Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bottom Drawer

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

When I used to work on Wall Street, I hid a shoe box in the bottom drawer of my desk. the box contained an extra pair of shoes, mainly for the winter months since the excess sprinkled salt on the sidewalks and subway platforms trashed my shoes. Hard to say what sort of other horrible things that could happen, but just in case something out of the ordinary took place, I was prepared with a back up pair of shoes.

I stored drugs in the shoe box. Not illegal ones either. You might find this hard to believe, but I was clean during my first stint on Wall Street and smoke free for several months. That was the only time since my late teens when I was not a daily pot smoker. I definitely drank myself silly which might have caused the stomach pains.

The origins of the pains? Immense stress that I was under every single day trying to survive my rookie year on Wall Street and maintain my quota. Sick days were out of the question. I worked 18 hour days for six days a week and on Sundays, I worked from home.

In order to gut out the pain, I acquired a collection of pharmaceuticals and other products ranging from stomach remedies such as Mylanta, Pepto Bismol, and Rolaids to over the counter medications, especially non-drowsy cold medicine. This was still int he mid-1990s and the meth epidemic did not take root in rural America, so the cold medicines contained ephedrine which is an active component in speed. That extra pep, a swig of Pepto, and a cup of black coffee kept me on the phones, otherwise, I'd be wretching in pain in the bathrooms.

After a while, I started making pocket change selling aspirin, most Aleve, to other brokers who needed a quick pinch. Initially I refused their money, but after a while, I left out a tip jar. I would get a buck for two or three aspirin. By the closing bell, the bottle paid for itself and I had enough money left over to buy a slice of pizza for dinner and a quick beer at the Kilarney Rose at 6pm, before I went back to the office to make sales calls until 10 or 11.

These days, my colleagues hit me up for harder stuff. I have to turn them down. After all, I'm a drug fiend and not a drug dealer. There's a big difference. In fact, they should be putting out the feelers and finding me drugs!

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