07
Jul
11

The Highest I’ve Ever Been In My Goddamned Life

Compared to some, my drug rap sheet is pretty average.

A little this and that while I was at varsity, the same stuff everyone’s tried (except for the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds – I’m probably the only person dumb enough to ever try those…), a few nights and days of rampant infectious craziness but that was it, I cashed out before I got in over my head and I’m fucking glad about that.

But ironically, the highest I’ve ever been came after that period in my life on a quiet summer evening when I was shot so full of drugs I slipped into a waking coma and emerged from it feeling like some kind of Messiah descended from heaven, God’s own son, sent to save the world by just loving everyone and everything in it with all my being.

 

 

It was the gentlest comedown I’ve ever experienced, even the vomiting was pleasant, and it all started on the shoreline in Blouberg with me half drunk in my cousin’s wetsuit, wondering what the hell I was doing in the ball-shrivellingly cold Atlantic waters instead of back at the house getting drunker…

 

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

 

“Don’t look so nervous,” my cousin said as we waded out to body board on a quiet Sunday afternoon in November.

“Heh heh, yeah,” I said, nervously, “what’s the worst that could happen right? It’s only water…” which, in retrospect, was a seriously retarded thing to say.

Fate loves statements like that. They rate right up there with “Russian winter, pffffttttt” and “can withstand a collision with a Boeing 707”.

 

 

I was 30 metres from shore, gripping my board clumsily with my right arm and paddling with my left when I felt my shoulder tear clean out of its socket.

That, doctors will tell you, is what happens if you dislocate your shoulder enough times. Even the slightest exertion when your arm is above shoulder-level can result in a dislocation.

I’d managed to dislocate my left shoulder four times prior to my misguided attempt at body boarding that day, which made me about as loosey-goosey as you can get in the shoulder department.

The first three times were pretty minor and I managed to get my arm back in by myself, but the fourth time fucked me. I ended up getting driven to Sandton Clinic so a doctor could pop it back in. They did such a great job I was convinced it would never pop out again.

“Dude…” I remember mumbling to my cousin, already feeling a little woozy from the pain, “dude!”

“What?”

“I’m going back man.”

“Why? You haven’t even caught a wave yet!”

“I dislocated my arm.”

“Hahahaha!” my cousin replied.

“No, for real.”

“Um. How is that even possible?”

“I’ve done it before so much, my whole shoulder’s fucked. I’m going back,” I said stoically and started paddling lamely with my other arm, the one the body board was still attached to.

“Ok, do you need some help…?” my cousin offered reluctantly.

“No, I’m fine,” I replied, “I got this… I’ll just let the waves, *hhnnggg* carry me back…”

Twenty minutes of half hearted doggy-paddling-whilst-grinding-my-teeth-through-every-wave-that-hit-me later my toes finally felt sand and I was able to hold my board against my stomach like a shelf which I used to rest my left arm on.

My shoulder felt like it was packed full of broken glass, here’s a pic to help you with that mental image:

 

 

Luckily my other two cousin’s wives, The Amazon and Sunshine were sitting on the beach watching us.

I explained what had happened as nonchalantly as possible and before I knew it they bundled me up in the back of someone’s 4×4 with a glass of straight vodka and ice.

“Thanks, but I think I’ll just sit quietly in the back and focus on not throwing up from the pain,” I said, joking and not joking at the same time.

“Just take it,” Sunshine said, “you’ll thank me later.”

I gulped half the vodka down exactly thirty seconds later as we pulled, bouncing, out of the driveway.

I gulped the other half down about 1.5km down the road when we hit the first speed bump. After that I just chewed the ice and when that was finished, contemplated chewing the glass.

The thing about a dislocated shoulder is the longer it’s dislocated for, the more painful it gets. Your nerve endings start feeling like frayed ropes as you slowly go whiter and whiter, pouring sweat like a fat man on a hot day.

 

 

The fun was just starting though. At Blouberg they got me onto a hospital bed and wheeled me off to stick a drip into me, but there was only one problem.

“Ok, we’re going to have to take your wetsuit off,” said the nurse.

“FUCK THAT!” I spat at her, “STICK IT IN MY GODDAMNED NECK!”

“We can’t put a drip in your neck sir, it has to go in your arm,” she replied coolly.

“FINE! YOU KNOW WHERE THE VEIN IS RIGHT? JUST STICK ME WITH SOME FUCKING DRUGS ALREADY! DO IT THROUGH THE WETSUIT! DO IT THROUGH THE WETSUIT!!”

“I can’t just guess where the vein is sir, we have to take the wetsuit off or we can’t administer anything for the pain.”

“AH JAYZIZ! FAHK! FINE! AT LEAST GIVE ME SOMETHING TO BITE DOWN OR SOMETHING, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THIS FEELS LIKE?!”

“Just breathe sir, this will all be over soon…” she said with the sincerity of a Nazi death camp warden.

At that stage, I think peeling off my actual skin would’ve been easier to handle.

 

 

The pain ripped like a chainsaw through my shoulder as she pulled the wetsuit off my upper body. I bit down so hard I thought my teeth would crack and kicked the heel of my bare foot hard against the cold steel hospital bed over and over, welcoming any kind of distraction, no matter how fleeting, from the white-hot pain that was burning like fucking lava inside me.

I remember the sweat burning in my eyes. I remember the delicious sting of the needle for the drip going into my right arm. I remember the milky-white solution they shot into me, and then…

I remember nothing.

Sweet, sweet nothing…

 

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

 

When I started coming round again I looked all around me in total wonder, my pupils big enough to park a bus in.

It was the future, I knew this because everything around me was white and shiny and clean and quiet and nothing like the past at all. I had travelled probably 1000 years into the future.

On closer inspection though, it wasn’t all that futuristic. There was still a normal-looking clock on the wall above the door and other familiar things too. No, this wasn’t the future, that wasn’t right.

Then I saw the machines and felt the oxygen mask over my mouth and knew exactly what had happened.

I had been turned into a fucking robot!

 

I was like the Six Million Dollar Man! I could run fast as a fucking racecar and jump over buildings and shit!

I started laughing at how fucking awesome things had turned out for me. Even the doctors and nurses walking past the ward where I was chilling were poking their heads in the room, looking at me and smiling.

This, I later found out, had nothing to do with me becoming a robot. This was because the milky-white stuff they shot me full of had produced a cataclysmic reaction the second it hit my blood stream.

Convinced I was cured, I had gotten off the hospital bed, pulled my drip out and had started walking out of the ward. I was apparently shoving nurses off me left right and centre with my good arm which was probably when they decided to bring out the big guns.

“You’re like an ox,” Sunshine told me later, “they had to inject you full of morphine twice to get you to calm down.”

 

 

Three minutes later I was being wheeled through the hospital singing “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE BA, BA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA!” at the top of my lungs and pointing at the nurses and doctors around me, one by one, and telling them that I loved them.

“HOSPITAL IS AWESOME!” I shouted, in between bouts of hysterical, euphoric laughter, “I FUCKING LOVE IT HERE!”

It was sheer insanity. I think I know what it feels like to be on heroin because they had doped me up to my fucking eyeballs on morphine, dormicum and whatever that milky stuff was they first shot me full of.

When they eventually got me up to walk me home, I just stood on the spot and laughed myself silly because I couldn’t walk at all.

It wasn’t like being drunk and staggering all over the place, that’s a symptom of your mind knowing exactly how to walk and your body point-blank refusing to follow orders.

My mind couldn’t remember how to walk. I just stood there, completely baffled, not even knowing where to begin getting my legs to move left right left right. After what felt like three hours of everyone standing around me frowning while I pissed myself laughing, they put me in a wheelchair and helped me into the car.

 

 

The drive back was a damn side better than the drive there except for this curious sensation that was welling up under my tongue and making me feel not so great.

I managed not to chunder until after my cousins helped me out the car, but my god did it feel amazing. I know that’s probably really disgusting to read, but it honestly felt like every bad thing was coming out of me and when it was over I remember floating up the driveway and into my cousin’s house where I spent the next five hours sitting in the same spot on the couch in the living room practically drooling on my chest while the family watched Carte Blanche, the 8pm movie and then one by one went to bed.

They had to hold a glass for me while I sipped water through a straw because my first attempt at drinking ended with the glass in my lap and a goofy, cross-eyed smile on my face.

Every time my cousin lit a smoke the universe stopped so I could watch the fire molecules twist, bend and break in the soft, lamp-lit room. I watched endless hours of TV that made no fucking sense whatsoever, which was right about the time when I realised I might not be a robot, just a very, very stoned human being.

I don’t remember going to bed but the next day I woke up feeling 100% fine. I apologised to my family for everything, but they were having none of it.

“That’s the most entertaining night I’ve had in years,” The Amazon said to me the next morning, “you really should visit more often.”

“I should,” I said smiling, “but next time I’m sharing the drugs. That was hands down the best goddamn high OF MY LIFE!”

Hospital drugs, boys and girls, are the best fucking drugs on the planet. No wonder so many doctors take them, who the fuck wouldn’t?!

Good times I tell ya.

Good, good times Winking smile

-ST


4 Responses to “The Highest I’ve Ever Been In My Goddamned Life”


  1. 1 Supa_Dan
    July 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Dude, know the shoulder thing well. Happens to me, a lot! Worst I’ve had was after a surf I pulled my second skin over my head to take it off and halfway through my shoulder popped, arms stuck, tangled in the second skin. A buddy had to “nudge” it back in right there.

    On that note, when you joining us for a body board session? Got some extra gear!

    • July 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      Hahahaha! That’s crazy dude, I had no idea you’ve also popped your shoulder, we need to trade some war stories sometime.
      And you got extra gear you say? Awesome, I’ll meet you on Blouberg beach next weekend 😉
      -ST

  2. 3 Pete
    July 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I am sitting here applauding you. What a brilliant piece of writing – I laughed so loudly I think the people across the street heard me (not at your pain obviously). I am really enjoying your blog, thanks!

    • July 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Hells yeah, thanks for the awesome comment Pete! Makes the blood, sweat and tears all worth it 😉
      Stop by anytime, the beers are cold and the kicks are free.
      -ST


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