Monday, August 20, 2007

Piss And Blood

What is with this weather?

Hello! Al Gore? This part of the globe could use a little bit more warming! Where's that can of Aquanet Hairspray I ran across when I was cleaning out the bathroom cabinet? I'll unload it in the back yard. Maybe that will help.

Although Saturday for softball was clear as a bell, although our playoff games on Randall's Island were plagued by a stiff wind. Not only did this make things tough on pitchers and batters, but the stench coming across the Bronx Kill was fairly nauseating, making mentholated cough drops in high demand.

The Ball Breakers made a good showing, playing the Fusion (we won), the Noreasters (they won), and the Dragons (we won again). The playoffs are double elimination, meaning that you keep on playing until you lose your second game, then you take off your cleats and head home until April.

Such a different headspace for the playoffs as opposed to the season, with all of us taking things a wee bit more seriously.

I was benched during the first game, but came in as EP during our game against the Noreasters. In my first at-bat, I struck out (I blame the wind!). In my second at-bat, I got a decent infield hit, and promptly pulled my hamstring running to first base.

The other hamstring.

Several weeks ago, I tore the hamstring on my right leg. I've been icing and acing and elevating that. But on my sprint to first, I felt the Twinge of Doom in my left leg.

What the hell.

This took me out of the game.


And has left me haunted with wondering if my speedster days are behind me. Which is problematic to say the least. I'll have to learn to trot rather than to run. With my weak hitting, my mind is focused on exploding the second my bat connects with the ball, beating the ball again and again and again to first base.

And I'm having trouble believing that at 42, my body just won't do that any more.

I'll spend more time getting in shape, maybe doing windsprints or whatever next Spring. But at any rate, softball is over for me this season. Next week I'll be showing up just to cheer the Ball Breakers on to victory.

Damn it.

Yesterday, I took a shot at reading the Sunday Times on the porch of Starbucks, but found it to be a little bit too cool to be comfortable. At home, I devoted myself to a nice roast chicken with fingerling potatoes roasted in the pan for a nice Sunday dinner.

Then to bed.

And today, no trips down to (Hard) Labor Ready for me. I have to run over to Quest Diagnotistics for drug testing before I start at Ho(t)me(n) Depot.

I've never had to take a drug test before, so I'm not quite sure what's involved. Not that I'm concerned. My career as a drug user was short lived. During high school and college, I smoked pot a few times, including one memorable--not in a good way--dusted joint; I did cocaine a few times (it was the Eighties after all, dropped acid at a Billy Idol concert (I don't think I need to fill in any details there, do I?), and that's about it. Oh. And once while dancing I took a hit of poppers and had to go home because I got a splitting headache. Drugs failed me. The experience was either a huge let down or unpleasant. Especially with pot. In high school, we might as well have been smoking oregano (and quite possibly, we were). I did my best to be all giddy and giggly because everyone around me was all giddy and giggly, but I can't say I was feeling it. It could just as well have been attributable to all that sugar in the Fresca we were drinking.

But my freshman year of college, coming back to campus with a few friends, we helped a guy get his truck out of a snowbank, and in gratitude, he bestowed on us some of the buds he had. We headed back to the dorm, gathered a select few friends, and got our Cheech'n'Chong on.

Now this was some potent shit.

I was definitely feeling this.

But by "feeling it," I'm not referring to that blissy feeling that all is well with the world, heightened access to the memory centers of the brain, and mild hallucinations that make it so popular with so many. Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, the psycho-active chemical found in marijuana, is an organic compound. So it's a really big molecule, with many molecular knobs and bumps and nooks and crannies. This means that as opposed to a psycho-active substance like Valium which pretty much does the same thing to whatever brain it's introduced to, THC can be idiosyncratic.

My brain's reaction to THC was to make me tired, irritable, and give me a hair-trigger temper. The rest of the night involved me stalking around the dorm, running into someone I knew, and in response to some innocent remark ("Hey Drew! You're up late tonight!"), hurtling a prolonged invective with nostrils flaring and the veins bulging in my neck with rage.

And I spent the next day making the rounds, apologizing profusely, and having everybody exact from me the promise that I would never ever smoke pot again, because pot turned me into a first class asshole.

And so I did.

So that was two decades ago, and no doubt all traces of my excesses of youth have cleared my system at this point.

But I'm still worried about my drug test today.

Not because of what they might find, but just because those haven't always gone well for me in the past.

Ironic for someone who once ran a syringe exchange program and who has counseled thousands of injection drug users about vein care and safer injection over the years, I am WAY needle-phobic.

The last time I paid a visit to Quest Diagnostics, my recovery time for a blood draw was something like two hours, and that was two hours spent sitting with my head between my knees. And when it was over, I couldn't produce a drop of pee, probably the result of dehydration from all my profuse sweating. Once before, I passed out entirely during a blood test (I heard the phlebotomist exclaim disgustedly as I hit the floor, "Not another one. Men are such pussies." Not helpful.).

Now I believe that drug testing only involves peeing in a cup. And I've got another batch of lime-ade on the stove right now to get me prepared for that. Although with the weather today, a nice hot mug of tea might better fit the bill. But I'm nervous that Ho(t)me(n) Depot might do some Extra Special Drug Test that will involve the extraction of a phial of sampling of my Liquor of Life.

Oh gee. I got a little light-headed just typing that.

So wish me luck.


Ames said...

Bad news Drew... not only were you smoking oregano, but Fresca has no sugar. Maybe you were buzzing on saccharine???

Congrats on the new job... I've always thought a Home Depot cruising job would be hot.

MsSnS said...

I tried the recipe and the lime-aid, it is good.

And yes, the tests are just piss tests now.

beaver4 said...

The nurse who thought men were pussys because they were the ones who faint over shots was not very observant. It's the men who are or have been well conditioned who faint, not the pussys. They have enlisted their fight or flight response many times and developed large adrenals to provide an adrenaline (epinephrine) kick in the ass when needed. This response can be enlisted by even a little fear of the needle. Since, when getting a shot, they can neither fight or flee to use up the adrenaline, they faint. Once that happens, the fear is worse as they now fear embarasment.
I suggust you sit in the chair, close your eyes, and meditate until it is over. I would suggust doing a really fast 100 yard dash just before if it wasn't for your hamstrings.