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What does the sentence “But were Oedipa some single melted crystal of urban horse” mean?

Here is the full quote:

What the road really was, she fancied, was this hypodermic needle, inserted somewhere ahead into the vein of a freeway, a vein nourishing the mainliner L.A., keeping it happy, coherent, protected from pain, or whatever passes, with a city, for pain. But were Oedipa some single melted crystal of urban horse, L.A., really, would be no less turned on for her absence.

I tried really hard to parse the sentence, and I googled it, but I can’t glean the slightest meaning from it.

  • It may help to know that "horse" is a slang term for heroin. – user14111 Feb 9 at 12:03
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    The sentence now makes sense, actually. Because it fits in nicely with the image of the road being a hypodermic needle. Thanks. – AAZ Feb 9 at 12:21
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As per the comments, and so that we have an answer present, "horse" is a slang term for heroin, so the simile being used is comparing the road to a hypodermic needle, and Oedipa as a dose of a drug, but one which would not be missed if not present.

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