I am 46 years old, a fossil by junkie standards. The links I have to the past, they are in my memories. They are in the faces of people I see pass me by. That person *almost* looks like...but I know that person has passed on. In the nearly 30 years since I started dabbling with drugs, I have lost more people that I can remember. An army of dead lovers and friends marching across my dreams.
Maybe I should forget the past, someone told me. Maybe I should only write about positive things, they said. That person died recently under mysterious circumstances. We all know what the social media post means when no one says why you are dead. It isn't a car crash or cancer or an act of God. Those deaths require details. When a user like us dies, we are simply left with questions.
Why did they use again? They were certainly no worse than I was in my day. Why go back to sticking that spike in your vein when you have so much to lose? Why? Because that is what we do when we try to bury the past. The muscle memory takes over. The arms that reach for just one more. The legs that carry us that extra mile to the dealer. The ears that tune out everything except for the calls of heroin.
It's a sweet song. Like the sirens driving us back into the rocks again? Can we survive the journey. He didn't, she didn't. Two dead friends in two months. People like me, in our 40s. Children left alone. The call of the siren was too strong to resist.
People ask me why I still talk about dope. Because I am not immune to it. Because some times I crave it with every fiber of my miserable being despite knowing the consequences. Talking about it helps me resist just one more day, one more month, one more year, one moment at a time.