The Story of Z

4 February 2011

I am surrounded by a pack of wonderful friends so talented and so cutting edge that whatever i do, i discover that one of ’em has topped me before i even started.

Like that adventure i wrote about in January when i woke up in the hospital.

Just before my adventure, one of my friends whom i’ll call “Z” had also been found unconscious, not on the 24th Street pavement like me but rather on his bedroom floor, and had similarly awakened in the hospital.  Mutual friends told me about the episode and reassured me that Z was back at home and doing fine although in his case the hospital was unable to determine what had caused him to lose consciousness.

So last night i called Z and got his side of the story.  Turns out i’d been given a highly edited version and that in reality the last person to see Z conscious before he woke up intubated in the hospital 12 hours or so later had been a special agent dispatched to Z’s home by an escort service.

It seems that before the escort had started escorting, he had offered Z some “G”.  Some what?  i asked, suspecting even before Z confirmed it, that this was a new recreational drug, the very name of which i have got too old and out of touch to know.  I mean, back in the seventies i had often experimented with new substances well before they were even mentioned in the media.

I was only partially reassured to discover that i had read of G under its full name “gamma-hydroxybutyrate” or GHB although it appeared on the scene thirty years too late for me to have sampled it.

Z, being several decades younger and thus more current on recreational drugs, knew of it but had refused it owing to its propensity to cause – in addition to the euphoria and heightened intensity of feeling for which it is usually taken – a rapid and irreversible death.

So only the escort partook of the “G”, and after the escorting was done and the escort left, Z felt a bit thirsty and grabbed a bottle of water off the nightstand for a few generous gulps.

Flash forward to the hospital, where the mystery of why Z was unconscious was finally resolved by a message from the escort to Z’s mobile phone inquiring whether he might drop by to pick up the bottle of heavily G-spiked water he’d left on the nightstand.

What annoys Z about this incident is that he knows in his heart that i am one of the few persons on the planet who believe him when he swears that he did not intentionally take G.

What truly deep fat fries Z is the understanding that if he had been feeling younger and bolder and had taken the G on purpose, he would have undoubtedly taken only a cautious sip rather than guzzling from the bottle.  So he would have had a much smaller dose and thus would have almost certainly have remained conscious and enjoyed the experience….and furthermore would have got away with it since he wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital with tubes in him.

Not to mention getting a totally undeserved reputation as a drug abuser.

Oh, harsh, harsh unfairness of life!

While me, to get some excitement into my life, i had to milk a little fall on 24th Street for every last drop of drama, it being over now since i got outta the splint today and have started training the fingers and wrist to work right again.

And oh, as a reminder that i really should be extra vigilant regarding objects in my path, i am leaving on the Segway handlebar the trauma ward property room sticker.  That name “Paul TRI620”?  Well, when they bring you in unconscious, the triage nurse just assigns you a name and gives you a serial number.


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