I have a best friend. His name is Frank, and we go back a pretty fair distance—We are now separated by many miles, since he remains in California, while I have fled that particular brand of insanity in favor of the Ohio version of insanity. I know why he stayed, though. His grandkids.
He’s the sort of friend upon whom I can rely regardless of the request. And, it’s a two way street. He can rely on me, too. And we both know it, although it’s never been said out loud. Like I said—best friends. Brothers in most respects, other than the fact that we had different parents. At least I’m reasonably certain of that.
So I needed a ride to the oral surgeon’s office to have my wisdom teeth removed, at the behest of my dentist. A capital idea. I called Frank and arranged for him to take me there and pick me up when it was over.
The receptionist at the oral surgeon’s off ice was a casual acquaintance of mine, Santa Rosa being a smallish town in just SO many ways back in the 1970’s. Also of note at this point is that both Frank and I were police officers.
My appointment was for early morning, and I had been given a small pill and a large pill, and was told to take these about an hour prior to my appointment. Which I did. By the time Frank got to my house to pick me up, I was, as my dear ol’ Dad would have said, on queer street. These were some powerful pills.
When we arrived at the oral surgeon’s office, Frank had to help me out of the car and into the office. I was led into a room, where I was invited to lie down, and a kindly nurse applied an IV with yet more serious medication.
That’s the last I remember until I awoke in a recovery room, strapped tightly to a gurney, unable to speak or focus my eyes, or, for that matter, have so much as a single coherent thought. I worked my way loose of my restraints, stood up, exited the room into the hallway, and saw a nurse look at me and yell, best as I can recall, “Give me some help here, he’s up again!!” Again. Oops. I was assaulted by a crowd of gentle, strong folks, re-tied to the gurney, and left alone, whereupon I returned to slumber.
The next thing I remember is awakening in my house on the couch and throwing up on the floor. The rest of this story I only know second hand from Frank and the oral surgeon’s receptionist, neither of whom I have any reason to believe enhanced any of this in any way.
Seems I was armed with a caliber 45 semi-automatic pistol when I arrived, and was relieved of my weapon after I was unconscious. By parties unknown. The receptionist handed it over to Frank when he arrived to pick me up. Seems also, that when the oral surgeon began surgeoning, I started fighting him, spitting, biting…you know, trying to survive having my mouth cut up.
Frank was also given a prescription for pain killers to be picked up for later use. When we arrived at the Pharmacon pharmacy, I insisted on going in to pick up my prescription myself—blood dripping off my chin, and mouth swelled like a chipmunk. The people who were waiting for their prescriptions to be filled parted like the Red Sea and let me through.
Or so I was told.
When I went back for my follow-up appointment, the receptionist said that I was the worst patient they’d ever had.
But I don’t remember any of it. Not guilty by reason of Being On Queer Street.
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