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.
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.