Johnny awoke with a jolt. Bright, it’s so bright. He thought his eyes might be open but wasn’t sure; all he could see was a violent unbroken white, nothing else. He squeezed his eyes shut and rubbed at the pain, so they had been open. But what the hell? Lightning? No, too constant too quiet. Nuclear blast? Ha Unlikely, I’m still here, …and it’s so damned qui-- Before he could finish the thought Johnny started to hear (or was it feel) a low rumbling. It affected his teeth; they seemed to be vibrating in his gums. And he was feeling a not entirely unpleasant tingling in his crotch. Very slowly Johnny opened his left eye, peeking around his fingers. Fading, he realized. The white was still there but as he watched, the cottage-cheese surface of the ceiling and the outline of the huge bay window in the living room slowly began to take shape. He found himself on the couch, last nights McDonald’s bag and the bottle of Oxy were on the coffee table Slept right through the day again, good fucking deal. Looking out the window to the east Johnny saw the depressing complete overcast of your typical Michigan day. Typical except for what looked to be (but couldn’t possibly be) a huge setting sun to the east, about where his view of downtown Detroit should be.
Suddenly the low rumble became a heavy roar. Johnny was sitting up now, wide awake, sober as a judge. He began to lift his hands to cover his ears; the roar was reaching freight train decibels now, but his hands never made it. At that instant a warm fist of air shoved hard against his chest knocking him backward behind the couch, sliding him on his ass all the way to the wall where the back of his head punched through the sheetrock. The couch following him came to rest on his legs, snapping several of the small bones in his left foot. He could hear the fresh celery snap of the bones even over the freight train in his apartment. As the enormous bay window exploded inward hundreds of transparent missiles flew at him with a speed that left him unable to react. Before he could even scream, Johnny’s face and bare chest were peppered with shards of glass. One particularly large piece separated him from his right nipple; another piece took part of his ear. The blinking reflex saved his eyes but the lids were shredded. Blood sheeted down his face into his eyes, into his mouth and nose almost choking him, and down onto his lap in a warm pool. He could see only red. Blinking and blinking and still only red.
Johnny could not stand, could not find the strength to move his legs. He spit blood into his lap and tried to lift his arms to push the couch away. His arms would not respond. Shock? Is this shock? Johnny started to drift, the back of his head coming out of the indented wall and his chin falling to rest on his breastbone. Still drifting he thought about last night. He had been right in the middle of downtown Detroit last night. A real nasty area but the only place that he knew of where he could score his oxycontin without getting totally raped on the price. He had met Jamall on the corner of Orleans and Lafayette. The deal went down extremely quick, which was strange for Jamall, that dude loved to talk. “I got 90 if you got 100” that was all Jamall said this time. $100 for 90 pills, not bad. As Johnny was counting out the twenties he notice Jamall and his partner, Rome, repeatedly snatching glances over there shoulder. Johnny saw a man walking alone holding what looked like a fast-food bag. By the intent, hungry looks on Jamall and his partner’s faces, Johnny guessed that Little White Walking Man was about to lose his wallet, and probably his fast food. “Lets roll” Jamall said, knocking his fist twice on the dash, and they were gone, turning right down Orleans.
Johnny opened the bottle and smiled down at his purchase. “Hello beautiful”. He shook out four and crunched them into a fine powder before swallowing. He leaned back, considering, then shook out two more pills. “Better safe then sorry” he said and giggled. He turned off the old Ford and dug into his own fast food bag. Johnny leaned back and started to eat. He didn’t want to start driving again until he could feel the oxy’s effects; like liquid silk covering his brain and washing through his veins. There was something about driving home high and screaming along with the radio that he could just not resist.
“There it is.” Like actual waves of calm, he felt the oxy splashing into his system. “let’s roll” he shouted and, grinning wildly, banged on the dash twice. As he was reaching for the ignition he heard a “pop” and a second later another. He froze, but there was nothing more. “Oh shit.” He reached for the ignition again and turned the key. (click click click) “Fuck!” It had been happening for a month now and he hadn’t done shit about it. “Asshoooole!” Dead battery, alternator not giving it a charge. Detroit rolling iron? What a joke. “Indian Chief Detroit Sitting Iron you have betrayed me for the last time.” Damn but he was high. Where was he supposed to find a jump in this neighborhood, and at night? Well there’s Jamall…but those shots (if that’s what they were)…. Oh, don’t be gay. Jonnny got out of the car. Too high for it to occur to him to call for a tow with his cell, and too full of beer muscles (oxy muscles) to really believe he could be in danger, Johnny headed toward Orleans on foot.