Sunday, December 28, 2014

Big Titty Kitty and other family Tales

"Aren't you done in there?!"
He screams from the bedroom.

I guess he is lonely. I invited these two over to my place because they agreed to give me a little taste. Now, I am regretting this choice. He is insane and she is annoying. Getting high with a brother and a sister team reaches a new low in my book. I am not sure why it jiggles my moral compass. The family that gets high together... Yeah it has me all fucked up as I ponder my existence while looking for a perfect spot of useable blue.

I thought the mother and daughter prostituion team was odd, but I guess it is more common than I thought. The mother swore she never "turned her daughter on" to drugs. Yeah, right. MAYBE . Either way, I found it fairly horrifying to see the 44 year old aging woman with her premature dentures and her abscess scars continuing to work the streets.

The woman in black and her daughter were sex workers of opportunity. Dealing, stealing, anything else to make money would come first. But on cold nights and sleepy mornings, desperation would drive one or other into crimes of opportunity. 

I would notice her on my way in and out of the hotel. Sometimes I would go to her for what were called short money bags. A person would buy a half gram or less and break them up into five smaller bags they would sell for $10-$15 a piece in the middle of the night when all the connections were fast asleep. These bags were just enough to hold a broke hustler until the morning. Some days, you could go all day and only put together a few bucks here and there. Any decent dealer would not deliver for less than $50. Street dealers wanted $20. A person buying a short money bag was getting ripped off and was paying for the pleasure of not feeling a thing but perhaps not shitting on themselves for a few more hours. 

When I was released from jail after six long months, the mother was more than happy to take my money and get my drugs for a fee. Her name was a easy to remember - big titty kitty. She had some of the largest breasts I had ever had the displeasure to see. I say displeasure because I like titties as much as anyone else, just not when I get to see them being stabbed by a needle as she searched fruitlessly for a useable vein. Some people would hesitate to get a person drugs who has been clean for awhile. She wasn't one of these softhearted characters. If she needed a fix, she would do pretty much anything. She wore this perfume- the smell of vinegar from tar and crack sweat. 
"I can get it for you." She smiled "no problem." 

She would rip me off from time to time but that was to be expected. She "needed it more" than me and she always paid me back. 

The daughter was 20 years old but looked like she wasn't a day over 16. Or maybe it was the other way around. People lie in the life. Their names, their ages, and why the came to the city are always a mystery. People called her "little bit" because she was so small. Not really small in stature. Her speed habit made her look like a goth elf. Ho ho ho. 

What could I say at this point? Do I have room to judge anyone? Here I was, trying to find a vein in my stomach. One of the dyfunctional wonder twins was trying to find a vein in her foot while her brother now was smoking crack in my bedroom. This day just keeps getting worse and worse. 

The bathroom has no shades, no curtains. I can see in the room across the airwell from me. The garbage is piled almost to the ceiling to the point the cat is so disgusted, it is hanging out the window. Fortunately, the owner isn't home. He is an old 300 pound convict. I've heard from one of the working girls he likes to wear a diaper and be coddled like a baby for $20. I always forget that while I am half naked looking for a vein this guy is probably touching himself with a ham sandwich for lube or whatever else gross shit he does in there. 

Seriously, fuck this day, fuck my life, fuck this shit. I got the vein now and it blows out. My tiny bit of drugs is lost in the no rush zone. I am left with a burning pain in my stomach, empty pockets, and I have to figure out an excuse to get the siblings out of my spot. Another day in junkie paradise. 

All the characters in this story existed. The truth is stranger than fiction. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays

To all my readers- I wish you a SAFE holiday season. I hope you are with people that care for you. If you are alone, remember this pain is temporary. A solution can be a moment away.

Love Tracey

Monday, December 22, 2014

The reason



I started crying. I can’t go on like this. I thought I was crying but I guess it was a dream. My life is like one endless dream where I no longer feel anything.

There was a time when I had dreams. I had aspirations of being a lawyer. I had thought that one day I could see myself achieving things. In the depths of my depression, I had made myself a promise. I had a razor blade in the bathtub as a 12 year old. I had wanted so badly to slit my wrists. Some children seem born happy. This was not the case for me. I was born with a sadness that hung around my head like the fog in my brain. I had wanted to kill myself at 12 years old. I was fat and sad and alone. With no one to talk to, I traced my legs up and down with a razor blade. I promised myself I would never try to kill myself. I was strong. I could find a way to survive my feelings. 

Unfortunately, that way seemed to involve heroin. I wish it wasn’t the truth, yet it is, it was for me. Heroin saved my life and took it from me. So many years spent in the depths of despair. I was fumbling in my dark room, watching tv and vegetating. By the time I was 17, no amount of weed, or alcohol, or LSD, or anything else could make me feel better. I wanted to be one of those kids that stood in the corner and could laugh at the colors. Instead, I was always so trapped inside myself.

Opiates made me talk. They made me not care if I did not have all the answers. I had been trying so long to have everyone like me. Suddenly, magically, I know longer cared. Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you too. It was awesome.For once in my life, I was no longer crippled by expectations. Until my solution became my much bigger problem.

Then the sickness came. I was not expecting it. Nor could I have anticipated the slow decay of my morals. Just this once, no one will know, and well fuck it became my personal slogans on my campaign for Team Heroin.The voices came and went. The voices inside my head, the ones that said DON'T do this, I pushed them down, down, down. 

I woke up one morning. It was a few years later. I was skinny and old and scarred and scared. There I was was in the mirror. I woke up from a long dream. I had broken my promise. I was killing myself a unit at a time. I was committing suicide on the installment plan. My time was nearly up.

No one has to love me anymore. No one has to believe me. No one has to listen when I whisper "hey I know how you feel".  I am not inside your head. I don't walk around in your skin.

Yet- There are some things I do know.  I do know- that burden is heavy. I can also tell you, there is room for you at the other side. Maybe today isn't the day but you CAN stop using. In fact, you WILL stop using. All of us stop at one time or another. Find a way. Find a reason. Find a purpose. Find a dream. 



I love you readers. My dream for you is a safe and happy holiday. 



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Time Again

I feel uncomfortable in a church, even if it is in some type of reception area. If there is a GOD, what does he/she/it think about me? I used to pray so hard. I cried as a child when they killed Jesus on those Easter mini-series. Why mommy why? Why did they kill Jesus? I was so confused. I remember when I was 12 years old, a kid died running laps in gym class. I thought God was there for us. So, I tried a little harder. I read the Bible on my own at 14 one summer. That was some super boring stuff. Pages and pages of this person begat that person. I did like the New Testament though. When Jesus turned over the table in the temple, that was some bad ass stuff. I saw Jesus as punk rock. he didn't want material things or to be part of the system. He wanted to change the system. That put me at peace with God. I wasn't sure if God existed, if Jesus was his son, if he was born in a manger. But I knew I was one poor soul living out in the lonely world. I needed to believe in something besides dope as my only God. So, I agreed to come to this Church for Christmas. Hopefully, old Testament God won't turn me to stone.

This time of year the church people and the do gooders of the world take a day here and there to be kind to us homeless. 362 days in the calendar, they simply cannot be bothered. They are easily irritated if someone in front of them in line pulls out food stamps. They want to know if he paid for that steak with his welfare check. "Are my tax dollars going to buy that beer?" they wonder in disgust as they step over my feet. Compassion comes in the form of blankets, socks, and warm beverages.

The irony of public benefit is that the agony people are put through for $175 every two weeks is rarely worth the money. Welfare requires waiting in line and in hard chairs 8 hours, being finger printed, and asked to sweep the streets. The same job pays $20 to city employees but the city gets people on welfare to do the job for $15 a day. Fuck that shit. The only time I had welfare for a few months, I had a raging case of Hepatitis A. Your eyes and skin turn a yellowish color. Your piss turns brown and your poop turns white. Needless to say, my worker had pity on me and let me stay home for a month to get better. I took a week off from turning dates but could not afford much longer with a habit to feed and rent that was $120 a week. When I decided I no longer was willing to prostitute myself to keep a roof over my head, I ended up on the streets.

I lied to get in here today. My drag queen friend and I both lied. I think we were supposed to be much younger. We are not the target homeless. People have less compassion for us at 25 and 26 respectively. We didn't actually lie, we just blended in. I looked much younger than me age. Or at least I thought I did. The men used to pick me up and ask me- how old are you? I would tell them 22. They would tell me to get out of the car until I told them NO NO. I am 16. They wanted me to be 16. They were not interested in me being of age. The specifically wanted me to be younger. One guy took me to a trailer right before Christmas. It was on the side of a property he owned. Inside the trailer, he had a bed. It was a princess bed, with a canopy, like the kind a 10 year old girl would have. With dolls on the side on makeshift shelves. He wanted to fuck me on the princess bed. People wonder why I can't stop using drugs. Because I know there are men out there pretending to be normal while they take young hookers on princess beds. I tried to shut this out of my mind while I got passed the hot chocolate.

I haven't seen my family in a year? Two years? Another Christmas spent alone again. My friend tries to cheer me up by handing me a new pair of shoes. They have long tables full of donated items. We can all take a few things. These are $20 shoes from Payless that hurt my feet within 20 minutes of walking in them. At least they look nice. I would get arrested in them for selling drugs to pay my rent, the day after Christmas.

I am sitting against the wall wondering if there is something I could sell here? I don't need to steal. They will just give it to me. They can give me a few trinkets but they can't give me what I need. Can they turn back the clock on the past 5 years? Can they take the needle back out of my arm? Can they repair my self worth and restore me to a feeling of belonging in the company of friends? No one can save me. No one can help me. I am out on the street again. I am full of food with a backpack full of donated stuff. I have empty veins, A broken heart, and a void in my life than can only be filled when I fell that rush. Then, it will be Christmas time again. 


Monday, December 8, 2014

I was dreaming of home

I was dreaming of home. These rooms have bright lights with no shades and dirty walls. They are perfect for finding a vein, not so good for sleeping. I fell asleep holding my knees. I was rocking back and forth. It soothes me. I don't feel so alone when I hold myself. I came to California alone. I spend most of my time with me, my cooker, and my memories.

I was dreaming of home. The cold of winter grazes my cheeks. I am rocking back and forth in my empty apartment. I have the windows open. My heart is going to beat out of my chest. I am grinding my teeth for what seems like weeks. My parents live 45 minutes away but it might as well be at the other side of the world. I am in this room, in this body, in this moment. This might be my last. Sweat starts pouring off of my forehead.

I moved out of my parents house when I was three weeks shy of 18 years old. I was still in high school. It was weird to transport myself from my apartment to high school. I thought I was so grown up. My parents agreed to help me with college expenses. I had such a bright future. I was such a bright kid. I was taking vicodin here and there. Some acid from time to time. Smoking weed every day. Drinking until I blacked out. You know how it goes.

It wasn't long before I saw a different side of the world. I lost my virginity to my first serious boyfriend my last year in high school. I thought it was true love always. Within a few years, I would be trading sex for drugs. Because that is where the drugs lead me. I had always wanted someone to love me. I grew up an overweight smart girl with glasses. I always wanted someone to love me most of all. When I took those first few pills, I saw myself the way I had always imagined. I was thinner, more confident, and most of all I did not give a damn what anyone thought. Until the next day.

I remember getting drunk and beating up my roommate. She had left rehab and seemed to always be whispering about me. I had confided in her and she abused my trust. One night, in front of a room full of people, I snapped and kicked her door in. As I was hitting her, I realized all the anger of my 18 years of Earth was coming out. I could have killed her. I stopped myself. I couldn't take my emotions. It wasn't her, it was me. I pulled her up and told her to get the fuck out and never come back. I destroy everything I touch.

My parents dragged themselves across town a few days later.  This was only one of two times they ever visited my apartment. They shook their heads in disappointment. How could I have done such things? How could I be such a monster? I didn't know either. I didn't know why I did anything. All I knew is that I grew up with my father drunk and my mother crying on the couch because she couldn't save him. All I knew was that I tried drugs at 7. All I knew is that there were all these things inside of me and no one cared, least of all myself.

Why did I want to try heroin? Why not? The feeling, the absence of pain, was what I craved. That feeling of fuck it and numbness that rolls over you. It is the only thing that can push crippling depression into the backseat and tells it -let me drive for awhile.  Heroin is a drug for people that think to much. Heroin is for sensitive people who have trouble relating to the world. Heroin is for the person whose words get stuck in their throat. Heroin is for the person who sees the world and wants to watch it burn. That was me.

I used to sit and dream of home. A home that never existed. I imagined a home where I felt safe. People loved me there. I was okay within my skin. I did not need to use drugs. I would nod out after injecting a half gram of infectious poison into my body withering of starvation and dream of a place where I could be accepted for myself. I never found that place until I quit using. 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

The girlfriend

"Your hands are cold " she tells me.
THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS COLD OUTSIDE. I yell in my mind.

I hate dealing with amateur hour. When you are a user of a year or more, you should at LEAST know how to hit yourself. C'mon. This girl is in the same situation that I was. When I started using, I didn't know how to properly use a needle. I was always depending on others to stick me. What is even more troubling is that, you are putting you life in their hands. You are trusting them to make sure enough is not actually TOO much. This person you rely on is both a doctor and a chemist. They have to mix up the precise dosage. Otherwise, they may kill you.

I think 22 year old girls all seemed to have learned from older guys with prison tattoos and a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. He is quick, he can whip the shoelace out of his boot in less than ten seconds. He has a stab wound next to a faded cross on his muscle that is slowly softening and drying up as the days between him and his last prison term get wider and wider. He walked out the gate that day with the best of intentions. He was not going to use, only drink a little. Now, a couple weeks later he is convincing his new girlfriend that snorting that shit is a waste. He is creating a new vampire like his uncle made him. Death is better shared among lovers and friends and misery loves company. What starts out as a gift becomes a curse.

We are sitting between two cars in a parking lot. She doesn't trust me enough to take me to her apartment. She didn't say it but there is absolutely no reason we should be out in the open committing a felony through injection except she is too afraid I might steal a bottle of her Calvin Klein perfume or ten dollars from her coin jar. She doesn't trust me to come to her apartment but she trusts me to jab a fucking needle in her arm.

"Look" I tell her "Just hold still."

Her boyfriend left her with a mess. Well, he didn't actually leave. He was taken away in handcuffs. He had found himself some innocent girl he met at the bar. She was going to school for art before it got a hold of her. Her parents think she is just taking a semester off when in fact she is using their money to support both their dope habits. She loved him so she wanted to try it. A little bit here and there at first. Well he created a monster. She is strung out with no ability to care for her needs. In other words, a victim searching for a crime.

Her smooth white skin reveals little in the way of veins. I suspect he has been watering down her shit the whole time so I did the same. She brought enough for a quarter but a gave her much less than half. She is depending on me for everything. I won't disappoint her. I promised her that I would go second. But now this bitch is getting on my nerves. Have you tried to hit a no vein, whiny, underweight, entitled newcomer between two cars in the wintertime when every piece of blue is hidden underneath goosebumps?

I give up. I smile at her to let her know this fucked up situation is okay as she turns her head with dry heaves. She said she was sick. She wasn't lying.

"I am taking off your shoe" I tell her. The only warm place left on her is her foot. We have been out here far too long.

Bingo! With the speed of skillful opiate inoculation, I hit my target on the top of her foot. She winces and cries until I start rubbing her leg. I see the warmth travel up, up, up. And then she briefly grins as she falls backwards. Holy fuck. I've killed her.

Did I mention I haven't even fixed yet an I am fucking sick too. Now this fucking girl has gone too far falling fucking out in the parking lot. In a split second, I have to debate my options. Do I fix then save her? Do I save her then fix? Do I leave her? Do I fix, then leave her? Do I fix,then leave her, then call 911? Do I see is she has more money before I leave her? What the fuck. I don't even know this bitch. Her boyfriend just asked me to look out for her. And she won't even let me in her apartment. UGH.

As I bend down on two newspapers to get near her head which fell with a soft thud on to the concrete, she slowly opens her eyes and asks "Why are you on top of me? I was just meditating."

Now, I truly have heard it all. This chick just ODed on less than a half a bag and thinks she is meditating. Your boyfriend got you strung out, took all your money, took over your place, got you to drop out of school, and has been watering your stuff down so bad that you fell out on half a bag and you think you are meditating?!!!!!

I tell her "let me help you up" because I am fucking out of here. I prop her up so she can "meditate" for another minute meaning nod till her eyes cross. As I stab myself in the leg, I realize yet again that the easiest of hustles are never easy. All "free" dope comes at a high price.







Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving

The cold rain runs down the dirty window. This time of year I think about my youth. It seems like a million years ago, not five. I remember when I was young, I used to draw hearts in the condensation on windows like this.I would imagine my fantasy boyfriend. He would be tall, athletic but like my same kind of music. We would curl up on a day like today and watch the rain from our warm beds. My head would use his muscles for a pillow as he gently played with my hair.

My reality is quite different. My prince charming isn't so fucking charming this morning because he is sick. He is laying curled up under the comforter with cigarette burns while I pull on my dirty socks. He is tall, around six feet, and probably weighs 145 pounds. The only scales around here weigh out points and grams. Next to his side of the bed, he has a picture of GG Allin and a plastic figure of THE TICK from the comic books. I can't really use him as a pillow because he is so bony. Some times he rests his head on my lap so I can hit him in the neck. The only time my head seems to go against his chest is to see if he still alive.

"Are you almost ready to baby?" I ask him as I shake his foot.

Our pet names for each other seem so ridiculous at this stage in the game. I love this man. I do. I love him as much as my heart will allow. But every single day, there is a constant wave of criticism that comes from living with an addict that is unhappy with themselves. Neither one of us minds the term "Junkie". In fact, I think we both embraced it at first. We started down that path separately and now we trudge down it together.

I try to pull him up but realize this is something he has to do on his own.

Neither one of us has had a fix. That means, we have to get moving. We saved some beat cottons but that did nothing but leave a scabby hole and a feeling of regret. Trying to get him to save a wake up for the morning is an exercise in futility. Once he gets going on the crack, he wants that landing gear. I hate crack. I hate the smell. I hate the way it makes people act. That's why I sneak off and do some speed here and there. So much cheaper. Crack is like a money pit. You pour $20 dollar bills down that hole and wake up on the carpet six hours later.

He pulls himself out of bed and wipes the dust out of his puffy eyes. "Okay" he tells me "Let's do it".

It is hard getting warm when strung out. There is a feeling of cold that seems to seep into your very core. It is even harder when you are dope sick. The feeling is just creeping up slowly like a flu with a timetable. I know exactly how I am going to be feeling if we don't hurry the fuck up. This scheme is his idea. I would much rather be trying just about anything else. I find standing on corners literally begging for people to get me well more effective than his ideas. But we are supposed to be a couple and he pretends to have some self esteem left. We are dressed exactly alike- hoodie, socks to our knees, cut off shorts, two or three shirts, canvas shoes. He helps me navigate the streets because my glasses are fogging up in the drizzle. At least, it isn't a full on rain when we get up the hill from Ellis.

 The line is already snaking down the block. He could read my mind thinking fuck this when he drags me forward. He looks at me to say "no we are in this together". This would be the hustle of the morning as he had declared last night. We would be waiting for hours in the drizzle in this line at the church to get groceries for Thanksgiving. I had never tried this before despite living in the city for a few years. I sold my Christmas presents for drugs one year. Another I got arrested an Christmas eve for prostitution. He promised me this year would be different. We were told they will give us a frozen turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and everything we need to make a dinner "at home". This idea is laughable as we live in a hotel with no cooking facilities, a room with no microwave, and barely eat. Then we can walk right down the street and sell our $80 worth of groceries for $10 cash. Seems like a bargain.

I see the Christmas lights in the windows of the Church. It makes me wonder what human beings do this time of year. Being part of the normal world seems so long ago. Eating turkey on the special table, with the special dishes, with the smell of roast bird filling the house for winter days to come. I miss laying on the couch full of food watching football with that feeling that everything is right with the world. Instead, I am shivering in line to get a box of food I will sell for $10 to get my morning fix while life passes me by.

 In fact, after he gets a fix he is leaving me to visit his mother. I will be pursuing the next leg of my hustle on my own. He swears he is going to ask her for $50. I suspect he will come back drunk and sick instead.  In a few hours, the streets will be empty. The only thing left out here will be me, my habit, and painful memory of another holiday spent strung out.


People put so much emphasis on the holiday season. Don't fall into that trap. Do what you can to take care of yourself. If you use, take steps to be safe. If you are in early recovery, avoid expectations. Make your own joy and reflect on how far you have come. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Original Joe.

"I am not really sure what to say to you when you wake up crying like that " I tell him.
What am I supposed to do? Let him sleep? Wake him up?
Dope is supposed to be this cure all pain killer but what happens when the pain is so deep nothing will make it go away, not even your dreams.

He rolls back over away from me. "Crying" he tells me "I was fucking crying" I can see him wipe his face.

His brown hair hits the pillow in a way that I can his eyes slowly close. I know he isn't sleeping. He is not escaping whatever penetrated him when he had no defenses.

This moment would almost seem normal if it did not involve us. Two young people in bed, the light streaming in through the window hitting the bare skin on his shoulder. I am in his boxer shorts and t-shirt snug under his comforter. There is food from last night at the edge of the bed from snacks we devoured. Our clothes are strewn about the floor. As soon as we hit the door at 2:30 am we ripped them of our longing bodies. We could not wait for that moment when we could be alone. Just me, and him, and his drugs in my veins.

A few hours earlier, I was wrapping my thighs up with a shoelace while he was doing pushups in the corner. He needed me to hit him in his chest. He made his money with the illusion that he was straight and healthy. He still had just enough muscle tone and clean arms for the dates to pay extra. Joe and I hooked up from time to time, but it never was what I expected. He was a businessman with extra ordinary skills from what i was told. He did his best work at bars, when the horny queens felt a sense of victory as they walked away with a young stud that showed zero interest in anyone but them ( and their bulging wallet). I never asked what he did with them but I certainly understood why. I was in my sleeping bag  when he approached me with a few warm hundreds in his hand. The money involved things he did not want to discuss and I was more than happy to stay silent. I would crawl out of his blankets and follow him wherever he wanted to go.

He looks so beautiful in the light. I curled up behind him. When he comes and gets me in the alley, I know what he wants from me. We go through this routine a few times a month. He wants to do his half gram shots and feel normal. I never see him nod, only the tiny pupils in his blue eyes tell me he is high again.

I could get used to this feeling, except it came at a high price. He will walk out me sometime before dark. No sex, no commitment, and no expectations. He tells me that he isn't attracted to me yet repeats this cycle over and over. There won't even be a hug goodbye. He just sends me out into the world like I left it, cold and alone.

I don't know what happened to Joe or the dozens of other hustlers I knew just like him. I suppose some got clean. Some died. Some went to prison. I don't know if he ever thinks about me or the quiet nights we spent together trying to feel something and nothing at the same time.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Turn the lights on! Guest Post MV from Brazil

Turn the lights on!

As I ignite the lighter my obsessions manifested, floating in a transcendental eventide, like silhouettes, they wandered alone to a tangle of shadows in the sunrise. Embraced by the humid walls of this grayish city, the essence that filled the gaps of the improvised alleys in a pile of homes was vanished from my body which, with shades of melancholy, blurred the street from the opaque grey of the wet stones until the last wood hue of that last shack, where you still could see the pale yellow of light in the last lighted lamp post.

Maybe by far, only for a few moments, I could get myself clear again, under that fascinating brightness that slipped to the cold wind, like a fluttering orange dress, glowing at night.

My desires quickly melted as words that broke down in an imperative mood stripping the brightness of my being to the abyssal sight of the dark.

The streets were silent just like hostages of the morbid landscape of São Paulo suburbia. It was all so quiet that my footsteps seemed to creak voracious into the emptiness that gave back in wild echoes that paranoia of being chased by the noise of my sole hitting the floor between the burned concrete and the plant of my feet, gradually.

I felt hatred of myself for making that little flame turn into the darkness of those few seconds that would last like a death penalty of a lurid life. I feared that dark pitch from the holes in my shoes to the limbo of my dilated pupils. Then, I did not know whether it was night or if it was the morning sky covered by soot. I felt lost inside myself. In the middle of all that smoke which made me blind, I was sure about one only thing: I had to follow that damn light.

My eyes incessantly scanned the scenery under my feet, at that empty space, between each step, sliding my hands up to the threshold of that cement field, looking for remnants of what was latent on me, hidden in my pockets.

Probably, I had more crack rocks in my pockets than I had of age.

When I was 7 years old, my innocence hummed dreams for my obsolete future. While I was drawing with a piece of broken pencil in a crumpled paper the family of my dreams, I imagined myself by 20 years old wearing a suit, walking fast on the rhythm of the steps that walked by the Paulista Avenue, aimlessly, just simply rushed and indifferent as everyone else. Soon, my dreams were interrupted by punches coming from my dad's big fists, wrapped in a mixture of cheap tobacco and alcohol, and the prayers of my mother, a woman who sold his independence for some silly illusory promise of a cherry Martini.

I was drown in the external circumstances of my reasons justified by the frustration of a melancholic childhood, frustrated and terrified, each hit of smoke brought up bitter memories.

At 3 years old, I was beaten by the babysitter. With my body full of bruises, I faced preschool submerged in that sentence "If you tell anyone, I'm going to kill you and your brother".  When I was 5, I started to notice the disagreements of my father's alcoholism issue, which my mother desperately tried to hide without success. At the age of 7, I was obliged to drink almost every night in the religion rituals with my father's relatives. At 8 years old, I spent the night awake, listening to my mother’s crying while my dad raped her all night in the other side of the wall without mercy. When I was 9, it was my turn to be raped. In that same year I tried to kill myself, but I had no success. At the age of 10, I tried to stab my father while he was sleeping. However, I had no success again. When I was 12 years old, I slowly started to quit school. And At the age of 13, I started taking illegal drugs.

My personality was broken by the frustrations I had in my childhood, blinded by crack, the only feelings, as clear as that old uninterrupted flame, was the hate and the pain.

When I was about to turn 18 years old, which lasted as if they were 18 centuries, I still suffered quiet, listening to the cries of despair and agony inside my head.

Once, when I was drunk, I broke some crack rocks with my teeth and another addicted by my side was rolling a joint with his dirty fingers and filling it with moldy weed.

Just wondering of having to stop smoking, I felt nausea. Along the vomiting attacks, my schizophrenic hallucinations were mixed with the reality that surrounded me, whispering that I'd probably die by a cop shot gun, right-wing extremist, frustrated for not mewing addicts in a cage 3 feet tall by 3 feet long and having fun feeding his sadism by watching me bleeding down in a jail full of tuberculosis diseased.

I couldn’t barely count the time from the moment I had a 4 crack rocks chewy to the next time. The air was dense, the atmosphere was tense and the smoke was silver. On and on, holding the breath between each hit of smoke, extinguishing time strictly, while I prepared one more 4 rocks chewy, waiting unaware I was alive, only led by the cravings to hit all the smoke of a chewy pipe, heading to the dealers spot to buy more drugs with stolen money. Those were my concerns, when I got myself high, with the obsession of a carnivore animal ripping his arduous game/hunting.
It all happened so fast. 
The dark became even darker. I was dead even before feeling nothing. I was feeling cold on a 79°F night. My face, a face without any expression was getting lost inside a mirror, without reflection. I felt the last beat of my heart, and later on I felt the cold of this burned concrete field. After quite a time, a pulse. Covered by a astonishing sobriety, I only visualized that fucking addict smoking all my crack while I nodded off one more time. Helpless, I recovered myself from a overdose just like a corpse fighting to live again. 
There I could guess that there was nothing, but the few remainings that was left for me to be anything. I stood up and went off dragging my feet on the asphalt into the darkest side of the street. 

The fear of walking on the light was not just for not having to face the reality, but it was also due to the fear of the contrast between the external clarity and my internal murkiness. 

11:50 PM. I recovered my mind with a liquour shot to be, one more time, the God of my miserable world and restless remake the lights that turn off everyday.

 (in Portuguese)

Faça-se a luz! 
E num riscar de isqueiro 
manifestavam-se  minhas obsessões, flutuantes em um entardecer transcendental, como silhuetas, sozinhas vagueavam para um emaranhado de sombras no abater do dia. Abraçado pelos muros úmidos da cidade acizentada, esvairecia do meu ser a essência que preenchia a lacuna de seus becos improvisados por um amontoado de casas, que em degradee, com tons de melancolia, borravam a rua desde o plúmbeo opaco dos blocos molhados e mal erguidos até a última matiz amadeirada do último barraco, de onde ainda se podia ver o lívido amarelo da luz do último poste luminescente ainda aceso. 
Talvez de longe, somente por alguns instantes, eu pudesse tomar uma forma clara novamente, diante daquele fascinante fulgor que dançava para o vento frio, como um vestido alaranjado tremulante, reluzente à noite. 
Rapidamente meus desejos derretiam como palavras que estalavam com imperativo tom que ia despindo a claridade do meu ser perante o olhar abissal do escuro. 
As ruas calavam-se como reféns da paisagem mórbida do subúrbio de São Paulo. Era tudo tão silencioso que meus passos pareciam ranger com voracidade para o vazio que devolvia em ecos selvagens a paranóia de ser perseguido pelo atrasado som que fazia o descolar do meu solado, batendo entre o chão de concreto queimado e a planta dos meus pés, gradativamente. 
Sentia ódio de mim memso por fazer daquela pequena chama as trevas daqueles poucos segundos que perdurariam como cárceres eternos de uma lúgubre vida. Temia aquele soturno breu desde os buracos dos meus sapatos até o limbo das minhas pupilas dilatadas. Então já não mais sabia se era noite ou se era o céu da manhã coberto pela fuligem. Eu me perdi dentro de mim. Entre toda aquela fumaça que me cegava, eu tinha apenas uma única certeza : seguir a maldita luz. 
Meus olhos varriam incessantemente o panorama por debaixo dos meus pés, naquele metro cúbico, entre um degrau e outro, deslizando as mãos até a limiar do campo acimentado, procurando resquícios do que em mim era latente, obducto em meus bolsos. 
Provavelmente, haviam em números nos meus bolsos mais pedras de crack do que eu tinha de idade. 
Quando eu tinha 7 anos, minha inocência  cantarolava sonhos para o meu obsoleto futuro. Enquanto eu desenhava com um pedaço de lápis quebrado em um papel amassado a família dos meus desejos, imaginava usar terno e gravata aos 20 anos, enquanto apertava os passos pela Avenida Paulista,sem rumo, simplesmente apressado e indiferente como todos os adultos. Logo meus sonhos eram interrompidos por socos vindo dos punhos grandes do meu pai, envoltos em uma mistura de tabaco barato e álcool, e as súplicas da minha mãe, mulher que vendeu a independência  pela tola promessa ilusória de um Martini com cereja. 
Mergulhado nas circunstâncias exteriores das minhas razões justificadas pelas frustrações de uma infância melancólica, frustrada e estarrecida,cada trago trazia à tona amargas lembranças. 
Aos 3 anos de idade eu era espancado pela babá. Com o corpo cheio de hematomas eu enfrentava a pré-escola submerso na frase "se você contar para alguém, mato você e seu irmão". Aos 5 anos comecei a tomar conhecimento das desavenças e do alcoolismo do meu pai, que desesperadamente minha mãe tentava esconder sem sucesso. Aos 7 anos eu era obrigado a me alcoolizar quase todas as noites nos rituais da religião dos familiares do meu pai. Aos 8 anos eu passava as madrugadas acordado, ouvindo do outro lado da parede o choro da minha mãe, enquanto meu pai à estuprava sem piedade a noite inteira. Aos 9 anos foi a minha vez de ser estuprado. No mesmo ano tentei suicídio, porém, sem sucesso. Aos 10 anos tentei esfaquear meu pai enquanto ele dormia, porém, também sem sucesso. Aos 12 anos, lentamente comecei a abandonar os estudos. Aos 13 eu comecei a usar drogas ilícitas. 
Caráter lapidado pelas frustrações na infância, cego pelo crack, os únicos sentimentos, claros como a velha chama ininterrupta eram o ódio e a dor. 
Próximo dos meus 18 anos, que passaram como 18 séculos, ainda sofria calado, ouvindo os gritos de desesperança e agonia dentro da minha cabeça. 
Enquanto bêbado, quebrava as pedras de crack com os dentes e o outro viciado do meu lado esticava um guardanapo de bar, cheio de marcas de dedos sujos enquanto o preenchia com maconha mofada. 
Só de pensar em não fumar eu sentia náusea. Dentro das crises de vômito, minhas alucinações esquizofrênicas misturadas com a realidade que me circulava, sussuravam que eu provavelmente morreria alvejado por um policial da Ronda Ostensiva, extremista de direita, frustrado por não enclausurar viciados em cubículo de 3 metros de altura por 3 metros de comprimento e se divertir alimentando o seu sadismo de me ver sangrando no fundo de uma cela cheia de tuberculosos. 
Eu não conseguia fracionar o tempo entre um chewy com 4 pedras de crack e outro. O ar era denso, o clima tenso, a fumaça era prateada. Incessantemente segurando a respiração entre um trago e outro, extinguindo o tempo estritamente, enquanto preparava mais um chewy com 4 pedras, aguardando sem saber se estaria vivo, apenas para fumar todas as bitucas de chewy em um cachimbo, a caminho do ponto de tráfico pra comprar mais drogas com dinheiro roubado. Essas eram as minhas preocupações, enquanto me drogava ferozmente, com a obsessão de um carnívoro dilacerando sua árdua caça. 
Tudo acontecia tão rápido. O escuro ficava mais escuro. Eu estava morto antes mesmo de eu não sentir quse nada. Sentindo frio em uma noite de 26° C. Meu rosto, um rosto sem expressão ia se perdendo dentro de um espelho interior, sem reflexo. Senti a última batida do coração, depois o frio do campo de concreto queimado. Após um tempo indeterminado, uma pulsação. Recoberto por uma lucidez atormentante, visualizei apenas aquele viciado fumando todo meu crack enquanto eu apagava mais uma vez. Sem a ajuda de ninguém, me recobrei de uma overdose como um cadáver que arriscava viver novamente. 
Ali eu pude deduzir que não havia nada, a não ser o pouco que me restava para nada ser. Me levantei e saí arrastando os pés pelo asfalto, no sentido mais escuro da rua. 
O medo de caminhar pela luz não era simplesmente por não querer enfrentar diante da própria luz uma realidade há muito explícita, mas implicitamente era o medo do contraste que tinha entre a claridade do exterior o brumo do meu interior. 
23h50. Recobrando a consciência com um copo de conhaque para novamente ser o deus do meu desprezível mundo e refazer incansavelmente a luz que se extingue todos os dias dentro dele.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

ENOUGH

"Why are you fucking crying?" 
I can't stand when he yells at me, especially not an inch away from my face. I am sitting on the ground with my arms crossed. I am not sure what I am going to do. I know I am not going to get up from this spot. 

Have you ever just had ENOUGH. Not enough in lower case letters. You can ignore that enough. That enough comes the first time you fuck someone over for a bag of dope. That enough comes when you miss a family gathering because you are too much of a fuck up to make it. That enough is when you promise yourself you aren't going to use today, yet by nightfall you are leaning to the side. That is lower case enough. 

I mean ENOUGH! Like- fuck this shit enough. Like break all your gear enough. Like I need to go to the emergency room for this abscess enough. Like I am over drafted and have no hustle enough. Like my girl left me, the one who promised she understood me enough. Like I hate myself enough. I had ENOUGH. 

I was crying in a public street, in the middle of the day, in the middle of a busy city, in the middle of my life. I could not carry all my belongings not one more inch and I could not give one fuck more. The tears roll down my face in silent surrender. The monkey on my back paused long enough to acknowledge that I was defeated. And for a moment, the world stopped to hear my sobs. Then started again. 

"If you don't get up now, I am leaving your fucking ass here " he yelled in a whisper. 

And so I got back on the merry go round again. I guess for a few moments, I cared about myself. It just wasn't enough. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Big Thank You to My Readers

I wanted to let you know readers- I am officially publishing a book from Seal Press. This book will be more focused on how I have stayed clean all these years. I will not be abandoning you readers. This blog is our thing. It helps me as much as it helps you. Love Tracey. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Rock Star

The room is completely dark with the exception of the red ember illuminating a sweaty face. I don't have my glasses on so it is impossible to see much farther than my nose. I had gone to "sleep" a few hours or a few days ago. It is hard to tell. Have you every had that feeling when you wake up and you are not sure exactly where you are or what the fuck happened? Yeah that was me. Wait a minute. I have something in my mouth. What the fucking fuck. I fell asleep eating something- something sweet. I continue chewing this paste in my mouth. I feel the sugary paste on the corners of my mouth I must have been drooling as well.

 I try to lean up when I notice my arm has gone completely numb. I must have "slept" on it the wrong way. There is no light in here. Someone has covered the only window with cardboard. The room smells like sulfur, butane, and the faint smell of ass. That old fart smell. I know There is a light around here somewhere if I could only wake my arm up to grab my glasses off the nightstand. As I reach up to scratch my nose, I my glasses are on my face. I can't see because I am having trouble keeping my eyes open.

I am bolted awake by and alarm. What the fuck is happening here. I hear something slam again the wall. No more alarm to worry about. The light is on now, blasting into my face. He took the shade off the lamp, but I don't see him. I notice something in my mouth. The fucking cinnamon roll. I never did finish chewing it. God damn. Ugh. I see it now, smeared across my lap. I must have fell asleep half propped up, while I was eating the cinnamon roll. Everything is slowly coming into focus.

My eyes travel to the side of the bed. Ah ha. There is the culprit right there. I see the pill bottle and pick it up with the tingling arm. Whatever was in here is long gone. "May cause drowsiness". Ain't that the truth. The only thing that would cause a night like this is a klonopin, or 2, or 4. Oh my. As my gaze gets adjusted I see the blood on my arm. It looks like I was hacking on my arm while I was dipping on some benzos. I have a softball sized bruise near my elbow.

FUCK. The alarm goes off again.

"SHUT THAT OFFFFFFF!" he yells.

I hear a voice. Where is that coming from? I lean over to the other side of the bed. There he is. Above a torn piece of carpet, I see a sweaty man. He is around 20 years old with bad skin and darting eyes. His fingers are red. His shirt is off so I can see the greasy layer of ribs leading down to his belt. I am not sure how long I have been sleeping but apparently my host never got any rest.

Without so much as giving me a sideways glance to break from his carpet surfing he hisses "Can you turn off that fucking alarm?"
 
I step over his back and grab it. It is the least I can do. He let me stay the night.

I pat him gently on the shoulder "hey man, I guess that means you aren't going to make it to work this morning."

I crawl back into his bed. I am not sure why he invited me here. He said it was because he didn't want to be alone. I can understand that, I can understand him. If I can get him off that floor, I might want to cuddle ESPECIALLY since I ate up all his comedown. In the meantime, I will catch a few moments of sleep. Soon, it will be check out time and I am not sure of he has any more money. We are living the dream, the dope fiend and the rock star.








Saturday, October 25, 2014

The slings and arrows

The fog has slowly rolled in over the city. I can hear the sounds of the garbage trucks getting started on their route. I can hear the chimes of the recycled bottles getting places gingerly in shopping carts as the all night recyclers attempt to beat the clock. In a few moments, their free money will be sailing off to the city dump. There is a method to their madness. Sorting through their smelly routes of dumpsters and cans they can get up to $50 for three to four hours of intense scrounging.

 I feel slightly guilty when I see the older Asian ladies searching. I have put everything from piss to bloody hits I have missed to uncapped syringes in those bottles. I hate to think of myself as catalyst of a new disease. I knew a mother that died that way. She got the Hep C after being stuck by one of her son's needles. He swore he was clean. As she made his bed, she felt the truth sticking her deep into her finger. I wondered what he thought as he stood there at her bedside thirty years later when she died of liver cancer. He still had not gotten clean.

 Mornings in San Francisco are the worst time. The moisture in the air makes the streets smell like a mixture of piss and rotten food. San Francisco is known for a few things- good food, cheap drugs, and pussy. I am sitting in the all night doughnut shop watching the hookers walk by. They swear the best time to catch a trick is on his way to work. I would never be out this late. It is still dark outside and no one can hear you scream. At least, no one who cares. 

The pimps like to shoot dice up on the corner. They come down from Oakland and Vallejo and pick the girls up before the sun shows their true age. There is a girl in here getting coffee. She isn't even old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes. In the light you can see that under all that make-up she can't be more than sixteen years old. I am not sure any of these men are looking at her face. She is mostly naked in a pair of booty shorts and a half top. I can see the bruise she is trying to cover up on her leg with the wrong color foundation. The customers don't like the merchandise all beat up. One of the girl in the stable must have loaned her some clothes. 

As I attempt to gnaw on my bear claw, I feel my stomach start to churn. 

"Hey baby- you got a dollar. Can you help me out?" I ask her. 
I have no shame.
As she pulls her money out of her bra she tells me "all I got is twenties, sweetie". 
This is the worst possible answer.
She pours the cream into her coffee and cover it up as I slide out of my booth. I am in hustler mode now. She is going to give me some money. She just doesn't know it yet. 
I smile at her and tell her "well- let me follow you to the counter girl". I grab her coffee for her. Chivalry is not dead.  
She gives me that look to let me know she can't and I whisper to her "help me out. I am sick". 
As we get to the counter, I know what is about to happen. She gets her change and hands me a $5 dollar bill. That lincoln hits my hand and the satisfaction of a well played con makes a warm sensation fill my body.

I kiss the girl on her cheek as she rushes for the door. I feel for her situation. I haven't been her but I know what she is going through. Yet, I still needed that money. She has spent far too long in here. I hear the clip, clip of her heels as she runs to get into the passenger seat. Her chariot awaits. She may get backhanded for giving me that $5 or she may have learned how to lie. Either way, she will hand him over all the money and probably the coffee too. And it better be just how he likes it.

This is my time to move. My stomach is telling me it really , really is not hungry. The tears start running down my face as I yawn. I see the clouds changing as I pass by the liquor store. Me and the homebum standing out front are in the same position. He can't get what he needs until that door opens at six o'clock. He will be pissing on himself by noon. Right now, he needs this door to open to get rid of the shakes. 

I reach toward him. "Hey man- you want the rest of this bearclaw?" I ask.
He paces in places and tells me "No sis, I can't eat. Thank you though."

We all share the same streets at the same time in the same place- The junkie, the drunk, the hooker, the cops, the pimps, and the johns. We are all looking for something but none of us seem to find it. Even when we get what we think we need, there is only that brief feeling of satisfaction until we get the next. 

I see the shadows up ahead and know that is flacco up there. Or gordo, or big man or whatever I can them today. I pull out my $45 and add her $5 to mine to make $50. Now I can get a gram. Once I get this sick off of me, I will curl up somewhere like a cat in the hot sun. Maybe I should save the rest of this doughnut. It will taste good until I have to do this same thing all over again. 










Friday, October 17, 2014

There was that time I almost lost my leg

There are many types of users. There are "chippers". These are the junkie unicorns of users. These are people who can use occasionally. To me, any day was an occasion. How someone can take an Oxy or shoot some dope here and there is beyond my comprehension. Yet i hear that people do it. Personally, my drug of choice was more. 

There are pain patients.  After having three surgeries, I have a soft spot in my heart for them. I needed that pain medicine- needed it. I would be lying if I said it didn't feel good in the process. It would have been so easy to take that extra pill. And pain profoundly impacts your life. It is hard to participate in the world when you have trouble sitting in the chair. Pain patients- I salute you. You are like the food addict. You need something to live that may be killing you at the same time. 

There are the new users. They provide middlemen, older junkies, and dealers a constant stream of income. All that over charging and overdosing. It is almost as if they fell compelled to step on their dope to keep them from killing themselves. And they need you to do EVERYTHING for them. Please new users- quit while you are behind. If not, be safe. Don't trust assholes to give you clean supplies. Don't believe in favors. There are none. 

There are too many of us to describe in one place.
There are the maintenance users. They use just enough to keep from killing themselves as a result of crippling depression. There are the users that never save a wakeup and always push the limits, the greedy dope hogs of the world. There are tweeky mcdopeheads, always insisting on mixing uppers and downers. They like to nod out staring out the window as they look for the FBI and masterbate at the same time. There are the scientist users- keeping a sterile field, clean water while injecting dope that was up someone's dirty ass a few days prior. 

Finally, there are the garbage can users. They will stick a rusty needle in their neck on a street corner. That was me. They will use spit or tears to mix up dope. That was me. They will hate themselves so much that they will almost lose their leg to an infection because they refuse to go to the doctor. That was me. I think I shot up with grape crush trying to be cute. I wasn't laughing when I stuck my finger in a hole between the bone section. I paused but it did not stop me. We all have our crosses to bear. 

I walked around with the rotten leg for a month. I got it treated but never changed the bandages. I got arrested with four abscesses but that leg stunk so bad the police wanted to let me go. Too much paperwork to take a crazy junkie bitch to the hospital in handcuffs. One of my abscesses needed surgery. So I was in Jail with a bandage on each limb. 

People always say there is no one like me. You are just like me. We are the same. We chose different roads but end in the same place. Today, I chose to live. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Heating Pad

When I was a teenager, I remember sitting on the sofa starting blankly at the TV while my mother vaguely attempted to educate me on the ways of the world. She would have her heating pad on her back after a hard day at work. She carried most of the parenting burden as my father was either traveling for work or drunk or both. I would to lose myself in Star Trek the Next Generation, imagine myself being magically transported past the boundaries of West Chester Ohio. I had very few friends and an emotional unstable boyfriend, a perfect storm of self pity  I could not wait for the weekend so I could get out of the house.

 Around 7:30, my vegetative meditation would be broken by the sound of a car in the driveway. I could feel a chill go up my spine. I held my breath with anxious anticipation as my father turned the door knob. I never needed to look up from the tv but I could tell within three steps if he was drunk. In fact, I already knew he had been drinking today. I saw him at the bar on my way to school. The bus passed by the pub where he swore he ate his morning breakfast. I suppose it was more like hair of the dog. It was always silently humiliating to me to know that he was drinking before 8:00am. As if he was on auto pilot, He would come home in the afternoon, sleep it off, then go back to work. His command of the alcoholic arts was truly masterful- up until he got fired for being drunk on the job. He had "hid" it for years, or at least they had tolerated him. Now he was home from another job. It was too late to try to hide in my room.

As he walked through the door, I sensed the extra stagger. There was always an extra step on the end when he was tanked. I exhaled my frustration into the universe. With a silent glance,  my mother insisted I say hello to him. She said it "made her life easier" aka he would continue to put his check in the bank as long as I was nice to him. I knew his routine. He just wanted to get food, go upstairs, smoke a few pall mall gold 100s and pass out without incident. Normally, there would be yelling as I scurried away. She had her heating pad on so she wasn't up for an argument, not tonight.

I took a sip on my beverage, a sprite and peach schnapps. I had started stealing from the bottle and adding water here and there. This was a Christmas bottle from a few years back. If my mother smelled the alcohol on my breath, she never let on. Maybe she thought it was better to have me drinking in the house than out with my "friends". As I sip the syrupy relief, I resolve to myself that this will not be my life. NEVER. I cannot wait until I leave for college in a few months. I cannot take these feelings.

Between the cutting and the laxatives and the alcohol and the vicodin, maybe I can be thin and normal. I think to myself would rather be curled up with some drugs than stuck on the couch with my fucking heating pad waiting for my drunk husband.

When I look back now, it was so easy for me to judge them. So easy for me to feel superior to my hard working parents. I left Cincinnati Ohio with my college money that a traded for an arm full of heroin. As I puked from one end of the public bus to the other, I thought to myself "this is the fucking life". I never wanted to be like my parents. In fact, I wasn't like them. I was a spoiled self indulgent asshole that only thought about myself. A heroin addiction, I believed, was my cosmic punishment for being so ungrateful for the life I left. 
 The truth is somewhere in the grey area. I am sitting on my couch tonight with a heating pad wondering what my children will think of me someday.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

90 day wonder

"Hey Tracey I have 90 days clean " he says. 
I see the glow has returned in his eyes. He has that look, that swagger. That pep in his step like fuck yeah my dick works AND I can take a shit every fucking day. Feel me?  I haven't seen him in awhile. I assumed he was in jail. When people come around after rehab, they have this bloated look on their face. Like a fucking chipmunk storing up for a relapse. Their food reserves hang off their cheeks. 

The first week after getting off dope is spent masterbating, showering, and marveling that a needle is no longer hanging out of your arm. The first month is depression alternating with boredom. Suddenly you are sober to realize OH GOD I FUCKED UP MY LIFE. There are parents to deal with, bills to pay. If you duck off to treatment, these will be waiting for you when you come home. It is amazing how fast collection agents get your new addy.

By the second month, the connection is no longer on speed dial. Fuck, they may start calling you. They sound like a jilted lover "hey bro- what's up? It's been awhile." Fuck you dude. Remember when you gave me one fucking bag for my play station, the one I got for Christmas. Eat a dick. Or at least you WOULD say that if you were not so scared you would need them again. 

By 90 days, you think you are solid enough to come around scumbags like me. Yeah man, let's chill- you, me, and this monkey on my back. You look like shiny new money to me. Should I ask you to get high? No. Too obvious. Should I ask you for some money. Negative. You will say no. 

"Hey man. You look good. You know I am going to see my boy. He has that fire man. But I know you don't do that anymore. Much respect." 

I can practically see the money fly out of your pockets! You got 90 days bro? You got some money. Well, once I get you back on that horse, I got 99 problems and a fix ain't one. You are about to hook it up. 

That is this life. 
What comes around goes around. 



Friday, October 3, 2014

What Deserves My Attention

I took some time off work this week to finish my book proposal. There was a time when getting a book published was my only dream. I remember bringing a sample of my work to the English Department of the University I was attending when I first started using drugs. The professor was nice enough to humor me by reading it but I could tell he was put off by the content. He referred me to another colleague and I never pursued it. 

I had more important things to do. My work at the time was filled with near pornographic material on my love for opiates. I loved the burn of the needle, I dreamed about when heroin and I would be together again. Drugs were my sex, my romance, my joy in one place. I never had to look beyond the plastic bag or bottles of pills. As I licked the blood of my hands, it was as if I was embracing life when that needle came out of my skin. My foreplay consisted of two hours of waiting for a dealer. I was in that phase when heroin WAS love and we were happy. 

And then the years passed, they inched along at a snail's pace. The life of an addict and the life of a user are two totally different things. A few mornings spent broke on a toilet in withdrawal let you know that opiates are in charge and you are their bitch. There is no love anymore. There is simply the absence of pain. Remember that first time you slipped money out of someone's wallet, or shorted someone on a bag, or slept with some dealer, or worked some ugly girl for some drugs. Or maybe you are one of the unlucky ones that puts your paycheck up your arm and your stuff in the pawnshop. The servers, the drivers, the workers who are hooked one day at a time. 

I had planned to spend my time writing but I spent a lot of time with my youngest child. Having kids was a dream I had given up on. Now these kids are my everything. They are my hope for the future. They tell me every morning with their soft hugs and laughter than mine is a life worth living. I am more than a scumfuck junkie. I am capable of love. 

I don't know if my book will get published but in the game of life, against the odds, I came out ahead. These days I have with no needle hanging out of my arm have taught me my dreams were so small, my vision was so narrow. My life is filled with ups and downs but they are no longer held in powders and delivered at the cost of my dignity. 

I'm just going to sit here and watch my son play with trains because that deserves my attention. I am living my dreams and casting aside bad memories 

This is my cat nesting in my clothes. I guess he loves me too xoxo 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest post SF Bay Area

CHAPTER: "Push Down and Turn"

"Life..its not meant to be easy and sometimes you may feel liked you are locked in the same everyday routine that never ends. There comes a time where you will have to "push" yourself a little harder, Take the things you normally do, with a firm grasp, grab ahold of your emotions and "twist" them in the opposite direction... and you will be surprised on how some doors open to reveal the "fix" you have been needing all along.

2:37 AM 
As I sit here getting high I stare at the top of the pill bottle. The white cap with the blue letters marked "PUSH DOWN AND TURN" stare back at me. I think back to the hundreds, if not thousands of pill bottles that have crossed my path. From the great ones like the original OC80's, the roxi's, the xanax bars....down to the norcos, the vicodins, somas,percocets,flexeril....then the tylenol 3 and 4's, neurontin, marinol....the list goes on. Then there are the pills that arent fun, but they are needed, mainly due to the psychiatric issues I have chosen to admit it.  My "issues" just didnt appear one day...I just was never willing to admit that my mind wasnt right, and chose to spill my guts to a doctor one day. Then comes the pharmacuetical version of musical chairs...the cocktail wheel of fortune...the trial and error method that doctors have to use to try and find tbe right mix to fix you. So on came Zoloft, then prozac, then wellbutrin. Xanax finally came to the party as well, my salvation and savior to 75% of my issues.

By no means did I have an easy childhood, I was exposed to way too much ...way too fast. I learned lessons in life as a child that are normally reserved for the years that would come much later in life.  Now I am not saying my life was worse than anyone else's growing up....every one of you has a story, this is just mine and it wasn't easy for me.  It could have been a lot worse, but it should have been a lot better.
So in a sense,  I will be a drug user until the day I die...and these pill bottles will be a constant companion and part of my life. Ive grown to accept this fate. Some of these drugs I should part ways with, while others are mandatory to keep me leveled out.  The bottles themselves will always be a reminder of my love for heroin..since these little bottles are what I use to turn my black tar heroin into powder..

The sound of .75 cents rattling in a pill bottle is as distinct of a sounds as a gunshot or police siren....like the sound of loose change to a panhandler..  No matter where I hear it, no matter how far away or faint the sound might be...I know exactly what it is. It soothes the evil baboon on my back like a lullaby to a sleepy baby. When hanging out with my other associates that use, if I hear that sound coming from their pocket. I know there is a good chance I wont be sober for long. The sound is part of my "ritual" when getting high...similar to the sound of a razor blade on a mirror chopping lines, or the sound of a drivers license crushing meth chards into dust..I'm sure you get my point. At the same time, my method of use is different from most heroin users, especially those in the east coast or anywhere else where that good powdered dope is common. Black tar heroin if definitely the shittiest form of such a wonderful drug, but at time I am glad that I have no access to ECP (east coast powder) because I wouldnt just have. a monkey on my back.

No, I would be a full blown fuckin crazed ape with an endless appetite for destruction...there would be none of the control I have now, and I only would be referred to in past tense where anyone would speak of me. I still fear dying from my usage, as I know it would disappoint anyone and everyone one that ever knew me...Knowing Id be remembered for being a secret junkie still hurts me inside. I know it broke my mothers heart when she went to wake him up that morning and his body was cold and unresponsive. It was my second day, just got off work at a new job and I called my brother to pick me up from BART and he wasnt answering his phone...I called one of my female friends for a ride and she said she would come get me...I asked her if she had seen my brother that day and the line went silent...I asked her again, "where's Tone at?".....and then I heard it

"wait....nobody told you ?...Tone's gone"

Im thinking his ass got arrested again ....he was always into something and it was pretty common.

Thats when the clock stopped, the atmosphere around me went completely silent...all I heard was 
" Im sorry baby, but Tone passed away, he died in his sleep last night"

It didnt hit me right then, it didnt seem possible...I was just with him less than 24 hours ago...it was 5pm, we had kicked it until almost midnight the night before..he was waiting to pick up one of his scripts for a shitload of Roxi 30's. He texted me at like1:30 in the morning with "i got those"...
When I left him he was sippin on a pint of hennessy, just chilling, we smoked a blunt or 2 and were just trading war stories. He gave me a few valium, and popped a few himself. I left and went to my sisters house, I was sleeping on her couch at the time.

When what she said hit me I fell to the ground, I couldnt breathe, I couldnt think...I just disconnected from reality. Then the tears came and they didnt stop...when she arrived to pick me up ...all I could do was cry and tell her to take me to the liquor store, and I bought the same bottle we were drinking together the night before, I drank it like water...I had no feelings in my body, I became numb to the world.

And I write this and relive the pain again from that day, I reach into my pocket and pulled out my old familiar friend, the orange bottle with the blue writing on the top.

That day ...I was pushed down harder and farther than I had been in a long time....and it turned me.

I pop the white cap off and dump a pile of brown sugar into it...and snort away the pain that his death brought.
Deep breathing is only relaxing when you have a pile of powder and a rolled up dollar bill to go with it.
When life hands you lemons....fuxk everything else and grab the Salt and Tequila

We've all been pushed down, and we all turn at some point...some just turn in different directions than. others...







Saturday, September 20, 2014

Life outside of plastic bags

I did not wake up one morning and have one year, two years, five years, a decade, or sixteen years clean. When I read literature, personal stories, and academic articles so much is left out of any description of the process of recovery. It is as if nothing after the first year exists. It is assumed if you can make it through the initial year, you are magically released of addictive thinking. This is simply not true.

Sometimes, whether you have four days or four years clean, you are going to feel like absolute shit. Addiction is like an abusive relationship. Despite the fact that you are clear this is no good for you, you still romanticize the memory of your time together. "Remember when me and you were cool, drugs? We could hang out all day and never get tired of each other? We did big things together ". But then those drugs beat your ass over and over and over. You FINALLY left but you can't forget them. 

When you get into recovery, everyone thinks you should be so motherfucking happy. Yay! Meetings! Yay! Pee in a Cup! Yay! Medication! Yay! The complete loss of freedom! It is 100% okay to admit you feel like shit. It is normal. In fact, when I got clean, I realized I was a person who experienced a lot of depression as part of my daily existence. 

In a life without drugs, things are not perfect. The reality is you will experience a broader spectrum of emotions. In the earlier months, the main emotion is pain. Anyone who does not acknowledge that is woefully misguided. It is as if you woke up from an extended nap only to realize you are broke, you have not spoken to your family in months, you have achieved very little of your potential, and you have little human interaction beyond people who support your dysfunction. But hey, that self awareness is a good start. Then, you start having appropriate boners again and pooping on a regular basis. You realize life is not as horrible as you imagined. 

Getting clean is hard and it is worth the struggle. I stick with feeling good with small things. I enjoy the ability to not degrade myself on a daily basis. I enjoy my work and feeling like I am accomplishing things. I enjoy not feeling sick every eight hours, eating food (some times with other people), having some one kiss my face. I get hugs from people and I realize they care about me. I feel it. I see changes working in my life. I cannot promise you a lifetime of happiness. But I can promise you something different. Maybe all you really need is a chance, a spark of life.  
I think of all my readers fondly. Whether you are clean or in the bag today, I love you. 

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.