When I was 16, my father bought me a car. It was a Ford Taurus, and I totaled it in 6 months. He bought me another car. It was also a Ford Taurus. I totaled that too, but it took me a couple of years.
Within that couple of years, the second Taurus, which my friend Brian affectionately dubbed “Boris the War Tortoise”, was the scene of many a drug’s consumption.
One day my friend Robert and I met up with a Russian drug dealer in hopes of securing some oxycodone. We were successful. In order to confuse the narrative a bit, let’s call the drug dealer Boris. Also, because Russia.
After our successful operation, Robert was in the backseat for some reason that I fail to recollect, and in the process of the traditional crush and snort method he misplaced one of his pills in the backseat. It was one of those pale yellow 10mg oxys. If you’re unfamiliar with them, I won’t bother to elaborate, but just know that it wasn’t a big deal unless you really really liked pills. Which he did. He was in some state of panic at the loss of his pill and was, as the kids call it, “pretty much losing his shit”.
I’ll save you the suspense: he never found it. And for the next couple of years, every so often, Robert would climb into the backseat and look for that pill. I mean really look for it. Pulling up the floor mats, digging into the seatbelt holster, sticking his hand into that weird nebulous region between the upper and lower part of the seats. He only ever found pennies and crumbs (which are equally gross).
Every time he went digging for that pill, I’d chastise him, laugh at him, and just act generally annoyed by him. But secretly, I hoped he’d never find it, because I wanted to believe it existed.
And for that couple of years, every so often, on lonely sober nights, I’d climb into that backseat and look for the pill. Not frantically searching but hopefully, and with a vague sadness. Searching the way a person searches for their deceased ancestor’s name on an Ellis Island immigrant log. Hoping to find it, suppressing joy and suspending disbelief, but knowing all the while that the outcome largely does not matter.
Nobody ever found the pill. At the end of that two-ish year period, Boris was totaled in Long Island, and his final resting place was somewhere in the area. Boris was almost invariably crushed into a cube, the pill being crushed along with it, which was always its destiny anyway.
And sometimes, on lonely sober nights, I think about that pill. I wonder if it made it out okay, and if it misses me as much as I miss it.