Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cutting off Your Nose

"You are cutting your throat to spite your face," he told me in a muffled voice.

We had been sick most of the evening so I wasn't expecting much in terms of conversation. After a long day of shivering and treking around with a snotty nose, there wasn't much to say.  It was creeping up to two am. I knew this because I had seriously considered chugging a bottle of vodka to get the sick off. It was 1:30 before we had made the decision to go in on the smallest piece of dope we could afford without dipping into the money I owed to my regular connection. I had been in a typical junkie paradox. I had money, $497 to be exact, but no access until the morning. He had turned off his phone, god damn him. I assume all my money was paying for him to live a normal life somewhere. The Christmas presents for his kids were paid for with $20 bills covered in the tears and sweat of prostitutes sucking dirty dicks with our condoms just to get well. As a small time dealer, these were my customers.

"What the fuck are you saying," I asked. We had shared a twenty, which was more like a ten but it was going to have to work until dawn. I had taken a phenergan and a Klonopin to stave off the chills. It was barely working. In situations like this, my man enjoyed buying crack. I heartily disagreed. Crack was a funny drug. I remember saying many times "I don't smoke crack" as if it made me superior to everyone in this environment. Then slowly, as my boundaries lowered, it was "I don't smoke crack," but "do you have some?" Now, I had simply come to terms with the fact that I was smoking crack here and there. But not the way I felt now. Fuck to the no.

He rolled over to me. I could see by the moisture around his eyes he had been crying. I hope not crying over me, not again. He was probably crying from the sickness. Dope sickness did crazy things to a person. Nutting without ever touching your dick. Crying for the life you left behind. Most of all, it made you consider slitting your wrists. Or it did for me. I had never tried it but I had seen in more than once. I knew a person who literally cut their own throat from dope sickness after they had been refused pain meds in the ER. They cut it with a razor blade, just enough to get their attention. I was crazy but not THAT crazy.

"You are cutting your throat to spite your face." He told me again. "I don't know exactly what it means, but it seems to fit you".

He was a beautiful man. Not a handsome man. Not an attractive man. He was a beautiful man. Not what you would describe as being "the sharpest tool" when it came to things that required common sense. The type of sense he had was uncommon. He could see right through me, through all my bullshit. I loved him for it. I respected him for it. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with him but I wanted to be with him now. Now was all I knew. When I looked into those eyes of his, I truly wished for a second that we were two normal people. I wish we had normal lives where we both went to work in the morning, kissed each other goodnight, and made love because we were capable of emotions. Instead, we were two junkies. I sucked money away from my mother.  I sold heroin, he sold his ass whenever we had money issues which was often. I could never tell him about the guy I blew in the back of a parking lot for dope money. He could never tell me about fucking some old troll. We told each other a series of intricate lies to spare the feelings of the person we claimed to love. 
"What does that even mean?" I asked. "Why am I mad at my face?" 

He shook his head in frustration. The klonopin I had taken an hour ago when I was dopesick was now pushing me into a state of being incoherent. The twenty piece we had gotten off of some stripper was more potent then I had first thought. It wasn't much but it was doing the trick for the next hour or so. I was trying to enjoy the respite from pain.  I could feel my words slowly starting to taper off as I caught myself sliding down the wall. Exhaustion coupled with a comfortable place was finally taking over. 

He grabbed my fingers. He squeezed "my fucking hand!!" I screamed "let go!" He wanted me to hear him, to feel his emotions. YOU are killing yourself was all I heard, yet I felt nothing.  He turned back over in disgust. I'M KILLING MYSELF, I wanted to argue. What about you? What was it like for him being the child of two junkies. His mother stole the money out of his birthday card on his 14th birthday to buy dope. His father would constantly follow us around asking for crumbs. It was repulsive in a way, the father begging his son for drugs. EXPECTING his son to give him drugs. Yet, he always would because he loved him. Love meant something different in this life.

"Wa Wait a minute," I tapped him "it is cutting off your NOSE to spite your face."

I could hear him sobbing into the pillow. Crying out from anger, or depression, and hopelessness. Spending all our money on dope, hotels, crack, and rarely food has left us in this impossible place where we were alive but barely living. I slept in his boxer shorts, my legs were crusty with the recent scabs of needle sticks and abscess drainage. I had become so emaciated, I no longer needed anything to hold up non existent of my womanhood. I wore a sports bra more as a universal stuff holder than a place for breasts. The same could be said of my crotch. I was stuffing condoms full of drugs and/or money inside me. I think in the past six months I had sex twice? Three times? It seemed like going through the motions of a relationship. The up and down, the crack and dope taking over whatever humanity was left.

Maybe I had cut off my nose. I no longer could smell the pissy alleys. I could ignore the rancid infections I seemed to get every few weeks from the tar. But if I had cut off my nose, I had also ripped my eyes out. I was unable to see the world around me. I was only focused on two things: the rush and the absence of pain. Everything else was ancillary. Truth be told, I was blind to the person laying next to me. I know one thing. I know that he loved me. But I also know we both love dope a little more. It shouldn't have been that way, it just WAS. As I rolled off into a restless slumber, I pretended not to notice him weeping. The only thing that could save us now was that next fix.

In case you haven't noticed by now, I don't have ads on my blog. This is something I have done on purpose. I don't want people to think I am endorsing any product or service. The loss of income isn't as important to me as my reputation. 


  1. I just watched that HBO doc on YouTube. I can't tell you how special you are. I've never even seen heroin but am on methadone from a pill habit. I'm middle class with grown, successful girls,.. Boy, was it a shock to them when I told them. Anyway, I bought pills anywhere I could to stop the pain. Not the same but similar too. I am amazed at your recovery and respect you beyond words.

    Kindest regards

    1. There are so many methadone success stories. I wish more people knew this

  2. Love this Tracey. You have such a way of telling your story. Thank you so much for everything you are.

  3. I can relate more than you will ever know

  4. I totally get it. Regretablly, I understand this, all to well. Thanks for your vivid honesty. Today, I can read this. Before sobriety, I wouldn't. I couldn't, it was to much like my life. Today, I soak this in. It keeps me moving in the direction i want, towards life. So again, I thank you!!!