I’ll bet that when you first read that word “junkie” tour thoughts immediately went to the stereotypical street junkie desperately looking for that next drug fix, as that’s how most of us see junkies. But there are many other forms of additions far beyond those hooked on illicit drugs. When you think about it, most of us have something in life that we crave and at least to a limited extent we will push ourselves and those around us to have this particular craving fulfilled. For some of us it could be something as simple as that all important cup of coffee we crave the first thing in the morning. For others it may be that insatiable need to go shopping and others might find their strength and refuge in a bottle of wine, or perhaps something stronger. But each in our own way, we all have something that lights up those electrical pulses deep inside our brain and compel us to get that fix. It’s all part of the human experience and there are countless books written by the brightest minds out there who tell us that our brain is designed to crave things and when that craving is satisfied the parts of our brain that release those good feelings we experience after indulging in our addiction lights up like a Christmas tree. It doesn’t matter if its cocaine, coffee, chocolate, or sex – or even a good hug from someone we love as to that portion of the brain; it’s really all the same.
If I were into drugs then there would be the usual drug dealers willing to exploit my need, but I gave up on drugs long, long ago. I do still have my coffee at least 5 times a day but I no longer see that as a habit as I’ve read a lot of recent articles telling me coffee is actually good for me – so coffee is no longer a designated drug as it’s really a health food and I should drink even more.
Then there are the treats I buy from canteen here and I do love my treats and I’m not ashamed to admit I often eat at least one or two of the really sweet “iced honey buns” each week. And they are good and I love them, just as I chocolate chip cookies and other snacks I buy each week. But before you start stoning me for the sin of gluttony, you may want to know that I actually eat only half a honey bun or half a pack of chocolate chip cookies at a time. Yep even when indulging in my favorite junk food, I do show remarkable self restraint by carefully cutting that honey bun in half and then setting the one half aside as I slowly savor that first half and then, and only then, after I’ve consumed that first half will I reach out and eat the other half! That way if anyone asks I can look them in the eye and say I only eat half at a time!
But there’s a new need in town and many of us are being pulled into the cortex without the strength to resist. Unlike that honey bun, this addiction comes complete with a well organized team of pushers that shamelessly come around at regular intervals to tempt us with the latest goods…yep, I’m talking about the FDOC recent implementation of the sale of MP3 players and of course the songs.
I actually do not have my very own MP3 player as the cost is somewhat prohibitive. But already my mouth is watering and I kind of get the shakes as I write and rewrite my intended play list with all the songs that when I hear them transport me back to a time when I still had a life. That’s what it’s actually all about. Through that personal selection of our favorite songs we temporarily escape the reality and this place, and the never ending nightmare that our lives have become. There’s that song from way back when I went to my first junior high dance and for reasons I’ll never know the prettiest girl in school danced with me. Then there’s that “classis rock” that allows me to think about the old friends I used to hang out with in high school and that makes me smile. Then there are the songs that remind me for one particular reason or another of the people who have come and gone through my life and now all that remains is a song and that’s alright.
Some of the songs are corny and nobody is going to understand why I like it but me and that’s ok too as I think we all have songs that hold a personal significance to only us and you got to admit that we all have them on our play list.
Since they started selling these MP3 players it’s become the new “must have” toy here on the row. And it really is an addiction. Just ask the guys who already broke down and bought one, swearing that they would only buy a limited number of songs as each song costs $1.70 (you must buy 5 at a time, minimum for $8.50) and that quickly adds up. Guys who swore they would only buy a hundred of their favorites are now way beyond that and all but competing with each other to have the latest and greatest songs first.
Yeah, my days of having a half honey bun may soon end as I’m already cutting back, saving up to get one of those Mp3 players and once I do I’m sure I will join the others around here and find myself craving even more songs and feeding that insatiable hunger as I am, as we all are, a junky and these MP3 players are the new drug. Wish me luck!