Drugs, Death and Dylan

‘The longest day of the year is coming up,’ I said, as I sat down across from Camp who looked dapper in khaki pants and a short-sleeved shirt, Birkenstocks and sunglasses.

‘Yep, and I decided that in order to celebrate summer, I’m dressing the part.

‘Well, if you want my opinion, it suits you. Casual is in you know.’

‘No, I didn’t know but I have a closet full of clothes I never wear. I thought I’d try some of them and since nobody is dressing up working at home, I’ll support the garment industry.’

‘By wearing your old clothes from home?’

We both concentrated on the lovely scenery and our beers.

‘Here is a frightening statistic Camp,’ I said. ‘Over 400 overdose deaths in the past 3 months, 170 alone in May. These are people who inject what they believe is a rush or a high and what they get instead is a fatal shot of fentanyl laced heroin.’

‘Three times more deaths in the province than from covid-19. That’s a horrific statistic,’ Camp said.

‘I don’t understand how these pushers, who are murderers in my eyes, can kill off their customer base in such a drastic fashion. Apparently, the street drugs are so potent, they would kill any first timer.’

‘There are always more customers, always more people thinking that a fix at a party is an adventure, a rush. Nobody wants to die. It’s not a suicide option, maybe for some, but mostly they are fatal misjudgments combined with deadly and illicit amateur drug labs mixing these poisonous and toxic street drugs.’

‘Here is another scary number: 1’726’053. That’s how many guns Americans bought legally in May alone. This is 80 percent more than in the same period last year. This number from the FBI’s Check System database is all the more astonishing when you consider that Americans also bought significantly more guns in March and April than in the same period last year, 71 percent and 80 percent respectively. Nearly half of all privately owned weapons, worldwide, are in the United States, which means about 400 million of them.’ Experts predict that June will be another record month.’

‘These are probably well-off and middle class white people arming themselves, fearing a mass uprising from the other, the underprivileged communities,’ I said.

‘Yes, fear and an irrational sense of safety is driving this gun buying craze as if guns protect. They’re not called protect-weapons but assault-weapons.’

‘You’re preaching to the choir, Camp,’ I said.

‘On a positive note, Bob Dylan, 79 years old, has just released a new album. Rough and Rowdy Ways. On it, a 17 minute long song, ‘Murder most foul’, about the Kennedy assassination, hit number one on the Billboard chart. It even surprised Dylan.  He said this in a recent New York Times interview. ‘Good news in today’s world is like a fugitive, treated like a hoodlum and put on the run. Castigated. All we see is good-for-nothing news.’

‘Give it to Dylan to still come up with relevant quotes. Maybe he’s a wise old troubadour now. I guess I will listen to his croaky smoker’s voice.’

Vicky exchanged our empties for two full ones and Camp had to ask her.

‘You ever heard of Bob Dylan?’

‘Yeah, I heard of him. A poet, a singer? Is he still alive?’

‘Apparently, he’s eighty and he just put out a new album.’

‘Good for him. What’s he singing about’

‘Murder, bad news and dead heroes.’

‘Oh, just like the TV and newspapers. I prefer dance music, without lyrics. Enjoy your beers fellows.’

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