I remember driving to work one morning… knee on the wheel, going about 90, cigarette in left hand, joint and coffee in right hand, notebook on lap with sieve and an OC 80 (OxyContin, 80 milligrams) bobbling about. Cell phone rings. It’s the boss calling about a landlord who’s sitting in our office, waiting for me patiently. I was late for a meeting with him and his future tenant. So I answer the phone and start lying.

     From the moment my eyes open in the morning to the moment they close sometime in the middle of the night, I am scheming constantly, without thinking about it. We are wired to scheme. It is natural.
     I told my boss I’d be there in five minutes, and that I hadn’t yet arrived at the office because I was working so hard showing multiple apartments to multiple clients all morning. In short, I’m such a top notch employee that you should shut the fuck up, even though none of that was true. Five minutes turned into half an hour. I threw my butt out the window, put the joint out and the coffee down, but maintained my knee on the steering wheel. I shaved down the OC with my sieve and then picked the notebook up to sniff the entire line without looking down for too long…
     Scheming. From explaining the dope scratches on my emaciated body to my wife by attributing them to the stress of my job and lack of organic food nearby my office… to concocting lies for my boss, fellow agents and clients to distract them from my chronic unprofessionalism. From scheduling my day to carve out enough time to drive over to Happy Market in Dorchester to meet Pablo… to weaving in and out of traffic to be the first one to make the exit or catch the green light. From stuffing my face with cupcakes to try to gain back some weight… to telling mom I’m on a new vegan diet and that’s why I look like a corpse. I am constantly planning and designing my day to be able to use the way I want.
     The addict is a macrocosm of micro-scheming. I suppose we all do things like when you notice someone pulling up to the coffee shop at the same time as you, so you quickly get out of your car to beat them to the door, all so you can beat them to the coffee line and get your latte 30 seconds quicker. Or maybe we don’t all do shit like that. Maybe I’m just so selfish that I assume everybody pulls these little everyday schemes. How about when you get on the bus or subway and you pull a couple of fast, strategic moves to get to that good single seat right by the door? How about slowing down just a tad as you approach the bathroom door so you can follow the other guy in without having to touch the filthy handle? These are micro-schemes, but they are all still selfish.
     Addicts have to do this but on a much grander scale. We need to scheme our way through each moment of each day. And when our twisted little plans and designs fail, as they inevitably do, it’s always something or someone else…. because the alternative is being honest, and then the whole thing comes crumbling down.
God, help me to be aware of my schemes, plans and designs, that I may rid myself of this selfish way of thinking and acting…

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