New chapter. This is where the book gets a little . . . dark. Fasten your seatbelts, because there's no turning back now, kiddies.
Chapter 9: I Don't Need No Arms Around Me . . .
Shows like this continued for a few months. Bagel-Brain managed to amass a small fan base in the local scene, despite going through a few different drummers. Still, the core lineup of Dimitri, TJ, and Logan drew people in with their unique styles.
Bagel-Brain sat backstage preparing for a show, running over the setlist one last time to make sure their current drummer, Josh, was up to speed. This was the first time the band were going to headline a show, and even though the venue was rather small, it was still a big deal for the band.
“Alright,” Josh said, twirling a drumstick in his right hand. “I think I got this down.”
“Awesome.” Dimitri turned to Logan, who was lost in his own little world, tuning his guitar. “Got this?”
“Huh? Yeah, I got this. I'd damn well better, we've been rehearsing so much.”
Josh and the two guitarists bantered for a while, trying to shake off their pre-show nerves. TJ, meanwhile, sat in a a corner with his bass hung around his neck, perfectly still aside from an occasional muscle twitch. It wasn't until Logan said something that the rest of the band noticed.
“TJ? You feeling alright?”
“Come on, man, snap out of it. We're on in ten.” Still nothing. Logan walked over toward the unresponsive bassist, and only then did he notice that TJ's pupils were only as large as the point of a needle. “D?” Logan said, his voice shaky. “Come over here. I think there's something wrong with TJ.”
In a heartbeat, Dimitri was kneeling down beside TJ. “Wake up, man,” he said. Nothing. Panicking, he gave TJ a light slap across his cheek. “TJ, you there, bro?”
Finally, TJ seemed to break out of his comatose state. “Can you turn the teev deevadee?” he slurred, his eyes beginning to close.
“'Can I turn the teev deevadee!?'” Logan said, a mix of confusion and fear in his voice. “What the hell does that even mean!?”
Dimitri, meanwhile, was shaking the bassist's shoulder. “TJ. Stay with me, man. Just tell me: what did you take?”
This seemed to get through to him. “Speedball,” TJ mumbled, before his eyes shut.
“Speedball? What the hell is speedball!?” Logan yelled. Contrasting Logan's utter frustration, Dimitri's face was completely white.
“Logan. Call an ambulance. Now.”
* * *
Logan and Dimitri sat in the hospital waiting room, unsure of how their friend was faring. Dimitri in particular seemed to be jarred, as he rested his forehead on his interlaced fingers, and his breathing was unsteady. Logan decided to leave him alone, as he was dealing with own stress and fears, albeit in a more subdued way. After what seemed like an eternity, a doctor stepped into the waiting room. “Dimitri? Logan?”
Dimitri jerked his head up to look at the doctor. “Is TJ alright?” he nearly yelled.
“Calm down,” Logan muttered, just loud enough for the two of them to hear. If the doctor did notice, he obviously chose not to show it.
“He's stable. And to tell you the truth, he's very lucky he's even still alive. There was a fatal amount of morphine in his system, along with a substantial dose of cocaine. We gave him a shot of Naloxone, which counteracted the effects of the morphine. If you didn't call when you did, your friend most likely would not have survived.”
Dimitri rubbed his face, and it was then that Logan noticed just how much his fellow guitarist was sweating. “Oh my god. . . .”
Logan, the substantially more composed of the two, took the reigns of the conversation. “Frankly, I'm just relieved he's alright. I'm guessing he's not gonna be released tonight?”
The doctor shook his head. “Unfortunately, no. He still hasn't woken up yet, and when he does, we might need to send him to a rehabilitation program.”
“Alright,” Logan said, standing up to shake the doctor's hand. “I guess there's no point in us staying here all night, then. Thanks for filling us in.” Logan nodded at Dimitri. “Let's go, man.”
The two drove home in near silence. Logan wasn't sure quite why Dimitri was as shaken as he was. Granted, they had witnessed their friend overdose, but they knew he was going to be okay. Maybe . . . maybe Logan was just desensitized?
He pushed these thoughts to the side when Dimitri pulled into his driveway. As the two exited the car, Logan looked down their street. It was no different from how it normally looked at two in the morning, but this time, the atmosphere seemed just a bit thicker than normal. It must have just been Logan's mind playing tricks on him, he concluded.
“I'll talk to you tomorrow, D,” Logan said, giving Dimitri a small pat on the back. “Try to get some sleep tonight.”