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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dope Sick Love 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWhenever I teach the public basic internet course I always reserve 15 minutes of free time at the end of class for pupils to practice what they've learned and explore the world wide web on their own. The last time I taught class I spent most of that final fifteen minutes trying to assist a homeless man obtain a Match.com account. He really had his heart set on setting up a profile but he was so high on heroin or methadone that he kept nodding off as I tried to walk him through the sign-up process. He was also so loaded that couldn't even manage to type his e-mail address in correctly, not to mention confirm it.

The fields looked something like this:

E-mail: sketchyhomeless@yahoo.....com
Confirm your e-mail: sketyahoo;!yaho.com

If he ever managed to set up his profile I think it would be something like:

Lonely man currently in between places with lots of time on his hands and a giant monkey on his back seeks love from a special lady. Meet me at the library cafeteria or in the 2nd floor stacks.

Whatever drugs he was on seemed to slow his temporal reality to a near halt and it was as if his responses and movements were on time delay. I found the effect very disconcerting, and at times I felt like we were on a completely different spacetime continuum. I noticed the same phenomenon as a child with one of my friend's mom who was addicted to valium. She would wile away the days in her Texas mansion in her king size bed smoking menthol cigarettes and watching gameshows like the Price is Right. She used her bed as an office of sorts and there would always be papers spread all around her on the bed. Although it was 110 degrees outside in the Texas summer she kept her curtains drawn and her bedroom as cold as a cryogenic chamber. Whenever Amy and I would go in there to ask her something she obviously understood everything clearly but her response time was slow, like she was on a 2 second time delay. The benzodiazapines didn't make her speech slower but made it off a beat, as if our words had to travel a long way to reach her. She was usually preternaturally calm but would fly into rages over odd, unpredictable matters like one time when Amy ate a slice of bologna before dinner. I'm not sure if this incident is related to Amy's hospitalization for anorexia in high school a few years later.

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