Sunday, February 15, 2015

I wish I was like you, easily amused.

I didn't want to be born a heroin addict. I wasn't born this way. I created this monster. My love/hate relationship was forged somewhere at the intersection of depression and poor choices. It is as if my relationship with the drug is inextricable from my ability to function. Once that feeling enters the body, it is as if no other joy ever existed.

"Quit puking out my fucking window" I tell him. What kind of fucking asshole pukes out your window when there is a bathroom five feet away.

He reaches out to me. "Hand me some water " he commands me. I am not getting this dude anything. I need to get him out of my place. I kick his leg instead.

"Get your shit together dude" I tell him. "You need to get the fuck out of my place."

This is fucking bullshit. I am not taking care of a god damned amateur. I don't even see how this is humanly possible. He got one half gram to split between three of us. I made up the shots so of course, I gave myself the most. That goes without saying. Plus, I bought myself a little something with the extra money. I don't middleman or middle woman or whatever for free. I am taking all the risk. For his $60, I got a gram. I dipped off into the gas station, broke it in half, wrapped it back up, and burnt the plastic seal on his piece. I know he won't know the difference. This isn't my first time at this rodeo.

 The Mexican dealers won't sell to him. He walks by and they scream "Police" in Spanish. His loss is my gain. I have no idea why he would trust me anyway. I fucking hate him. I hate the fact that he can come into my 'hood and leave to return to the burbs without a scratch on him. He is like the virgin snow that the neighborhood dogs have not pissed on- not yet.

"Are you done yet, Steve?" Even his name irritates me. Steve. I can picture him sitting at his desk at work. "Hello, this is Steve. Yes of course I can help you with that Mrs. Smith. First, let me tell you about our great new product." DIE, DIE, FUCKING DIE.

I kick his leg again. "Get out of my window Steve."

He falls back into my chair. "No one cares Tracey "  he explains to me. "This is the Tenderloin, right?!"

He pulls out his cigarettes and lights it without even asking me. I don't smoke. He exhales into my face. Steve is sweating now. He unbuttons the top few buttons of his shirt and attempts to make himself comfortable. His head half hits his chest before he announces "I need to hang out here for a little while. Just until I wake uuppppppppppp." His words trail off.

I grab his cigarette before he burns up my floor. I am steaming now. He tips me $5 for clean rigs, a place to use, and copping for him. Plus, if I didn't pinch, he generously provides me 20 units AFTER I hit him. I have to sit there after he is done to make sure he doesn't overdose. Then , he orders me around for the next twp hours until he feels like he is in good enough shape to go home. In that two hours, he will spend his time mocking my life choices, where I live, and tell me extensively how I need to quit using heroin. Back in suburbia, his girlfriend is making scones from scratch. She probably can't wait for him to come home so they can have fabulous sex on the shag carpet underneath a portrait of Jesus at the last supper.

Steve talks endless shit about me. I know this because bad news travels fast. The neighborhood junkies see me go tot the corner store with Steve. They call him my "mark". In a sense, Steve gets a ghetto pass because he is under my protection of sorts. Whatever credibility he has is based solely on the fact that everyone knows I work him for my fix and they respect that. They respect ME. There is a sense of honor among thieves to a certain degree. You don't have to like me to admire my hustle.

But then Steve went and did the unthinkable. There is a line you don't cross. The line is variable. It shifts back and forth depending on the day but it is still there. Even the most dedicated dope fiend has some ethical code that is unknown to everyone except themselves. I will do this but I won't do that thing. Steve crossed a line that day. He liked to get high and analyze me because he felt he could. It was a thing. He liked to hang out with me because he felt I was a few levels lower than him. He didn't have a problem because he wasn't like me. I was his living, breathing line in the sand. As long as he wasn't like me, he would be okay.

"What do you think your mom thinks about all this Tracey?" he asked me as he perked up in his chair. "What do you think your mother thinks about the fact that she works hard to send you money and you stick it up your arm? I guess she doesn't really love you though. If it was me, my mother would be right here. She would be pulling me out of here and into rehab so fast it would make my head spin. I guess your mom doesn't really give a shit about you huh, Trace?" He smiled at me. A smug I AM SO MUCH better that you smile.

He lit another cigarette with one hand and stuck his hand down his pants to scratch his balls with the other. He dug in there so deeply he must have struck blood. I hated fucking Steve. He just didn't know how much.

A few hours later I walked Steve out on my way to the corner store. He thought I was walking with him. I really was not. I no longer could stand his company. I headed towards the store with my five bucks to get a cinnamon roll when one of the local home bums stopped me.

"You got any change darlin'?" he asked me.

I reached into my pocket and handed him the five dollars. "This is my last five dollars man. I am going to give this to you now. But if you see that dude, the one walking down the street there", I pointed at Steve " He owes me $50. He won't pay me. If you see him again, collect it for me man. I'm done fucking with that dude."

He nodded and smiled as he headed off to get his bottle of poison.

The next time I saw Steve, he had a black eye and some empty pockets. He wanted me to "spare" him some dope. Apparently, some dudes had robbed him for NO REASON Steve declared in his superior tone.

"This is the Tenderloin, right?!" I told him. I couldn't help him. I couldn't help myself, I told him. I never heard from Steve again. I suppose he got ripped off a few more times before he gave up on people like me. He started going to church or one of those fancy rehabs. I sat in the same chair he had sat in, drinking my water, and staring out the window wishing I had his $50. There was one thing I knew for sure- my mother fucking loves me. No one, no douchebag like Steve, was ever going to fucking talk her to me again. There are some things you just don't do, bro. Bye Bye Steve. On to the next one.

This is a composite of two different incidents. The debt was $50 but I actually paid the home bum in heroin and the dude got all strung out later. 


  1. He really deserved it, Tracey. Nothing worse than someone who puts others down in order to lift themself up. And think how he must feel now, seeing you on the news. Reading your articles. You've really done something with your life. Take that, Steves of the world!

  2. I can relate to this so much. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks girl. I know your struggle. You're not alone. I probably would have beat the shit out of him myself if he talked about my mum. Olivia.

  3. People like him make me so angry. Just because I was able to maintain a job while using and some other things NEVER made me better than anyone else. I was still a junkie just like the next guy. There are people like Steve everywhere and they suck.