Saturday, March 30, 2013

What lies fall from your lips?

What lies fall from your lips? I touch your skin, the bruises just begin to form. I feel your breath on my neck. Two skeletons embrace. Your skin, your trade, your body used by those who do not know you. I touch your face. The dimness sets into your eyes. Oh, those lies. Those lies.

I have no one. I am no one. I am on my knees crying into your stained jeans. Where will we go? What will we do? Will it still be me with you? I need money and we have no time. Can I hold you just a minute more? The warmth of all your lies.

I know what you do for money. I do the same things too. Bring me pain or bring me joy. I live under your heel. To me, you are real. I taste you, I touch you, I leave you, I love you. I listen to all your lies.

Chewed at by rats

All of this writing has brought up a ton of emotions for me. Many days I am on the verge of tears. I am recalling people who have not walked the Earth in many years. I am thinking about goodbyes I never delivered. I am seeing horror scenes in my mind.

I also remember a group of kids that were so curious about life. Half of my teenage friends ended up being junkies. Unfortunately, I was one of the first to succumb to temptation. I cleaned up nicely though. However, the scars are there. Some are literal, some are figurative.

People have asked me about my scars. I had an infection that went in between the bones in my leg. I covered it with a tattoo of a butterfly caught in a web- symbolic of my addiction. Where the lines are broken is where the hole goes in. I am posting pictures of my scars. My son is partially in the picture contrasting my life today with my past. This blog is my art and I am complete exposed here - arm scar, leg scar, other leg and track marks. We are off to little league day today. The scars fade and we move on.

Friday, March 29, 2013


I took pics today for you readers. Frank Norris was the hustler alley. Fern alley is one alley I used to sleep in. I also threw in pictures of a doorwell I used to sleep in. This space was much coveted because you could stay dry in there during rainstorms. It used to have A loves T carved in the side for Aaron loves Tracey. One night the rodent brought me roses after hitting me and I threw them on the ground. This is also the spot where I first met Ben. Lots of ghosts here in this unremarkable spot.
This whole area has been gentrified. I was horrified and disappointed by what the neighborhood has become- hipster paradise. The history of the place has been erased as if the hundreds of list souls had never been there. I can name at least thirty dead people who sat here within me. All traces of us are erased.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Ben was heroin addled fantasy from the time. I had just been released from
jail after six long months. I had spent most my time of planning for things that would never happen. My first week in jail was spent recovering from surgery. When I was arrested, I had four large abcesses. An abcess is a place where bacteria gets under the skin and the flesh starts to rot. I had to have surgery on my arm. When I took of the bandage, I cried. Not because I was in the hospital, not because I was in jail. I cried because they had sliced open my tattoo! The horror of it all. I used to take a sterile needle and cut them open myself. Needless to say, my nickname was the abcess queen.

When I was back on the streets, I felt alone. I gave up my homeless encampment living for a hotel either the help of my parents. They believed I could stay clean but I did not. Ben was another resident of the hotel at the intersection of addiction and sorrow. His hoodie and cut off Ben Davis caught my eye. First we were strangers, then we were friends.
We both agreed that we were together as a couple with nothing more than sharing a half gram.

Ben had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. He could hold a conversation. We liked to read and write. We did not have a sexual relationship as normal couples do. Drugs were our sex and words were our drugs. He had a few friends that would visit. They never understood why he would be with me.
He loved me as we lay dying in our queen sized sheets. He hated me for our disease. We fought but we had our silent agreements. We enjoyed the fantasy of having an other.

The drugs that brought us together tore us apart. That was the end of our endless discourse. We got together because we needed each other. We would lay on the bed with our clothes on. We clung to each other and wondered how we were transported into the depths of despair. We awoke daily to the bussle and the hustle. The trust walked out the door and I went with it.

He called me from jail a few months before he died to apologize for all the pain that had come between us. He had seen "Black Tar Heroin" in the jail. For a split second, I almost did not accept his regrets but I relented. We all made our mistakes. My mistake was accepting less. His mistake was giving up too soon.

He had a tattoo on his neck that read rejected. I thought he was perfect for me, perfect for that time in my life. I remember many of those arguments now and have to laugh. The abcess queen and Ben and those days captured forever for your viewing pleasure. It is strange now to see him say that he loved me and know that he is dead. I notice things like the fact that he is wearing my pants in the movie- all the intimate details. He promised me in that call from jail he would consider recovery. I wish he would have made it. He did not get the chance to try a second or third time like me. I remember the good things like how he wanted us to write a book this one...

Who are you?

Who are you my readers? I would really love to know more about you. I have had over 10,000 page views in two months. I know the countries that are visting but not the readers. Please feel free to leave anonymous commnets here, ask me questions or email me privately at


My history and my work

I live up on the hill. Little boxes on the hillside all around me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Rodent

This is a rework of some of the blog entries. It is a rough chapter from my book. Uneditted so give me some leway. I am going to take a writing day next. week. I am cranking out 10 pages or so a week. Enjoy.
The Rodent
One man in particular kicked the door into my life. I was a loner in my addiction. I was living in Austin alleyway. I used to live in an alleyway right off the hustler alley. For the most part the businesses wouldn't complain about the homeless residents. Either that or the police didn't really care. They knew most of us by name. The chevron gas station was nice enough to let us use the bathroom there so I had some shred of humanity left. I never stayed one night in a homeless shelter. I felt safer outside. Enclosed places made me paranoid after years of doing crystal meth.

             I am not sure what was going on that summer. The police rarely made our encampment more to a new spot. They would rile us every few days. In general though, that summer produced some limited stability. I was camping out with my best friend Brian. He is one of the few people I don’t mention calling by their name. He was the first person I had met that had actually BEEN clean. He had been in a program as a 21 year old. We would drink St. Ides, listen to Kool G Rap, and talk about changing our lives. I can’t say I was particularly happy or unhappy at the time. The only thing I knew was that I was vulnerable to the elements.
          When I met Him, I wasn’t expecting much so I didn’t get it. He wasn’t my type. He had a car, manners, he was old- much older than he actually was at the time. I would have guess prison, I would have never guessed murderer although he did wear that off-the-yard cologne. He had dark brown eyes that bounced around like fireflies escaping destiny on a dark night. He broke into my life like he broke into cars. He smashed the window, took what he could get, and left me to pick up the shattered pieces. I don’t think I even loved him unless fear is love. Although, if a dog fears you, I don’t think they really love you because they are still waiting for an opportunity to run out the door. I am sure when I was with him, I had that same far-away look. I was waiting for the door to open on my opaque opportunity for escape.

            I hate him. I hate Mr. Rodent. I saw him in his car one day. He had some old two door he had drove up from Florida. He was everything I hated in a man. He was slick, he was short, he had game, and he had his eyes set on me. He has the lone wolf quality. He centered on the pack animal that wandered off. He was vibrant. He had manner. He had me in his sights and I was the prey of the day.
            I spent most of my addiction alone. I would sit and stare out the window for hours. Or stare at the ceiling. Many times I wished I would die but I never really thought of killing myself until I met him. I was sitting in the alley. He asked me if I wanted a Snapple. He offered me a ride in his car. Why do I need a ride? I’m living in an alley. I think he liked the fact that I was snarky and abusive. My tongue was my only self defense. One thing I learned from this man over the eighteen months we were together was how to defend myself. Between him beating me and stalking me, my life was out of my hands the minute I drank that Snapple on that hot day in Austin alley.
            On our second date, he broke down my door because I wouldn’t open it for him. I realized at that moment that there would be no rest until this ended. Between the broke noses, the humiliation, the isolation, and lack of privacy I see the real way to torture someone who thinks they are above this treatment. I had an invisible leash and a head full of messages telling me I could never, ever leave. I thought I was stronger than this, I told myself.
             I had spent $40 for a place to be alone at the Bristol hotel. I had a room with a bathroom that I had turned a trick to get. I needed to get away for a few days. I often would wander off by myself for days to get my mind right. I never should have let him sleep in my bed. He was a creature of opportunity. He saw that I had something that he wanted. It turned out that his hustle was leeching from others. Male, female, transgender. Friend or recent enemy. It was a surprise to learn that he traded sex for drugs when nothing really surprised me. He had been in prison for manslaughter and learned to use whatever tools necessary to survive.
            He kicked in the door into my life. The message was- you belong to me. Your are not going to leave me. He made sure EVERYONE knew. He would smack the gum out of my mouth. Take the sandwich out of my hand. Beat my ass and turn the light off. “SHHH. I’ll be back.” There would be another bang at the door. It was check out time. He rarely came to see the damage he caused unless he needed something more from me.
            Quickly, no place in the tenderloin would rent a room to me. -“ Too many problems!
            That was what I had, too many problems. A woman on drugs is truly a woman alone. The point could be argued but not to me. Many, many nights I felt my skin crawl. One of the areas where I would sit and drink a 40 was an area that has one of the highest concentration of sex offenders in the country. Every time I got out of a car, any time I had my own money, I was never alone. I found out, it was much better to have a boyfriend who was a hustler because they may be having sex with men but they have their own damn money. This man, this rodent, this rabid rodent had me.

            He held me down with a knife to my throat. This was the day I was drowning. He was always threatening to kill me. Sometimes he tried. I walked that day. I walked miles to the ocean. First I threw the knife into the ocean. Then my shoes- green clam shell Adidas. Then I threw myself. The water was cold but I wanted to keep walking to have this world end. And then I started drowning.
            He was killing me this man. But now I was drowning. The tide was sucking me out. The water was cold. My clothes were pulling me down. I realized when I surrendered to death that I wanted to live. The water, gasping for air. This relationship is killing me but I will not die.

No one rescued me although people on the shore, strangers, covered me with a blanket. This relationship is killing me. He is killing me. The drugs are killing me.

I survived that day. I didn't stop using that day but he never had the same grip on me. I knew I would get away. KNEW it.
                        I would disappear from him. He knew where to find my stuff, right off of Polk street, but he rarely knew where to find me. A this point in my addiction, I had lost both my contacts AND my glasses. I can barely see my hand in front of me without either. I could not see him watching me. I would feel a presence as he ran up and tapped me on the shoulder. He liked to catch me off guard, sometimes slapping me, other times knocking me down. Why did I talk to that person? Why did I do this or that? The constant questioning was exhausting. I wanted to lay on my dirty blankets and sleep forever. Sleep until he was gone.
            Strangely, I found a solution. It started easily enough. Depressed. Sitting in the bed with my clothes still on. I don’t have the energy to make anything happen for myself. I have slept 14 hours. Or maybe 15. I am not sure. My hair hurt. I’m tired. I am in mood again. I thought I had these feelings suppressed better than a happy memory.. I can’t eat enough sugar, take enough baths, spent enough money to get these enormous stones off my chest. The world is slanted and blurry. I still remember. I lay by myself on a sidewalk…
            I have done maybe a gram of speed today. I am laying behind my shopping chart on my blankets in a dirty parking garage on Sutter street, San Francisco. 25 years old, hopeless and homeless. It’s been raining recently and the rain comes in the garage and homeless kids sleep around the puddles if they sleep at all. It is safer to travel in packs when you are young and on the street. I am older but I am only a minor threat. I will take your drugs but I won’t rape you in your sleep so that makes me a companion worth having. I thought I was doing well for awhile. I had a little job at a store. I would clean up and park my shopping cart in back. But, here I am again. I am laying on my side, in my clothes.
            I have shot maybe and gram of that grey stinking speed and I am still not fucking high because no amount of drugs can hide the fact that that muther fucker may come back to terrorize me at any minute. He has already beaten me, broken my nose. He held me hostage with a knife behind the movie theater. I was wearing a cotton nightgown because it was hot outside. I never met a homeless woman like me. It was like I never even realized that the world takes place indoors and I was in some state of limbo where demons had access to me 24/7 in the toilet of an alley I called my home. No amount of wool blanket cardboard, or carts with nice wheels could move me into reality as long as I injected powder depression straight to my body I was suffocating with utter neglect. I was about 119 pounds at this time. Why would any man want to fight with me when I had already surrendered to my fate? I had given up on the dream and the shadows ran into on ear and out the other.-
            I can’t remember if it was 95 or 96. But, Believe it or not, this story has a happy ending if you call violence happy. The violence wasn’t directed at me for once. It was directed at my tormentor and a hero emerged from the alley. On that day, at that very moment, in the rain, laying on my side, a dark knight in shining flannel emerged. “Tracey, who did this to you.” He knew (and I knew) that no one was doing anything to me at that moment. It was the collective done, the heavy sadness that is an injustice so great that people poison themselves with drain-o and red phophorus to escape into broken dreams.

            A year later was when my messenger arrived with a message of hope. “Who did this to you?” I gave his name, rank, and serial number. If he thought he was some kind of street soldier, he would have to deal with my friend the quiet assassin. I am not sure why exactly John took up my cause. It wasn’t for sex because we never slept together. It wasn’t for money because I didn’t have any that didn’t go in my arm. It wasn’t for revenge because he has never met HIM. To this day, I would like to believe he took on my lost cause because it was the right thing to do for me. He promised me that day he would find HIM and he would take care of it. And, he did.
            I would disappear from them both though. The rodent knew where to find my stuff, right off of Polk street. He knew where to find me. A this point in my addiction, I had lost both my contacts AND my glasses. I can barely see my hand in front of me without either. I could not see him watching me. I would feel a presence as he ran up and tapped me on the shoulder. He liked to catch me off guard, sometimes slapping me, other times knocking me down. Why did I talk to that person? Why did I do this or that? The constant questioning was exhausting. I wanted to lay on my dirty blankets and sleep forever. Sleep until he was gone.
            The answer was so simple it was beyond my reach. As long as I had the one thing this person needed, he would never leave me alone. He was in some type of relationship with some other person at this point. I was grateful but his visits did not stop. I wanted to rest. I returned to the warm comfort of a hot spoon. Heroin. My friend. My confidant. Heroin does not judge you. It embraces your return. Heroin is a snake that wraps around you. The snake is smooth and friendly. It provides you companionship at the expense of all others.  Then it swallows you whole.
            Heroin. He hated heroin. He wanted my speed but hated heroin. “Can I have some of that?” At first I thought hell no. Why would I share my little ends with you- a drug you do not even enjoy? Then, the answer came to me. Yes. Yes. I am more than willing to share. Again. I will share again. And again. They say that revenge is a dish served cold but this was served in forty unit increments.
“I am not feeling well.”
“Really?” I ask calmly “what do you think is wrong?”
            Four days. Four days you have come by and sucked up the brown syrup that envelops my existence. You have shared in my numb exchange. But now, you will share in my fury. You, my friend, are dope sick. And me, your weary connection, is all out of ends. Bye bye. He was off.
Dear revenge, thank you. The justice fit the crime. He beat me to get my speed but I won. He came in with a bang.  He left with a whimper. That was THE END.
I needed this guy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


            There was a woman in my life. She was my muse. He used her for his amusement. It hurt me to see her in pain. She was everything I was not. I was not strong. I was not able. I was capable of doing only the minor while she was a major part of my life. My admiration made her slightly uneasy. It never had a word. we were friends then and that had to be enough.  

            She was a single mother in her twenties. I was a teenager trying to navigate adulthood with a broken moral compass. I used to sit in her apartment and think of her as my muse. If I could only reach her level of perfection! She was able to keep the patchwork quilt of her life sewn together with dental floss. It was slightly waterproof, able to resist her tears. “WHY do you let him treat you like this? You deserve so much better.” I told her this because she was my muse. I was headed into the spoon. I did not know it then but the rush of instability was on the way. She knew about the unstable. She found a way to stay like the rock she was carved from. Alabaster like her skin.

            She was his muse too. Except he had stopped creating anything except the pain I saw in her face. Do not get involved in their relationships. Do not give her advice. I told myself again and again. Yet, she was my muse. She was perfect, ethereal and untouchable. His dirty hands made me want to wash my mind out. I had trouble seeing them together. Why why why why why.

            She is happy now. As adults we are happy. She not with a him. Me not with a she. We were friends then. I drifted away to be my own mess but for a brief moment, she was my muse.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Man of constant sorrow"

It is approaching the anniversary of the death of my father. My father died the day my son was born. I had a complicated relationship with my father. As a child, I idolized him. It seemed as if he do anything. He took me fishing. He could play cards and pool. He had friends who had horses. He knew all about sports. It seemed as if he could answer any question.

As I got older, I noticed many of our interactions revolved around the ebbs and tides of his drinking. I started to see this man through a different lense. I did learn some important skills from him. I learned how to hide my feelings. I used to take my fingers and put them in candle wax. The burning sensation mirrored my feelings. At first I felt the pain but eventually I was numb to everything around me.

In my entire life, I have only had a few open discussions with my father. One was when he was in rehab. My parents used everything I said in group therapy against me at one point or another. They were so focused on their relationship many times I felt as if I was in their way. She was trying to fix him and he just needed his fix.

The second of our frank discussions was a few nights before my high school graduation. Many nights I depended on my father for a ride to something of significance in my life and he would reek of booze. That night, the night of my final choral performance was no difference. He drank just enough to keep the shakes away that night. When he dropped me off, I had been presumptuous enough to tell him of his failures as a parent.

I had a third conversation with my father when I was calling collect from jail. I was kicking heroin. Of course I was in search of money but he gave me something else. My father never acknowledged my addiction. Never. Even after I was clean, he ignored the cancer that had spread through our family. My addiction made him look moderate in comparison.

He gave me one piece of advise. " All of my friends were in the cemetery or the penitentiary". I realized my father understood my pain. Our blood is the same. Our heart beats loudly and our wounds heal slowly. I realized that we finally had something in common. We share the same affliction, this addiction. It swallowed us whole. At last, I understood, I am him.

I had one more conversation in recovery. It was not more than a few sentences but I relieved his burden. I forgave him and I began to forgive myself. I never understood this man as my father but I understand him now as an addict in recovery. He wanted to be so much more.

Below is a link to the Stanley Brothers "man of constant sorrow". I bought my dad a documentary about the Stanley Brothers. He grew up listening to them. It was the only gift I ever gave him that I knew he liked.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Good morning friends

I am taking today off. My wrist has been hurting from typing so much lately. I need to spend some family time. The weather is sunny and warm. I enjoy my life. I enjoy the freedom of a life without drugs.

You will notice that we have bars on the windows. I actually like them for some reason. I wanted to keep them. Besides, it is not the first time I have been behind bars or in them. Not sure if this joke will make it through google translator. Have a good day.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Welcome more new readers

Bem-vindo , Bienvenidos Ahla w sahla , Dobrodošli, Vítáme vás , Καλώς Ορίσατε, Üdvözlet,  Tervetuloa , Willkommen, Välkommen , Mabuhay
أهلاً و سهلاً

Nailing a Corpse

I have a whole series of stories entitled Necrophilia about the relationship between a sober person and an addict. Having a relationship or having relations with me must have been a challenge. For many years, I was dead on the inside.

I had filled my life to make myself completely inaccessible to any type of romantic interest. I was working fourth to fifty hours a week, going to school at night,and avoided any type of eye contact. I had a few one night stands in early recovery that had taught me I was still a very sick person. I let myself be caught in useless sex traps when I easily could have given myself more credit. Or at least I could have selected better partners.

Any brush of a whisker, the smell of cologne, any hand upon my wrist made me think of stabbing someone. Go numb or kill them. Really. My brain was hard wired to animalistic strategies for survival. In my solitude, my little room, I slept with a sweat shirt or blindfold over my eyes and a knife near my bed. I was never sure where I was when I woke up for many years after I stopped using drugs. The memories would not stop. Do not touch a sleeping addict. Do not test their ability to cope with the new. After fifteen years inside, I can still sleep on a floor anywhere with no blanket but wake up in less than a second. Yeah, the primal is that strong.

Loving an addict is like reanimation or alchemy. You are bringing back what was dead or never existed and creating a model of love.

 A reader send me some of his music so I wanted to post his link here. Click away.

I read all of your comments. My readers are very important to me.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


You are having a baby. You are close to thirty seven years old. Children are meant for planners and young people. They callously have sex to produce genetically perfect offspring. That will not be you. You are a sinner. What kind of punishment does God provide to those who dare to cross all boundaries of morality yet claim to want a family?

After losing one child to miscarriage I knew I was being punished for having sucked too many dicks for money. There was not even that many but even one makes you a target for cosmic retribution. The death of my hero- my first attempt at a child. I was a failure as a woman and it stung like a missed hit. It was my fault, I knew it somehow. I had to mourn.

The amniotic test. Will you allow them to stick a needle in your old stomach to suck out proof that you can not produce any thing that is good or healthy? Please please please spare my child the mark of the mother. I feel the cramping, the needle the waiting. What will I do now?

What if something is different about my child? Can I blame them for being something less than perfect? Why did I wait so long for you? Why am I testing out a fantasy? A perfect healthy baby- a dream.

I'm waiting for the call for my future. All the chromosomes line up. Maybe God or nature is a forgiving witness. They know how I wanted my babies

A mother and her love

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An addict alone is in bad company

This is my favorite line from any type of recovery literature. I discharged from the treatment facility August 26 1998. I had obtained a small job, a little bit of clean time. I had no clue how to live in society.

I applied to move into a transitional house run by the Salvation Army. The place was exactly where I did not want to live. It was on the same street where I used drugs. It was in the same area. The difference- I had changed. I was willing to do anything necessary to stop using drugs. The problem was that I was scared of everything. Waves of dread would pour over me when I would stand near the door of my tiny room. The walls were bare. My shoes were lined in perfect order. My bed was made. Every item in the room was tidy but I was a mess inside.

Some days I would stand at my door and hold there. My heart was beating so fast the blood rose over me. I was weak with thought. I was never afraid to stick a needle in my arm but I was afraid to have a conversation. Frozen. I had no masks. I was stripped down to the core of insecurity. There were no drugs to stand between me and you. I was thrown into the world, reborn and alone. Frozen at the door.

The DOPE Project (Drug Overdose Prevention and Education)

Please check out the DOPE Project on facebook for more information on innovative programs to prevent overdose. I worked there for three years providing drug overdose information and naloxone for drug users. These programs save lives. Naloxone is a drug that can be quickly administered to reverse an opiate overdose. I am attaching link to the dope project and an overdose prevention video I was a part of many years ago.     
Overdose prevention video I participated in

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


What does clean mean? I went into rehab from the jail.I am a person whom is lucky enough to say my county paid for me to get clean. the rehabilitation center I entered was not known for having a good sucess rate. It was a program that was paid for by Criminal Justice. I was to be one of ten females in a facility with eighty men. The numbers fluctuated but the pressure to maintain self-esteem was on from day one. How can I get recovery in this place?
The day I went to the treatment facility I had a few months clean. I had attended a few 12 step meetings. There was this thing called recovery. I wanted this thing so badly despite having any understanding of the substance. I was put back into my own clothes, which barely fit, and transported into this place. recovery, the process of regaining ones self was already starting for me. It was as if I was starting at the starts and did not notice the Earth was moving when I turned down drugs in the jail.
At what they called the "main meeting", the meeting where the whole "house" needed to be, my life changed forever. The speaker Wilson was electrifying. He had been in Milestones nearly a year. he had a job, a girlfriend, money in the bank as evidenced by his jewelry.
"Look around the room. Of the people that are sitting here, two of you are going to make it."

My heart stopped. ME I have to be one of those people. i was not sure of the reality of my peers. I knew my reality. I am not going back to all my belongings in  shopping cart. I am not going back to those alleyways. I am not going back to that insanity. I am not going back. period.

I am not sure what happened to the other 79 people. Some stayed clean. other did not. I was told Wilson relapsed and died of heart failure in his addiction. The last time I saw him, all the light had escaped from his body. Only the addiction remained. As for me, I am not going back.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Michelle and the Speed Years

this is a few pages from a chapter in the book I am working on:

I would love to be able to tell you that Michelle looked like the Southern belle you heard on the telephone. Tall, scarred, and black – black – black. That was definitely the first things I noticed about Michelle. Her ID said her name was Darryl but no one ever called her that (unless she was in prison). I had heard from the other Queens that was how she got that scar on her face. They say in all those National Geographic prison shows that a huge scar down the side of you face marks you as a snitch. I found her story more believable. Her lover at the time, a well known bank robber, told her that if he couldn’t have her, he would fuck up her looks for life. I find this a much more plausible excuse. Why would a 6’4” queen be afraid of a little time anyway when all she would get is the love, attention, and affection that no one with clear vision would give her as long they saw her in the light of day. That was why it was so easy to love her over the phone. That syrupy sweet voice saying “Hello”, inviting you for sweet tea and syringes.

. If she wanted his money, she could have had it. She was a PRO. She knew just button to push when she got close to you to get in your pants. It even worked on me. She told ALL the queens that I could find a vein. This put me in high demand for my unique services as I would be invited to help the girls “freshen up” mid-wax before their night on the town. This was the beginning of story time. Even the hardest of prison bitches loved to talk after a half-gram.
            The name is pretty hilarious when I think back to it. The Ambassador Hotel. I am not sure what type of world relations were being promoted there. The hotel was known in the early 90’s as the epicenter of HIV. Well, maybe not the epicenter for some people. In the early days of HIV, they would a person they had two years to live. Go home, have some fun, make arrangements because you are going to die. The hotel was a mix of long term tenants, AIDS hospice, and weekly rented rooms. At the time, hotels would kick you out every 28 days so you would not have any type of renter rights.
When I moved into the hotel, I had done a “successful” methadone detox. I guess you could say it was successful because I stopped the daily use of heroin. Benzos and speed had taken over. My prostitution days were pretty much over at this point. When you no longer have to support a daily fix, a person is MUCH less desperate. There are some key difference between a speed/crack and heroin addiction. Crack says “I don’t really smoke crack but I will try some.” Then it says “I don’t really smoke crack. Do you have some?”. Then it says “ I don’t really smoke crack because I can stop for days at a time”. On the other hand, heroin is the grim reaper knocking “hello BANG BANG BANG. Bitch get up. FEED ME.” A heroin addict is generally not in denial. They are fully aware they have a problem. They may not care enough to do anything about it from nod to nod.
My old sugar daddy was willing to put me up somewhere so he could keep tabs on me. The Ambassador was the stages of hell inside. In one room was a man in a diaper to sick to hold the pipe so his “friend” would do it for him. In another room, a man lay dying while people emptied out his things. In another room, a child molester made a porn collage out of thousands of tying prices of pornography no more than a half inch high. When I moved to the room with the bathroom, he was my neighbor. I was always paranoid he was going to take off the covers off the outlets that adjoined our rooms so he could see inside. There were drag queens, trannys, ho, hustlers, strawberries, domestic violence and beauty. The hotel had it all.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


A reader asked a question the other day about the type of housing that is available here for addicts such as the rooms featured in Black Tar Heroin. The main type of housing is single room occupancy hotels or SROs .

I am not sure of the going rate but one hotel I stayed in was $35 a rate plus a $5 fee to have anyone visit your room. The hotel was over run by rats and roaches. Cockroaches are curious and if you leave meth out, they come in droves to get a whiff.
I had an albino rat in my room. We used to keep the balloons of heroin in our mouth. If the police stopped us, we would swall the drugs. Then we would have to throw them back up in the sink. I was always in debt to Flacco. I would use up more than my share of heroin so I would need to account for every single bag. We took the sink apart to find a missing balloon and mr rat appeared.
Man people would use the bathroom in the sink because the bathrooms were so dangerous hence the term "piss in the sink" hotels. People would pay $5 to come in and stay in the bathrooms. I would take over the shower room with syringes scattered on the floor as I tried to use steam to make a vein appear.
"Check out time" banging on the door at 11 am. The hotels hated to rent to single women as residents but in the worst hotels they would bring tricks to your room if you were late on the rent. No thanks. Some hotel managers were also loan sharks, others bought stolen property.
There were a few that tried to keep their hotels safe and clean. I never could afford those places. The city of San Francisco has taken over many of these hotels because they were unfit for human habitation. The few hotels that are left can be $75 a night and much more dangerous.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ripping at the seams

This is the beginning of another holiday season. While some people favor Christmas, I prefer the Easter season.

As a child in America, Easter can be horrifying. I cannot tell you how many times I screamed at the television. " why are they being so mean! Why hurt Jesus?" I cried and cried, shoving my face with peeps marshmallow candies. My mother insisted until the day she died that we went to church but I think that was what she WANTED to remember.

As a parent, I enjoy the festive completion of children knocking each other over for plastic Easter eggs. I could swear one year we must have attended five hunts. I was crushing eggs as they were scattered from end to end in our tiny house. One of my fondest memories as a child was finding the golden egg. I won a Fisher Price little people A frame doll house. It was one of the greatest of miniature accomplishments.

Today I sorted through old report cards, yearbooks, and pictures. How many happy years as a family did we have left after this picture was taken? Were my parents happy here? I see us in our finest clothes but the real question: Was the fabric of their relationship ripping at the seams?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writing a book

Well you aren't "invited to my suicide". Or maybe you are. How much blood do you want to see splattered on the page. Doctor, I think the victim will live. Bitter, jealous, full of rage.
Exercising thoughts I long fought gone, recalling days I long wished past, driving nails into my hands, a martyr to the very last.
I type, I shiver, I quiver with fear.I write the words and you appear. I gave you passage through my heart. Again I suffer for my art.
Oh woes are me. And so is joy. I will tell my story if you will hear me. This bag of tales has made me weary. I smear my past with invisible ink. It is there but not to be seen. A dream. a drama. Mother mama, wife friend and queen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Odd facts about homelessness

I was thinking about some random facts about being homeless that is learned from personal experience:
1. You can have more than one kind of lice. Ive had body lice and head lice at the same time. body lice get quite large. A few months before getting clean I remember pan handling in front of Macys. I counted 200 body lice before I lost count. You have to squish their heads to kill them. When I was living in abandoned buildings, my two friends and I had a lice fight. We put lice from each one of our bodies on a cup. Apparently the lice from the different hosts don't like each other. Who knew?

2. Not all homeless people stay in shelter. Personally, i felt like I would rather take my chances outside. i didn't like being in an enclosed space with people I did not know. To this day, I still take the sleeve from a sweatshirt and drape it over my eyes. it blocks out the kight and makes me feels safe

3. Places to use the bathroom are few and far between. Considering the average person has to use the bathroom 8 times a day, you would think there would be more places for homeless people to go in a humane space.

4. Tampons and hygiene products are completely beyond reach when you are homeless. Fortunately, one of the advantages of being homeless is that you stop getting your period. Is you ask your drug addict boyfriend for money for tampons, prepare to get no sympathy.

5. When you are homeless, there is no good place to masturbate.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Welcome New Readers

Hong Kong, Moldova, Macedonia, Austria, Czech Republic, India, Hungary, Estonia, Israel. I get around 100-150 readers a day from all over the world. Thank you.


Ian is dead. He was another in a long string of dead friends. The list goes on and on. He was homeless, essentially couch surfing in Cincinnati when I met him. He was around 5'9". He had short hair, a peach fuzz semi mustache. I have doubts he ever needed to shave. Ian would get fucked up and cry. Not cry like a little bitch like woe is me but cry a guttural cry like a wounded animal.
My apartment was full of a string of misfits but he held a special place in my heart. He was one of those street kids who never expected anything but never had anything either. He had no real hustle. His piercing blue eyes would stop any self respecting punk rock girl dead in their tracks.
At the time I was falling into the abyss of my own addiction. I still barely had a job and an apartment so I had a little something to share. I hated getting loaded with him. Why are you crying? Fuck! You are messing up my high.
I came home one day. I had a stand up mirror that someone had shattered. Ian had cut himself all over with the jagged pieces. He had trickles of blood all over the hurried slashes. Any depressed person knows the Mantra- down not across- if you REALLY want to kill yourself. I took a piece of the mirror" what the fuck is wrong with you ?! Do you want want blood?" I sliced open the top of my forearm. Blood gushed everywhere. Ian tried to help me. "Don't do that stupid shit again Ian. I fucking love you. Everyone loves you." I hugged him, took a drink and I cried. What is inside a person so beautiful to make them want to destroy themselves ?
The last time I saw Ian was out in SF. He liked my girlfriend and she wanted him to stay. I heard someone killed Ian in the Midwest somewhere. He was beautiful and I loved him. I still have the scar to prove it.

Thanks to K Dizzle for the pic

Monday, March 11, 2013

The candy colored clown

I have been home with a sick child for close to three days. It is amazing how the first thing a child wants when they are sick is their mother.
I don't talk much about my children here. To me they are a gift so precious that to talk of them is to brag. I see myself in them at different ages. I see the person I am today. I wonder about the person I could have become if my childhood would have been different.
One child is precocious and gifted. One child is emotional and sweet. The last child is a little athlete. It is hard to think of any of them struggling as I did as an adult. I want to lock them in a room and take care of them forever.
Their new awareness surrounds my weight. They enjoy asking me about my fatness. Why are you fat? Why do you have a big tummy? I could just brush it off but I feel like I need to be honest with them. I ate too much junk food. I want to be honest with them so they make good choices.
On the other hand, my daughter asked me today what happens when two butterflies spend time close to each other. Ejole! Not ready to answer those questions. When is honesty too much? When do I tell them about my addiction? It is an interesting question. For now, I feel it topic better discussed in whispers. Sort of like with the butterflies
My lullaby for my children is "In dreams" by Roy Orbison. I am the candy colored clown they call the sandman. Go to sleep. Everything is alright.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Room to grow

Some days I am grateful just to have clean underwear. I have about 40 pairs. I have very few pairs of socks and one good pair of shoes. I don't need many material things to make me happy. I need projects like my garden.
One of my favorite projects is to grow a tiny garden in the spring. I buy some organic non GMO heirloom seeds. I figure if they are the product of generations of hearty living, they are a perfect match for me. I grow tomatoes every year. Two years ago, the vines shot up eight or nine feet. Last year was different. It was too cold so the vines did not really take off until fall. The seasons have passed. Instead of pulling out the vines, I got attached to these plants. Stubborn or foolish, I didn't want to give up on them. I could have used my pots for something else but I wanted to wait. It is march now. The vines have been in pots for almost a year. They are producing tomatoes, a few a week.
To me, the tomatoes are a metaphor for my life. Beautiful things come up but not necessarily where and when I expect them. If I continue to care for the things around me, eventually I will see the fruits of my labor.
I am very attached to these awkward tomatoes. It is spring again. It is time to plant new seeds. I am sentimental About my vines. I am going to let them grow a few more months as a reminder of the power of resilience. They survive as I survive. They are round, a little seedy, and able to hang anywhere.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The domestic arts

I am spending my day digging out from having way too much fun last weekend. I'm plowing through four loads of laundry, dishes, dirty countertops, an overflowing cat box. There are cloth diapers that need to be stuffed, meals that need to be planned. I'm soaking beans for tomorrow's soup. I make soup every Sunday. It solves two major issues: saving time and getting enough vegetables. I spent 6 years trying to kill myself with drugs now I'm worried about GMOs.
My mom was never much of a cook. I am not sure what happened. It seemed as if her generation truly bought into the notion that processed food was better. TV dinners, canned fruit we had it all. The microwave was my best friend as a teenager. My father was obtuse enough to want to make a few dishes from stratch. He would cook up the chicken carcass, have us snapping beans. He saved bacon fat in the refrigerator. This was his secret ingredient. He also made a signature meatloaf with wonderbread and ketchup but really the pressure cooker was his friend.
I suspect my mother had little in the way of home training when they met. My mom was not much for cleaning either. She would pour straight bleach all over the house a few times a year. She was compulsive about fluffing the carpet. There was a room we were not allowed to go in- the living room. She would monitor the footprints on the carpet. I called my parents house the museum of dysfunction . Everything was perfectly preserved each time we visited.
The last time I saw my mother, we had an argument. I was concerned because she had old expired food in her pantry and refrigerator. I started tossing things out. I went to the store. As I cooked her a healthy meal, one made of love and vegetable, she was trying to clean beside me as I cooked. Her obsessing over control, for order, made her feel safe. I disrupted the balance. I left in tears. This was the last time I saw my mother.

She called me later for the receipe for the food she refused to eat in my presence. She ate the meal over the course of a few days. She never mastered the domestic arts but she was perfect in many other ways. The perfect mother for me. A mother that loved, laughed, and forgave.

That same trip my mother extolled the virtue of this delicious cheese she had got for our dinner. My husband and I were famished after we got off the plane. I couldn't picture my mom visiting the cheese shop for a delicious chèvre or sharp cheddar but I know people changed over time. I changed. As she served the pasta, she unwrapped the individual slices of processed cheese. Delicious,! Gorgeous! As she would say. I chuckled to myself. She never mastered the domestic arts but she made me smile. My mother was a special lady.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I use this blog as my outlet. I put down all of the things that have been kicking around in my head for the past 20 years or more.

I was waiting around for hours and hours. When you do speed, more than half of your time is spent waiting. Are you done yet? Are you coming? Can you meet me here? When is he coming? Where is he? Tearing things apart and waiting for nothing to happen.

I was waiting for my drugs when I met this person. Drugs bring you in contact with random people you would never associate with in your right mind. We were both waiting for the same connection. The Connection had their apartment upstairs. some connections were generous enough to let you fix in their bathroom if you were doing business in their house. We were both put out to find a quiet laundry room in the basement of the building.

It was warm in the laundry room. The perfect place to find a hidden vein. I quickly prepared my poison. I get these senses. Gut feelings or paranoia both work. I generally was very careful about who I used around. In the speed world, men have a tendency to expect sex even if the drugs were purchased with your own money. Since this was a transient location, I was caught off guard when he tried to rape me. Anyone could walk in. ANYONE. any moment. There was no one.

 I had this strong sense- miss, miss, miss. I purposely missed the drugs in my arm. I felt the burn as the welt appeared. FUCK. What have I got myself into this time. He looked like Charles Manson after he was full of drugs.  I am surprised I didn't notice this before but I was so focused on scoring. He had a knife. What am I going to do here? "Take off your pants and don't scream". No, I am not doing it. He slapped me. I slapped him back. I am not fucking taking off my pants so you either are going to have to cut them off or fuck you. I over played my hand. He held me down with the knife. He took care of his dirty business and made sure to get it on my face. He wanted to humiliate me. He did not. I was scared, terrified actually, but I will not be violated. Not today. I needed a new shirt. Fuck. This was a brand new shirt. I went back to my alleyway.

I saw this man at another dope house months. "Is this the guy?" My best friend held him.Yes. it was him. How could I miss that face?  "Beat the shit out of him, Tracey". I froze. I could not. I could not move! What was wrong with me? I STILL regret this as he predicted, 20 years later. My other friend stepped in.  He beat this man down. For me. In front of me. I will not be violated. Not today.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Of Leather and Lead.

I am a big fan of love and I have had many loves in my life. I love food, I love drugs, I love... yes a pattern is emerging. Generally, I am attracted to things that can be take to excess and also things that are in need of repair. I would also say the same of my relationships. I have been attracted to people on the fringe of normal. It didn't start out this way. I was a late bloomer. I didn't go on my first date until I was sixteen. I didn't have my first kiss until the same year. I had sex for the first time November 19, 1987 with a boy I was in "love" with at the time. He was younger, confused about life. The thing I remember most about him was that he took a razor blade and carved "Tracey, I wanna be your dog" in his leg. The Love! He had gone out with me, he told me later, on a dare because apparently I was so bitchy and unlovable that only fools dare to pursue me. I found out late last year that he committed suicide.

My boyfriends could be summed up in a few categories- Killers, too nice for me, male prostitutes with enormous drug habits, depressed beyond belief. The problem with these descriptions lies in the fact that I knew most of these men long before these descriptions. Is it the drugs that make a person become unhinged or was the always there, lying beneath the surface? They could tell me, whisper the truth. most of the them are dead. They are unable to give up all details on the treasure map to misery but I think I found the directions.

Recently, I have been wondering about what life would have been like for my friend growing up. He has been in and out of jail. What chance did he have at life? When people watch Black Tar Heroin, the see the men and wonder HOW could they do that. What is missing from that picture is the fact that what motivates a man to leave his comfortable home and venture out on a Friday night to pick up a drug addicted male prostitute. "Rough Trade" is one thing. The men I am referring to are generally looking for a 16 year old with a skateboard. "Put this on. It makes you look younger". When you are turning tricks at 16, when men are plying you with drugs, when you were molested the streets seem like an endless windowpane trapping you inside. You can see the world around you but everything is passing you by. These are some of the men I knew. By 30, they were in prison or had enormous drug habits. How can you drown the pain that never ends, when fate expells you into a wold full of sorrow with no tomorrow only NOW. And now hurts.

I have beautiful little sons. I want to have them develop into healthy young men. I hope my experience can be my teacher. I will drag you into happiness with all my mom skills and addict education.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome New Readers

Welcome to my insanity readers from: Turkey, Bosnia,Italy, Mexico, El Salvador, New Zealand, Latvia, Thailand

Back on dry land

My cruise to Mexico was not what I expected. I am still wobbly and feel like I am on the boat. Sea sickness is similiar to morning sickness or a wicked hang over.  I am sure Ensenada is not representative of what the United States should expect from Mexico. From the US side, trully,  I am embarrassed by what we are exporting in the quiet town. To see Americans drinking to excess while women with dirty children beg nearby made my lunch much less appetizing. I thought about my own children safe on the ship while these women were out wearing their babies and selling trinkets to support their families. I was overcome with grief.

I spent my time homeless , in a sense, by choice. The drugs made my decisions for me. At least these women in Mexico had their children with them.They wore them with care. On Thursday night, we saw a junkie couple at the hotel. He had dirty pants, pinned pupils, and bruised knuckles. he had his daughter on his lap. He pulled her out of the dirty stroller. She clearly was happy to spend time, any time, with her daddy. the stroller was filthy as if it had been bathed in dirt. The child sat on her father while he briefly nodded, waiting for a room. The mother was out in the parking lot. She was on speed. I think she was trying to flag down a trick for a place to stay for the night. Eventually, my husband said the hotel asked them to leave while we safely escorted our children away.

 What if I would have been born into an entirely different set of circumstances? I frequently complain about a legacy of alcoholism and addiction but the world certainly has much worse in the way of childhoods. I saw the faces of the staff on the Cruise line. As they work their 12 hour days, many of them are the lucky ones. They are escaping poverty in their countries of origin while making me towel animals stuffed with chocolate. I am not sure what to think about the whole situation but I was grateful to get some relaxation in among the drunken amateur alcoholics. My children were safe and happy. I complain a lot about myself but I really, really, really realize how lucky I am to be alive let alone be entrusted with such gifts. I am back on dry land with a new perspective.

Friday, March 1, 2013


The hotel we are staying in for 10 hours is giving me flashbacks. The Internet travel sites didn't mention that it has a healthy dose of junkies, tweekers, transsexual prostitutes, and general drug activity. After we got the kids settled, I slept in all my clothes, with my contacts in, on top of the blankets. I was asking my husband if he had a knife. Then I realized I was having a flashback. This place isn't THAT bad although the child with her dirty junkie father made me utterly sad.