what he needs?”

Third me chimed in, his face contorted into a rictus, “I know what he needs.”

A knock at the door. I clamored to it pushing everything out of the way. I needed that pizza. I needed sanity. I tore those three twenties out of my pocket thrusting them at the delivery man.

Fourth me, the pizza guy.

“Dudes, somebody order pizza?”

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