Black Market Cipro

    Yesterday I rode the train for an hour and a half deep into the Bronx in order to buy black market Cipro from a crackhead at a White Castle restaurant. 

    That’s the short version.  

     The long version began Saturday night when I passed blood in my urine and felt the first sensations of what would shortly become agonizing pain.  

      I recognized it immediately: I had a UTI.  I’m one of those unlucky women who are prone to them.  I don’t get them nearly as frequently as I used to, thank God–in my early 20s, I had to take a maintenance antibiotic in order to have a regular sex life with my boyfriend–but it still happens to me at least once a year.  

      I needed antibiotics.  

      It took about 24 hours.  Frankly, I think I would have had an easier time bringing back the Golden Fleece.  I cannot believe all the horseshit I had to wade through.  Pull up a chair, gentle reader, because Mommy’s going to tell you a story about how badly it sucks to be uninsured in this great country of ours.  

      First, the infection became symptomatic at the worst possible time.  All of the reasonably priced health-care options I would usually turn to–Planned Parenthood, the campus clinic–were closed, and a UTI is not something you can live with for a few days until your doctor agrees to see you.  The pain become debilitating within 12 hours and the infection can spread quickly to your bladder and kidneys.  

      On Sunday, that leaves the ER and private clinics.  Last time I went to the ER it cost me $450 out of pocket.  

      Better to exhaust other options first.

      First thing I did was start calling my female friends to ask if they had any old antibiotics sitting around in their medicine cabinets.  No dice.  June found a single keflex tablet in the back of her nightstand drawer.  Someone else had a few pills, but wouldn’t be able to get them to me before Tuesday.  

     (Side note: I was rather astonished to learn how many people I know believe in woo quack medicine.  Three people told me that antibiotics were bad and recommended ‘all natural’ remedies instead.  Jesus.  In 2013!)

      Next: craigslist.  

      Craigslist has everything

      I posted an ad and started Googeling black market antibiotics while I waited for the responses to him my email box. 

      The internet is a weird place.  A really, really weird place.

      Did you know that there are thriving internet forums of survivalist black-helicopter kooks and Rapture-ready Christians plotting how they plan to survive in the event of a UN takeover or the zombie apocalypse? 

        You didn’t…?  I didn’t either! But I do now! 

        These people were way, way ahead of me.  Some of them have been planning how to get medicine when they don’t have access to a friendly physician and a pharmacy for years! 

         One guy in Southeast Texas asks his fellow survivalists:

 I am in the process of rebuilding my first-aid kit and am out of “drugs”, what medications can I obtain from a “feed store”, “vet”, etc. that will not cause questions or take alot of forms with I.D. on them. 

Also, after obtaining them, what are the doses?? 

     His comrades weigh in–over 100 responses!  

     Apparently, you can buy antibiotics for fish over the counter and safely consume them.  I was skeptical (I remember asking the Surgeon about that once, when I was treating my fish for bacterial infection.  “Could a human eat use this erythromycin?”  I asked.  “Unless you were dying in Bosnia and had nothing else, I wouldn’t recommend it,” he said.), so I consulted my pharmacist friend via instant message.

     “Maybe.  Why, pray tell, do you ask?”

      I actually called my favorite local fish store and asked what kind of antibiotics they had.  I was hoping for this stuff, fish cipro, but no luck.  

       I checked my email box.  Half a dozen hits from drug dealers offering to sell me vicodin and “roxies,” whatever those are.  

        I didn’t get a lead until Sunday morning.  The email was notable for its bizarre formatting and absence of punctuation.  It was like an e.e. cumming’s poem: 

        i have 14 cipro    for 60
do you still need
   im home now u can come ovr 

       Hmmmm.  Not the most confidence-inspiring prose, but what are you going to do…?

       Where are you? I wrote back.

      I got an address and the response: we can meet at the white castle  cash only

       As in, White Castle burger.  And cash only?  What did he think I was going to use to pay him, Visa? I typed the address into Google maps and stared at the screen for a while.  The guy was way out there.  Way out there.  Hour and a half, three different trains.

      I sat there, weighing the decision.  $450, try to get an appointment at Planned Parenthood on Monday, or wild goose chase to far-flung White Castle to meet this mysterious internet stranger, who I’d already dubbed “Cracky McCrackhead.”  

      Fortune favors the bold.

      I decided to think of it as an adventure.   Like a fortune hunt.

      I put on shoes I could run in and put my ID in my bra in case someone tried to mug me.  Then it was time to go.

       I started at Astor Place:

       
       and by the time I got off in the Brox, the sun was going down:


         The neighborhood wasn’t as bad as I feared–there were women and children on the street and plenty of viable businesses, which is always a good sign.  It’s when the area is crickets-and-tumbleweeds quiet and the only people you see are a few young men standing around–that’s when you ought to be scared.  

           I made my way to the White Castle:


          It was a very bleak affair.  Desolate and staffed by sullen teenagers who stared at me as I ordered my Diet Coke and sat down.  I prayed to God I wouldn’t have to use the facilities.  I was seized by paranoia and guilt.  It felt like there was a blinking neon sign over my head that read: WHITE PERSON HERE TO BUY DRUGS.

       It’s not what you think! I wanted to cry.

          I started texting Cracky McCrackhead.  I’m here!  Where are you?

        Nothing.  Cracky left me twisting in the wind for the better part of a half hour.  Anxiety turned to despair and then to frustration.  It was an asshole move to flake on me like this! I wrote him. 

      I was walking back to the train station when my phone beeped.  It was Cracky, hereafter referred to as Dr. Feelgood.  He came through at the 11th hour.

        “I hope you feel better,” said my new favorite person after he handed me the Cipro.  

         I did, and I do, thank you very much.

         And with that, the tale is told. 

The chicken crossed the road because it didn’t have health insurance

7 thoughts on “Black Market Cipro”

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it; I had no idea what impression it would give readers…I was worried that I sounded like a criminal.

      The adventure was pretty hilarious in retrospect.

      Thanks for reading, please come back any time

    1. DrugMonkey, I wanted to write at length about the funny text exchange we had when I was on the train and at White Castle, but I didn’t want to leave a trail on the internet about it.

      You helped me tremendously…in practical advice and moral support.

      Thanks bunches and I will not eat any black-market drugs or fish antibiotics without your approval.

  1. Order a Jefferson pet supply catalogue. The aquarium section will have amocs and ceflex. Both are veterinary grade which us the same quality as human, just different packaging. I think they run around 50.00$ for 100 tabs. You can order online. Best of luck.

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