Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just friends

"I thought we were friends " I said slapping myself in the forehead.
Fuck how could I be so stupid.

"I don't have a fucking friends" he told me. "Just acquaintances"

This is what my life has come to- this place. Being fucking burned by someone I trusted. How could I be so fucking stupid, I mumbled to myself.

At first, I was experimenting. I was partying. I had a few friends. We pooled our money. We looked out for each other. We had this THING. There was this THING that we did together. And this THING was good. It was very very fucking good. There was nothing better than having a cold glass of water I could barely sip, sitting next to a friend on the couch. The only burns I had to worry about involved my shoulder and a wayward cigarette. And that was okay.

Then I started to shoot up more. Lines are crossed. Hey, I thought we were doing this THING together. What do you mean you are going to quit? What do you mean you are ready to stop? What do you mean you don't what to do this thing to get that THING. What the fuck. I thought we were friends.

Then, I am doing this fucking THING. I am doing it. I am all alone and I am fucking doing it. I am doing shit for money. You pass me by. You nod your head and pass on by. You wish you could be as free as me. I know you wish you could do this thing I do.

And then he burned me. And I knew. I knew this time. I knew what he said was true. I don't have any fucking friends, just acquaintances.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Guest Post John from California

I would have sold my soul for my next shot, but the guy at the pawn shop didn't see any value in it. 
        I found heroin when I was 16. It provided me with the warmth and peace that I had been longing for my whole life. I remember seeing friends strung out and always thought to myself "that will never be me, I have a good head on my shoulders". For the first couple years, it wasn't me. I graduated highschool with a 3.5gpa and already had a couple of college classes completed. On the outside everything looked very good. Shortly after entering college I found the needle. I was too afraid to hit myself and ever since I was a little boy I was deathly afraid of needles. I put my right arm out and turned my head to the left, "God damn you have nice veins", I remember my friend saying as he pushed the plunger in. "3...2...1....", oh God, never in my life had I felt such a feeling. At that moment, heroin became the most important thing in my life. Nothing else mattered. 
Things quickly progressed. My job no longer provided the money needed to keep my habit up. I began driving around dealers for small kick downs. I got deeper and deeper not only with my tolerance but in the underground community of Fresno's junkies. I met Gibbs, the man who supplied my supplier. I thought I hit the jackpot. I was now able to get heroin at half the price of what myself and everyone else I knew had been paying. At this point I had flunked out of school during my 4th semester and left my job. My life what once looked so promising, now appeared that I was destined to die with a needle in my arm. 
"Son, please don't go! You have no idea how much I love you! You can make it through this, please let me and your mother help you!" my father pleaded with me as tears ran down his face. It didn't matter what he did or said, I couldn't feel anymore. His cries fell upon deaf ears. I drove away from my parents house in a car filled with all of my dreams that were headed straight for the pawn shop. 
I walked of Dean's Pawn Shop with enough cash in hand to purchase a large amount of heroin to start dealing. I thought I'd be happy, but instead I never felt more empty. My childhood dreams of being a famous musician were gone, all my tools of the trade sold for a fix. I had tears coming down my face and instead of embracing my feelings I pushed them down and headed to Gibb's apartment. When I arrived, Gibbs was ranting "I don't understand why all these people keep trying to kick this shit. They ain't EVER going to kick this shit. Believe me, I've tried. I've been shooting this shit for 40 fucking years man! Nobody ever stops". Over the years I really grew to trust Gibbs, but this is one thing he was wrong about. I stopped.
I can honestly say I never thought I would get clean. I was fully convinced that I would die a junkie. It has been a long journey filled with many failed attempts at getting this. It was so difficult to not accept the defeat that I faced so many times. I only believe I'm here because of the support of others and the fact that I was willing to accept it. On April 18th I celebrated my first sobriety "birthday". 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Show me some love

"Show me some love here Angel " I say in a shaky voice.
"qué? " he asks.

He decided to start up his own business and poached my number one day. He asked me to meet him at a taqueria out on 24th street. I was not a Mission girl. I had tried to cop there before. I wasn’t familiar with the home bums, the gangsters, and people who looked like dealers but were actually just down on their luck hustlers. In the Tenderloin, things were easy to discern with a glance. Follow the traffic. If a dealer has a bunch of people coming up to him, he is in business. If things are not moving in his direction, he is the last choice.

This guy was new to the set. He still had an actual JOB. The set up was fairly simple. If you wanted a quarter gram, you asked for a “special” chicken soft taco. You paid with thirty dollars. If you wanted a half gram, you asked for two chicken soft tacos and paid fifty dollars. I never knew dope and tacos could be so fucking delicious. Since that might be the only time I ate something that didn’t involve sugar, fat, and salt as the main ingredients, I ate that taco up. Angel was quickly becoming my favorite.

“Help me out Angel. I’m sick “ I could tell as the words fell out of my mouth that this was not going to work.

I had broken the unspoken rule. I had called him to drive out with no money. He was no longer slinging tacos. He was slinging packages. He put me the fuck out of his car with a bunch of curses in Spanish. He had left his home for this bullshit. I was desperate.
He didn't even ask me to suck his dick. Not sure what that means about him or about my appearance.

He made it clear as he hissed in broken English “Don’t call me with no money”. He had learned a thing or two.

There went that idea. As I walked back to my room at the West Hotel, my legs felt so heavy. When I went through the streets, it seemed as if every fluid in my body was attempting to evacuate at the same time. I was sweating, my eyes were water, my nose was running, and I really really really needed to find a bathroom for what was about to leak from my behind.

As I ran up to flights of stairs, I was tightly clenching my cheeks. I got the deadbolt open and make it just in time to shit and puke while delicately balanced in the sink and on the toilet at the same time.

A gravely door cried weakly “Shut the fucking door Tracey!” Yeah, I will get right on that asshole.
About this motherfucker right here- my boyfriend. He had been up on a crack binge for a few days. Now he had taken his klonopin, mixed with what he had left of “his” dope. Yes. Exactly. We were playing that game. My dope was his dope and his dope was his dope. He had given me some crumbs this morning but apparently he feels I am doing too much.

When I can finally extract myself from the john, I see my opportunity. The rig from earlier was left in the cabinet. It had gotten clogged before his got his full issue. Clearly, he was feeling no pain. In his klonopin coma he was still attempting to lecture me about how I should manage my money.

I lean in and steal a kiss as I whisper “show me some love”.

I want to see how awake he is at the moment. He is out. Completely out. I know he is sleeping with some dope crammed somewhere where no one will steal it while he is passed out. What he means is so I won’t steal it. I don’t steal his shit anyway. He gets so high on benzos he does it all then forgets. Like this hit in the bathroom. I lock the door. I go in the bathroom. I’m doing it.

I open up the back of the syringe and pour the blood and dope into a spoon. I take the old needle and fish out the blood clot then reheat the mixture. I don’t know why I am bothering to pretend to be hygienic. I am shooting up his blood and dope plus some extra tap water to thin the fluids. This was the dope he didn’t feel I needed and I took it. I place it in a new syringe. BAM. I get it the first time. I feel the warmth that only tar gives you. Apparently the dope to blood ratio was pretty low because I feel it.

I crawl in bed with him. He won’t remember any of this and neither will I (I hope). I have sunk so low as to shoot up a coagulated blood hit I essentially stole from my sleeping boyfriend. I just hope he shares with me in the morning. Good night.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Last Time Forever- A dope fiend love story

"This is the last time forever. I swear, babe..." he says.
 I have heard this words before.
This is a familiar lie. Like him explaining "I need to do more ".
I chirp back "Huh?"
We both are sick.
Does junkie love make us equals,
No He is up to tricks.
"Well you know I need more dope ' he says
 as he starts to rub my shoulder.
"I weigh more and got a higher tolerance " he claims,
 as his bullshit gets a little bolder.

I start to watch his mixing anxiously.
 I suspect a fight might ensue.
"Here you go my love " he says
 "fifty for me and thirty for you."
I want to punch him in the head.
 He is suck a fucking liar.
His pupils are little tiny specks.
He just wants to get a little higher.

This is my life. This is my love.
 I pull out a bag I will not share.
I look at his dreaming face-
"This is the last time forever. I swear..."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Junkie Phoenix

I will be reborn. I will shake my old skin. I will evolve from trial by fire. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Pain Remains

I wanted to reprint this email from last year. I get contacted by many friends and family. I had been corresponding with this mother. She wanted some insight into her son. I cannot imagine her pain. I have experienced the loss of so many people from overdoses, I honestly start to lose count. I can easily name twenty without much effort. 

Please be safe today. Someone, somewhere loves you. I love you. I was you. You matter to someone. 

Hi Tracey-
 My son didn't make it. 1yr using, 5yrs methadone. He tapered off, in my opinion too quickly, then used-
 after drinks with friends
 Killing him - three days dead on the floor I found him.
 I thought he was doing great! I kept asking him "are you ok? Are you sure?"
 He always said he was fine.
 What I was clueless to was how hard it was to come off methadone.
 I hate myself for not knowing enough about this insidious disease.
 I wish I could save someone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Revenge by heroin

As he placed his hand over my throat, he whispered "Don't scream "

It was summer time. It was hot outside. I went looking for him but I did not care if I found him. I no longer cared about anything. The life force that had gone through my beating heart had traveled out into a useless receptacle. He held my life in his hands. He was a rabid cat playing with a meager mouse.

When I was young, I wanted everyone to like me. I did not understand that I was different. My parents swore that I was special. Special meant I was fragile. Special meant I would cry at the television. Why was Jesus put on the cross for cruxifiction? I asked my mother in tears. Why were they so mean to him. I saw the movie Logan's Run. I wanted to be one of the young people that was pulled into the light while everyone celebrated my demise. I could not imagine beyond thirty, beyond twenty five.

I was so young and naive. Those blue eyes pulled him in. That is what he claimed. My eyes saw him in a way that drew him across two thousand miles from Florida to this place. Except he never knew me. I was so starved for attention. Like a fat kid that gives candy to strangers just so you realize that I am here. I saw him but my eyes were cloudy with heroin.

He kicked the door into my life. He literally kicked my door in because I would not answer it. Some people would describe him as a savage. I was unaware that he was a killer until I went to court with him that day. The judge was so rude to bring up that time he had been in prison for manslaughter. My mouth dropped opened. Five minutes earlier I had been in the mens' bathroom with him giving him head in the stalls of the county courthouse. I was a down ass bitch, so I thought. Really, I was just sinking lower and lower and lower.

He said he would get me off heroin. There would be a price. A broken nose here or there. A chipped tooth that I later repaired. A developed hardness, an armour that was plated with his broken promises. He never wanted to hit me, he reassured. I was making him do it. I was fucking forcing him to do it because I wouldn't listen. I was so fucking stupid that I wouldn't listen. Just let him talk he said.

"Don't move..." he was so angry he was almost foaming "just don't move."

I was not moving. I was retreating in my own world. In my youth I used to hide in the closet. I used to rock back and forth in the closet and hold my knees. I was so tired of hearing people yelling. I was tired of living. At ten years old, I was so tired of living. Here I was not ready to die. I started screaming and he held me down a little tighter. He had a knife to my throat. I had on a nightgown and no shoes. I had been sleeping. But I was awake now. And I had a plan. I would get rid of this man.

The heroin is no good for you he said but I encouraged him to try it. Try it. Do some more. Do some more. Do some more.

Our relationship did not end with a scream but with a whimper. You see, he was not my type of addict. He liked to go fast. He was a user. He used me, that was for sure.And when he used me for my heroin, which he had never tried, I got my revenge. I was more than willing to share my drugs. I was as nice as I could be to him. I shared and shared and shared and I smiled as he enjoyed my watered down remnants. And one morning, there was none to share.

"I don't feel very well " he told me as he limped off to find a hustle. Except he had none.

And then I disappeared.

I heard he was sick for four days. I wish it would have been five. I wish I could have seen it but I was hiding from him. I was laughing to myself. For once in my life, heroin had done me a solid. We would never be equal he and I but I had revenge by heroin and I was okay with that.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fatty and skinny

I wear this shell around me hoping that no one will even come in.
 I wear this extra baggage.
It has become as thick as my skin.

"Fatty and skinny went to bed. Fatty rolled over and skinny was dead."

I was being taunted by this fucking asshole but I didn't even care. I had finally snapped out of my walking coma. What the fuck was happening to my mind. I had not been right in the head since that thing had happened a few weeks back.

I had a this guy try to rape me by overamping me on speed. I was tired and he caught me in weak moment. Once I agreed to go inside with him, I knew I was trapped. I was trapped in a sex trap he had maneuvered before. I found this out years later in recovery. As a symbolic gesture, I had decided to make a statement against this man. I made a statement to the sex crimes unit. I easily picked him out of a photo line up. The statue of limitations against rape in California at the time was only two years. I knew that face as the pic looked back at me. It was so easy to identify.

I was always taught that you never go to the authorities. But I felt it was important to have it in the public record. I wrote out those pieces of paper. I described in great detail about how the man lured me to an empty apartment, directed me into the bathroom. He pulled my neck to the side and hit me in the neck with so much speed my hands were shaking. Then he turned out the lights. As My heart was racing and I felt I might die, he took all my clothes and tried to do his thing. Except I didn't pass out. I didn't do all the things he wanted. I would not, I could not as I knew the guy was HIV positive. And so, he gave up. I was not toy enough for him. I had to much life. He let me go. He had retrieved a new set of clothes for me.

When I walked out of the apartment of Leavenworth street, that was just the begining of the story. I was tramautized and I was tweaking. I was out of my mind. I walked to a hotel on lombard street and climbed up on the roof. Someone had taken me up there once. I have no idea how I ended up back in that same place. I spent time up there staring at another building, imagining the people up there could see me. No one saw me. No one heard me. I asked the people at the hotel if I had a room there. I was so confused they tried to call the police.

By the second night, I had opened up the door to someone's camper mounted on the back of their truck. i curled up next to the person. I suppose they were in shock to be next to a stranger. There were people there. I wanted to be with people. They called the cops too but of course I left. I wandered off and I honestly do not remember how I ended up getting stopped for the psych evaluation. The police took me to the site and I began trying to kick out the metal plate of the police car. Get me the fuck out of there.

The last thing I remember was the male nurse putting a blanket over me because I was cold as he handed me a little cup and a tray. He said to take the pills and I would sleep. I was locked in there for three days making collages. I was watching tv in the day room when they called me in to see the Dr. I told them this man had tried to rape me. They discharged me to a social model detox center. I got out of the van. When I saw the people smoking outside, I left and walked back to my belongings which were now gone.

He grabbed my arm "where the fuck have you been?"

When he saw my face, he softened a bit. This was my sort of boyfriend, the one who broke my nose, the one who says he protects me. He wasn't there that night. This was four full days I was gone. All my belongings were scattered among all the neighborhood homeless who had picked through my things after I did not hastily return that night. Crystal was willing to wrap me in my blanket as I reached for my discharge papers. She also gave me back my sweat shirt. I put that one on. The next day another. I started pilling on shirts and pants until I looked like a human sleeping bag. I was wrapping myself in a cocoon. There was no place to recover so I went inside myself.

"Fatty rolled over and skinny was dead." And then I woke up. What had happened to me. I had one so many layers of clothes I could barely move. I was making it so no one could get to me. I was a fat kid. I got fatter and fatter. And no one got to me. I was safe. Then the drugs sucked the weight off of me. And now I was a target. I was wrapping myself in clothes because I never felt safe. I got tired of my feelings back then so I returned to heroin. I changed out of all my layers of clothes and I slid into heroin. It was there that I was always comfortable. I got clean a few years later.

And I saw this man. Again. Again. Again. He applied for a job with me as the motherfucking supervisor. Isn't that a bitch. As if nothing ever happened. I got clean and started feeling my feelings again. When the layer of ice melted, underneath was a sandy beach and a jagged shore. The memory tore at me until I put my finger on that picture. Yes society. I was worth something. HE did this to me and it mattered.