It all started one brilliant fall day. Micky and Davy had driven down to LA to visit Micky's mother. Mike was out of the house, scouting for gigs, and Peter had decided to spend the day on the beach.
Well, that had been the plan, at least. The air never got as cold as it had in Connecticut, but it had driven most of the bathers from the beach. Peter never liked being alone on the beach, so he'd returned home.
But that left Peter with an entire day with nothing to do. Peter, never one to be bored, swiftly decided he'd do some fall deep cleaning.
Two hours later, Peter climbed the stairs with a load of laundry in his arms. Singing as he went, he loaded the closets and then turned to the dressers. He loaded Micky's dresser, then opened Mike's drawers, moving articles of clothing to fit the clean ones in.
Peter's song died in his throat as he froze, staring into the drawer. Swallowing hard, he reached in and lifted out a small pill bottle. It looked like a prescription bottle – but the pills inside looked like nothing Peter had ever seen before.
And that meant only one thing to Peter.
These were street drugs.
Mike took drugs.
Peter swallowed hard and lurched to the bathroom. After he threw up, he studied the bottle in his hand.
Without a second thought, determined to help his best friend, Peter opened the bottle. He dumped the entire bottle into the toilet and flushed them away.
When Mike came home, Peter confronted him and told him what he'd done. Mike went bone white and tore up the stairs. Finding the bottle empty, he let out a groan that was like nothing Peter had ever heard from him before as he sank to the bathroom floor.
The reaction alarmed Peter. "Michael?"
"You have no idea what you've done," he groaned.
Peter knelt beside him. "I've made sure you get clean, Michael."
Mike closed his eyes. "No – you've made it impossible for me to function."
"I'll help you, Michael. You don't need those pills to function--"
"Peter, they're not street drugs. They're medication."
That brought Peter up short. "Medication? .... as in doctor-given meds?"
"As in doctor-given meds." Mike's voice was the freaked-out half-octave higher that Peter had only heard a few times – and it showed him just how afraid Mike was. "I'm hyperactive, Peter. Very hyperactive. At my best, I make Micky look calm. That medication kept me stable. Without it...."
"I—I didn't know," Peter breathed. "You should have told us."
"You wouldn't have believed me. It made that big of a difference, that you wouldn't have believed me." He shook his head. "Well – at least I can get more on Monday. I'll just have to get through the weekend." He blew the air out of his cheeks. "Somehow."
Fortunately for Mike – and very trying for Peter – Micky and Davy had been invited to stay in LA for Micky's family's reunion. They decided to make a weekend out of it.
Peter kept an eye on Mike. For the rest of the day, he was okay. But the next morning found him drumming his fingers nervously at breakfast, his right leg jerking to a beat only he seemed to hear.
During the course of that day, Peter watched Mike Nesmith slowly fall apart. He became more and more distracted. His hands trembled. His legs twitched. He could not be still. He paced. He rambled – he could not be quiet. He was always moving and muttering.
By the end of the first day, Peter was completely exhausted. He couldn't imagine how it could get worse.
But it did. Sunday was a blur with Peter having to deal with a six-foot-two whirlwind with a Texas temper. He would never clearly remember that 24 hour period, only that Mike was unable to focus. At all. And unable to be still. At all.
Monday, Mike was still like that – too wound up to drive. So Peter drove him in, and Mike got his prescription refilled.
And to Peter's relief, he watched Mike slowly return to normal. By the time the other half of the Monkees returned on Wednesday afternoon, there was no sign of the hyperactive, rambling dervish that Peter had dealt with all weekend.
They never discussed that long, terrible weekend with anybody – not even with each other. And Peter never let on that Mike took medication or what he was like without it. Nor did he treat Mike any differently now that he knew. Not one word of tease even crossed Peter's lips.
And Mike was forever grateful for it all.
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