Hello... I'm Jack McCoy. I'm 36, Irish-Italian and I have a gambling problem. I am currently volunteering to be a lab rat so that I can hopefully pay off some bills and not get my head blown off by the mafia.
I got involved in this experiment on account of my buddy Vic. He's another slick bastard with a gambling problem and he talked me into signing up for this shit. He was supposed to be here too, but I’m looking around and I don’t see him. I guess he didn't make the cut which means I'll be going this alone with all these other broke losers. Actually one guy doesn't seem so bad, but a couple of them are pretty lame. I don't know, I'm sure I'll get all warm and fuzzy with everyone once we get a few days in.
Anyway, from what I can tell based on the general chatter going on among us, no one really knows much about what we're going to be doing. Yes, I'm that crazy. I actually signed up for this willingly. I had to do it. I’ve got no job, a lot of problems and I need the money. I mean… I NEED the money, man. I guess we all really need the money.
So, we’re all just sitting inside this old industrial looking building (in the middle of nowhere) to be guinea pigs for a drug called Formula 35C. Well, half of us will be taking the drug and the other half takes a pretend drug that apparently doesn’t do shit. I don’t know if I’ll be on the actual drug per se, but I hope to hell I am because then I can stay the whole time. With my stupid damn luck, I’ll probably end up in the “controller group” (I think they called it) and kicked out after only a couple days. If that's how it works anyway. I really don’t know because I wasn’t paying too much attention when they described all the tiny details. I think they said that not everyone will be needed the whole time for whatever, such and such reason. If I do get to be on the drug though, (knock on wood x10!!!) then my problems are solved.
You see, here’s the thing, like I kind of mentioned already, I owe a shit ton of cash to a lot of different people. Dangerous people. Until I can pay them back I really can’t be showing my face around town, you know what I mean? The way these assholes work is they rough you up first, that's a warning, but if you still don’t pay, then they break one of your arms, still don’t pay after that, then they put a bullet in your head. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows kids… Just the thought of those pricks out there looking for me right now… Oh… fuck my life man. Anyway, the dorkwad scientists who are running this show told us they’re going to pay us $300 every day to take this drug, and it could go for long as 30 days.
It’s Saturday today and the weather sucks wicked bad right now, it’s colder than a witch's tit. At the moment, I’m surrounded by a group of strangers who don’t seem to know any more than I do about this experiment. We’re all sitting here in this big room on couches and chairs, typing away on our laptops as the doctors unveil their final commands.
I’m here at Nexus Mind Research Labs of my own free will.
I was instructed to write that above statement and make it bold. The doctors said they don’t want anyone to think we all got shanghaied off the street and forced into this shit against our will or something. If you had any idea how weird and secretive the process was just to get here, you’d know what I mean. I don’t think we’re going to be tortured or anything, but one never really knows what these mad scientists are up to. I just hope it's not like that crazy scene from the movie 'Firestarter' where the dude is screaming and claws his eyes out.
I'm typing on this spiffy new laptop they gave us and said that we could keep it after we leave. That's good news. Once I'm out of here I’m pawning it for sure. It should fetch me around $200. Of course, while I’m here, I’m supposed to write entries into it every day. "Talk to it like it's your therapist," they said. I guess this is a good thing, I could use some therapy for all the hideous shit going on in my crazy head.
When we got here this morning, the security guys made us hand over all our possessions, like cell phones, keys, and my pack of smokes. I wasn’t the tiniest bit aware I’d be giving up smoking while being here and I'm a little pissy about it now. The Doctors said it was part of the deal, and that they had to have everyone’s intake of food and liquids be the same. Therefore, unless everyone smokes; no one smokes.
“Oh, don’t worry Jack, you’ll be okay, smoking is bad for you anyway,” they said.
Oh yeah? Fuck you! Beating-off with shampoo in the shower is bad too, but you’re not stopping anyone from doing that, right? So, I had to give them my damn cigarettes and cell phone. I let them know it was bullshit for not telling us before we signed up. They didn't seem to care.
The bastards then made us read tons of pages of boring-ass paperwork and release statements this morning. I think I signed my name close to 100 times, and right now my wrist is killing me. I would really hate to be a pro-athlete or a Rockstar that gives out autographs all day. Now I know why they get the millions. Who am I kidding, I’d fucking love to be rich and famous, but that just ain’t in the cards for me. I don’t have any talent other than my ability to withstand extremely hot chili-peppers. On a dare, I once ate two Carolina reapers and didn’t drink anything for five minutes. Completely turned my insides out.
Anyway, one of the documents clearly stated that neither I, nor anyone in my family could sue them upon the occurrence of my accidental death, dismemberment or any form of impairment. Christ, $300 seems a little low-slung if I could die from being part of this. Just writing this shit down makes my nicotine deprived brain kick at my skull like a little donkey screaming “What the hell did I get myself into?!?!” I just hope I don’t end up regretting this. I’ve already got so much regret to live with it’s not even funny.
As if the paperwork wasn’t enough… I also had to go through a shit ton of exhausting tests today just to get accepted into this trial. The mental testing alone took almost four hours and made me feel like a complete and utter moron. For starters, it’s been almost 19 years since I dropped out of high school, and to be honest, I wasn’t even all that bright of a person back then. School for me was about chasing tail and smoking in the boys’ room. I hate establishment and anything having to do with structure and conformity. So, I’m not sure if I was stupid, or just stubborn? My teachers seemed to think I was a lost cause. At any rate, I was positive the doctors were going to pull me aside after the tests were scored and inform me that I was just ‘too slow’ to be here, but they didn’t, so amen to that brother.
Then came the physical tests and they were brutal as well. I pretty much never exercise other than when I walk to the store for smokes or ride my huffy to the casino. I’m on this sort of, Ramen noodle and Red Bull diet which makes me shit a lot and suffer roller-coaster emotions. In the mirror, I look like I’m a pretty fit guy, but the truth is, the way I’m going, I won’t live past fifty which is only about 14 years away. They wired me up and had me run on the treadmill for sixty minutes. I mean what the fuck right? I thought for sure I was going to die. I’ve been smoking since I was fifteen years old and I’m pretty sure I coughed out every drag I ever took on that evil running-machine. I don’t know what the drug is going to alter or add to our bodies, but I hope we don’t have to keep running. Five minutes into it and my heart was crying tears of beef flavored ramen and droopy Red Bull wings.
Shit, I don’t know who I’m writing this for really, but in case I die and this gets published or something I should probably describe myself a little bit. I’m 36 years old, six-feet-tall, and I’ve got a full head of black hair. It’s a little messy at the moment, but not bad messy like the creepy, slob guy sitting across from me right now; he's wearing a rat’s nest made out of dingle berries. I get my hair color from my mom who's Italian, and my pale skin is inherited from my dad. He’s an old Irish tough-guy and currently sitting behind bars at the Mass Correctional Institute of Cedar Junction. Same place as that dickhead Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots, the one who murdered that guy and screwed our offense up. Thank God we still have Gronk.
Anyway, another gift from my dad, is my "dreamy" sky-blue eyes, and per the ladies it's my best feature. Although, I don't seem to have luck with the ladies. My problem is that I'm attracted to women who have zero interest in me, yet I’m somehow popular with girls I’m not into at all. Which pretty much dooms every relationship I’m in. Hold on a minute, they're talking to us.
Okay, once AGAIN, I must insert here that I am mentally good in the head, and I am here at the Nexus Mind Research Laboratories to partake in the Formula 35C experiment of my own free will.
They sure are pressing the point of us saying we’re here because we want to be here. Of course, we want to be here, its $300 a day. Why the fuck else would we be here? And by "they," I mean the scientists running the experiment, Dr. Waters, Dr. Roberts and Dr. Nelson. Dr. Nelson said he was going to be the one to read all our entries here. So, I better talk about some of the shit he expects me to be writing.
It’s orientation day today. I, and all these other lost souls in this experiment, were given laptops to keep a daily journal. As I mentioned already, we’re supposed to write about our feelings and the things that come to mind during our involvement here. We must do this all the way through the experiment on a day-to-day basis and submit it to them after each entry. There’s a little button for that at the bottom of the screen that I can see. I suppose it makes sense for us to do this so they can keep track of what’s going on in our minds. Most of these people, who are going to be on the drug, could be ticking time bombs for all they know and it’s good to get them out before they hurt others. Man, this is going to be weird.
I’ve never written in a diary before. It makes me feel kind of girly to be honest. Nothing against girls that write in diaries, but it’s just not my thing. The last time I wrote anything down was in high school just before I dropped out. I wrote a short story about a homeless guy with a couple of sponges duct-taped to the bottom of his feet that he wore as shoes, and all the shit he went through being a bum. I let him win the lottery in the end. Great story, I thought it was anyway, but I still only earned a C because he cussed too much.
So, like the bum in my story, I’m a bit of a loner, and it’s not exactly by choice. I like the game of chance, and gambling in my experience isn’t really a group thing. I never feel good after I’ve lost all my money or how much it fucking complicates things. I hate that I do it, but I really can’t stop. It’s like one minute I’m doing okay in life, everything is fine, and then the next minute, I’m begging some random asshole for money to hop on the train to get back to my shitty apartment. It makes me feel so down-and-out, you know? On that note, I’ve run into some bad money problems as I mentioned before. Some legal, some illegal, you get the idea I bet. I’m one of those fucking guys. A compulsive gambler you can’t trust your daughter with, not that she’d want my broke-ass anyway.
However, I don’t want to talk too much about that right now, so I’ll get back to the situation at hand. I’m a little edgy about this place and this experiment, to be honest. I haven’t heard a damn thing about what I’m going to be experiencing from this Formula 35C drug they’re going to give us. Which makes me wonder if I’m going to be clawing my eyes out and screaming bloody murder after the first day. Formula 35C… weird name. I can imagine a bunch of shovel wielding scientists in white lab coats standing in some middle-of-nowhere field on a rainy night saying, “Well, Formula 34C didn’t work, looks like we have to try something else,” as they dump a bunch of human corpses into unmarked graves. I hope not. Apparently, Formula 35C is supposed to do something to enhance our brains, but there haven’t been any details, which I find to be pretty damn strange. I understand we’re just “subjects” in here, but giving us a little courtesy info about the drug we’re being injected with would be nice. Especially if it's like LSD or something. That shit is nasty man... I never… want to do that again, ever.
They have us all cooped up in a large communal room in some rundown building on the outskirts of Boston, I think we’re outside of Boston anyway, can’t really say for sure. I noticed there was a cheap sign above the entrance to the building that read. “Nexus Mind Research.” Inside, the walls are boringly white and undecorated, there’s no art or décor to speak of, but it’s warm in here at least. Did I mention it’s been a cruel winter so far? We’ve had record temperature lows and an ungodly amount of snow-fall this season. Now that I think of it, I probably could have made some decent money if I’d invested in a shovel and did walkways. I really wish I had now. Anything would have been better than just throwing my money away at the casinos playing keno and blackjack or placing shit bets through my bookie. Let’s not even fucking talk about scratch tickets…
The nice thing is, while we’re here, it’s all free living. They’re taking care of our asses by giving us hygiene products, food, and I guess you can call it "room and board," since we each get our own bed. It’s also great I won’t have to spend money on stupid shit like toilet paper and toothpaste. You’d be surprised how valuable those things are when you don’t have money to buy them. They’ve fed us pretty well so far too. When we got here today there was a long table topped with an assortment of trays containing fresh vegetables, grilled chicken, fish, and a couple different rice dishes. I could get used to eating like this. Lord knows my body needs it.
We each have our own personal little sleeping cubbies that are like walk-in closet sized rooms. Each room has a small cot, tiny table and a lamp. There’s enough room for about one and a half people. Two, if you want to cramp yourself in. I guess they don’t want any sexual things going on here, being that it’s just a science experiment. Then again, what if the drugs make everyone super horny? Who knows man… So far, I’ve seen there’s a total of two hotties in here, and I’m hoping to get acquainted with the blonde. There’s another semi-cute college chick and then a not so good-looking heftier woman who wears glasses and reeks of feminism. Not that I want to be disparaging about her looks or whatever, and the fact that she’s overweight. I mean who the fuck am I to be judging anyone about self-control? I’m sure she’s got a great personality and shit when she’s not man-hating.
The bathroom situation kind of sucks. There’s a men’s room and a separate women’s room, and both have two toilets and two showers. The showers run on a timer so that no one can take longer than 5 minutes. Actually, you can, if you sit there like an asshole and wait two minutes for the water to come back on, which kind of sucks. Or you can hop over to the other shower and start that one, but they are set apart in such a way that you would have to run out bare-assed about three feet. I don’t know these people well enough to be flashing my nakedness in front of them, so it’s not really ideal.
I think I counted 15 of us in here and I guess that means I was the last to be voted in, since on my folder it says “Subject 15”. I don’t know how many people applied for the experiment, but I think that makes me pretty damn lucky. Maybe my luck is changing. There's a cluster of eager-beaver college kids and few dysfunctional grown-ups just like me. I’ve been talking to this guy Randy. He seems like an agreeable sort of dude and someone I could get along with. He’s here because he is unemployed and needs to pay the bills or as he says, his “bitch wife” will take the kids and leave him. Randy seems to think that we’re all going to wake up with our brains cooked, the fucking bastard. I like him though. He gives the impression of being entertaining and down to earth in a “woe is me” kind of way. He’s got big chipmunk cheeks, and brown eyes. He loves to talk about his fucking kids though... I’m mean, like on an irritating level. I don’t care too much to listen to it, since I don’t have kids, or a wife, or a girlfriend for that matter, but whatever, I’m happy to have someone I can talk to already. Randy used to be a high school janitor, until he got shit-canned for smacking one of the students across the face, after the kid punted some homosexual freshman in the nuts. Got to give the guy credit for being stand-up like that, but man, what a temper. I can already sense he can be a little bitch when he wants to, and I just hope the drugs don’t mess with his already short fuse.
You know what? Man… The reality of what we’re about to do is hitting me all of a sudden and I’m feeling kind of anxious, scared almost. I’ve taken drugs before, and sometimes they’re good and most times they’re not. Especially the aftereffects. It’s occurring to me right now that I could potentially lose my mind in here. This has me wondering if it’s not too late to get out of it. Oh, for fucks sake… who am I kidding? I NEED the money. When I get paid and get out of here, I’ll go back to my shitty little studio apartment in the bad part of Boston and try to find a decent living again. If I can’t, then I will probably have to live with my mom which is really not good for me. She’s a lost and miserable soul. Plus, I like having my own space. I also don’t like that she’s a drunk who pukes all over the place. I hate the smell of that shit. Her house is disgusting because she doesn’t clean it at all and it’s littered with all kinds of trash, dishes, and smells like second-hand smoke mixed with cat litter. I try to see her at least once a month, but I really hate going there.
So anyway, that’s why I’m here, the money. I have no idea what this drug is they’re giving us, but it doesn’t really matter does it? I need to pay bills, and people, and yeah... I hope they allow me to leave this place for a few hours next week so I can pay my rent at least. That’s something I totally forgot to ask about this morning, fuck!
I don’t know what else to say right now, I just hope I can stay here and make a good bit of money. I also hope that Randy isn’t right about the brains getting fried thing. Although, that would solve my problems too. Shit, morbid thoughts, gotta shake those out of my head. They are requesting that we now prepare for dinner and then go to sleep because tomorrow morning we’re going to take the first dosages. If all goes well, I’ll be writing again tomorrow night to tell you about the effects.
Wish me luck