"You wake up early, as the sun rises. The sunlight coming in your window feels like your eyes are being burned out of your head. You wish the birds would shut up because what right do they have to be happy when you are so miserable. You’re first thoughts are not of your son who the state took away, or what you’re going to have for breakfast, or what you are going to do today. Or how you want to relax in bed under the warm covers and you slap the snooze button again. Or wish you could roll over and snuggle with someone you love. The only thoughts burning into your brain desperately are where can I get something and how will I pay for it.
You have to do something before you get up. Your stomach is queasy, your eyes won’t stop watering, and your nose won’t stop running. You have a headache, your joints and muscles ache, you swear your fucking bones are itching but how is this possible. You also know how to fix this. You reach on to the night stand and grab a small plastic bag, not much bigger than a postage stamp. There is a small amount of white powder in it. Amazing something so small can have such power. You take a burnt and bent spoon off the night stand, and half sit up. There is a cup of melted ice from an iced coffee you had the day before. It will do. You carefully dump the powder into the spoon. You use a dull an dirty hypo to draw out the water and squirt into the spoon where you have dumped the white powder. You flick your lighter and hold it under the spoon until the water bubbles and the powder dissolves. You put a dirty piece of cotton on the spoon, and draw the liquid through and into the hypo. You tie a cord around your arm and squeeze your fist tight. No luck finding a vein to pop up. Fuck it you have ten fingers and ten more toes and at least one is still good. You find a spot between your left pinky and ring finger and jam the hypo into it. You have to push hard as it the hypo is dull and it really fucking hurts that sensitive spot between your fingers. But you don’t feel the pain by the time the plunger goes even halfway down.
Instead, you feel the most intense blast of pleasure through your whole body. At least it used to be intense. Its’ not so much anymore, but it’s still pretty good. Then your nose and eyes dry up, your stomach stops churning and settles, the miserable itching stops, and your head, muscles and joints stop aching. You sigh with relief as a nice warm glow comes over you and you feel relaxed and at peace. Finally you can get out of bed.
Breakfast is an energy drink and an electrolyte drink, and a half a three day old dried out fudge brownie.
You are sitting in a place with no heat on this cool fall morning, and you have to open the window shades to get some light as the electricity has been shut off. You have a half bottle of a sugar laden caffeinated fluorescent green lemon lime flat warm soda in the warm fridge, a few cans of energy drink, and somewhere a box of crackers. The place is a mess because you haven’t cleaned anything in about a month. You’re a mess. Unshaven, hair that hasn’t seen shampoo in at least a week, teeth that have not had contact with a toothbrush for at least twice as long, and the remains of a few swipes of antiperspirant clinging to your underarm hair. You ran out of toilet paper and have had to wipe your ass with an old T-shirt that lies on the floor. Not too pleasant when you have diarrhea. You don’t look too good and you smell worse. Fuck it. You have more important things to worry about. Where am I gonna get something and how do I pay for it.
You start texting and making phone calls. Nobody answers. Mother fuckers. You know they have got your text and your call, they are just waiting. It you are sick they can demand a higher price. In the meantime you call your uncle, the last member of the family still speaking to you and sing him a song about how your electricity got shut off, which is the truth, and that you need $40 to pay the bill and get it turned back on, also the truth, but the lie is where the money will go. He grudgingly assents, and says this is last time for the third time. You tell him he is your favorite uncle and thank him profusely, not meaning a word of it. He says yeah whatever not wanting to listen to your bullshit. Meet me at the coffee shop.
You pull on unwashed jeans and an unwashed t shirt over your unwashed underwear and unwashed body. You go outside, and down the street. Your uncle is there, stepping out of his work truck, with the company logo on the side. The same company he has fired and rehired you from at least five times. Hi Uncle Mike. He looks at you with pity, disgust, and anger all rolled into one and doesn’t return your greeting. He sourly hands you two twenties. Wil you buy me a coffee you ask hopefully. He glares at you and says don’t push it. This is the last dollar you are getting from me. He says this every time, but he is a pushover under his tough guy burly construction worker glare, and you both know it. He turns his back to you. I have to go to work he says emphasizing the word Work.
You finally get a text from your dealer. He charges you the $40 for three bags, telling you that you owe him for the third; it will be another $10. Last time you didn’t pay on time, he sent two thugs over who broke your nose. You notice he seems to be staring at your jaw this time. You duck into a men’s room and shoot two bags.
You take your prize back home and put it on the night stand. You know the cycle, and that you will need it in a few hours.
How did you get here?
One day at a time you slide into this shit. Same as the do gooders at AA say. One day at a time. That saying applies to the descent into this self-made hell as much as it does recovery. You have smoked weed and drank since you were 13. Then a few years ago, about a month after your 19th birthday, someone offered you something special. Heroin. No way would you ever touch that stuff you had said and meant at one time. But things change, and you had become adventurous about what you put into your body. You tried LSD, X, and even DMT. You had snorted Roxicet, and Klonopin. Time to step up the game. Your friend shot you up and it was the best thing you had ever felt. It was like an orgasm that surged through your whole body. Then for the next six hours, you were in the most wonderful, warm comforting peaceful daze. You were so relaxed and nothing hurt in your mind, body, or soul. It was so nice. Better than sex, better than anything you could imagine.
The problem was it quickly became something you craved. Before you knew it, you were stabbing yourself in the arm every day searching for that same feeling you got the first time. Problem was you couldn’t seem to get it, so you used more. And more as the feeling kept fading and you chased after it eagerly. Day by day, your life unraveled as you become more focused on the heroin and that needle. You showed up for work when you felt like, and did a half-ass job when you were there. You shrugged off your uncle’s empty threats of termination until he did it, and then begged him to give you one more chance. You stopped paying bills, stopped showering, and didn’t really eat except for sugary junk.
Then one day your dealer wouldn’t return your 30 or 40 desperate calls and texts. You found out he was arrested. Fuck. Now what. You were still new enough at this game that he was your only connection. Your body reminded you hard after about 12 hours that you were an addict. It started slow. Your eyes started watering, then your nose started running, your stomach became queasy, then your head started aching, you lay down, but that didn’t help. Getting up off the couch you felt stiff and sore. The pain grew worse, and your muscles cramped. You had a fever and chills and goosebumps. And the queasiness progressed to a sickening nausea. You made it into the bathroom and vomited into the toilet, but also shit yourself from the strain of vomiting. A few minutes after you cleaned up, and were on the toilet for more diarrhea, but now you leaned forward and puked on the floor. Soon your stomach had nothing else to expel, and you get dry heaves. You collapsed on the couch, in and out of delirium, feeling like you were gonna die.
Finally someone called and said hey, I heard you were trying to get a hold of Mickey. Mickey is away maybe I could help you out. I'm Sid. I got what you need and my shits better than Mickeys any day. And the price is better.
You made the deal and got what you needed and all of your sickness just melted away like it had never been there. You were fine now. For another 12 hours."