Seeking Drugs

I pulled up to the gas station in the early afternoon. I parked right out front. I saw the two female attendants tucked away on the other side of the ice machine. They stood about 5 feet apart, turned away from each other. No doubt they were grasping at the the tiny scrap of privacy they get during the day; a shared lunch break. With their backs to each other and cigarettes dangling from pursed lips, one woman looked like a reflection of other. Both wore jeans, both smoked long, drooping cigarettes, and both stood hunched over something. The mirror image was intensified by a furious hand-scribbling motion both were making in their palms. Their heads bent close to their hands as they furiously raked at the silvery surface of the lottery tickets. Like digging for treasure under the sand.

I stared at these two women, using their precious few moments of privacy in identical ways. Both sucking at cigarettes and ravaging scratch-offs, looking for a fix. I wondered if they realized there was no hope of winning. How many tickets on how many lunch breaks and how many cigarettes had been obliterated on this daily dig? A lot probably. A lot betrays importance. Importance on a daily basis. If it is so important to seek that fix for these two women, how about any other two women? What about myself? What about humanity? Do animals seek a fix? Cows do nothing but munch grass and nap all day. Are they content?

I went into the convenience store for my intended purpose. I was looking for a soda. Nothing particular. I knew I wanted caffeine though. I smirked at my recognition of that desire. I grabbed a soda then stood in front of the chewing gum section for five minutes debating which gum to buy. I looked at several packages, read ingredients, debated about why anyone would buy tangerine-flavored gum. I could not decide which would be the most magic flavor for the moment. I stopped and smirked again at that recognition, then left the aisle with only my soda. I paid and got back in my vehicle. The attendants had returned to their busy day.

I pondered the issue. Drugs are ubiquitous if I define a drug as a method of attending to the soul’s hunger. Scratch-off tickets, cigarettes, alcohol, and cocaine are the usual whipping boys. Work, education, sex, spirituality, roller coasters, hiking: these are all methods of attending to the soul’s hunger. This begged some very important questions about which I only have conjecture.

Why are souls so hungry?

Are all or most souls hungry or is it a phenomenon that only I and a few others happen to experience?

What makes a drug good or bad?

Should the use of good drugs be embraced or scorned?

What would life look like for me if I never hungered?

How much of my life is spent looking for drugs?

Did God make this hunger?

What do I do with it?

I am nowhere near depressed and have never used an illegal drug in my life. I don’t think I have even seen a real joint in person. But I was looking for caffeine this morning. I have purchased scratch-offs in the past. I smoke occasionally and like a few beers. I sit and ponder these questions when i could be doing anything else. I study and i dig. I dig into ideas like those attendants dig into their pile of tickets hoping to uncover the elusive reward; a treasure that will end in completion.