The Drug Guy of Tartarus

Related imageNobody talks about ‘the underworld’ these days. I find that disturbing. I love the pictures drawn out of ancient mythology of new worlds that you can pass through only by making some chilling sacrifice to prove that you belong. I’ve been considering the sacrifices we make every day to belong. We get a little older, sacrificing our youth so that we might stay a little longer. We get comfortable with loss and learning what to lose. You sacrifice a little bit of that youthful energy and hopefulness so that you might exist in this realm for a while longer.

Ask yourself, “What have I done to prove that I belong?”

It’s the same for when you want to buy drugs. It’s never an easy endeavor. Sure, we could legalize it and all this underground tom-foolery would dissipate within a matter of months… but we don’t have time for rational suggestions. Instead, we have to preserve the underground. It’s an environment unlike any other, with its own set of rules that have to be followed. It can be dark, mysterious, mischievous and down-right shady, but it has to exist. There are demands that the world of the living cannot meet. For that, you have the underground.

My dealer is a relatively normal guy. He just talks a damn lot about shit that I don’t care about. The price you pay for entering the underworld is having to listen for hours on end. Your sacrifice is made ever-so much more difficult by the fact that he won’t give you any drugs while you’re listening. You have to sit there stone-sober, as he rattles off trivial minutiae that he notices on a daily basis. It’s like meeting a character out of a children’s fable: you can’t cross the bridge without answering a few riddles. He just seems like a lonely guy living out a riddle of his own. He has dozens of friends and yet he has no friends. Plenty of people come to see him, yet nobody stays. Every creature within the underworld must live by the laws that govern. He follows a curse, for although he provides for the underworld a source of great power, he, in himself, possesses none.

I listen for a while. He believes in ancient aliens. He believes they built up mankind as a sort of cattle. He thinks we’re being moved in place and the earth is one great big farm. It’s weird that these theories always find some bearing on our souls, something familiar to embed in our psyches, like a god damn tick. I can’t forget the idea of the ancient aliens. Part of me would really love to relax and believe whatever. It settles into you. Doesn’t anyone else notice the parasitic nature of belief? A tick doesn’t rest. It bites down and chews. It’s chomping through you with all its might. You might feel it as an itch, but on the part of the tick its intent is malicious. It wants to survive. It HAS to survive.

Once he runs out of steam you’ve passed the test presented by the underworld. You’re free to escape. He works through the conversation and reveals vast treasures of the underworld. He gathers them up in sandwich bags, ties them up and presents them to you without a riddle. I don’t even know the question. I take what I’ve come for and leave, like any businessman, I offer a proper handshake and goodbye. He never seems to care that you go, as he folds over onto his couch and continues watching whatever is on the television. It’s usually cartoons or the History channel.

9 thoughts on “The Drug Guy of Tartarus

  1. I don’t believe in drug laws. The distinction between legal, legal with a prescription, and illegal is based on the government’s paternalistic notion that it owns taxpayers and knows what’s good (and not good) for them. The government also has patents to protect.

    Fact is, laws against drugs (or guns, or Cuban cigars) only raises the black market price.

    The underground will exist in one form or another, until people recognize that laws only control law-abiding citizens. As we struggle under more and more laws, we only create more outlaws and more jobs for lawyers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s a weird cycle, especially when we only acknowledge the underground as this ominous thing that can only be spoken about if you whisper. Meanwhile, people are overdosing on legal drugs and nobody seems too concerned. I feel like this is one of the greater sources of confusion in the world. It’s better known as bullshit.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I use the word “hypocrisy.” For instance, kids are forced to take Ritalin (and other amphetamines) to attend school if they have an Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), but it is a felony if they take them (or sell them) on the street. They have to leave school one day a month to get prescriptions refilled. Parents have to take time off work, find transportation, and the kid is forced to miss several hours of school. The system itself is crazy-making, but no one dares say it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The worst thing is I think we all know, but no one admits it. This is all insane. I don’t agree with making yourself into a drug addict, but a lot of what we’ve been told about drugs (Reefer Madness) is a lot of scare tactics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The “health care industry” itself thrives on scare tactics. The insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies, and the government all benefit, but it has created a sickly, dependent population. These are the major causes of the skyrocketing costs. Yes. I agree with you that it’s insane. It’s a big reason I don’t believe in drug laws. Real problems get short-shrift because of all the pseudo-problems the “industry” has created and frightened people about.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, the Underworld. Some days I kinda miss it, then I remind myself that I don’t miss it at all. The guy who ran the local bread shop was an Underworld denizen – he wouldn’t sell me my morning bread until he’d told me all about the crap he’d been reading the previous night while high. We fell out over the Flat Earth. Sorry, not having any of it! I mean, I like the guy but the last thing you need at 7am when trying to buy bread is an argument about why the Earth is flat. Just sell me a goddam loaf! It became so heated that I had to change my bread shop! If he’d offered me some of the weed I knew he was smoking out the back, perhaps we’d have reached an arrangement, but sadly not.

      Nice read BTW :).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One is refreshed reading this piece. A good general view and some clear specific points of that other world you also give to inform us. We knew some, but being reminded of them can not hurt. Congrats to you for a good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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