Oana's Blog on Human Nature
The intense wind we in the desert have been blessed with lately encourages me to purchase a cherry-scented lip balm. Who said that humans have not evolved? An envious monkey for sure. I think of our grandmothers and grandmothers’ grandmothers who greeted the golden age with cracked, wrinkled lips. Not me! Thanks to the revolutionary invention that is the lip balm, today we enjoy moist, sensual lips way into menopause.
I wonder what else we can enjoy nowadays. Some people have simple pleasures like alcohol, food, sex, or music, yet those more sophisticated tend to replace the relatively tangible reality with a pill, a sniff or a syringe.
I come from a simple culture with simple pleasures and I could never adjust to “sophistication” until I was exposed to the Free World. I had no clue what recreational drugs were and why people would consider such an alternative. To me it seemed a universe far away, and the only images I had about this were from the movies where the bad guy either goes to jail or becomes a motivational speaker and saves all the little children in his neighborhood from hell. If he has time, he covers other neighborhoods as well. Yeah, it was that simple.
Not anymore. I mean, I live here now and I am curious. Who are these people? Where do they hide? And if they are right here in front of me, then why can’t I spot them?
I am very determined to learn more about this drug culture. I learn from the news – our sacred source of wisdom and information – that it is a booming industry and a pleasurable hobby, even for the average citizen.
Why don’t I take a closer look at the everyday people?
Take this friendly kiddo riding his bike in the neighborhood, respectfully saying “Hola” every day.
His name is Miguel Jesus Asumpcion Rodriguez. I don’t know about you, but I personally feel that anyone with such a name does drugs or is at least involved in some suspicious activity. I watch him every day. Watching is good. Watching leads to thinking. Thinking leads to impulse, the impulse to know and solve mysteries.
I made friends with the little guy. Today I offer to accompany him to his house, located a block from mine. I can’t help noticing how nervously he checks the supposed bag of harina (flour). Asumpcion says his Abuela (grandma) sent him to pick it up at the store. This is his version. I am not going to listen to a child.
I scan the five-pound big glossy bag with curious penetrating gaze. Why five pounds? Why red label? Why white bag? What hidden messages are behind this? Hmm. I think I know. If they are Mexicans or black they must be involved with drugs and they must go to jail at some point in their lives, at least this is what we are taught at the Social Science lessons broadcasted every day on TV.
White people with means are strong minded – the means make them stronger – and would never consider spending any money on drugs. It must be the others who sell all their belongings – tent, dog, frying pan – on a sniff or puff.
Okay, okay, now and then a famous white star gets a harsh sentence of three hours in jail for drug use – but this is the exception not the rule. When the famous star does drugs, beats his wife and children, but still bonds with prostitutes and his guinea pig, just like one of the characters played by him would do, then the entire nation watches his adventures with their eyes glued to the big screen – this is why I have always said that the line between truth and fiction is blurred.
At home Abuela is pissed, even offended, as I pretend to check the quality of the harina and compare it to the Romanian one, by tasting it and fluffing it vigorously. Why am I wasting harina that is so expensive? Do I know how many tortillas she can fix from it? I cannot explain to her that if harina is what I suspect it is, she might not need food until she dies, and her grandson might even become a lawyer and make a fortune defending those rich artists on drugs in court. I have to ask her why she is sending the kid with complicated name to the grocery store instead of sending his father. Abuela explains. Little Asumpcion father’s trips to the store were time-consuming, since police would systematically pull him over and perform thorough searches of his car. His family loved him and had waited for him hungry many times. Last time they waited for Dad two years, as police booked him over a bag of pretzels coated with an unidentified substance. His lawyer attempted to prove that the substance was actually poison accidentally sealed in the pretzel bags by the manufacturer – an international multimillion dollar company – but they booked him as well. With both Dad and lawyer in prison awaiting trial, the mission of doing grocery shopping was assigned to Asumpcion.
Abuela is not lucky. Sadly, it is just flour. I think this investigation has come to an end. However, I still hang around for an hour or so, just in case some mysterious effects of a narcotic kick in. To be honest, I don’t know what those effects might be, but someone mentioned to me “extreme happiness.” As extreme happiness does not come, I move on with my quest, carrying two homemade tortillas. Before we part ways, I express my feelings of strong respect for Abuela. I also offer free food courier services from/to the store, in case our righteous authorities decide to introduce juvenile detention centers for children ages 7 to 10 – little Asumpcion is eight years old. I assure her that people like me who grew up under oppressive regimes are masters at concealing food and used to overcoming all sorts of insults and discriminations in order to eat. Abuela shares her stories about growing up in Mexico with military lock- downs for overnight searches and mandatory water shutoff to “flush out the smugglers.” Hmmm, I thought you need water to actually flush anything out. Someone has to work on their English or Spanish or both. We bond in a twisted way on our similar yet vary different levels of oppression.
What did I just say that this investigation was over? Wrong. I rephrase: this stage of the investigation is over; I am curious like a ferret to see exotic democracies at work – I stick my nose everywhere and I analyze my findings.
That is why I moved my attention to other kids and their parents. They all seem to have glossy eyes lately and even I know now what causes glossy eyes, aside from hunger. Take the children I saw at our classy second-hand neighborhood stores. They always put things in the cart and then their mothers remove them before getting to the checkout. Sometimes the little brats cry, “Mom, can we have muffins?” Of course you cannot. Otherwise, how will your mother be able to save money for drugs? Besides, don’t they teach you in school that scientists say we can go without food up to forty days?
I need to see a doctor for the pain in my knees. Doctor Whitetrick recommends a cocktail of pills. Why so many? He explains to me that one is a muscle relaxant, another is a mind relaxant and there is a hair follicle relaxant in there as well. A week into this treatment and I am pleased to the hair follicle. It works and it is very affordable, my insurance company covers most of it, so I only pay a few dollars. I share the good news with another friend who is a doctor as well. He is surprised at my ignorance. I learn that I am basically stuffing my face with substances that create dependency. Who, me? An unplanned investigation uncovers the generic names for those relaxants. Actually I am getting little care for my knees but I’m getting plenty for possible psychotic episodes, just in case. I don’t have any psychotic episodes but if you think a little bit, the doctor is right. How many times are we in such pain that we experience ‘double vision?’ I say double vision can be classified as a mild psychotic episode, and it should be eliminated in patients before it settles in. Don’t treat, prevent!
Now I see why so many people flock to their doctors who are booked for the upcoming centuries already. Unlike those pathetic addicts we see at the corner of the streets, millions of patients leave the doctors’ offices smiling relaxed, oblivious to any form of pain. Drugs promoted by pharmaceutical companies are safe and affordable. Why would someone be so stupid and risk their lives by administering themselves wrong dosages when there is a legal controlled alternative to it?
I will start carrying Dr. Whitetrick’s business cards with me, just in case someone needs help. I plan to take some to Abuela on my next visit. We need to create awareness, and teach people, so everyone is high and happy without having to do time for it. This is social and racial justice, my friends.
I walk back home with my hair standing on end – I don’t take the hair follicle relaxant anymore. I stop to put on some of the famous cherry-scented balm on my lips.
Is it just me or the reality itself seems warped and a sensation of inexplicable and unjustifiable craziness overwhelms me?
I say this cherry lip balm should be on prescription as well.
© by Oana 2011