Ranma has a meth habit. He goes out midday during office hours on the pretense of answering the call of nature. Instead of heading for the john, he makes a beeline out to the parking lot and then, with rapid strides, reaches the adjacent building – Lost Souls’ Hotel. He goes up the back stairs that lead to a spare room.

He uses the spare room, where some regular guests keep their holiday props, as his own den. There, he assembles his makeshift paraphernalia and takes his pre-lunch hit. Afterward, when he already feels the drug activating the rocket fuel in his bloodstream, he goes back to the office and, in a voice loud enough to ensure that all within a quarter-mile radius would hear him, complains about a defective flush mechanism in the men’s comfort room.

I realize that I should not judge Ranma’s actions. He is entitled to do as he pleased with his life.

But it is not easy to just turn a blind eye to what Ranma is doing.

He has two kids; one is still a toddler and the other one is in kindergarten. His wife does not have a stable job, and their family recently moved to a hut located on the outskirts of the city because they could no longer afford the rent on the one-room cottage that was supposedly closer to his place of work.

Ranma is already snowed under with salary loans and other debts. Each payday he applies for another loan in order to pay off an outstanding one. His parents still shell out money to buy milk for Ranma’s sons. Nevertheless, Ranma is still able to set aside a large portion of what remains of his wages for the meth crystals he buys from a former college buddy of his.

I hope Ranma makes a wise decision soon.


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