Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If it wasn't for bad luck...

Addiction makes strange bedfellows. This statement is highly inaccurate because heroin takes away any desire I had to fuck anyone. Well, that is unless I was kicking. Kicking heroin is a cruel fucking set up. It is as if every fluid in your body chooses that exact moment to abandon the broken ship of your aching body at one time. Let's see- snot. Check. Runny eyes- check. Liquid ass- check and double check (your underwear). Puke- reporting for duty. The cruelest trick of all is that suddenly sneezing may make you have the first orgasm you have had in 8 or 9 months. I would full forget I had a pussy unless I was 1. storing dope in it or 2. trying to find someone to pay me an entrance fee. My period was long gone, were my tits. I used to really enjoy them too. Damn.

Anyway, that particular day I was sick out of my god damn mind. A female hustler has a tendency to gravitate towards hard luck cases. Deep inside, we wish we could care for pets or children, so we care for adult men with dope habits. In this case, I had picked a real winner. The man was a vet. I could not imagine it, but that was what he said to me. I imagine he was kicked out of the military for being a sissy. I don't just mean gay I mean he was a flaming queen yet so hideously ugly, "queen" does not seem the correct term. I imagine he wasn't sucking any random cock in his current condition. He had long unkempt hair that was a rusty red like ginger Jesus. He had long dirty finger nails and broken glasses. The worst part was his green teeth. I am not even sure how teeth got that color. I had never seen any thing like that in my life before or since.

 He used to tell me about how fine he was in his youth. I found that claim to be somewhat dubious. But then, I had to think about myself. How would I look with ten or fifteen more years on the street. I was relatively young at 24. I would see the progression as people came to the city. They got chewed up and spit out by the streets. The beautiful young men became shells of their former selves. Maybe he was telling the truth. Either way, I felt safer with someone then being alone in the world. We would sleep in the doorway at night reading books and dreaming of the great come up that was never going to happen for us.  My life was filled with characters that came in and out of my life. This one was a cross between a troll and leprechaun with a monkey on his back.

He irritated me but at least he made me feel safe. He wasn't going to rape me in my sleep, that is always a plus. He did give me a wicked case of body lice from sharing blankets with him. I liked him because I hated everyone else. Most of all, I hated myself. He would tolerate my suicide as long as I was willing to share a bag or two with him. Since he had no looks, no hustle, no charm- that was enough- to listen to me. Well, I guess he did have a hustle. He worked the shit out of me.

I was sick that day- so motherfucking sick. Most days I *tried* to save myself a wake-up. Try was the key word. I never was one of those "Let's do it all and fuck tomorrow people". Those people got on my nerves. Those people were poor planners. I was more of a heroin maintenance type. I wanted not to feel anything 24/7, not just feel numb a few hours a day. I needed this hit. I had taken me allllll day to hustle up money for a half gram.

We went behind the jack in the box. The Alley was a mixture of food garbage, broken crack pipes, socks that had been used to wipe dirty asses, and human waste. This was the closest place. I trusted my little troll friend to get my shot ready for me. He was generally quick. I also found it EXTREMELY irritating that he could find a vein in two seconds while I struggled in some door way with a shoe lace and my leg over my head trying to find a vein. Time and Tar had been cruel to my dope pathways. These bitches had shut the fuck down.

Then, the impossible happened. It really did. The trollmaster was gently swaying the lighter under the cooker when he screamed "OUCH" and dropped the fucking cooker into the ocean of filth that lie on the concrete. If you have never seen a junkie cry spontaneously, imagine the look when your hopes and dreams went into the gutter with your $50 and your chance to get well.

"WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. I am sure someone dropped their Jumbo Jack from the volume of my high pitched squeal. My God. The agony I felt that day. It took every ounce of strength not to beat his fucking ass. I had no strength. UGH. I turned to the side and dry heaved into the street. And then- you know what comes next- I picked the cooker out of the gutter to see if ANYTHING could be salvaged. One pathetic rinse was left. He had the nerve to ask me if I would share it. Fuck to the no. Kick rocks troll man.

That was the end to a great friendship. Ok, Ok, not really the end. He ripped me off for my last $19 on Thanksgiving. Walked off with my money went I sent him for a bag. If it wasn't for bad luck, i wouldn't have any at all. Just the daily grind of a heroin addict that rolled on for a few more years before I finally got clean.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Guest Post JF from Bay Area

"Chip off the old Block"

See...drugs have been in my bloodline long before I was even a daydream. Both of my birth parents were addicts..."My mother was a vodka queen and my father was a rock star..
So I ended up rolling stoned in the back of a cop car"

From what little I really do know of my mother, she was from upstate  New York, and Im pretty sure thats where she met my father..they split when I was 2 years old. I remember the fights, I remembered seeing my father slap the shit out of my mother one day during an argument  and I think my mother had us stay in a hotel that night. Her nose was bleeding and I guess I found a band aid and gave it to her and it made her laugh and she hugged me...My father and mother both drank a d fought when drunk, it became a normal part of my childhood, the yelling and screaming...but by that time my young brain was already corrupted by the addictive genes passed to me.  My father told me that they would drink and smoke weed together and my mother like to huff glue..and she may have continued this while prenant.

This was around 82, maybe 83. My father moved out and I stayed with my mother for the beginning. I remember some happy times as a child, but the years of drugs and denial have made some harder to recall. My mother was always beautiful to me,and I remember the loving and caring she gave me when it was just us...this only lasted a year or two. My father would visit after we had moved into a new apartment. He came over drunk one night, I remember his brim hat and leather dad was always Mr. Cool..He was what I wanted to be.

Anyways, I was sitting next to him on the couch while he argued with my mother...I dont rememeber about what but she wanted him to leave. My father laid back a little on the couch and put both hands into 
his jacket pockets.. and the pulled out two handguns and set them down on the table "Look I will come see my son whenever I want and nobody will stop me"
A silver .38 snubnose on the left, and a small black revolver on the right...I wanted to touch them, to play with them...I knew they were dangerous and I wanted them still.

I remember my father mentioning something about bringing a machete over when he comes over next...and I he told me I could help him cut vegetables up and we would make soup together. Looking back I now see the underlying threat that he probably made. I guess I was still somewhat innocent...
When he left I remember hearing my mother said she was going to put him "behind bars"...which confused me..I didnt understand why my father would have to work at a bar? I thought maybe it was punishment to be a bartender or something..I look back and laugh at these things.  Once people hear my stories they start to understand why I am the way I am..I never claimed to be sane, but maybe I should come with a warning label.

My father was a pimp in New York, sold drugs while there and also had a $200 a day heroin habit...these are from what I know when he would get drunk and start telling the stories. He had 3 hoes working for him and drove a Cadillac, this was sometime in the mid 70's I would imagine. My father was super fly..with a distict swagger to him, he walked so cool and could sell an eskimo ice at twice the price...There are definitely distinct features we share, I find myself feeling more like him. I dont think I really understood my father until he died and I had to clean out his apartment. The side to him that I always remember was his ability to be successful, he was a smart man that graduated high school at 16, went on to earn a Masters Degree and then went into the army for 10 years. I always saw my father in a suit, every day, suit and hat... or the fedora and the black leather 3/4 trench. Always drove a Cadillac, then a Riviera, a Chrysler Celebrity which I thought was the coolest car ever because it talked.

What I learned about him after he died was the other side, the hard core drug addict that struggled with depression and paranoia, and the struggle of raising a child by himself. My father was a lonely man that just wanted company. I realized all the opportunities I lost to bond with my father. We never really got to speak to each other as adults, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions because we never got to have a real man to man talk with him. When he died we were both strung out crack and chasing the next high instead of trying to repair our relationship.

It was the mid 80's and I was now living with my father near San Jose..he had a new girlfriend named Vicky and she had a son my age and a daughter a few years older than us. The crack epidemic hit and rocked the world. They began freebasing, this would change things forever and I was now exposed to the dark world of crack cocaine. My father would get high and paranoia and would have my crawling in the floor behind him because he thought people were to get us. He would set booby traps around the house to make sure nobody would break in..all the windows had these little jingle bells on them so if someone were to open on the bell would ring.  Some nights my father would swear he hear the bells ringing and rush to pulled me out of bed  and tell me to get on the floor. He had his shotgun with him and was loaded it. He would crawl throught the house peeking out of windows chasing shadows. The bells he heard ringing I would imagine were from the rocks he was smoking...a fat hit of some good dope is know to give you a "bell ringer" auditory hallucination that some of you know well.
My father would drive to Hunters Point to cop his dope in the 80's ...Vicky or one of his other women took him out there and put him up on the crack game. Where to cop from and when..back when H.P was serving dope on damn neear every corner, sometimes he would cop over from Fillmore..the crack era was taking over...I learned this from the cassette recodings I found my father had made telling his life story. I have since lost these gems.

Crack tore apart the relationship with Vicky, she started fuckin people for dope and got real strung out and was known for disappearing for days at a time, she'd holed up in a rockhouse fucking people for dope.  She moved out and my fathers paranoia continued to escalate. He boarded up all the windows to the house so the neighbors couldnt sneak in or see him smoking dope inside...I didnt understand it at the time but looking back I can see his habit got worse.  He was  still maintaining a 100% professional image and you would never guess this man was a crack addict, his gift of gab of astonishing.

His job in the past had us moving around a lot, I can recall living in more that 20 different states before turning 10. He was part of the team thag developed that Zip+4 Program for the postal service (FYI-those are the last 4 digits after your zip code that helps give a more definitive location  of your address)

We eventually would move to the the West Bay, just a few miles from Hunter Point, a 10 minute drive. This would have been around 86 or 87, Crack was public enemy number one on the streets. I look back at the struggles my father went through to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table
and I understand why he got high, why he drank, and why he taught me the things he did at such you age.
At 15 I smoked my first joint laced with crack, we called them chewies. You roll a joint and crush up and sprinkle the crack with it...after the first time I fell in love with it as well. I loved the taste, I loved the numb lips, I loved being so high that I just didnt think or feel anything. Any cash I could come up with at that age went towards chewies. Everyone would chip in  $5 each and we could get all we could. Sometimes there would be up to10 of us and we would just roll up as many as we could and just smoke all day...everyone would get silent as hell and just zone off  into their  own zone when we smoked.  I fell in love and started selling weed to support my new habit.... all the profit would go into the after school smoke sessions, then I would just start bringing the weed and supplying it for the session and they would bring the crack. I spent a whole summer doing that 5 days a week and my rock star adventure with crack was just beginning...


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Burgundy Leggings

As I slide my back against the hot wall, I can feel the energy being sucked out of my body. Underneath my burgundy sweater and matching burgundy leggings lay the evidence of my plight. I am extremely malnourshed to the point that one can easily see all the ribs climbing up my back. I do eat- mostly a pint of ben and jerry's- when I am done working and can finally enjoy my fix. My legs are a serious of track marks and bruises therefore I am covered up on this hot day. I need to look shiny and new.

I am working the corner where the young girls stand. It is a few blocks down from the center for runaway youth. Men who drive up and down this street are looking for young girls; 14, 16, 18, but certainly not me. I am all washed up at the tender age of 22. But I still have a young face- especially when my eyes are pinned from heroin. Unfortunately, today is not that day. I had to pay rent on my room so I am sick, sick, sick. Usually, I would fix first and pay later but I was so far behind on rent that all my belongings would have ended up in the street. To get decent money as a hooker, you need a place to take the tricks. A quick blow job in the car may suffice for some of the customers. I preferred regulars. They were much less likely to kidnap me or cut my throat.

My friend had left this corner one day to do an outcall at a man's apartment. I had rules- I never went to their place, I never stayed the night, I never left the Tenderloin. Well, she smoked crack and was a little more desperate. She was young, blonde, beautiful, and 16 years old. She charged $35 for quick sex but this man was willing to pay much more for a home visit. When I saw her a few days later, she had just escaped from his apartment. It was, in fact, a torture chamber. He had got her to go inside where he raped and beat her while he smoked crack over her bloody body. She had scrapes and bruises from cramming her long body out a tiny bathroom window. Yet, here she was again.

"Are you alright Laura?" I asked naively. These things had never happened to me. At least, not yet.
She turned her face to the side so the passing traffic could not see the palm shaped bruise on her face.
"I am never going to get a date looking like this" she told me. "If you get money first, kick me down Tracey. I promise I will get you back".

I wasn't sure what to say to her. I knew why she did not go to the police. The humilation is not worth dealing with the reality that they were not going to do a fucking thing. Girls told each other of bad dates, of places to avoid, of how to survive. The outreach workers would come by and hand us condoms by the fist full. This was still the area of AIDS. I had heard stories of a girl with HIV working the streets with her oxygen tank. And men would still pick her up. The reality was many of these girls got HIV from their customers. You would hear of some giving out the virus as revenge for their condition.

I would never see Laura again. She was wrong. Someone did pick her up that day. She was part of the crowd of revolving faces that visited the corner in front of the Vietnamese Sandwich shop. I left a few months later. In the eyes of my peers, I had moved up in the world. I had found a sugar daddy- a 70 year old married man. He was willing to help me get off heroin as long as I accepted him as my sole client. I took him up on his offer. I stopped using heroin with a 21 day methadone detox and started using crystal meth a few days later.

There was no happy ending. There was no prince charming coming to save me from myself. I just switched from fucking stranger for money to attempting to fuck one man who could rarely get it up. It was safer for me. After a man tried to kill me down by some warehouses, I was ready for a break. My stint as a street prostitute was not a long one. A few months on the corner changed my life forever. I learned how to use sex to survive. I went from a 17 year old saving themselves for love to a drug addicted junkie covering their abscesses with burgundy leggings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Clean Sheets Translated into Portuguese

Lençóis Limpos

Acordava em lençóis limpos naquela manhã. Na verdade, eu havia trocado os lençóis na noite passada. Eu dormia com um edredon xadrez vermelho me cobrindo em uma noite quente. Dormia em uma cama queen size. A mola do colchão havia quebrado após treze anos de uso, então eu havia substituído a mola cerca de seis meses antes. O pé da cama box também havia quebrado na armação, e  tive que apoiá-la com alguns livros que eu tinha por aqui.

Eu estava inquieta na noite anterior. Tinha ficado me revirando na cama por causa do calor. Era como se os espíritos daqueles que se foram antes de mim quisessem relembrar algum outro momento comigo. Isso fez com que o meu suor me deixasse pregada naquele edredon sujo. Eu acordava contorcendo-me em agonia por causa das dores no estômago. Os buracos de queimaduras fizeram o poliéster do edredom ficarem ásperos. Meu cabelo estava grudado ao mesmo travesseiro sujo que uma centena de moradores daquele hotel barato já haviam usado antes de mim. Alguns fios de cabelo ainda permaneciam agarrados às fibras. Qualquer investigador de uma cena de crime ficaria confuso com os  mais de dez tipos de sangue de viciados espirrados na parede e de manchas de violência e auto-mutilação. Minha vida realmente era um show de horror.

A medida que eu me levantava arrastando minhas contra a parede suja, meu primeiro pensamento ao acordar era "foda-se a minha vida". E a dor não terminava aí. Esta era apenas a percepção da minha situação e não o começo de uma solução. Eu sentia a minha pulsação naquele momento. Tive agulhas pontiagudas enfiadas em minha perna e perdia a picada na minha coxa. E aquela massa vermelha e inchada de carne estava gritando "me leve ao médico", mas eu resistia. Precisava arrumar alguma forma de conseguir dinheiro. Eu corria contra o tempo. E os suspiros secos logo estariam sobre mim. Sem descanso para os maus.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Clean Sheets

I woke up inside clean sheets this morning. In fact, I changed the sheets last night. I slept between red flannel comfort on a warm evening. I slept on top of a queen sized bed. The box spring broke after thirteen years so I replaced it about six months ago. The wheel broke on the frame so I replaced it with some books I had laying around. 
I was restless last night. I was tossing and turning because of the heat. It was if the spirits of those that have passed before me wanted me to remember another time. A time when sweat made me stick to the dirty blankets. I would wake up writhing in agony from stomach cramps on the soiled comforter. The burn holes made the polyester comforter scratchy. My hair was stuck to the dirty pillow that a hundred residents of this cheap hotel had used before me. Some of their hairs remained in the fibers. A crime scene investigator would get confused by ten kinds of blood on the wall from junkies and violence and self harm. My life was truly a horror show. 

As raise my back against the dirty wall, my first thought upon waking is "fuck my life". The pain does not end there. This is just the realization of my situation, not the beginning of any solution. I feel the throbbing now. I had stuck my legs with dull needles and missed a shot in my thigh. The red, swollen mass is screaming "take me to the doctor" but I resist. There is money to be made. And I am running out of time. The dry heaves will be upon me soon. No rest for the wicked. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Guest Post- JF from US

For many getting high is a way to escape the shitty problems of everyday life. Everyone has struggles to get through, and the severity of the struggles changes from person to person.  To one person a certain lifestyle is a living hell, like slaving away at a job that never feels someone without a job they may see it as a dream each his own as they say.

Robin Williams's suicide has a big impact on the world, he became the epitomy of tbe phrase "tears of a clown"....he used humor to deal with his inner turmoil, and did it so well that only a few really knew his struggle.  I find myself doing the same thing, and living by the code of "if you dont laugh at it, it will drive you crazy"    and at times my humor is used at the wrong times, but its my coping mechanism....well my second coping mechanism....the first is heroin.   Heroin has this magic ability to make me just not think, it shuts off the voice in my head and allows me to "just live"...and when I cant get it...the baboon on my back throws a fit. I have a single connection, and I admit its probably better that way, If I was coppin on the streets id probably be dead.  See having one dealer is the only thing that limits my usage, we have some distance between us and its usually an hour drive to get to times im thankful he doesnt always come through or cant sell what I want to buy.  3 grams for $50....the expense I always seem to be able to afford. I havent bought clothes in a long time, my fridge right now is pitifully empty, and as you read this Im sittin in my car waiting to cop.  Whats my excuse today?.....had a fucked up day at work and I just want to stop thinking about it and fall into a peaceful nod.  I fear that one day that nod I love so much will be my last, yet I still find myself crawling back into the lair of the beast.   Fidgety and cranky, I sit her and examind my life and wonder what it would be like if I never got high.  I wonder if  I would have gone to college and made something of myself....something to be proud of.  Ive suffered from depression and anxiety for as long a i can remember, it wasnt until the last few years that I decided to see a doctor about it.  Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depression, PTSD, and panic attacks are something ive managed to live this long with..

Im not going to lie and say I havent thought of suicide on multiple occasions, I have. There have been many nights ive sat alone in a dark room with a gun in my hand, trying to find the courage to pull the trigger and end my pain....and each time I have been reminded that while my pain might end, I would only pass it on to those I leave behind...and this is what has kept me alive to this day, that and pure luck. 

At this moment all I can think about is the ritual performed before getting high...we all have one, whether you smoke dope or sboot it, we all know the ritual, and it differs from person to person. I have always been a snorter or smoker when it comes to my drugs. Needles and I never got along...just not my style.  Of course im sure it would be an amazing high, I just never took the big plunge.  Yes Ive been tempted, but after losing two friends to overdose and both were shooters, I managed to never cross that line.  Although I fantasize about the high and always told myself if I really wanted to kill myself, it would be by heroin overdose.....peacefully nodding off to never come back again.  My brother died from an opiate overdose, accidentally mixed the wrong combo of liquor valium and roxy's...he fell asleep and never woke up. No struggle, he just never wake up.  I think we all dream of such a peaceful death....but not all of us are granted it.

Still the thought of getting high consumes me, sitting bere waiting endlessly for a bliss that may never come...hoping I get that call or text thag its "all good"....I wait for that call like the women in my life waited for mine...drugs always took priority and have ruined many parts of my life, yet it remains the first love that few hear me admit too...

Ive gone sober for up to a year, giving up everything...but I always return....its like eating McDonalds, you know you will hate yourself afterwards, but you still do it, and you feel like shit when its gone.....but the temptation of that first bite draws you back.

As I watch time fly, my phone stuck suspended animation, waiting for a call....a call that may never come.  Most of the so called friends I used to used with have all disappeared, either in jail, gone crazy, or just fell off the face of the earth....therefore I am a lone addict, stuck in the suspense of waiting for the green light. Like a sprint waiting at the starting line for the gunshot, ready to take off at any second. As soon as I get the call, id be there in no time. Racing through the streets, on a mission to get to my destination.

Its bad when you start asking non-users if they can help you score....most of the time you use the old excuse "its not for me, its for someone else".....and you believe you are fooling them, but deep inside you both know the truth...its the fiend comin out in the worst way.  Dignity becomes disposable when you are desperate to get high, it gets put on the back burner...for some just for a little while, and for others....for eternity.   I look in the mirror and question why I havent turned around and said "fuck this rat race for dope"......Heroin, its like an evil version of Groundhog day,you wake up and repeat the same shit all over again expecting a different outcome...

I dream of a day where I didnt need a smoke, a snort, or a pill, or a drink to get through the day itself, but the dream fades quickly and is replaced by the neverending story of wanting to get high....the monkey on my bag always gets his way, and we play an evil game of poker with the chips on my shoulder...sometimes im up and feel im winning, and before you know it you have lost it all and sitting there with nothing to show for all the games you played.  Covering up a habit with excuses....Ive had the same "allergy attack" for god knows how many years now, yeah..especially when the coworkers and family notice your endless runny nose and snifflin.  Ive lied to everyone I love and still expect people to be honest with me, its a life of double standards...meanwhile I continue to dream of a life free from my addiction where excuses arent needed. I dont have issues, I have an entire fuckin subscription to this shit that automatically renews its self time after time.  

I look in the mirror again and ask myself "why do I put myself through this?...why dont I just drive home and call it a night?"

But no answer comes and the clock continues to tick....the fear of getting that call as im headed back keeps me paralyzed and waiting...minutes turn to hours, and I know I wont get what I need....3 grams is too much for him to spare, now he can only give me one, because like me.....he also is waiting for a call.  I dont think patience has ever been one of my strong points, which is one of the reasons I fear having kids...that and passing on my fucked up genes and addictive bloodline.  I wonder how I would react if I found out my son was getting high...and I draw a blank.  How could I talk my future son into doing something I cant....quit drugs.

Its all part of this fucked up mess called my life, by no means am I insinuating that I have a worse life than whoever may be reading thing....but this is my story, at least for today

Maybe one day I will have a reason to live besides getting high, maybe the chemical imbalance caused by years of drug abuse will level out and I wont crave the high....I always thought I would just grow out of it, but still I remain hopelessly lost and powerless to this drug.

I pray one day to be free....I dont think today is that day but maybe some form of higher power is the reason for this. Ive thought about trying religion to break free from this....maybe there is a God of some form that can overpower my endless quest.

Alone, walking down this same dark path ive traveled countless time....waiting to find a heaven that isnt weighed on a scale and wrapped in plastic.

Still I remain......#addicted