We landed in Dallas on our way back from Mexico. As we went through immigration, collected our bags, took them through customs and them re-checked them through to Denver, I was nervous. Even worse, I'd completely forgotten we had to go back through security. But, I hadn't forgotten what was in my carry-on bag. Especially when TSA pulled my bag for an extra screening after it went through the X-ray machine. I've seen enough Locked Up Abroad episodes to know what was coming next if they caught me with contraband in say...Malaysia. But, I wasn't exactly sure how it goes down in America. Because I never imagined I'd buy drugs in Mexico and bring them into the US. This is how it always starts isn't it? As an "innocent" transgression. But, how severe would the consequences for my lack of judgment be?
It was the day we went to Chichen Itza that I woke up jonesing for drugs. I'd been clean for a while. It'd been a few weeks since my last eye infection when I was hopped up on antibiotic eye drops. I'd thrown out all my make-up, self-medicated with old, expired antibiotic eye drops we had in the medicine cabinet, cleared up my eyes and finally got myself off the junk. Until that morning, when I woke up with my eyes crusted over, itching and burning. And me yearning for drugs. Just this one last time. Which I knew was a lie when I said it.
It was a day or so later that we finally found a dealer. A pharmacy where I could score almost any drug I wanted without a prescription. Including Aderall and Viagra. Neither of which I wanted or needed. But, after I'd thrown down some pesos for some Conycol drops for my eyes, I got thinking. Drugs are way cheaper in Mexico. I was going to need to buy more. I just wasn't sure what kind yet.
It came to me when I was laying on the beach in the sun, slathered in sunscreen. The time I went to the dermatologist to check on a suspicious lesion just above my upper lip. I was sure it was skin cancer. But, it turned out to be even worse. The doctor looked at it with her special scope and said those words every woman dreads to hear, "It's just an age spot." Just an age spot? I'm not even old enough to have age spots! Wait how old am I again? Oh wait...almost 50. Ok, I guess that's about right. Because when I was young, 50 seemed pretty damn old to me. Retin-A: that's what I need!
So, I went back to the pharmacy. Except they were sold out of the strength I was looking for. Which was neither the strongest, nor the weakest they had for sale. Staying clear of extremes seemed the safest route when you're dosing drugs yourself. Apparently everyone thought the same thing, which is why I couldn't find it. Until finally, the third pharmacy we walked to had it in stock. The exact same Retin-A that's sold in the States for $100 was only $25! I suddenly felt so high.
The sobering part came when TSA took me aside with my bag in hand at the Dallas airport. Why? Why did I put the eye drops in my carry-on? Why didn't I take them out and claim them as my 1 oz. of benign liquid I'm entitled to? Did I think I wouldn't get caught? I must not have looked like someone who'd smuggle drugs, because instead of TSA searching my bag by hand, the officer took a wand and ran it along the outside of my bag. And didn't find anything. Then, he let me go. No one caught me smuggling Mexican drugs into America. And that's precisely when I decided that the next time I went to Mexico I was going to bring back a kilo of Retin-A. And also when I was sure there'd be a next time.