"How you feeling?" asked the doctor. "I'm fuckin' hurtin'- I'm dope sick, I ache all over, and you people come in here at 5:00 in the fucking morning poking me all over the place, why can't I get more methadone?" Shaggy growled in response.
I was taken aback by how harshly Shaggy spoke to the nurses and doctors. This was only Shaggy's third day in the hospital, and the drive to score some dope was already starting to rear its ugly head.
I brought Shaggy a stack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a large Mountain Dew as I had promised. He had also asked for something to read, so I also brought a copy of Henry Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman." Shaggy and I have been discussing aspects of free will vs. determinism, and how the struggle against negative forces is quite often just too much for some individuals to overcome.
"I think I've heard of that book," Shaggy exclaimed. "It's not a happy story," I replied. "Life isn't a happy story, so I'm sure it will be good read," Shaggy concluded.
I then asked about any updates to his medical condition. Shaggy informed me that the major problem isn't the infection in his foot, but rather a staph infection he has in his blood. Shaggy stated that it's hard to say just exactly how he developed staph infection in his blood, considering all the nasty water he's used to cook his dope. I've personally witnessed Shaggy injecting water from a public toilet into his arm.
"I'm thinking about getting out of here for a little bit today, go score a bag real quick and then come back," Shaggy admitted. "Well bro, I can't tell you what to do, but I'll tell you this; if you bolt from this hospital today, I won't be able to invest any more time into this. There are just too many people out here suffering. I won't hate you, I won't be angry with you, I'll just be disappointed."
Shaggy paused and stared in silence out the window for several minutes. Just on the other side of that glass, somewhere not so far away, is a bag of dope...
I broke the silence and said, "I know you're tougher than that, Shaggy. This isn't anything like being dope sick in County Jail. Just stay in this mother fucker and get this infection taken care of. If you bolt now, you'll just have to come back and go through the entire process all over again - IF you live. Right now, you have me to help you get through this, bolt, and you're on your own, brother. Fight the demon man, fight the demon."
I'll be back to visit Shaggy on Friday, if he's still there...
Chuck Jines is an internationally published independent documentary photographer and photojournalist.
Chuck's passions center around the controversial questions concerning the nature of reality, the human mind, society, and current events. He covers news events, social events, and loves to share his social documentary photography of people, places, and things.
Chuck is also an Amazon author and the publisher of the magazine, Gravis.
Chuck’s work has been published by prominent news publications such as the BBC, The Daily Mail, The Guardian (2), New York Mag, and the fine-art magazine, Corridor Elephant.
Chuck's video work has been used by ABC News/Rock'n Robin Productions special on Hurricane Katrina. Chuck has also provided fixing services for CNN's "This Is Life" with Lisa Ling (Season 3 Episode 3, The Black and White of Heroin), and has been invited to display his work at the Chicago History Museum.
As well, Chuck has given presentations of his work at Chicago State University, and at DePaul University College of Communication. Chuck's work on heroin has also been exhibited at the Gallery 7 in Joliet Il..