They started the day chipper, almost gleeful. They had the abundant energy and lousy skin that are a signpost of meth use. For the first four hours of the day, they were like the 7 Dwarfs, with their joyful “Hi-ho, hi-ho.” They hauled everything we pointed out to them with a spring in their step that was almost manic, and cooed friendly baby talk at my daughter on my hip as they wheeled heavy dressers full of heavy clothes up and down the stairs.
Sometime in the early afternoon, however, their moods took a sudden dip. Almost instantly, they had freakish dark circles under their eyes and every question or comment was greeted with growls and scorn. I can’t disparage their labor; they eventually accomplished everything we had outlined for them to do. They did not, however, seem nearly as pleased or motivated to do it as they had before their buzz wore off. Over the course of a 10 hour move, they only took two fifteen minute breaks and never even ate, only smoked cigarettes. After all the barking and groaning, however, I mentioned to my husband that I wished they would take a little longer and track down what they were really craving, because I didn’t think the second half of our move was the right time for them to start de-tox.
Toward the end of the incredibly long day, I made a sandwich run and brought them back some subs and soda pops. They seemed really thankful, but still didn’t stop to eat them until after the move was complete. They had worked unbelievably hard all day, so we couldn’t imagine sending them away without a tip, but we had mixed feelings about it as we handed them each their wad of cash. I can’t imagine working that kind of job every day. I can imagine how tempting it would be to enhance my energy with illicit substances before showing up to haul people’s stuff for them. I wonder about my complicity in their demise; because I own more stuff than I can carry from house to house on my own; because I have the affluence to hire people to carry my stuff when I can’t or would rather not; because I saw the situation and still preferred them high; because I handed them enough cash to go do the same thing tomorrow.
A lot of people I know say they can’t tell if someone uses. I wonder if they can’t or just choose not to, because I’d rather choose not to, too.
Drug yourselves so you feel nothing. Blind yourselves so you see nothing. Get drunk, but not on wine. Black out, but not from whiskey. For God has rocked you into a deep, deep sleep, put the discerning prophets to sleep, put the farsighted seers to sleep. Isaiah 29:9-10 (MSG)