Wednesday, September 30, 2015

There was a time...

There was a time that seemed not that long ago when the only thing I needed to worry about was what kind of drug was flowing through my veins. Opioids, benzos, amphetamines where my drug of choice. All at the same time of course. Don't forget the cocaine. Some booze was in there, too. That feeling of being dopesick and chugging on some Taca cheap ass vodka will never leave my memory. That feeling of having my side hurt only realizing it was my liver after washing down a handful of Vicodin with flat beer. There were many days when I woke up broken in my small apartment in Cincinnati that I thought "how much worse can my life possibly get?" I found out.

I don't know if I was born an addict. I know my behaviors certainly molded me into one. That roller coaster of crippling depression briefly came to a screeching halt when I found opioids. There was my solution, my lover, and my best friend in one place. There was a time when I thought the real problem was simply not having an unlimited supply of drugs. When I came to San Francisco only to have unfettered access to them, I began a cycle of self destruction that was past my ability to rationally manage.

8 years of on and off homelessness
11 trips to jail
2 methadone clinic runs
Amphetamines for months on end
Attempt on my life
chipped teeth
Black eyes
Broken noses
34 abscesses

Yet here I am. There is a scene in "Black Tar Heroin" when I look out the window. I say outloud to no one
"Sometimes it makes me happy."
I kept chasing the sometimes.
The important thing is that I believed some day I would get off that shit. I believe some day I would give up everything I knew, everything I loved (my drugs). Just like you.
Some day, you will too.
Some day, you will send me a message "Tracey, I just wanted to let you know..."
I can't wait for that fucking message.
I will love you until I receive it.
I will do everything I can to keep you safe.
I will work to make the world a safer place for people like us.
Because you deserve it.

My book is coming out in March. A fucking book being sold in bookstores. I got my author page yesterday. I find it hard to look at. I was supposed to be dead ten times over. Here I am.
 For all the people who doubt you, they doubted me too.
Let's prove them all wrong.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The traveler

"I'm here on business..." he tells me. His voice is trailing off. He must be desperate to trust me. 

There is a certain magical place for any all middlemen. That is a place when a person approaches you that is both too sick and too scared to get product for themselves. This person is firing on both cylinders. How he ever acquired a heroin habit, I do not know. I suppose he started popping a few percs after a sports injury or someone gave him a few lines in college. He stuck the straw in his nose expecting something similar to coke. Instead, he traveled down the rabbit hole where heroin became an orgasm, a first love, and a bowl full of fuck you all in one. As he settled in, he told himself this was the best feeling in the world until he began violently puking on his loafers. He couldn't make it to the bathroom so he yakked in his empty big gulp while his edgy female companion told him "I knew you would like it".

I suppose when he stepped off the airplane in that printed polo shirt and zip up grey hoodie from the Gap he considered going to get it himself. "I will just walk right up to the first one I see and ask them for..." He sighed. Ask them for what? A gram of you finest heroin, sir. Or perhaps he would make friends with one then ask. All these ideas must have sounded terrible to him. I supposed he anguished over doing those last few bags he was saving for tomorrow. Why did he have a layover? The San Francisco fog strikes again. It enveloped all of his hopes. 

I saw him standing on the periphery, like a child that wanted to get included in a dodgeball game but was afraid to ask. "Hey?" Is that a question or a statement. 
Despite his outward appearance, I saw what I needed to see. Cops don't have runny noses, water eyes, and the sweaty look of desperation. It had taken many hours after his marathon of meetings to summon the courage to even walk here. "Hey" was the best he could do. 

I caught a whiff. That smell- new money in the air. Yes. Like napalm in the morning. I love that smell. The smell of new money is intoxicating. It signals hope. It signals adventure. It signals a day without putting a dick in your mouth to get well. Unless he wanted that too. Luckily, I'm not that desperate. 

"Hey", I tell him. "You alright?!" 

This is a manipulation. I already know he isn't. I can't scare the gazelle by leaping too soon. 

He asks me if I want to go in the doughnut shop for coffee. Fine. His hand is shaky as he pours himself a cup. He wants to make small talk. He wants to feel better about handing a stranger money. He is going to size me up. Can he trust me with $50? A $100? A few hundred like he is used to spending. He is a business man. He is used to a negotiation. 

"Do you live around here?" He asks. 
Hmm. Live is a strange question. I literally live here. I live on these streets. He is looking for an address, a place, something tangible where he can find me. 

"Not here," I tell him. "I live farther up." 
I decide to risk it all and skip to the point. 
"What are you doing here?"

He tells me the usual. I'm here in the city on business blah blah blah. I'm 25 years old and travel a lot. This isn't a bar. You don't need to pick me up, I think. I notice his face for a moment. Those eyes of his. So beautiful with long lashes. I can see if he smiled he would have dimples. If only we were meeting at a bar. If only we were both two normal young adults going out for coffee. We would go to the movies later. He would fumble for my hand in the dark and wonder when would be the right time to get a kiss. He would smile at me knowing that we would see each other again, those butterflies of starting something new. Instead, we are two dope fiends ignoring mutual attraction because we are in a state of mutual usury. 

After 15 minutes of small talk, I am ready to end this game. "How much?" I ask him. "How much do you need?" 

I can tell he is scared to pull out his wallet. He shoved $100 in his sock before he left the hotel. He reaches in his pants leg and shoves it under table. This man just handed $100 to a stranger. Oh lucky day. 

I know what you are thinking, reader. You are thinking this writer was a sleazy junkie who ran off with his money. You would be wrong. I was there and back in less than ten minutes. I didn't want his $100. I wanted a piece of everything in his wallet. I wanted to be the only person he knew on these streets. I wanted him to ask for me by name.

 When I brought him back the balloons full of dope, I kissed him. This was the only way to transfer the drugs without raising suspicion. Two strangers in a strange embrace on the corner in a seedy part of town. 

"What is this..." He looked confused. 

Of course! He was a snorter that had never seen tar before. Good luck with that sweetie. I had my own bag to do- a tip from my favorite Mexican. Plus I kept $20 of his dollars. Felonies aren't free. As I stumbled off into the coffee shop bathroom to do my business, I never expected he would be there when I got out. Of course, he wasn't. I suppose it was a successful trip for both of us. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Dope Fiend Prayer.

Work. Dope. Sleep.
Work. Dope. Sleep.
Work. Dope. Sleep. Broke. Cry. Twitch. Whine. Ahhhhh. Nod.

School. Dope. Sleep.
School. Dope. Sleep.
School. Dope. Sleep. Beg. Borrow. Cry. Twitch. Shit. Ahhh. Nod.

Scam. Hustle. Scam. Hustle.
Tick Tick Tick.
Call. Wait. Call. Wait.
Sick. Sick. SICK!

No, I didn't lie to you.
Well, maybe, just a little.
Yes, I promise I will get clean.
Middle. Skim. Middle.

Another Day, another felony.
Some cheese, some tar, some scramble.
My life inside a plastic bag.
Valium. Vodka. Ramble.

My self esteem? I misplaced it.
My faith in God? I erased it.
I held my future in my hand.
I traded it to my man.

If I die in my sleep,
Promise you won't wake me.
If I have to live this way,
I pray the drugs will take me.

Tell my family that I loved them.
Tell my girl she will love again.
Tell my boyfriend that I am sorry.
As I fade into oblivion.

BBC Interview/podcast

I have been invited on a few different podcasts lately. This one required me to get up at 5:30 am. I try only requests that seem like a good fit and are no going to be saying terrible things about heroin users. I liked the way this one turned out. Link here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One simple story- A guest post from an observer

Let me be completely clear. I have never been an addict. I have never lain my head on the street for slumber or been driven to prostitution or acts of craziness for cash.  My perspective is based wholly on being a witness to addiction. Sadly, most of the addicts that I see cannot talk. They are tiny babies born to moms who are addicts. I am a lowly administrative assistant in a small hospital on the east coast that helps babies born addicted wean from the drugs they are dependent on.  There are stories here…stories that some folks aren’t strong enough to tell themselves. Yet. Not strong enough YET. I always say yet because as my young daughter tells me, anything can happen. 
The first mama that I ever encountered was named Sharon in 2010. Sharon had a beautiful baby girl as well an older child which I never met but she talked about constantly. She was in her 30s and her story still haunts me. 
It is amazing what people tell me. I really have no power and that makes me a completely safe ear. I am not a social worker, I don’t have any clout to speak of . I met Sharon at the big honkin industrial coffee maker near my office. I love my coffee so I visit that machine often. So did Sharon, but for fucks sake, she would put so much sugar in hers it was like brown cotton candy.  She had her boyfriend with her. He was a nervous wreck. Talking a mile a minute saying that they couldn’t take care of this baby. She didn’t say much to him but seemed really preoccupied with me…”Hey, I like your necklace?” “where do you live?” “Do you have kids?”  I always talked to her. She was kind. Engaging.  I talked to her a lot. She told me that her baby was weaning from heroin. She was done with all of that. On methadone…couldn’t wait to be a good mom for her two little girls. She was staying at our facility (we are the kind of place where parents can nest with their babies and she was never far from that baby). She walked around with her often….sang “I'm a creep”…made me laugh. I will never forget her saying that she lived “on a main street in a little town in a green house with a swingset in the front”. Life seemed like it was looking up for her little crew. The boyfriend was dick and I hoped she would come to her senses regarding that.  I believed in her.
Then disaster struck. 
Sharon’s baby got a super bad infection in her little toe where the morphine was being administered.  If you have never seen a baby detox, consider yourself lucky. They wail. I mean cry like there is no tomorrow. It makes colic look like a picnic. And this baby shook. Almost like she got out of the swimming pool and was freezing. I mean, this poor little baby had enough shit going on for an army and she didn’t need an infected toe. She had to go to the main hospital. We are considered stepdown. Sharon followed her baby. Of course she did! It was her baby! Before she went back, I saw her in our coffee area. She said goodbye to me and gave me a piece of cake that she scammed from another family. I gave her a hug and told her I would see her soon. Hells yeah! Her baby was strong…they would prevail. They would come back to step down in a jiffy.

They didn’t fucking prevail.
It turns out Sharon couldn’t take it. Maybe it was guilt….She mentioned that she felt like it was her fault that her daughter was in this shitty position.  The stress of a sick baby…this kid was super sick. She used. She uber used. She came in barely recognizable. Full nod. Said she left stuff at our place. She didn’t. She tried to scam me for money. I didn’t have any (I really didn’t!). It was the first time I have ever looked at someone and saw demise. I hugged her. Wished her luck.
The baby came back. Sharon never did. 
That baby cried constantly. You could hear her from every corner of the floor she was on. We have an amazing group of volunteers . They are baby holders and they come in and help the nursing staff by holding babies. They always held her. She had this head of crazy baby hair and enormous blue eyes.  She was utterly irresistible. I always saw a sadness in her though . I know she was only 4 months old but I think that baby missed her mama. She knew. She was with us for a long time. CYF got involved. Eventually that raven haired beauty found a family. I learned much later that she was adopted by a wonderful couple. Two moms. One a pediatrician, one a pharmacist (A little ironic?).
I know the less successful mama. The one who looked at her like she hung the moon. The one that she cried the least with and shared the same big eyes and crazy hair. The one that couldn’t cope with all the shit that life throws at you daily and a needle eased the pain. 
I know in my heart she loved that mama. I don’t know much, but I know love where I see it. I saw it in those two. I really did. 
That’s what haunts me. I worry that Sharon didn’t see the love. She was so busy being hypercritical of herself. She didn’t SEE the love. I should have told her what I saw between the two of them. But I think she thought she wasn’t worthy of that beautiful baby. She was, By God, she really was. 
She must be about 5 years old now. She is probably in some fancy dancy school, playing an instrument, learning French. I bet she is becoming a beautiful person. I also bet that everytime she passes a green house with a swingset in the front, her heart smiles and she doesn’t know why.

Endless Anticipation- Guest Post JF

Endless Ancipation

It's 6am and all I can think about is scoring heroin...I'm not sure how I ended up in this situation, wait....that's a lie. I know exactly how this escalated to black tar. I followed that curious cat down the wrong alley, tripped, slipped and fell nose first into a pile of brown powder...well,fuck me....let's get this show on the road.

630 am "maybe he's awake, should I try calling?" 

I mean, the sun is almost up and he MIGHT be up....That's the logic of an addict, I know damn well he won't be awake for at least 4 more hours..and that's still not likely, my call log is more like a continual spiral into drug craving madness.

745am While my cravings are completely mental, that voice in my head just won't shut the fuck up...That gorilla on my back weighs 800 lbs and he's a mean fucker when he doesn't get his way. He's a master manipulator and will speak to you smoother than a seasoned pimp mackin to a fresh bitch on the track. He's taken up residence on my left shoulder, like a belligerent squatter refusing to leave. At times he's calm and smooth and can give me all the right answers when I need to make excuses about my drug use and where all the money I've made is......but he's Bi-polar as a muthafucka. In a flash he can transform into the raving uncontrollable beast that brings me into the abyss of self destruction..

For the past 3 days he's been on a rampage, he knows my drug break is up...he was on a warpath until I tricked him back into his cage.

About 3 weeks ago I told my dealer to cut me off...this was after several scary black outs at home, my girlfriend definitely knew I was fucked up on something.... Xanax and heroin can throw you into a helluva stupor...if you are reading this you have either been in one or have seen someone in one. This is the walking zombie syndrome, when the nod takes over and you fall asleep standing up...mid the middle of the he doesn't matter, you will only know it's hit you when you snap out of it.

Like an extra in "the walking dead" your body is there but your mind and soul are ultimately gone

This is known as the "dope fiend lean " and it defies all logic of balance, some people will be full on touching their toes while nodding out while standing...others turn into bobblehead dolls and their heads just dangle about.

I was the walking dead...slamming into walls, almost crashing through the shower doors and shattering them in the bathroom. .. I snapped a chair in half after collapsing into was pretty scary that she saw and heard me like that. If she catches me I'll lose her...there's no coming back from "oh yeah by the way I got a small problem, it's heroin but I promise to stop"

Knowing damn well I wouldnt...


As I sit here thinking that the high I'm chasing is some fantastic orgasmic feeling of pure euphoria, it's not...and it hasn't been for a long time. I use alone so the social aspect is gone, and having to hide the habit and the high is getting to be too much. How the fuck am I supposed to enjoy myself when I have to hide it?

The answer....a drug vacation day. I put in an order for 5 grams of black tar, knowing that the chances are slim of this happening the way I am planning it. Called in sick to work to score heroin and get high....Yeah I'm sick alright..sick in the fucking head. One day this whole shit show will be exposed to the world and they will know my secret. While I clean up nice and can play  chameleon on most situations to blend in, I'm sure everyone I know has caught me in a nod once...and I've been able to blame my insomnia for most of it.

See, I've battled insomnia ever since my last long term relationship...and it was with that bitch Crystal. See, before brown sugar was my sweetener of choice I dabbled into the world of high grade stimulants. Beautiful shards of all shapes and sizes were crushed and sniffed or smoked. My girlfriend at the time liked it, and I was trying to play it cool and party with her even though it wasn't my thing.

See, the stint I served in the Amphetamine Penitentiary was during a different era, we didn't have the quality these tweekers have...our shit was just that, shit.

Crank was a filthy predecessor of crystal meth around the 90s, but it was what we had. Rose, Peanut butter, and others dirty white powders were the flavors available. We didn't have these magnificent  shards of glass that looked like they were stolen from a chandelier...we had shit that tasted like it was made in a motel bathroom. You could see the pink from the benadryl they were using...sometimes the dope would still be wet. Leave a line of this stuff on a CD case too long and it would seemingly begin to eat away at the plastic ...and we happily snorted this shit by the boatload with no concern.

I didn't enjoy smokin meth because it never really got me high like everyone said...until one day. I was renting a room in these shitty apartments by the freeway, most are occupied by section 8'ers or dopefiends...I ended up with a section 8 dopefiend, such a winning combo

I was green to crystal meth and the glass pipe wasn't my specialty, she would fire it up and tell me when to hit it...and after a few hits I got the hit that changed my life.

" THAT is what everyone is talking about!!!!" as I feel a tingle just flow through my body like a low voltage electric buzz...we smoked more and fucked like rabbits until the next day. I was selling crystal at the time and had around an ounce or so usually with me at any time....until I broke the commandment of "never eating high on your own supply"
Little did she know I was barely sleeping 3 hours a night after that, and was smokin my way into meth psychosis.  I was able to hide it well enough, but what happened was just more of us using together. She wasn't hooked but liked to I played along. While we'd get high on the weekend together...

"First me and Crystal on saw each other on the weekends,

But now Im hiding my tweekin

and seeking her out everyday in between em"

And that's how I ended up on meth for about a year or so.

I sit here at Ocean Beach and watch the waves roll in and outt... pop another xanax to hopefully calm the beast....and wait.
I picked up some good weed from the club to try and calm King Kong down for awhile. They called the stuff Gorilla Glue,ho fitting,hopefully it will do the trick... the names of weed nowadays is pretty interesting...hopefully this glue will keep my mind stuck on something other than heroin.

As I smoke my joint and watch the waves flow, I feel the warmth of the sun on my face and for a split second I forget all about dope and just enjoy the view..the weed elevates my mood for the moment and I'm at piece...

I look down at the halfway burned  joint and mumble to myself "this shit is the bomb" I drift off into a dreamy haze with the sound of the ocean and seagulls. For a brief moment I forget about heroin and fall into the comfortable bliss of the xanax and's such a beautiful day, I remember so many good times here. My car engine still running, I pass out and let time fly.....worry free 

And then the beast jolts me from my slumber....fuck, did I miss his call? How long have I been asleep....? FUCK!

It's now 1130 he awake yet?  By my logic it should be a decent time to try and call someone...or maybe not? I dialed his number and ring....2 rings, 3 rings..

The 4th ring means he not answering and inside I pray he answers.

"YEAH...what's up? "   

Why does he bother asking this?

You know what the fuck is up, I need to get high because I sure the fuck didn't call to say good morning, make small talk, and discuss the weather. 

"It's all good but you gotta wait until around 3 to get it"

A four hour wait for heroin feels like 12 hours in my mind, but what can I do? I make sure to remind him I need 5 grams, because he'll forget and only have 2 to spare. He sounds annoyed but at this point I don't give a fuck, I want my dope....

It could be worse, I could be left to scouring the streets of the Tenderloin and taking my chances with strangers hopin for a friendly face....which is an endless roulette wheel of possible rip offs. I should be thankful that I have a direct phone number to the devil himself and he answers my calls for the most part.

How can so much emotion and joy be created by this small ball of black goop. This sticky tar has so much power to be just an inanimate object..once it touches you, there are thousands of unseen teeth that sink deep into your soul. 
Heroin has no soul, but it can permeate yours and cause it to disintegrate rapidly and causes necrosis of the soul. When Im high, nothing matters...I am numb to the world and my mind is no longer racing with madness.

I enjoy the bliss off slipping in and out of a conscious reality and into my personal dreamland. In a nod..a single thought manifests into a  detailed dream, each new nod takes me down another rabbit hole in my twisted mind. But the true bliss is the complete numbness to anxiety, worry, stress and fear..

It's funny how this can ease the pain on life in an instant. The most stressful day is instantly relieved once that double wrapped plastic package is secured. After 3 days of a drought and no connections, today felt like fucking Christmas and Junkie Jesus smiled upon me. 5 grams of tar and I'll get through another couple of days before the carousel begins again.

The cycle of addiction is hard to break when the monkey lives on your shoulder and is constantly whispering sweet nothings in your itself doesn't feel the same without hop and I hate that my peace of mind and happiness is routinely based on copping. I try and pass the time by reading stories on r/opiates to help me realized I could be in a much worse situation..

I could be using dirty toilet water to try and get a hit from old cottons, or I could be puking my guys out and I fully blown withdrawal shitting on myself in a SRO in the TL. I'm not trying  to say my struggle is worse than anyone elses, because I know it isnt...but it is still a struggle for me mentally and controls me more than I would like it to..and this is just my story.

36 phonecalls in a single day to the same number are a clear sign of a problem, and I sit here and wonder how much of a dopefiend he sees me as. See, my dealer is also one of my best friends....while dope brought us together, we formed a bond and treat each other like real family..a twisted misfit bunch of dysfunctional addicts. We don't just meet up for transactions, we actually hang out and have a friendship..

This friendship of course gets rough when the main dope man aint around, he can't cop, meaning I can't either and it turns into phone tag and text relays.

Yeah, I could hit 16th or head over to the TL and try and cold cop....but I got a family, a job, and a lot to lose if I were to get busted. My boy Irish aka Big Rich was my sidekick in the L's, he knw every spot, every dealer and could get us some action within few blocks of browsing.. Rich died alone in an alley in the Central Valley during a relapse and overdosed. Xanax and Heroin killed my boy.

And that's the same combination in my system now.....I pray for the strength to break free from this. I've done it before, it can be done again.

Until that day comes, I'll live this life day by day....praying for the courage to face life without the need to escape reality, but to face it head first without a crutch.

There is something in life I have yet to discover that will mean more to me than getting high...I struggle daily to find and accept this, and pray for the epiphany that will save my life in the long run.

Until then I'm taking my spare change, tossing it into my pill bottle with some mannitol and a chunk of black tar and drift off into my personal land of peace....without worry, anxiety or the ability to give a fuck for a few moments of incoherent bliss...

May God grant me another day of life and allow me to wake up from my self inflicted euphoria....

Thank you for are not alone..


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Heroine of Heroin Podcast

I forgot to post the links when I did the official reddit podcast Here. Follow and it will give you a variety of different ways to listen to the podcast

Saturday, September 12, 2015

2 bags please guest post JF

"2 bags please"
As the words of Curtis Mayfield are on an endless loop in my head...the thought of heroin is the only competition it faces for my attention. Days blend into nights, night blend into weeks, and it all becomes a blur until you're staring at yourself in the mirror trying to figure out your life. How can such a small pebble of joy cause such a reset in my brainwaves...the joy of having the dopamine production of a is only found in a pile of brown powder. 
I check again to make sure I still have my score...a black ball about the size of a large marble, portable pitch black onyx love measured by the gram. This 3 grams won't even last 3 day before I'm back in the endless rat race of copping. I am best friends with the devil and he feeds my addiction happily..a sick twisted friendship of mutual self destruction, our bond is heroin and his habit is worse than mine. 
The feeling of hopeless addiction sets in deeper as I look through my call history for the day..15...maybe 20 attempted calls that went straight to voicemail. He's not picking up...he's probably nodding off peacefully while I'm dialing his number like it's a radio station holiness and I'm trying to win tickets to a concert.
I feel soft and squishy like an OP80 that won't dissolve in your mouth. Oxycontins new formulas fucked off the joy of OC's, instead and breaking down and dissolving they become a ball of gel that you could spend 20 minutes trying to chew up.
Imagine trying to chew up an indestructible  gummy bear...only to have to wait and hope you feel something in an hour or so. A smart move to curb the abuse but you can't stop a determined addict from finding a way.
Addicts can become resourceful as Macgyver at Home Depot...and where there is a will there is a way....
The lyrics continue to echo in my mind
" Silent life of crime
A man of odd circumstance,
A victim of ghetto demands.
Feed me money for style
And I'll let you trip for a while.
Insecure from the past,
How long can a good thing last?
No, no, no
Got to be mellow, y'all
Got to get mellow, now"
Everything will be ok as long as I have my bottle of brown sugar..filthy heroin tarnished coins scattered throughout my room, something only another addict would recognize as a dead giveaway of a hop snorter. I feel the mixture of heroin, xanax, and benadryl drip down the back of my throat, the sweetish aftertaste of the mannitol lingers. I savor the flavor like I'm doing fucking wine tasting in Napa..
."ahhhh subtle hints of opium interlaced with back notes of psuedophedrine, a light wave of folgers with a smooth solid black tar finish"
I daydream of a opiate convention at the Cow Palace where all the finest of opiates are sampled and sold....the entire place turned into a opium den with Persian rugs and hookahs filled with tasty blobs of black gold...Curtis Mayfield hymns playing over and over as heads bobble left and right in and out of conciousness, harm reduction seminars for the shooters...hey we all can dream right?
Happiness for me is sold by the gram in exchange for pieces of your soul. Yes, I'm an addict, but I'm a functioning addict that works 110+ hours every 2 weeks to earn that check. OVERTIME EQUALS LESS SOBER TIME..more money equals more's funny how motivating heroin can be, if I show up at the office with a a gram or two in my pocket I become the most productive and helpful employee you could imagine. 
My paycheck pays for my dope, my dope keeps me motivated to keep working, I keep working so I can I can get a bigger paycheck, I get a bigger paycheck so I can buy more dope, I buy more dope to keep me happy and motivated to keep working, so I can get more money for more dope, more dope equals better days at work, which means more's a sick and vicious cycle and the gears on this hamster wheel are wearing thin.
My father died in September of 1998 and was dead for awhile before his body was found..he had a heart attack while getting high and they left him to die is what I was told by my dad's junkie friend who heard the story after it happened. While listening to his old answering machine messages there was a guy that kept calling and I felt the need to let him know my father was dead. When I was able to get the words out I remember this guy's tone became so serious it scared me...he said he had information on how my dad died and gave me a spot to meet him in Hunters Point..and told me specifically not to drive my father's Cadillac El Dorado since it was well known in the hood...I didn't know how to take this news, and I was already fucked in the head from his death. I got shit faced he night before I was supposed to me him, I cried like a baby all night to my girlfriend at the time and she was worried about what I was planning to do...I woke up the next morning hungover as shit and drove to the Point to meet with the man that would tell me in detail how my father died.
He drove me around and showed me the crackhouses they would get high at, told me the name and description of the dealers and how much dope they'd have on them at any given time, and we began to plan revenge. I wanted to kill everyone in the house and didn't care if women or children were there, in my eyes they all deserved to die for leaving my father to die by himself.  I was able to find 2 grenades for sale and planned to blow up the main house. I mapped out the route, selected which will windows would be best to throw them through and he told me the best time to hit them.  After weeks of plotting my revenge, I found  myself sitting in my dad's empty apartment smokin crack I was leaving the building I heard a voice that sounded like it was coming from my dad's apartment. I froze and couldn't move, my legs would function and tears poured from my was the sound of my father arguing with someone about something, which he usually did after getting clear and distinct it scared the shit out of me.
Here I am crying my eyes out and trembling, while high out of my mind and paranoid. I put one ear to the hallway way outside his apartment and heard my father's last argument...and I was hearing the last moments of my father's life being replayed back to me somehow. My father had heart problems and a crack habit, and the argument and stress combined with the drugs and drinking just was too much. He was found collapsed on the bed in a pool of blood..I remember seeing the brown stain on the mattress and knowing it was my father's blood...and the smell of his decomposing body that still haunts me to this day.
I never purchased the grenades I was offered, and fell so deep into addiction that there's several years around that time that are still just a blur..maybe it's better I don't remember them.
As I make my way down 16th st...I catch a whiff of good dope getting smoked..and for brief second I miss the mouth numbing taste of a fat rock ..a tweekin latina girl walks up to me and asked me if I want some crystal...I've seen her plenty of times out here, and meth has fucked her world. At one time you can tell she could have passed for model out of Lowrider magazine..but meth has robbed her of her youth and beauty, I know she's younger than I am, but she's had it rough and now she's probably turning tricks to get high and looks closers of 45 than I do.
If I was still tweakin this would have been a goldmine to come across...I would have bought the dope, got a room and fucked her until there wasn't any cum left. She's just the type of whore I would be fielding for after hitting the pipe...just wants to smoke and fuck the day away.
No time for dopefiend's time to get to work, a I've got maybe half a gram to get me through the day and keep me motivated..a bump here, a line there and the day will simply disappear into nothingness, only to be repeated in the endless cycle continues on.
"Two bags, please
For a generous fee
Make your world what you want it to be
Got a woman I love desperately
Wanna give her somethin' better than me
Been told I can't be nuthin' else
Just a hustler in spite of myself
I know I can break it
This life just don't make it
Lord, Lord, yeah"
Got to get mellow, now
Gotta be mellow, y'all
Got to get mellow, now
Memoirs of a Madman

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Generation Lost

I am 45 years old now. I am soft in the middle. I own a home in the San Francisco Bay Area (the bank owns most of it). I have three children. I racked up a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and an addiction studied credential. I have almost as much in retirement accounts as I do student loan debt. I have traveled to Canada, Mexico, Europe, and across the US. I wrote a book then another. I have tried every drug I could get my hands on. I have had my share of lovers, lost many friends. In fact,  I have lived 15 years past my expiration date.

When I was using drugs, the Sex Pistols reminded me there was "No Future". There was no future for a person like me. I hated the world. I hated the establishment. Most of all, I hated myself. I am not sure how I went from a loving, confident child to an anxious teen full of self- loathing. Incrementally, I changed into a person that was afraid of the world. I was afraid of my reactions. I got into drugs and alcohol because it was that or suicide. The solution later became my problem.

I survived the Era of AIDS, attempts on my life, 34 abscesses, living on the streets, overdoses, and other forms of violence. That chapter of my life ended in handcuffs. It started when I decided to turn my life around. I was twitching and sweating on a plastic mattress on the floor of the county jail. They gave me a plastic bag to collect my vomit. I wanted to put it over my head, to suffocate everything I was feeling- everything I knew I would feel if I quit drugs. I did it. I stayed clean ever since. 17 long years.

I worry about you all, my friends. I see you all as the lost generation. 126 people dying everyday for opioid overdoses. Is it more now? The number changes every day. 126 lives lost to these drugs. A family that is now torn apart. Friends spiraling into a tidal pool of grief. A community will lose it's greatest resource, a young person full of ideas.

I fear for you. I fear for your safety. Every day, another person dead. Some days, there are two that I know. What must you all be thinking? What are you feeling, knowing that could be you? How many lives have you lost?

How long will people sit around and watch people die before they decide enough is enough? I wonder if we will have a whole generation lost.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Some Days...

Some days I feel like a normal person.
Other days, I feel like a worthless.  
Depressed, stressed. 
Worrying about the tiniest detail. 
I want to cover my face. 
That way, you won't see. 
I wear my emotions like make-up. 
I cover up down to the foundation. 
Years without drugs.
Years without an excuse. 
When you peel back my skull, 
You see that only the pain remains. 
How can I let it go? 
It has kept me company. 
So many years spent beside me. 
Depression is a comfortable robe. 
I wrap myself in that warm feeling. 
I'm settled in. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Strange bedfellows

"It's too hot out here" he tells me "my nuts are sticking to my leg".
I shake my head.
"Ohhh you think that is too much information?" he asks me.
I roll my eyes.
He follows "how do you think I feel about think I feel about watching you dig for a vein a half inch from your pussy?"
I pull my hat down, pretending I am slightly embarrassed.
The truth is- when it comes to drugs I have no shame.

We met in the hall way of my hotel. I wasn't looking for anyone. I preferred to do my thing alone. A man tended to get in the way. A man was either lying in the bed crying about ho he was sick, in and out of jail, or trying to put restrictions on my use. The last one I dated only wanted me to use when he was around, as if I couldn't handle myself. The idea was ridiculous. Everything bad had happened to me in the first six months after I got to San Francisco.
Raped? Check.
Overdose? Check.
Robbed? Check
Beaten up? Check.
Had someone try to kill me? Check.
Those things were long in the past. That was a whole year ago. I was in a different place now.
He had blue eyes, blond hair. He had a remarkably muscular body for someone who used drugs every day. He was around my height, I'm tall so that made him average height. He had a slightly chipped tooth in the front. He had overdosed on cocaine. He hit the nightstand during a seizure and chipped it. He was a speedballer and overall hustler of the highest order.
"What are you looking at?" he asked me as I passed him fixing by the stairway.
"Not much..." I told him as I sprinted toward my room.
"....wait..." he told me as he tried to register.
I stopped and asked him "for what asshole?"
He finished his business and took a look at my face.
"You are a FEISTY one," he told me. His face went bright fucking red from whatever he had just injected.
"Whatever..." I told him as I turned back towards my room.
I heard a gurgling sound. "I'm dying...." he told me as he grabbed his chest and fell on the floor.
UGH fuck. For a split second, I think about leaving. The good person in me takes over.
This tar in my bra in going to start melting in the cellophane if I don't take care of this soon.
I sprint back down the stairs to the landing where he is halfway lying on the floor.
As I reach down to check his pulse, I see I have been tricked
"...I'm dying to know your name..." he tell me.
I kick his leg. "Fucking asshole," I tell him.
He jumps up. "Well now that you know my name, what's yours?" he asks again.
A junkie fucking jerkoff. Great.
He didn't get my name that day but he found me. It turned out he was my upstairs neighbor. We used the same connection in the building if we needed at midnight shot. I had done too much speed without landing gear. I needed someone to hit me. Someone who knew what they fuck they were doing. He volunteered.
I should have never let his tweaking ass come anywhere near my arms but of course, I did. I was desperate. After that, we were a junkie couple of sorts.

My hustle was an intricate one that ate up most of my day. I was a middle man for various dealers. This one couldn't know I was working for that one. That one couldn't know I was working for this one. They all couldn't know I spent my own money on a completely different guy I had deliver a 1/2 mile from my hotel. These customers, these were people on the street. They had absolutely zero patience. They were rolling up with runny noses, looking for a place to shit if they couldn't get a hit in the next 30 minutes. They had no time to wait. Time and time again I would direct them to some crappy dealer, knowing the bags were short and stomped on. After I got my free bags, I would turn around and sell mine then take the money to my guy.

He was a smash and grab guy. He would walk miles and miles up and down the streets of San Francisco at night. He would hit the tourist district, the parking garages of the hotels. He would look for any high value item worth stealing. He would take a piece of platinum spark plug, throw it at the window, and have it silently shatter. From there, he would quitely take out the glass. He even popped the trunk in some cars. I have never, ever met such a brazen thief in my life.

"Don't you ever feel bad?" I would ask him.
"That is a complicated question," he would respond.
Yeah, so that means no, I thought to myself.
I was out all day. He was out all night. We would hang out right before the sun went down. I left when he would start carpet surfing. Or he would leave if it took me too long to get a hit. He told me it made him sad to see me like that. Such a beautiful girl with blood crusted all over like a fucking ghoul.
"Shouldn't we be fucking?" he asked me.
We laughed in  unison. Such a preposterous idea. I curled up next to him in bed as he hit the light.