We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130 Till human voices wake us, and we drown. – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
I love heroin. For the average person, these three words are shocking, grotesque even. “How can you love the worse drug ever” and “It’s such a horrible, horrible drug. Didn’t you listen to your parents/society/church/politicians/DARE? It WILL kill you!” Heroin is a bitch, no doubt about that. She can make the most pious, virtuous person pawn their family heirlooms for a fix. She can make the strong, fall. She can make even the most disciplined, controlled person keep coming back over and over and over. She can corrode the soul. She can fuck up your sense of right and wrong. What is up is now down, and what is down is now up. Heroin is terrible, ruthless, heartless , but that makes me love her even more.
She soothes my troubled spirit and my overactive mind. Forget tai chi and yoga, once heroin is flowing through your veins, you’re in heaven. You’re teleported in your own little nirvana. Heroin is Shambhala. It is true bliss. The voices of disapproving parents, fair-weathered friends, depression, anger, mediocre school or work performance, the little critic inside each and every one of us are drown by the oblivion, by heroin’s special ether that creeps slowly through the toes and up until it hits your skull. Your heart rate slows down. Your eyes softly droop and the world takes on a more harmonious hue and all you can do is exhale.
Heroin delicately cradles me as she further envelopes me in her high. The opinions of my mother and father no longer matter. The lack of support from my so-called friends no longer irritate me. My depression, cynicism, and self-hatred dissolve as beautifully as heroin dissolves on the spoon. Anger? What is anger? How can you be angry when you see that crimson plume of blood flow slowly in the syringe? School and work? It’s for the birds. No matter what you have ever achieved, the rush from the needle surpasses it. The little, hideous critic that questions and doubts and torments us is silent.
Heroin is so sweet, so loving, but ever so selfish. She wants our love, adoration, and resources and in exchange she gives us inner peace. This is the exact moment when hatred, love, fear, and awe swirl together and we no longer know what we really feel. Heroin is like a neuronal, chemical Faust. She beckons us lovingly with hands stretched out. “Give me your me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the depressed, the fucked up, the derange, the outcast, the cynical, the confused are attracted to her cries of true love and true peace. But heroin is a wolf dressed in sheep’s wool. She doesn’t tell us that we’re going to spend every day, every hour, every second obsessing about when we’re going to see her again. She doesn’t tell us that we will offer everything of value, money, house, family, self-respect, to her. She doesn’t tell us that we must deal with the possibility of abscesses, track marks, and HIV. Oh no, she smiles and laughs at us sweetly. “Track marks are the physical covenant of our love.”
She doesn’t tell us that we’re rob our families without care. She doesn’t tell us that we’ll sell our bodies to anyone who looks our way just to spend a few hours with her. She doesn’t tell us that she will rob our souls and kill our spirits.
No heroin is mum about that. But we keep coming back to her. She knows that sobriety is nothing compared to the delightful haze of her high. She knows that life will wear us down and we’ll be back to her in no time. She knows us so well and she has us in the palm of her hand. Sooner or later, she closes her hand and we are no more.
Heroin is the antithesis to life but I keep going back to her. I know one day she’s going to get tired playing with me and eventually kill me. But what can I say?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost