Tuesday, August 18, 2015

'Dem Jugs

"How long are you going to keep diggin' in them feet sis?" he asks me in a exaggerated drawl.
God- I hate being called sis or being referred to as some one's "street sister". It isn't that I don't care for people. I absolutely do. I even think of a few as being like my extended. That isn't this context. However, "sis" is always followed by a freakin' request.
Can I get a cigarette sis? NO
Can you spare some change sis? NO
Can I get a sip of your forty sis? NO NO NO.
I am not your sister. I have a family. I have a family I left a few years ago. I traded them in for a bag of dope. I rarely call them. I haven't seen them since my mom had to drive me for my HIV test. They thought I was positive for a few weeks. I had caught a case of thrush. That is one of nine conditions that makes up the ARC or AIDS related conditions. I did a huge hit of speed before I left San Francisco. I didn't come down until a few days after i got to my parents house. I was the fucking asshole that showed up a few days after my brother's wedding. I suppose it was a blessing in disguise. I wouldn't have known how to behave anyway. My mother had to drive her daughter to get an AIDS test. the last time she saw me, I was in college and had a job. I am a rotten fucking person. This life is my punishment.
I am tweaking again. Digging around in my fucking legs with a needle. I zone out as I try to get a hit. It is dangerous. It is a disgusting habit. Some people pick at themselves. I dig at myself with a syringe and 20 units for hours at a time.
"Let me help you out there sis." he persists.
As he gets closer, I scan him. First of all, his eyes are crystal blue and pinned. That always makes my heart stop. That and those collarbones. He possesses a great set of deliciously thin collar bones. He is no novice junkie. He is all in this bitch. He has a series of bad tattoos. I can excuse those. He is tall and thin and almost delicious. I rate this man downright fuckable, my future ex right here.
He bends down to make sure I know he is serious.
"I've been watching you for a minute here sis. Why don't you let me help you out?" He asks.
Help yourself to my drugs, I think as I roll my eyes. He wants some of my drugs. No one is nice in the Tenderloin. Nice doesn't exist here. When a person is nice, it is simply put in the bank for a future favor. Remember that time when... that kind of nice. The YOU OWE me nice. Whatever. I go back to digging.
He points to my leg "Why are you sitting digging around in there?"
Reality slowly creeps in- my reality. It is two o'clock in the afternoon. I am sitting in a parking lot between two cars on some crumpled newspaper with my cooker, my lighter, my water, and a pile of bloody alcohol wipes. My jeans are pulled down around my ankles. My t-shirt is tucked down, around, and under my pussy to cover up my underwear. This doesn't seem odd to me. I have been going up and down my leg trying to find a vein. I need to come down from the speed I did last night. Why, why why did I do speed when I was dopesick. The result is always the same- momentary relief and extended misery. I really need this hit.
"I can't find a vein," I told him sharply.
He gets even closer, which should make me uneasy considering I don't have my pants off. I am too sick to care.
"My name is Jay," he tells me as he looks me over "I see some perfectly good veins from here."
I roll my eyes at him. He really is getting on my nerves now. "what the fuck?" I tell him.
He reaches down in a way that is unassuming, almost sensual. He pulls my softly to the side of my neck.
"dem jugs" he tells me "look at them jugs."
There are two kinds of junkies. There are those that use heroin until they hit a wall of consequences and eventually stop. Then there are those that hit in the jugular vein. By the time you start hitting in the jugular vein, you have no fucks left to give. You have abandoned all hope of every really quitting. You are tired of covering up. This drug, this substance, has got a grip on your tighter that the balls. In fact, you would hit in there if you could find a good vein.
I have known many jugular vein horror stories. I have seen on collapse. I have seen my ex break off a needle in there. I even had a friend hit someone there only to have the person die afterwards from an anerysm. This was bad, bad, fucking bad. I was doing it.
I don't know why I let him do it. There is no logical reason why, I just did. I let a stranger stick a needle in my neck that day on the corner of Eddy and Hyde in a dirty corner parking lot. It is now covered with a fence to keep people like me out. He instructed me to blow. I blew the air into my cheeks as I held my head to the side. He dug in there with my old syringe. It hurt. It burned. It was scary and I did it. I only had twenty units of heroin, plus I had accumulated some extra blood. He pushed that needle in. I knew at that moment, I had broken every single rule I had for my addiction. I just didn't fucking care.
"See what I told you girl," he smiled "dem fucking jugs!"
He looked happy, so proud of himself. He took my neck virginity. In the blink of an eye, I hit an all time low. I didn't want to share it. I gathered up all my stuff and shoved it in my purse. As I stood up, I felt a little rush. Straight to the head, motherfucker.
"Hey you want to..." Hang out I thought to myself. No. I don't want to hang out. I want to get away.
I started walking out of the parking lot as I caught a glimpse of myself in the car window. There was a bruise already starting to form on my neck. This was the junkie equivalent of a one night stand. I just wanted to get away from him.
I brushed past Jay. It wasn't you, it was me, bro.
Another day, another horror story. All about them jugs. 

The pic above is proof I enjoyed my longest vacation in 15 years ;). 


  1. Not what I was expecting! Awesome story!

  2. Yea once you start there its downhill. No wear else is ever the same.

    1. Pretty much. I only did it twice. I found it to be really scary

  3. Hello,

    I'm sorry if this is the wrong place for this request. A friend told me about your efforts with harm reduction services, and I can't tell you how elated I am to hear there are people out there doing such compassionate work.

    In the last 2 months, I've lost 2 close friends to accidental opiate overdoses. I run an organization in Chicago focused on suicide prevention and harm reduction, lately I am constantly reeling from these loses.

    Is there some way I could reach you through email or telephone and we could chat more about what I can do to help give my community tools to help keep them safe?

    Thank you for your time and love, and for all you do.

    1. you can email me at traceyh415@gmail.com but/luckily one of the the BEST harm reduction agency in the country is in Chicago- The Chicago recovery alliance http://www.anypositivechange.org/menu.html
      They really started naloxone distribution in the US. I would hook up with them!

  4. Oh jeeze, how jealous I would get of people with" good viens". Mine were terrible from the jump so unfortunately my neck was in use long before a true seasoned junkie & even those became useless after a few short months which was longer than the few short days/weeks that all my other veins lasted.
    I'll never forget the time I had my Bf help me hit in my neck and I could hear the" whoosh" of the injection in my right ear and then all of a sudden my face on the same side felt hot as fuck and I looked in the mirror to find that it looked like I had had a fucking stroke! Oh my god was I freaking out! Thankfully it only took about 24 hours and lots of anxiety for it to return to normal. But man oh man, do I know what the previous poster^^ speaks of when she said no where else is ever the same. I remember the rush feeling phenomenal comparatively.

  5. What is the diff between smoking and shooting heroin- why one over the other?
    Have a friend who is addicted but smokes??

    1. IV is more intense onset and is riskier in terms of infection. There is no significant difference other than that- heroin is heroin

  6. I relate to you so much on being covered in blood unable to find a vein. I dig in my hands for ten to fifteen minutes and end up muscle-ing my shot. I'm in a junky relationship as well and my boyfriend never wants to help by hitting me (he does eventually after we fight about it) says it takes his high away.

    1. I think the lack of veins was the major factor in me quitting. It really made it clear on the daily that the drugs didn't work for me