60 dollars used to be the magic denomination. However much was in my bank account, existed only divided into 60s. That was 2 and a half points, 2 shots, one day of moderation, or one evening of freedom. Seems like a long time ago.
The pharmacy that I visit, daily, is small, christian-owned and run, crammed with display cabinets and knick knacks of dragons with glittering eyes and overpriced incense. It exists solely through methadone profits. The only place in town that will let us in the door. Us riff raff.
I'd swallowed my dose and turned heel when the yelling from the car park turned into yelling from the door. There, on the doorstep, the old man was being kicked. He looked up, blood running down one side of his face, from the eye. A lot of blood. I stepped backwards, through the baby blue pharmacy door frame, to the too blue eyes of the man on duty. You better call the police I said. A concerned citizen. I almost convinced myself. I could have had a savings account, with savings in it.
The woman with the large perm, the other worker, took the cordless phone in hand. Dial. I said. She didn't seem to hear. These were their customers brawling on the concrete step outside. The blue, blue eyed man ran out from behind the counter. Out, out. Pulled the fists and boots and blood apart. The permed lady holding the phone like a shield, stepped blinking into the sunlight after him. Alone, I looked around the little store. What a perfect moment to shoplift. An automatic thought, a hangover from loving someone who stole endlessly. But there was nothing I wanted, or wanted to take.
She came back in with the bleeding man, firmly. He wanted to go home, he just needed to go home and sleep it off, he said. She wouldn't let him. Ripping open sanitized wipe pads, I left her.
I secretly wrote down the license plate number of the rusty car full of yelling, on the back of a receipt, with an eye liner pencil. The policeman came then. He was the same age as us. Me, the women in the car and the man with the fists.
All of us so different.
I like that pharmacy, but I don't like the man with the blue blue eyes. I don't like they way they look at me. Just in case.