I talk to Maryann today. I haven’t seen her for a couple days. She’s been out sick, and as always, I wrestle down the urge to call her and bug her and find out what’s wrong. This time, she says, things were a little out of the ordinary. What she tells me has me staring in astonishment.
She went to see (co-worker JIM EVANS’ band) HELEN STELLAR at The Viper Room on Monday. The next morning she wakes completely dehydrated. Every muscle in her body is sore, as if she’s been wrung out like a sponge. Cynthia asks if she’s feeling okay. Yeah, shrugs Maryann. More or less. Why?
Cynthia proceeds to tell her what happened the night before.
Helen Stellar has just taken the stage. Maryann holds her first drink of the evening. The song ends. Maryann puts her drink on the floor by her feet just long enough to clap. She picks it up again. And drinks.
Flash forward an hour or so. Maryann isn’t breathing. She can’t catch her breath. Agitated as hell, Cynthia wants to take her to the hospital. Maryann refuses. With vehemence.
That moment of breathlessness is the only thing Maryann remembers from the entire evening.
To Cynthia, and later to Jim, who hangs out with them after Helen Stellar has finished their set, Maryann is drunk. She’s swaying. She keeps hitting the walls. She bumps into people. Jim suggests that maybe she shouldn’t drink anymore. But as far as Cynthia knows, she’s only had one drink. Cynthia tells Maryann it’s time to go home. Maryann grows upset. She insists that Jim told her to wait for him to come back before they take off. Cynthia knows nothing of this. She goes off to find Jim, who’s now off somewhere. When she comes back, Maryann’s gone. She manages to find her, but now, somehow, Security is involved. While Cynthia is off looking for Jim, Maryann had yelled at a bartender. Then she had either taken a swing at or actually struck a bouncer. Tiny, delicate, kind-hearted, soft-spoken Maryann. It’s dawning on Cynthia that something is very wrong.
Maryann is outide now. She runs onto Sunset into traffic. Cynthia grabs her. Maryann spins and tries to hit Cynthia, yelling at her to let go. Maryann doesn’t recognize her. This becomes dangerous, becuase she’s got to convince people that the crazed girl she’s trying to get into the car is someone she not only knows, but trusts. Incredibly, she pulls it off.
The drive home is harrowing. Cynthia’s behind the wheel without a license. If they’re pulled over, Cynthia’s in terrible trouble. But Cynthia has to drive with one hand on Maryann’s seatbelt because Maryann keeps trying to open the door and get out of the moving car. Maryann says all kinds of horrible things to Cynthia. At one point she throws her keys at her. The keys may or may not have sailed out the window. I don’t think they’ve found them yet.
Somehow, Cynthia manages a miracle. She gets Maryann home and now it’s morning and Maryann’s listening in shock to Cynthia tell her the tale. How is it possible she could do thses things that are so antithetical, so contrary to her nature, and not remember any of it?
What the hell happened?
After doing a little poking about on the web, this is what I manage to conclude: she set her drink down for fifteen seconds.
Under Rohypnol, individuals may experience a slowing of psychomotor performance, muscle relaxation, decreased blood pressure, sleepiness, and/or amnesia. Some of the adverse side effects associated with the drug�s use are drowsiness, headaches, memory impairment, dizziness, nightmares, confusion, and tremors. Although classified as a depressant, Rohypnol can induce aggression and/or excitability.
It’s a pretty fucked up world we live in, folks. Keep your eyes open.
(see also: rohypnotism)