I had formulated many good intentions that morning. I truly believed I was going to pay him back that $300. Or was it $250. It was so long ago. It is hard to remember now. He handed me the drugs. The were pre weighed quarter grams and dimes. They were always short on weight which seemed fine because the customers were always short on money. I am not sure how I got set up selling drugs. It seems like a fairly ridiculous proposition to set up a stone cold junkie, let alone a female one, as a person to sell heroin in an open air drug market. The reality was I could always come up with some way to pay my debts.
I always was running some type of drag because I came to believe my own bullshit was real. I would overcharge or middleman or use the fuck out of my parents because I had the swagger. You owe me BECAUSE. Because my life was fucked. Because I was in pain. Because I had the best in my mind for the people directly around me. Because, Because, Because by this time, I did not know any different. In fact, selling drugs seemed to be a step up in the self esteem. At least I was working for my drugs and my money. I was no longer turning tricks or getting welfare or selling my food stamps (well unless my re-up money came up short). I liked to think of myself as an honest person and I had lost the ability to see what honest was unless it somehow benefitted me.
I learned to lie from my dad. He would lie his fucking ass off. No, I'm not drunk as he staggered into the house. It was his right to drink, you know BECAUSE but it was not something he felt like he could be honest about. Lying to your family. Not only did you drive home drunk but you spent up your money at the bar. He could not be himself. He was always someone and somewhere else. The lying starts to feel like a comfortable pair of shoes. Anything thing else becomes too constricting to have around you. The lies are old and tired and worn yet you become completely unsure how to get anywhere unless they are leading the way. The fear is that the truth is just too painful to accept so you just keep walking until your soles are worn out.
I believed that day I would return the money.
"you have to go to the hospital Daniel" I tell him gently.
He is searching through his bag and tells me "I am not going."
We had been sleeping in a parking garage because it was cold and raining last night. Homeless kids huddled together in piles around the beams that held up the roof to avoid both the rain drops and the cars. As I look at Daniel in the first light, I can see the yellow surrounding his eyes. He has a raging case of Hepatitis A and whatever else he may have contracted on the streets.
"Man I can't find a dry shirt Trace." He leans over and gives me a kiss "I have to piss"
I am freezing. I am well and I am freezing. I am making a few hundred dollars a day selling drugs in the early mornings and I am sleeping in a fucking parking garage. Because. Two habits.
I hear a moaning semi crying noise and I know it is Daniel. I had the Hep before, I knew what happened. I had been laid up in a hotel for almost a month with brown piss and white shit, yellow eyes, and a dope habit .His was much worse. His piss is either brown or full of blood. He might have an infection from holding it all day. Yet another fucking thing. And he won't go to the hospital because they will only give him 10 mg of methadone. I get up, grab his bag and walk over to the side of the garage were he has tears in his eyes from the pain.
"I'm going to do it babe " I tell him "I'm going to fucking do it."
And so a plan was formed. One of these dealers was going to give me a sack and I was going to walk off with it. I was not going to stand there. I was not going to serve people for three hours and get a spare bag or two for all my felonies. I was taking everything and we were going to the hospital. And that was what happened. He laid up in the hospital and shot up in his IVs while I slept in the bushes out somewhere far from the Tenderloin. He sold some of the dope to other patients and I got my mom to send me money to cover some of the costs. I would lay next to the side of a church fixing dope, hiding from everyone until I had the money to repay so someone did not kick my head in over a bag the dealer offered for anyone that would beat my ass. The hospital kicked me out every day. Not because I was a bad influence but because I was not his family. But we were. We were bound by blood and lies and pain. What else makes a family?