Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Body Remembers

"I guess you have a few years now" he says.

The thin white guy in the black hoodie and grey jeans walks a feet from me. We are both waiting at a cross walk. I am standing underneath the All Star Doughnuts sign. I walked on this side of the street to not interrupt the crack changing hands a few doors down. The Honduran man gave me a nod. He is selling rocks with flip flops on. Not shower shoes from jail but white socks and slip ons. My bag is heavy with syringes, cookers, water, and ties. I am transporting them from place to place. 

This guy, I knew this guy. Well, he was on a first name basis with me on a few occasions. A blue eyed girl selling chivah in the Ells is not someone you would miss after you passed her. My mouth overflowing with balloons and disease, cash shoved up in my pussy for the re-up. I was scared standing out there. My habit pushed me to the limit of existence slinging Quarters and Dimes in the open air. I have seen him with that chick who looks all normal but turns tricks for crack. By normal, I mean she can still go in the mall and steal things without security following her around. I doubt she really turns tricks for crack anyway. She still has her teeth. Her ex boyfriend was probably just saying that shit that day he knocked her ass into the street. No one calls that domestic violence here. It is just another fight over drugs.

I remember her friend.  He walks two paces behind her. He can't catch up. It is clearly HER money and she feels kind enough to let him in on her bags. This guy is a comfort man. He swoops in to comfort the wayward ladies of the drug game. He gets bags of frozen peas for their black eyes. He will hold their purse while they turn dates. He is man enough to admit that he has no hustle. He is strong enough to not steal from his friends. I've seen this man before.

I answer him "yeah I have been clean for sixteen years now."

I step off the curb. I need to get away from this place. I feel my heart pounding in my chest- that anxiety. I hear the blood pulsing through my ears. I have a bag full of syringes and cookers and cottons and ties. They are not for me. They are for people like him. I brought myself to a place again. A place within myself. I see the landscape laid out before me. Suddenly, I feel afraid of everything around me. The Pot Clubs, the whinos, the massage parlors, and the tracks of hair pulled on on the sidewalk.

I breeze by the corner store in a frantic push to move towards freedom. I see the 300 pound mother gasping for air in between sucking down a Newport. Her man is there to push the stroller. He has a baseball cap, some sunburned arms. His face is sagging down as low as his pants. As I peek at the child, I notice the sippy cup full of soda as I cross the rest of the street. Could he have been my baby daddy when I was 22 years dumb? Reality is a little too real right now. I need to get the fuck out of here.

The train will take me out of the city but the past remains inside of me. I see it in the concrete. I smell it like a sizzle of chore boy in the air. My hands smell like vinegar from hugging the lady just a little too long at the exchange. What can I say, I am clean but not cured. My body remembers this life. The problem is not that I am uncomfortable here. The problem is that I feel right at home. I bid farewell to the streets but my body remembers this life.


Some people ask me- how do I do it? I just don't fucking use. A needle has never fallen from the sky and into my arms. I have never picked one up. I dealt with the PAWS, I dealt with the shame, I dealt with being a junkie whore liar freak that everyone hated. And I just didn't use. I told the truth, I told some lies. I forgave myself for lying. And I didn't use. I fucked a stranger. I fucked myself over. I learned to cry again. I learned to feel again. And I just don't fucking use. And I am secure with this.

I may not know where my life is going but I am clear about where I have been. My body remembers this life.

This is by my work. The tweakers tear up the garbage cans looking for gold. The story takes place on my way home from work. 





15 comments:

  1. I will be there some day - I just don't use. Beautiful...

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  2. I get über happy when I see a new post from you! This one is from the gut- and I love it. Awesome post.

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  3. I love reading your blog. You are doing so much good for people :)

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  4. Reading your post, dealing with the PAWS wishing today was the day I will just deal with it, get through it, never use again...but instead I am trying to get well, because I have to go to work, to get the check, to get the drugs, to go to work..what a useless cycle. Maybe tomorrow...my dude just called and is going to help me out today. Tracey, keep writing. .you remind me that this doesn't have to be my life.

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    1. This tears me up. I know that feeling. I hope some time soon you will find a way to push through

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  5. Another amazing piece Tracey....you transport readers right into the front lines of the L's.

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    1. Luckily I'm not going there unless it is to eat. All the good food is there

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  6. Tracey I have been following your story. What an absolutely gorgeous writer you are. Thank you for your work. Thank you for your heart
    xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for taking time out your day to read

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  7. This post is one of my favourites, it's a great metaphor for retrospectiveness, observing addicts in a state of desolation yet knowing that's not you anymore (this makes me think of what an ex junkie once told me 'Encountering addicts on the street make me feel as if I'm seeing a old ghost of my past' quite confrontational, on the other hand, it makes you realize how far you came.

    I love the 'Some people ask me how do I do it? I just don't fucking use' part, it all starts with doing!

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  8. Amen to working 60 hour weeks to see it all just go to the dopeman and back again. I always wondered if the d-boys bullshit amongst themselves and say "I can't wait to grab this dude's entire two week paycheck in two days"!

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