Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Crawling Back

You will come crawling back to me.

It is hot outside. So hot, the sidewalk smells like fermented piss. The concrete is hot. My brain is frying in the sun. I am sticking to the sleeping bag. I am laying underneath a sheet strung between two shopping carts. The carts provide me with shade. I try to drink water but beer tastes better on a hot day. My liver aches as I put the bottle to my lips. "Nooooooooo!" The organ cries out for mercy. I drown my sensibilities with more alcohol.

My hair is stuck to my head with grease and sweat. The worst is over. My leg twitches. Theses restless fucking legs. I would be okay if my legs stop popping.

"How you doing?" A head pops in my make shift tent.

I take another pull of my beer. "I am starting to get sick again."
The beer, once cold, is starting to go flat and warm. It was delicious when he brought it to me at six am. My lips hurt as I try to suck down some more misery in a glass vessel. Here it comes. I feel the non existent contents of my stomach creeping up the back of my throat. I push him aside to dry heave off the curb.

He waits patiently- a minute, five minutes. He climbs into my home bum shanty. His tent is farther up the alley where his fifteen year old girlfriend is passed out after a night of tweaking and fucking. I know this because the walls are pretty thin when they are made of cloth. He stretches out his legs and pulls out the goods. It isn't heroin- it is crystal. He pours a twenty dollar bag of stinky product. It smells like nail polish remover and burns like death. I see the pipe emerge. It is time for my medicine.

Of all of the times I kicked heroin, the worst time was spent flopping on that sidewalk full of crystal meth in the hottest part of the summer. Four full days and nights awake boiling in my own fluids. The pain was excrutitating yet my homeboy insisted it must be done. I would be so much better off, he said. He would stop by a random intervals to provide me with bbq chicken wings, reece's peanut butter cups, St. Ides, and a blast. No IVing, he said, I was so much better than that.

I loved this man so much, my home boy. I was willing to try anything scheme to make him happy. By the time I fell asleep on the fourth day, I was so dehydrated, I could barely move from my sleeping bag. I passed out and woke up in the exact same spot. I was free of the shakes and the pain and dependence.

"Where are you going? " he asked. Where was I going? I was sneaking off to cop dope, of course. I had been sleeping on twenty dollars the whole time. I let people share their space, their love, and their drugs. Deep inside,  I knew I would come crawling back. Because that is who I was...


  1. I loved reading this Tracey, it had the ability to transport me to a unwelcoming and unforgiving sidewalk in San Fran, as much as having my withdrawals amplified by stimulates + relentless heat + homemade detox centre in the form of shopping carts/ sheets = hell on earth and therefore not a place I would like to frequent! It is so poignant and descriptive that I felt I was there! You are a very talented writer and inspiration to us all, keep them coming as the world needs more of you...