"Hand me the alcohol wipes" I reach over the bed " this is finally starting to drain"
He hand me two packets of alcohol pads.
"Damn Tracey. How many fucking times are you going to do this to yourself?"
That question rang in my mind for a month to come. I had been performing surgery on myself. I was laying on the bed of our hotel room. We had hustled all day to get the $35 we needed to stay here tonight plus money for dope. Soon, we will have to do the whole thing all over again. For now, I needed a place where I could take off my pants. I needed to lance this abscess to get the pressure off. It wasn't getting all that red or hard but it hurt to walk. I knew the signs. I knew when to go to the doctor. I had been there many times before. The clinic would slice me open and send me on my way with some sterile water and gauze to pack my wounds.
I was quite the amateur doctor, at least in my mind. I had taken a new syringe and stuck in the middle of the infected area. Now I was sucking out the puss. This was a tweak for me. I would mix together heroin and speed. I would do a hit and pick at my wounds. When I got the hard core of the infection out, I would clean out the area. I would need a place like this. A place inside when I could let this wound drain into a loose bandage. This was all my own fault. I muscled dope through my pants leg that I mixed with dirty water. That day, I did not have the luxury of searching for a vein for two hours. I was living outdoors, I was sick, and I knew this might happen. I just did not care.
"You have to be more careful, babe. You are going to lose that leg if you aren't careful".
He said this he brushed the hair away from his nodding face. He is slowly sinking forward at the side of the bed. I let him fix before I did mine and he is just now feeling it. He is one to tell me about being careful. The only way I could get him to go to the hospital with a raging hepatitis infection was the promise of drugs. His eyes and skin were yellow when I helped him check in there. It was clear they wouldn't let me stay. I kissed him deeply and transferred the balloons into his mouth. They gave him 10mg of methadone and I gave him three grams of heroin. I wished I could just curl up in the bed next to him and watch him sleep. I prayed that he would get better yet I was killing him at the same time. We were slowly draining the life from each other.
Daniel and I were the oddest of couples, yet heroin made everything fall into place. He had been raised by junkies so he took care of me in a way I didn't quite comprehend at the time. He never passed judgement and he never asked me to do things I wasn't willing to do for drugs. I had just left Ben when we met so I was not looking for a relationship. He followed me and talked me into love. He never wanted me to prostitute myself. He would rather we be sick together. And he would sit with me for hours as I tried to get a hit, switching from syringe to new syringe. The blood and the drugs were all part of the relationship. The insanity of our routine did not diminish our affection. He wanted to walk hand in hand with me while I limped and drained and grimaced in pain.
This life was killing me. It was killing my body. It had taken my will. Yet, I was not ready to stop. The drugs, the love, the warm blanket. It could make me forget all my troubles If I could only sleep a little longer maybe I can make this feeling real...
"Damn Tracey. How many fucking times are you going to do this to yourself?" The end was soon to come. This was the last month of my using.