Saturday, November 22, 2014
My reality is quite different. My prince charming isn't so fucking charming this morning because he is sick. He is laying curled up under the comforter with cigarette burns while I pull on my dirty socks. He is tall, around six feet, and probably weighs 145 pounds. The only scales around here weigh out points and grams. Next to his side of the bed, he has a picture of GG Allin and a plastic figure of THE TICK from the comic books. I can't really use him as a pillow because he is so bony. Some times he rests his head on my lap so I can hit him in the neck. The only time my head seems to go against his chest is to see if he still alive.
"Are you almost ready to baby?" I ask him as I shake his foot.
Our pet names for each other seem so ridiculous at this stage in the game. I love this man. I do. I love him as much as my heart will allow. But every single day, there is a constant wave of criticism that comes from living with an addict that is unhappy with themselves. Neither one of us minds the term "Junkie". In fact, I think we both embraced it at first. We started down that path separately and now we trudge down it together.
I try to pull him up but realize this is something he has to do on his own.
Neither one of us has had a fix. That means, we have to get moving. We saved some beat cottons but that did nothing but leave a scabby hole and a feeling of regret. Trying to get him to save a wake up for the morning is an exercise in futility. Once he gets going on the crack, he wants that landing gear. I hate crack. I hate the smell. I hate the way it makes people act. That's why I sneak off and do some speed here and there. So much cheaper. Crack is like a money pit. You pour $20 dollar bills down that hole and wake up on the carpet six hours later.
He pulls himself out of bed and wipes the dust out of his puffy eyes. "Okay" he tells me "Let's do it".
It is hard getting warm when strung out. There is a feeling of cold that seems to seep into your very core. It is even harder when you are dope sick. The feeling is just creeping up slowly like a flu with a timetable. I know exactly how I am going to be feeling if we don't hurry the fuck up. This scheme is his idea. I would much rather be trying just about anything else. I find standing on corners literally begging for people to get me well more effective than his ideas. But we are supposed to be a couple and he pretends to have some self esteem left. We are dressed exactly alike- hoodie, socks to our knees, cut off shorts, two or three shirts, canvas shoes. He helps me navigate the streets because my glasses are fogging up in the drizzle. At least, it isn't a full on rain when we get up the hill from Ellis.
The line is already snaking down the block. He could read my mind thinking fuck this when he drags me forward. He looks at me to say "no we are in this together". This would be the hustle of the morning as he had declared last night. We would be waiting for hours in the drizzle in this line at the church to get groceries for Thanksgiving. I had never tried this before despite living in the city for a few years. I sold my Christmas presents for drugs one year. Another I got arrested an Christmas eve for prostitution. He promised me this year would be different. We were told they will give us a frozen turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and everything we need to make a dinner "at home". This idea is laughable as we live in a hotel with no cooking facilities, a room with no microwave, and barely eat. Then we can walk right down the street and sell our $80 worth of groceries for $10 cash. Seems like a bargain.
I see the Christmas lights in the windows of the Church. It makes me wonder what human beings do this time of year. Being part of the normal world seems so long ago. Eating turkey on the special table, with the special dishes, with the smell of roast bird filling the house for winter days to come. I miss laying on the couch full of food watching football with that feeling that everything is right with the world. Instead, I am shivering in line to get a box of food I will sell for $10 to get my morning fix while life passes me by.
In fact, after he gets a fix he is leaving me to visit his mother. I will be pursuing the next leg of my hustle on my own. He swears he is going to ask her for $50. I suspect he will come back drunk and sick instead. In a few hours, the streets will be empty. The only thing left out here will be me, my habit, and painful memory of another holiday spent strung out.
People put so much emphasis on the holiday season. Don't fall into that trap. Do what you can to take care of yourself. If you use, take steps to be safe. If you are in early recovery, avoid expectations. Make your own joy and reflect on how far you have come.