Hey, Mr Pharmacist
I once knew this bent pharmacist, a 50-ish bald guy with German glasses. He had a small pharmacy on the Kenton Road. He was still open once the ‘open’ sign had been flipped round. You had about 10 minutes after closing to buy illegal prescriptions. You would open the door with a fluttering heart and see him sat behind the counter flicking through an industry magazine. Your hello was muffled by the thick scarf you were wearing. It was Spring but withdrawal was already starting to refrigerate your bones. The briefest eye-contact and you heard him ask you what you needed. He was good for the strong Codeine tablets and Valium. He never let you have any nice, old school Morphine though. That would have been pushing it.
He was forced to close the pharmacy to pay his way through a bitter divorce. It was quite a few years before you see him again, his kind eyes now lost in valleys of wrinkles. He tells you that his wife had walked into the back office and caught him with his trousers down and junky girl on her knees. In the ensuing commotion, the girl had run off with half his stock of Methadone and Morphine. His honesty has a beyond-caring quality to it that people tend to acquire after a certain age. Your eye contact is better now and you sympathize, never sure if you are sympathizing with him or with yourself for loosing a good source of high quality meds all those years ago.