Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Train Station

After a mind numbing day of dealing with crisis after crisis at my job, I pull myself into a seat on the train that will eventually lead me a few blocks from my house. The sky is clear in the outside world. The blue ceiling of the curve of the Earth is dotted with ethereal clouds. I get lost in them for a moment. I forget about the problems of the day, the crunch of the dirty floor below me. The train ride home provides me with the promise that anything can happen. My anxiety builds from that last square of dark chocolate I ingested for the rush of dopamine, straight to the head motherfucker. My pleasures are simple. Food, fucking, furry creatures, and full faced children that call me mother. I feel someone acknowledging my existence when I deflect my attention to my electronic escape device. I stare at my my iPhone, silently cursing the fact that my screen is foggy and my case is cracked.
My first world problems are interrupted by a young woman who shuffles past me. She pull on the door leading to the next car of the train to no avail. The door is locked. She flops down in her seat. A young man walks through. He stops to spit on the floor before he takes the seats across from her.

My junkie spidey senses tell me that something is not right here. In addition, years of homelessness have made be adept at people watching. I catch something out of place like a drug addict version of a search and find puzzle. The young woman has a pleasant face. There is a softness that is missing though, that bit round flesh around the chin left over from youth. She stands up to reveal yoga pants that once must have gripped muscular legs. Now they sag over what is left of her vanishing backside. Her UGGS are worn nearly to the tag and fully out of place on a warm day. Her pullover covers what must be arms with tiny scars, the tell tale sign of her affliction. As I exit the train, her boyfriend grabs her arm and leads her down the stairs to the bathroom of the train station. I see myself in the reflection of the polished metal door. It is almost as if the ghost of myself was left behind. 

There was a time when I would take a long train ride out to Richmond California. It was 45 minutes but it seemed like ten hours away from the streets of the Tenderloin. My dealer(s) lived there. I suppose technically I was a dealer. Mostly I was a fall guy. The dealers asked me one day if I would be willing to help them sell there products. I would need to stand out on a busy street corner in day light. The drugs would be pre packed in the tiniest balloons I had ever seen. There would be what they called 1/2 grams which where actually .3 and what they called called dimes which were actually barely enough to see. The balloons were used because it made the drugs easier to retrieve if I was choked by the police. I could easily swallow the dope and throw it back up. I know this because I did this many times, sucking down a liter or two of water then sticking my fingers as far back in my throat as necessary to induce vomiting. I had to dismantle the sink once to retrieve a lost bag. A rat later crawled out of that pipe but that is a whole other story. 

The young dealers trusted me. They had no choice really. Their business relied on volume. They had to sell as many paquetes as possible in a short period of time. Staying out meant drawing unnecessary attention. The goal was simple- make money. My goal was simple as well- get drugs. They provided me with a few bags at first to see if I would return. It felt scary and exhilarating the same time to be standing on a street corner, doling out transactions. For once, I wasn't the one begging for crumbs. I wasn't the one who was pleading for mercy with my short money. I felt like god and a child at the same time. Then someone stuck a knife to my throat and I knew things would never be the same again. I had crossed to a different side of the curtain and the wizard was a 5'5" Mexican teenager who shared an apartment with five other dudes in Richmond California. Eventually, I was muling $500 in singles, fives, tens, and twenties rolled up in a condom in my pussy to get half ounces to sell the the lowest of the low bottom user- people exactly like myself. This happened twice per day. I would be so sick on the return trips back to the city, my boyfriend and I would cook up the dope and shoot it on the train. He was just along for the ride anyway. The dealers never trusted him and neither did I. I never trusted anyone.

My using did not end because of an absence of drugs. It ended because the vast quantities  of it. More than i could have ever imagined. The shots got larger and larger and larger. I was poking myself so many times in a desperate attempt to find a vein, i would often got through a ten pack of syringes for one fix. I wold be covered in blood and my own tears. "If only" was my thought. If I could only get the right combination, the right vein, the right amount everything would be fine. It never was. I was supposed to be clearing $250 a paquete. That all went up my arm. I was lucky if I had enough left for train fare. I rarely did. 

I was once the girl in the train station. Today, I took a different route. I walked out the gates and to the walkway that would lead me to my home. I share this home with people that love me. My yoga shorts are tight, My sleeves are short, and my heart is full of love today. 

XOXO Tracey

I am leaving next week for the taping of Dr Oz. I will let everyone know when it is going to be on TV and take pictures.


  1. Good luck on Dr. Oz! :)

  2. Cant wait to watch your Dr Oz episode Tracey. I have watched black tar a couple of times now and it always amazes me at the extra problems with that type of H.Here in Australia we dont have black tar we only have pure white heroin that disolves completely in water and is difficult to smoke but disolves clear into water and easy to inject, it is very clean and comes from Asia I think. So we dont have all the problems that come with black tar. It is heroin however and extremely addictive and thus has the usual problems associated with junk. Im going to buy the Big Fix this week as I love your writing and I find your writing fascinating and reading also helps me in my own recovery. Is that your only book Tracey?

    1. That is my only official book. I was on American radio show called NPR "fresh air" this week. You might want to give it a listen as it was well received.

  3. Please never doubt your purpose in this life.