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I've been all over the place lately. At the beginning of the summer I was plowing through the Needles, Names, and Numbers drafts, ultima...

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Own Medicine

“What’s good?” Middle Man Mike asks me as he enters the break room. He has a seat across from me and daps me up. “Just taking my half… Lisa still here?” I ask him. Middle Man Mike nods. “I think she’s closing with us.” I put my head in my hands. “Fuck. I’m not in the mood for her shit right now…” “You get fucked up last night?” I smile. “Uh huh…” Seems all I do lately is get fucked up. I’m more paranoid than ever, and the only thing that seems to help is booze. Hangovers are now a thing of the past. More often than not, my buzz from the night before lingers well into the following day. If I don’t reign it in soon the DT’s are gonna set in. Whatever. If that happens I’ll just buy another fifth of Crown.
            
“You going to any shows soon?” Middle Man Mike asks me. “I was thinking about going to Veil tomorrow night for Destructo. I don’t know for sure, though. I don’t think I know anyone trying to go.” “I’ll go. What is he, like a DJ or something?” “Yeah, he’s pretty dope. The crowd at Veil can be kinda douchey some nights, but it shouldn’t be too bad tomorrow. If you really wanna go I’m down.” “How much is it to get in?” “I think tickets are like ten bucks.” I say, checking my phone. “Yeah dude, I’m down. You got tabs, right?” Middle Man Mike asks. “Yup.” “Word, you wanna trip?” Fuck…
           
I have tabs, but they are not good. For the last year, I have been polluting the local drug scene, selling 25i tabs as LSD. My product has become so wide-spread that I don’t even bother trying to find real acid on the street anymore. Usually I just get some real shit from the darknet when I wanna hang with Lucy. Now I’m faced with quite the predicament. If I don’t trip with Middle Man Mike, my cover could be blown, and all the dealers I’ve been fucking over could wise up and give me the thorough ass beating I deserve. Yikes.
            
“Yeah, that’s cool with me.” I say to Middle Man Mike. “Word. Do you still get Molly too?” He asks me. “Nah, not since Mark got locked up. I stocked up before he went away but I moved the last of my shit a couple weeks ago.” “Word, yeah we’ll just trip then. Maybe we’ll find something at the club. I got tomorrow off, you wanna chill before the show? I’ll be around all day.” “Yeah, I’m off too, you know where I live, right?” I ask him. “Yeah.” “Word, I’ll call you tomorrow.”
            
I call Middle Man Mike at two o’clock the next day. “What’s good? Yeah, you can come through whenever. Wanna do me a favor, though? Grab some booze on your way over? I dunno, you like whiskey? Cool. Grab a fifth of Crown Royal, I’ll pay you when you get here. Get some coke or ginger ale to mix it with, whatever you want. Oh, and can you grab me a pack of smokes too? Newport Hundreds. Menthol. Alright, thanks. Peace.” No n-bomb trip is complete without a pack of smokes and a healthy supply of booze and weed. Knowing I’ll be able to level off with whiskey puts me at ease a bit. I haven’t done n-bomb in a year, maybe even longer than that. I’ve never had a bad time with it, but it’s one of those rare drugs I have little desire to try again.
            
I pick a random Destructo mix from his soundcloud and play it through my Bluetooth speaker. There’s a knock at my door as I pull a couple of glasses out of my kitchen cabinet. “What’s good?!” Middle Man Mike says as he steps inside my apartment. He puts the liquor store bag down on my coffee table. “Thanks for grabbing that shit, how much was it?” I ask him. “With the smokes it was like 50something. I think I got the receipt in my car…” Middle Man Mike replies as he searches his pockets. “Don’t worry about it, man. I’ll grab your dough.” I go into my room and pull my stash box out from under my bed. I’ve got a little over three grand in cash wrapped tightly in a rubber band. I peel off three 20’s for Middle Man Mike and break a half-strip of n-bomb off one of my seven sheets. “There you go, man.” I say as I hand him his money. “Thanks dude. You wanna drop now?” He asks as I sit down on the couch. “Yeah, sure.” Might as well get this over with…
            
I put the tab of n-bomb under my tongue, but I can still taste that awful, mouth-numbing bitterness as it marinates in my saliva. I gag as I swallow my spit, and gulp down the tab after two minutes. Instinctively, I pound two shots of Crown back to back. “I fucking suck at doing shots, I don’t know how you do it.” Middle Man Mike says. “It’s called being an alcoholic.” I joke, but not really. After I make myself a drink, I start grinding up weed. “Is this the guy we’re seeing tonight?” Middle Man Mike asks me. “Yeah, this is Destructo right now.” “Word, I like it.” Middle Man Mike says. He pulls up the sleeve on his white-t to scratch his shoulder, revealing a large band aid on his bicep. “What happened there?” I ask as I roll a joint. “Oh, that’s just from the Vivitrol shot.” He replies. “The fuck is that?” “It keeps me off dope. It’s kinda like Suboxone. It blocks your opiate receptors and makes it so you can’t get high. I get it like once a month or so. I need it, dude. It’s the only fucking thing that works.” “Interesting…” I say as I spark the weed.
            
The n-bomb come-up is swift and intense, but smooths out after we smoke the joint. I’m tripping, but mildly. Lights are brighter, there’s mild visual distortion, and I’ve got the giggles. The leg-shaking jitters and overwhelming stimulation I typically associate with n-bomb are nowhere to be found. It seems I’ve dodged yet another bullet. Dare I say, this is actually a pleasant experience. “Yo, what’s it feel like? If you don’t mind me asking…” I ask Middle Man Mike. “What, the tabs? I’m tripping pretty hard.” “Nah, I mean… dope. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?” Middle Man Mike smiles and laughs a bit to himself. “Have you ever done an opiate? Percs, OC’s, even fucking lean?” I shake my head. “Nah, I know I’d like ‘em way too much and get addicted. I have a hard enough time with coke and booze and shit.” “Dope is like… It’s unreal, dude. I can’t really explain it. It’s like perc’s times a million. Honestly though, I like Oxy better. I used to sell mad 80’s in high school. I had like a $400 a day habit. That was back when you could still shoot ‘em, too. Then they stopped making ‘em and… You know the rest.” He says, slapping his forearm.
            
We finish the bottle of Crown and smoke another two joints. I am now sufficiently hammered, stoned, and tripping, but I wanna push it further. “Fuck, I’m loaded. Could use a bump right about now…” I say as I light a smoke. Middle Man Mike looks at me and smiles. “You wanna grab some yay?” He asks excitedly. “Yup! I just got a new connect too…” I say as I thumb through the contact list on my burner phone. “Who?” Middle Man Mike asks. “I think his name’s Richie. I was fucking hammered when I met him…” Middle Man Mike laughs and rolls his eyes. “Richie Connolly? His shit is fucking trash. I know where to get some good shit, how much you tryna grab?” I check my phone, it’s 6:30. Doors don’t open ‘till ten. Realistically, I can be good for the night with a gram, but I’m drunk as fuck and have plenty of cash. It’s also Friday, so there’s a very high chance I’ll be looking for coke tomorrow. “What’ll he do a ball for?” “Like 180 probably.” Middle Man Mike replies. “Word, that works.”
            
Within minutes, we’re on our way to meet the coke man. “You sure you’re alright to drive?” I ask Middle Man Mike, slurring a bit. “I’m doing fine, aren’t I?” He replies as he passes the joint back to me. I giggle as I ash it out the window. The sun’s just beginning to set and the sky looks incredible. I almost forget about the joint burning away in my hand as I take it all in. Maybe this n-bomb shit isn’t all that bad after all. Is what I’m doing even that big a deal?
Yeah, it totally is.
            
Middle Man Mike brings us to an apartment complex and leaves me in the car while he runs inside to make the deal. A black dude walks by and gives me the stink eye, or at least I think he did. Is that racist? Fuck man, I must be tripping. Middle Man Mike returns, handing me my 8-ball and putting his bag into his mouth as he shifts into drive. “Put that in your mouth, be ready to swallow it if you have to.” He tells me. “The fuck? Why?” I ask as I follow his orders. “I’m pretty sure there’s an undercover sitting in one of those cars over there.” He says as we leave. We check our mirrors nervously, but nobody follows us out. “Haha, sorry dude, must’ve been the acid.” Middle Man Mike says when the coast seems clear. “This dude usually gets fire shit. He doesn’t step on it too much like fucking Richie does.” “Word. You wanna pull over here? I wanna grab some beers. We still got some time before we gotta head in.” I say, pointing to a strip mall on our left. Middle Man Mike pulls in and parks. This liquor store happens to be adjacent to a Walgreen’s, and as I open the car door, I notice Middle Man Mike is having an internal conflict. He’s staring at the Walgreen’s window intensely, and his hands are hovering over his keys in the ignition. “You alright, dude?” I ask him. “Yeah, yeah, I’m good. I’m just gonna run into Walgreen’s real quick while you grab those beers.”
            
“What’d you get at Walgreen’s?” I ask as we arrive back at my apartment. Middle Man Mike sighs. “I don’t wanna sketch you out, man, but I grabbed some pins. I like to shoot this shit…” He says as we get out of the car. I shrug. “It’s cool, man. I’m not judging you either way.” I put the twelve pack of Blue Moon in the fridge, take two out and hand one to Middle Man Mike as I sit down. He’s already hard at work preparing his blow. “You got like, a spoon, or a bottle cap, or a beer can or something?” He asks me. “Yeah, gimme one sec…” I take the cap off an old Jameson bottle from my recycling bin and hand it to him. “Thanks, dude.” Middle Man Mike pours himself a glass of tap water and brings it back to the table. He rips a piece of cotton out of one of his cigarette filters and rolls it into a ball. “I can go in the bathroom to do this if you want.” He says as mixes up his shot. “It’s cool, man. Do your thing. I’m not squeamish or anything.” I go to my room and pull out an old book of CD’s, which has now become a collection of coke plates. I pull two out and go back into the living room, where Middle Man Mike has just found a vein. He lets out a deep breath and quickly pulls his belt off his arm. “Whooo! God damn dude!” He says, standing up and pacing around a bit as he lights a cigarette. “Good shit?” I ask him. He just nods quickly. Words seem difficult for him right now. “You can dump your shit on this.” I say, sliding a scratched up copy of Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue over to his side of the table. I dump a pile of blow out onto my copy of Appetite For Destruction and chop it into four thick lines. I sniff two of them and the liquor and weed fog begins to fade. The drip used to make me gag, but I now realize it’s an acquired taste.
            
Middle Man Mike does shot after shot of coke at an alarming rate. My curiosity grows as I drink and observe him. I look down at my next line and then at Middle Man Mike’s needles. “Why not? It’s not like it’s heroin. It’s just a different route of administration. You’re still doing coke either way…” Do I really wanna open this door? I kill beer number three and go for it. “Yo… Think I could get one of those?” I ask uncertainly. “Huh?” Middle Man Mike asks as he pulls the needle out of his arm and his hands shake. “I think I wanna try shooting some.” I say, motioning to his pack of needles. Middle Man Mike hesitates and tenses up. “I can’t. I’m sorry, dude. It’s…You don’t get it. I don’t need that shit on my conscience. I can’t. I’m sorry.” He says. “I can buy you more…” I begin. “Nah, man. I can’t help you cross that line. Just stick to sniffing it, trust me.” I decide to take his word for it and don’t press it further.
            
Douchey club kid collared shirt? Check. Air maxes? Check. Slightly ripped jeans? Check. My white trash drug dealer uniform is complete as I splash on some cheap cologne and get ready to head out. The pack of Newports in my shirt pocket really completes the package. I take $200 out of my stash as my drinking/drug budget for the night. “You wanna take the bus to the train? I’m not tryna get a DUI.” I say to Middle Man Mike before sniffing another line. “I can drive us to the train, dude. I wanna do another shot before we get on anyway.”
            
We cruise another joint to the train station. Middle Man Mike ties off with his seatbelt and takes one final shot before we get out. “Fuck, dude. I blew through all my shit…” He says as he opens the car door, tossing his needle and empty coke bag into a bush. “I’ll hook you up, man, don’t worry. I got plenty.” I assure him as we get on the train. We sneak key bumps between stops and the ride goes by quickly.
            
One of Veil nightclub’s gimmicks is that it’s got two floors, which makes it difficult to use or sell drugs there. The bouncers keep watch over the main dance floor from above, pointing out anyone acting suspiciously and swooping in on them when they least expect it. As if that wasn’t obnoxious enough, they only have one bathroom, which only has one fucking stall. I’m fiending for coke as Middle Man Mike and I climb the stairs to the second floor. Much to our dismay, there’s already a line for the bathroom. This simply will not do. I am very drunk and demand a space in which to do more Cocaine. I grab a Jack and coke at the bar and take in my surroundings. The one bouncer on this floor is preoccupied with watching the first floor from the balcony. There’s a large crowd of people dancing around him, and an empty couch against the wall. I motion for Middle Man Mike to follow me to the couch and we sit down. The crowd provides adequate cover as we sniff another couple of bumps each. We hide out here until we finish our drinks. I check my phone. We’ve got a good 20 minutes before Destructo comes on. “I’m going out for a smoke.” I say to Middle Man Mike.
            
“Yo, can I get a cigarette, man?” A shirtless white kid with dreadlocks asks me as I light a smoke. “Sure, man…” “Thanks dude. They fucking kicked me out, can you believe that shit?” He says as he hands me back my lighter. Looking at him, I can certainly believe that shit. His pupils are gigantic and his lack of a shirt is a direct violation of Veil’s dress code. “Damn, that sucks. Why’d they kick you out?” The kid rolls his eyes and shrugs. “They said my pupils were dilated. But like, I wasn’t hurting anybody! I was just minding my own business, dude, and all of a sudden they’re like ‘You gotta go!’ Fucking bullshit, man…” “Yeah, these bouncers can be real Nazis sometimes. What happened to your shirt?” The kid looks down at his chest and looks around on the ground. “Huh. I dunno, man.”
            
When I return, Middle Man Mike is nowhere to be found. I grab another drink and make my way to the main dancefloor. Destructo is just getting on, though most of the crowd doesn’t seem to give a shit. I find a corner to hide and do more coke in. I feel a hand on my shoulder as I head back into the crowd, and nearly shit my pants. I turn around to fine Middle Man Mike grinning at me. “Open your hand!” He yells into my ear. He hands me a Molly capsule. I’m already feeling really good, but I can always feel better. I pop the cap without a second thought and wash it down with some more liquor.
            
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin! I think this might be Methylone, but I don’t care. The excess of this lifestyle is a high within itself. I dance like an idiot with a retarded grin plastered across my face. The narcotics turn this otherwise underwhelming set into some of the best music I’ve ever heard. When the lights come back on at 2 AM we’re both covered in sweat and chewing out our cheeks. Menthol cigarettes are so god damn good when you’re rolling. “You going home after this? You can crash at my place if you need to.” I ask Middle Man Mike as we walk to the train station. Middle Man Mike shakes his head as he types out a text message. “I’m going to this girl’s house after I drop you off. I really hope my dick still works…” He says, laughing nervously.
             
“Alright dude, it’s been real…” Middle Man Mike says as we get back to my apartment. “Definitely. Getting to sleep’s gonna be a bitch.” I say as I dap him up. “Oh, shit, hold on…” Middle Man Mike reaches into his center console and pulls out a pill bottle. “Here, take a few of these. They’re Valiums, I owe you for the coke and cid anyway.” “Thanks, dude. See you at work.” I say as I get out of the car. I take two of the Valium with some beer and sit down to pack a bowl. I look at the empty beers, bottle of crown, dusty coke plates, remaining tabs of n-bomb, and weed as the excess and debauchery of the night truly begins to sink in. The warm apathetic buzz of the Valium mercifully cushions the coke, molly, and n-bomb comedowns as my eyes grow heavy and I begin to drift off.


I think I have a problem. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Morbo

If you're reading this you're probably familiar with the drugs section of reddit, you god damn degenerate. If you aren't already familiar with his work, check out my dude Morbo's blog. He's a crazy talented writer with a huge amount of material available for free right here. He was cool enough to give me a plug on his blog and I wanted to return the favor.

He's also written a book, which you can and should buy right here. 

P.S., if you received an email notification about this post, please leave a comment saying so. I've added a few of you to the list and it should be working now, but I am technically retarded and very well could have fucked it up. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wally World

Whomp… Whomp… My phone vibrates through the break room table as I bite into a cold chicken parm sub I bought at 711. My taste in food is appalling. I will take McDick’s over a home cooked traditional meal any day. I put the sandwich down and check my text messages. “Im back. Lmk if u need.” I don’t recognize the number, but I know it’s Stan. My eyes light up as I hit him back. “That’s great to hear, man. Can I grab a hundo? Working till 8.” Stan is a middle man that cops heroin for me and delivers it for a $20 fee. He lives just down the street from me, though I don’t know where exactly. Other than his name and our mutual enthusiasm for mainlining smack, Stan is a complete mystery to me. I guess you kind of have to be when you’re in his line of work.

Stan completely disappeared about a month ago. I was forced to look elsewhere to find dope. On one desperate night, I took a three hour public transit pilgrimage to buy heroin off a man named Clarence I’d met on the internet. Dark times indeed. Now Stan has returned, and on pay day no less. The Christmas Eve tingle of euphoria that comes before every pickup surges through my veins as I work and check my phone obsessively. At 7:30 he calls me, and I run to the stock room to answer him. “What’s up, brotha? You work over by Wally World, right?” “Yeah, at the pharmacy.” I reply. “Cool. I think I’m just gonna meet you there, alright? I gotta meet another dude that lives out that way. So just meet me at Wal Mart at 8, ok?” “Sounds good, man.” I say as I hang up. I need to buy fresh spikes, so meeting at Wal Mart works out perfectly. The last half hour of my shift ticks by at an agonizingly slow pace as I work.

I toss my work uniform into my backpack and start walking towards Wal Mart at exactly 8:00. “Here now.” I text Stan as I approach the front doors. “Go inside and look at shit. Runnin a lil late.” Stan replies. Stan is rarely late, and I have to pick up a few things anyway, so I don’t sweat it. I buy a case of 100 needles from the pharmacy and pocket a bottle of Loperamide when I inevitably run out of dope. I need deodorant too, so I stuff a stick of Old Spice into my back pocket. I can’t spend my own money on such luxuries, after all. After I pay Stan, my landlord, Verizon wireless, and my credit cards, I’ll barely have money for food and bus fare this week. If I make the minimum payments on my Discover and Capital One cards I’ll have $50 to eat with for the next seven days. This isn’t a huge deal. Stan’s disappearance has kept me off dope (unwillingly) for three weeks, which has undoubtedly lowered my tolerance, which wasn’t all that high to begin with. I’m gonna be doing a lot of puking this weekend, so I won’t have much of a use for food. I see a lot of Mountain Dew and Starburst in my dietary future. Oh well. If I get diabetes, at least I’ll have plenty of fresh needles.

My local Wally World is like a third world marketplace. At any given moment you can hear a baby crying, a couple arguing in a foreign language, or a custody battle taking place over the phone. It’s constantly in a state of chaos, and the employees shuffle around with blank stares and apathetic faces. “15 mins sorry.” Stan texts me as I wander the store. I appreciate Stan’s updates, as most dope dealers have a tendency to tell you they’re five minutes away for hours at a time. I make my way to the electronics section and look around. “Xbox One? How long has that shit been out? Two years? Shit…” I don’t think I’ve played a video game since GTA 5 came out. The only time I even think about them is when I debate selling my old 360 to Gamestop for $20. The new release movie section is loaded with films I’ve never heard of, let alone seen, and reminds me of the brown rock I’ve been living under this last year. I tell Stan to meet me by the magazines as I thumb through an issue of XXL.

Stan finally shows up almost a half hour later. “What’s up, brotha?” He says as he daps me up. He speaks slowly and softly, with a slight rasp from his American Spirit cigarettes. I can see orange syringe caps poking slightly out of his pocket. “Not much, man. It’s been a minute. Where the fuck have you been?” I ask him as we walk. “I just had to disappear for a while...” He mumbles back as we make our way over to the sporting goods section. We find a secluded corner by the bicycles and make the deal. Stan operates with a level of paranoia and caution that some might consider overkill, but I appreciate it. When you’re copping dope on a regular basis, it’s easy to forget that your daily routine can get you a felony conviction.

“This shit is fucked up, man… People say they’re your boy and they got you whenever, and then they go and stab you in the back…” Stan mumbles he pulls two gallons of water off the shelf. I’m dehydrated, so my veins are constricted. I grab a Gatorade so they’ll be nice and ready by the time I get home. “Yeah, I know how that goes, man.” I reply. “Yeah, but you know, I just try to take it in stride…” He says, almost sounding like he believes it. He looks tired, but not in the usual way heroin addicts look tired. This lifestyle has beaten him down.

“Got my piss test tomorrow morning.” Stan says as he puts the two gallons of water on the conveyer belt. “Oh yeah? Looks like you’ll be ready.” Stan just nods. I go to swipe my card to pay for my Gatorade when he interjects. “I got you, dude. Don’t worry about it.” The cashier rings all our shit up together and Stan peels off a $20 from the big wad of cash from his pocket. “Welcome to Wal Marrrrttttt…” An old woman can be heard saying as we walk out the door. “Can you believe that shit? 80 years old working at fucking Wally World….” Stan says as he lights a cigarette. “No shit. It’s fuckin sad, man.” I reply. “Sorry I was late, by the way. Lost my license on some dumb shit. Had to take the fuckin’ bus…” I roll my eyes. “I know how that goes, man. That fucking thing is never on time. I’m about to take it home. I might just say fuck it and walk.” Stan nods. “It is wicked nice out tonight.” “Yeah, summer’s finally here. It just sucks hiding my arms, y’know? I bruise wicked easily, even if I hit it clean with a fresh spike. And if I’m shooting coke? Fucking forget about it…” “Fuckin’ tell me about it dude… That’s why I don’t shoot coke anymore. Once I start I can’t stop. What I don’t get is how people still smoke crack…” Stan says. “Yeah, crystal kinda made crack obsolete, didn’t it? You can’t get any of that, right?” I ask Stan. “What, meth!? Nah…” He says, insulted I’d ask for such a thing. “I figured as much. Sometimes I think I’m the only one in this fucking state that likes tweaking every now and then.” I say, chuckling. Stan gets serious for a moment. “That shit is fucking poison, man. You’ll lose your god damn mind shooting that shit.”

“You see that car wash?” Stan asks me, pointing across the street. “Yeah, what about it?”  “My boy I get my work from, his uncle used to sell coke outta there. No small time shit, either. Keys. Feds came in and raided it, found 20 bricks, a couple guns, and a hundred grand. It was like ten years ago.” “Huh. Sounds like some Stringer Bell shit.” I reply with a smile. “You fuck with The Wire?” “Of course. That and The Sopranos are like my favorite shows ever. Shit, The Sopranos has been off the air for like ten years, and I still miss it.” “Yeah, The Sopranos was a classic show, man. I remember back in the day me and my boys would get together, blow some 30’s, and watch it every Sunday. Not so much anymore, though…” Stan says, trailing off as we finally reach the bus stop. “Alright brotha, I’m going the other way. Let me know how you like this shit, as usual.” Stan says, dapping me up and walking across the street. “Will do, man. Be safe. Good luck with your piss test!”  

My bus isn’t set to come for another 20 minutes. This bag of dope is burning a hole in my pocket, so I decide to walk the rest of the way. By the time I get back to my apartment my veins are out and starving. I grab a Q-tip from the bathroom, a bottle cap from an empty 40, a glass of water, and get to work. As much as I want to dive right in, I must do a test shot first. If I underestimate the potency of the dope, I could die, which is a waste of perfectly good heroin. I let out a long, shivering sigh as I pull the needle out of my arm and fall back into the couch. God, I’ve missed this. Now that I’ve gauged potency, it’s time to really get nice. I do another small shot, which gives me just the push I need to melt into my couch.

I nod in and out for a solid hour before I prep my next shot. I probably shouldn’t be re-dosing so soon, but fuck it, right? Best case scenario, I get high as fuck. Worst case scenario, I get to sleep forever. I decide to get a little theatrical as I slip my earbuds in and put on some Emancipator. Sometimes I like to choreograph my heroin use. I mix up my shot and draw it up into my spike as the song builds, register as usual, then… wait. Just as the bass drops and the song reaches its climax, I push down on the plunger. When synced perfectly, it makes for an incredibly euphoric experience. I grab a cigarette off the coffee table as I fall back into the couch, but the nod overwhelms me before I can even light it.

My music is cut off abruptly as Jack calls my cell phone. I try to blink out of the nod, only to be sucked right back in. I slap myself in the face and answer the call. “Hello…?” I answer, high as fuck. “What’s good? You tryna chill?” He replies. I look at the clock. It’s 11 PM. I forgot Jack works second shift now. I told him we’d chill when he got off. Guess I got a little distracted. “Yeah, yeah, come through.” I mumble into the phone. “Word, see you in 20 minutes.” He replies as I hang up. “Fuck.” I look down at my arms. The tracks are minimal and won’t bruise until tomorrow. I stumble to the kitchen sink and splash cold water on my face in a futile attempt to escape the nod. I put on a pot of coffee as well. Under no circumstance can Jack find out I do heroin now. I lean against the kitchen counter to support myself, almost cracking my head off it as I begin to slip. I pour a big cup of black coffee into my mug and stick it in the freezer for a minute, guzzling it down as I take it out. I repeat this process and pour myself a third cup to sip warm. I sit down on the couch and make a mental note not to scratch myself too much in his presence.

“What’s good?” Jack asks as he sits down next to me. “What’s up…” I mumble back slowly. “Little late for coffee, isn’t it?” Jack asks as he pulls a bag of weed out of his pocket. “Hehe, yeah. I’m wicked fucking tired, man. Work was fuckin’ brutal today…” Just when I thought I was out, the nod pulls me back in. Jack punches my arm and I jolt awake. “Shit, sorry man…” I say as I reach for my cigarettes. “The fuck do you mean work was brutal? You don’t have a real job.” Jack says, snickering as he breaks up bud on the coffee table. “Go fuck yourself…” I reply, chuckling as I exhale. “I was drinking a little too.” “You got beer?” Jack asks, nodding at the refrigerator. “Shit.” “Nah, sorry, I was on my last one when you called. I woulda grabbed something, I forgot you were coming through.” I lie with a disturbing amount of ease. “It’s cool. I need papers, though, you got any?” “Yeah, one sec…” I say as I get up and head to my room. I grab the papers from my nightstand and make a quick trip to the bathroom to splash more water on my face. I feel something in my stomach and turn the faucet on full blast to drown the noise. Coffee, Gatorade, and stomach bile rocket out of my gullet and into the toilet. I dry heave for a few seconds before staggering back to my feet. I swish some mouthwash and splash more water in my face. “Pull it together motherfucker…”

This joint will be my downfall, and I know it, but my hands are tied. Turning down free weed will raise suspicion. I have to smoke. Jack punches me in the arm again. “Huh?! The fuck!?” I gasp, disoriented. “You’re nodding out on me like a fucking dope fiend.” Jack says, laughing as he passes me the joint. “Shit, man. I’m sorry…” I start scratching my neck fiendishly as I hit the joint. This must be how dogs feel when you scratch behind their ears. I realize I’m probably enjoying it a little too much and stop. I finish my third coffee and am finally feeling lucid again when the joint reaches the roach. “You want anymore?” Jack says as he exhales. I shake my head. “All yours, dude.” Jack stamps the joint out in the ash tray and puts it in the bag with his weed. “Alright man, I’m gonna take off. Try not to fucking OD on me tonight.” He says jokingly as he stands up. “Ouch.” “Hehe, go fuck yourself. See you later.” I say as he leaves.


I can see why Stan’s so tired now.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Missed Connections: Dope Fiend Edition

Kelly and her awful pink Corolla are nowhere to be found as I pull into the Wilson’s pharmacy parking lot. My shift starts at noon, and it’s 11:45. Fuck. I turn the car off and sit there, stewing and smoking and sipping my black coffee. Caffeine, what a shitty drug. No matter how many turbo shots I dump into this giant cup of bitter laxative, it hardly compares to the powerful euphoria of good stimulants like cocaine or crystal meth. Kelly told me she was gonna meet me here before work and sell me ten 30 milligram Adderall. Adderall is one of my favorite drugs, but I rarely have access to it. Uppers aren’t too popular in my area. When I’m on Adderall it’s like I’m a normal, functioning, happy human being. I actually have the drive to do things, the confidence to believe I can do them, and the sex drive of a chimpanzee. I can actually focus on tasks and actually give a fuck about doing them properly and to the best of my ability. The one drawback is that once I start taking it, I am incapable of stopping. Like most sources of pleasure in life, I have a tendency to use it until I ruin everything.
             
Another car pulls in next to me as I pout. The girl driving it makes eye contact with me for a split second, and I divert my gaze in a panic. I am such a fucking worm. I have ripped off drug dealers for thousands of dollars, gone to the hood to cop heroin, ordered crystal meth off the internet, been arrested, injected cotton water into my bloodstream, and ingested reckless quantities of acid. I have woken up on the floor with a needle in my arm, only to be angry that I didn’t die. God forbid I show a little backbone and get laid once in a while. Heroin neutering me certainly hasn’t helped this recent, lengthy dry spell, but I’ve been clean for two weeks following my arrest, and I feel like I’m 14 again. It was fun at first, but the constant random erections and perverted thoughts are starting to get annoying now.
            
This girl doesn’t appear to have legitimate business to carry out inside of Wilson’s. She’s fiddling with something on her center console, and as much as I feel like a creep, I can’t look away. She takes off her sweatshirt and I begin to grow suspicious. “Relax you fucking junky, not everyone’s a fuck-up like you.” She lowers her head, and slowly brings it back up. Though her car door blocks the action, I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on, and I’m not happy about it. My heartrate picks up as I enjoy the show through my side mirror. As she wraps the seatbelt around her arm, I begin to wonder if the universe is fucking with me. She slaps her arm, and it looks like she registers successfully first try. She slumps back in the seat and her eyelids slowly lower in ecstasy. The seatbelt slowly unwinds back to its natural position. I need to say something.
“PARDON ME, MADAM! I COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICE WE BOTH SHARE A PASSION FOR INTRAVENOUS DRUG USE!”

“HEY! HEY! WAIT! I’M NOT A COP, I SWEAR TO GOD, DON’T BE SCARED. I LOVE HEROIN TOO. MAYBE WE COULD DO HEROIN TOGETHER, OR MAYBE YOU COULD HELP ME FIND SOME HEROIN? HEROIN.”
         
As my retarded daydream scenarios play out, she drives away. “God damn it, where the fuck is Kelly?!” I shout, and throw my phone on the floor. Seconds later, my phone vibrates. “U still need those?” Kelly asks in a text. “Yup. At wilson’s now.” “K. Be there in 10.” It’s 12:00 now, but I don’t really give a shit about being late. Me showing up 15 minutes late and high on amphetamine is better than me showing up sober and miserable. Kelly pulls in next to me and comes out of her car holding her purse and a red bull. “You get a monthly prescription for 60 tablets of pharmaceutical speed, why are you even bothering with a red bull? That’s like me taking a perc 5 for shit’s and gigs…” I am an insufferable prick when I’m kept waiting for my drugs. I shouldn’t be lashing out like this. Kelly is a nice girl, and her selling me her pharma-grade speed is very generous. Biting the hand that feeds me will get me nowhere. “Hey! Sorry I’m late, my professor wanted to talk to me after class, and it was a lab day…” She says as she pulls out her bottle of pills. Kelly is in veterinary school. “I should ask her if she has access to ketamine. That shit is never around, I could make some serious cash…” When you’ve gone far enough down the rabbit hole, people are no longer people, but tools, defined by who can get you what and who you can manipulate to get what you want. Doing things just because they’re the right or nice thing to do is a foreign concept that I’m only just beginning to relearn. The little scumbag on my shoulder is persistent, but for once, I ignore him.
            
Kelly takes my fifty dollars and leaves. I get right down to business and crush my 30 mg football into a fine powder. I put the pill on the middle of a $20 bill, and fold it up so that no powder can escape the creases on the top and sides. I then proceed to rub a lighter over the bill until it’s sufficiently crushed. You’d be surprised how much abuse American currency can take without ripping. I dump the pink powder out onto my smart phone and chop it up into four fat lines. I gak them up greedily, gulping down the sweet, sugary, drip in clumps as it slides down my throat. Now I’m ready for work.

I forgot how much I love Adderall. I also forgot what it feels like to give a shit. Life seems manageable now. My impending court case is a challenge, but I now feel as though it will be a learning experience for me. It’s gonna suck, but I will get through it, I’m sure of that. I stock shelves and help customers quickly and courteously. I take another half pill on my lunch break and google whether or not it’s safe to shoot up Adderall. Turns out it isn’t. Gotta love Erowid.  


As great as I feel now, I know I am living on borrowed time. Knowing me, these eight and a half remaining Adderall will last me another two to three days max. When I run out I will be dehydrated, emaciated, depressed, and fiending for heroin. I made a promise to my lawyer and father that I’d cut the shit and stay clean. They didn’t say anything about Adderall and benzos, though, as the little scumbag on my shoulder was quick to point out to me. Benzos are absolutely vital to cushion my fall when I come crashing back down to reality. Only trouble is, I don’t know anybody with benzos.
But I know a guy who knows a guy.

“Aw shit, you know this one, right?!” Middle Man Mike says as we drive to the projects. “Oxy Cotton” by Lil’ Wyte blares through the stereo. I know this song and its subject matter all too well. “Of course, dude! This is a classic!” I reply. “Dude, back in the day, this was my shit. I used to ride around selling 80’s blasting this shit in my system. WATCHA WANT, WATCHA NEED, HIT ME UP I GOTCHA MANE! WHATCHA WANT, WATCHA NEED, HIT ME UP I GOTCHA MANE!” Middle Man Mike is a grizzled veteran of the drug war. He enlisted during the heyday of prescription opiates, when OC 80’s were not only plentiful, but injectable as well. Middle Man Mike quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a wholesale supplier with connections to the pill mills down in Florida. What’s more impressive is that he did all of this while he was still in high school. I’ve done my share of dirt, but Middle Man Mike’s stories make me look like a fucking boy scout. Every time we hang out I listen to his war stories with childlike wonder and wide-eyed attentiveness.
            
Middle Man Mike’s downfall came fast and hard. A task force was created. Statements were made. People went to jail. The pill traffic slowed down, but Middle Man Mike’s habit did not. Like so many of his comrades, he found himself switching from Oxy to heroin out of desperation. Middle Man Mike blew his entire fortune on dope. I can certainly relate to him in that regard. A monthly injection of Vivitrol is the only thing that keeps the monkey off his back these days. Having retired from serious drug dealing, he now makes a meager living helping people score drugs and getting alcohol runs for minors.

“I’m surprised you don’t know Leslie. She used to work a register at Wilson’s, back when I still worked there too. They fired her for showing up hammered.” Middle Man Mike says. I’m surprised I don’t know Leslie either. The only people I really talk to at work are the druggies. Everyone else kinda sucks. “Yeah, I’m sure I’ll remember her when I see her.” “She’s fucking tapped, dude. I smoked crack with her once while we were on break. It was wicked funny, we kept leaving and coming back in like every five minutes to smoke more, Lisa was pissed!” “So what does she do these for? Like how many milligrams are they?” Middle Man Mike smiles. “They’re ten milli’s. I used to grab ‘em off her before I got my script. She was all fucked up and was like ‘How much should I charge for these?’ so I told her two bucks. She could easily get double that, but she’s retarded.” I figure I might as well stock up. A man with a court date can never have too much Valium.

The entire fourth floor of the project apartments stinks of stale air and cigarettes. The cheap red carpet lining the hallway is riddled with mystery stains. “Denise?! Denise, please, open the god damn door!” A man down the hall shouts at a door. He sighs and jiggles the stubborn handle to no avail. “Son of a bitch!” The man starts pounding and kicking at the door. Middle Man Mike shoots me a “yikes!” look as he knocks on the door to Leslie’s apartment. “Mikey!” Leslie says as she opens the door. Leslie is frail, and looks to be in her late 40’s or early 50’s. Her skin is freckled and tan, the kind of leathery tan that screams skin cancer. Her wide and wrinkled eyes suggest she’s seen some shit. She hugs Middle Man Mike, and I see a crack pipe in her hand. “Hey, Leslie! This is my friend Harry…” Middle Man Mike says awkwardly. “Hi Harry! Wait a minute, didn’t I work with you at Wilson’s?” She asks me. “I think so, you look familiar…” I reply. “I thought I recognized you! Come on in guys!” Leslie says as we step into her apartment.

“You guys can have a seat!” Leslie says as we enter her kitchen. Sitting at the kitchen table is an older man with long grey hair tied back in a ponytail. He doesn’t acknowledge Middle Man Mike and I as he searches his arm for a vein. His concentration is intense as he slaps his arm and stretches the skin of his track-covered limb for a new injection site. Leslie takes a big hit of crack at the kitchen counter. “Rick, don’t be rude, say hi!” She barks at the man at the table. Rick mumbles something back, but it is unintelligible with the belt in his mouth. “Don’t mind him, he’s a fuckin’ asshole.” Leslie says as she looks through her impressive collection of prescription bottles on the counter. She finds the bottle of Valium and turns to me. “Alright, so how many did ya want?” “They’re two a pop, right? Gimme twenty.” I reply. “I just filled my script. I’ll give you all 30 for 50. I got some Roxies too if you’re into them.” I shake my head. “No Roxies for me, I’ll do the whole script for 50, though.” Leslie nods and hands me the bottle of pills. I scrape at the label just enough to tear her name off the bottle and stick the label under the table. Leslie preps another hit of crack. “You want a hit, Mikey? For old time sake?” She asks Middle Man Mike, laughing. Rick seems to have found a vein and is nodding hard at the table. Middle Man Mike stands up eagerly and takes the crack pipe from Leslie. He takes a huge rip, his eyes bulge, and he pumps his fists. “God damn! Holy shit, I haven’t done this shit in a wicked long time. Holy shit…” He says between gulps of air. “You want any?” Leslie asks me. “No thanks.”  I’m not above smoking crack; I’ve just never had much of an interest in it. If I’m going to chase a rush, I’m going with heroin, since it will actually keep me high for a few hours rather than a few minutes. Plus, with all the Adderall I’ve taken today, I’m already stimulated enough. “You guys want a beer?” Leslie says as she pulls two Natty Ices from her otherwise empty fridge. I take one, light a smoke, and get comfortable in my creaky wooden chair. I know I’m not leaving ‘till the crack is gone.

Middle Man Mike isn’t the type to stop smoking crack when there’s no more crack. I gave him $10 to set this deal up, and I don’t know how much cash he has on him currently. Given our environment, I assume we wouldn’t have to travel far to score some more. As Leslie takes a rip, I can hear a baby crying. Leslie doesn’t acknowledge it, and I assume it must be coming from a neighboring apartment. She passes the pipe back to Middle Man Mike, who passes it back to her as the crying grows louder. It gets so loud, in fact, that Rick awakens from his nod. “Jesus Fucking Christ! Are you deaf?!” He shouts at Leslie as he rubs his forehead. Leslie sighs, rolls her eyes, and goes into the other room. She returns with a crying baby over her shoulder. “Shhhh… It’s OK… Are you hungry?” She whispers to the baby as she opens up the empty cabinets above and below the kitchen counter. “Shit… You sure you don’t want any Roxies? I got fuckin’ Xanax, I got… I got Vyvanse and subs too!” She asks me, sounding a bit more desperate this time. “Don’t you go selling my fucking subs now!” Rick growls at her. “Well then what the fuck do you want me to do, Rick?! Huh?! We got no fuckin’ food, I used up all my WIC, my EBT doesn’t get filled ‘till next month…” The baby begins to cry again as Leslie raises her voice. “Shhhh… It’s alright, sweetie. Shhhh….” I can’t do this. I dump two Valium and an Adderall out into my palm and gulp them down without a second thought. Watching kids get caught up in this awful lifestyle always fucks me up. “YOU GOT YOUR FUCKING CHECK THIS MONTH, WE NEED FOOD FOR JAMES! OH WAIT, LEMME GUESS, YOU BLEW THE WHOLE FUCKING THING ON DOPE ALREADY?!” Leslie screams. “You just got 50 bucks from him for your Valium! I’m not stupid, don’t try and pull this shit with me!” Rick replies. He balls his fist and slams it against the table in opi-rage. As all this plays out, Middle Man Mike helps himself to more crack. I stand up. “Let’s go, man.” I say to him. He looks at me in confusion. “Why? They’re not gonna…” I cut him off. “Let’s go. I gotta take care of some shit. Please.” As the kid wails, all I want to do is get the fuck out of here. Middle Man Mike senses this and we leave without saying goodbye. Leslie and Rick can be heard arguing all the way down the hall as we approach the elevator.


I chain smoke in silence as we drive back to my apartment. “Yo, have you heard Luca Brasi 2?! I been listening to it nonstop lately…” Middle Man Mike says as he fucks with his phone and drives. “Nah, haven’t heard it… That was fucked up, man.” I mumble. Middle Man Mike nods his head quickly. “Dude, I told you, she’s fucking tapped. She’s a crackhead. But she’s a good connect as far as pills and shit go.” “I’m talking about her fucking kid, man. It’s just not fair, y’know?” Middle Man Mike shrugs. “Yeah, I guess that was pretty fucked up. What’re ya gonna do though, right? Check this out dude…” Middle Man Mike pulls Leslie’s bag of crack from his pocket and laughs. “When did you grab that?!” I ask, shocked. “I’m a ninja, dude. She’s probably going apeshit trying to find it now.” Middle Man Mike lets out a loud, cracked-out cackle as we drive. “It’s for the best. She’s someone’s mother, she shouldn’t be smoking crack.” 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Felony Melanie

“I’m not around right now dude, but I’m pretty sure my ex still sells. I’ll text you her number and let her know you’re gonna call.” Max tells me. “OK man, thanks.” I hang up the phone and turn to Jack, who is gingerly pouring Rubinoff pink lemonade vodka into a bottle of Minute Made. “What’d he say?” He asks as he caps the vodka and hands it to me. “He’s not around, but apparently his ex has some. He’s gonna send me her number.” Jack and I are sitting in a random parking lot in his truck drinking because we’re 19 and have nowhere else to go. “Have you met her before?” I nod. “Yeah, once or twice.” “She hot?” I smirk as I put the cap on my lemonade and shake it. “No, she’s fucking gross, dude.” Jack laughs. “What, not fat enough for ya?” “Yes, actually. A couple hundred sandwiches would do that girl some good.” Jack sticks his tongue out in disgust. “You’re a sick fuck.”

“XXX-XXX-XXXX nd her name is stepanie.” The text from Max reads. “Hey, Stephanie? My name’s Harry, I think I met you a few times through Max…” I begin awkwardly. “Yeah, yeah, he told me. What do you need?” She replies. Stephanie sounds very spacy and strung out, much like her ex-boyfriend Max, who was known for eating Molly by the gram on a daily basis. “A G. Where are you? I got a car, we can come to you.” “Umm… I’m at a… I’m fuckin, I’m at a hotel right now, sorry, I’m fucked up. I can send you the address. The g is gonna be 80, alright?” “That’s cool. See you in a bit.” “Ok! WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!” Stephanie yelps into the phone as I go to hang up. I jerk the phone away from my head, startled. “Yeah, what’s up?” “Do you guys need subs too?” “Huh?” “Subs, you know, fuckin’ suboxone!” She says, as if slang words for Buprenorphine are common knowledge. “Oh. No thank you.”

Our GPS leads us to a surprisingly sophisticated looking hotel by the beach. “I thought for sure she was gonna bring us to the fucking heroin holiday inn.” Jack says. The Heroin Holiday Inn was a local Motel 6 in our area that was notorious for drugs, prostitution, and other things that are fun. I call Stephanie and tell her we’re here. A few minutes later she comes out, holding a big duffel bag and wearing a hoodie that’s way too big for her. “Hey guys!” She says as she gets into Jack’s truck. “Hey! We met before I think, my name’s Harry. This is my buddy Jack.” “Hey, nice to meet you guys. I’m Stephanie.” She says as she roots through her duffel bag. Stephanie is emaciated and appears to be on drugs. Judging by her pupils, I’d guess she’s rolling, but you never really knew with her and Max. Her speech is heavily slurred and incoherent. She pulls a 40 of Old English from her bag, but not the gram of Molly that we asked for. “Sorry guys, we kinda have to make a stop to go get the Molly. It’s only a short ride, though. I’ll give you guys directions!”

Stephanie really sucks at giving directions. “WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, FUCK, TURN LEFT HERE!” She screams from the backseat, making Jack jump in his seat and jerk the wheel to the left, nearly causing us to slam into oncoming traffic. We aren’t quite drunk yet, but we do have an open container and are obviously underage. “You wanna just give us the address? I can put it in the GPS.” Jack suggests. “Oh, yeah… Haha! Why didn’t I think of that before?!” She says. “Gee, I dunno, drugs?” I pull my phone out and start up the GPS. “OK, it’s… 122 Washington Street.” “Wait a minute… I know that address!” “Isn’t that where Max’s apartment is?” I ask Stephanie. “Yeah, and he’s got the Molly!” Stephanie says this as if I’m retarded. “But I called Max and he said he wasn’t around, that’s why he gave us your number. He said you have the Molly… Remember?” Stephanie stares blankly for a few seconds. “Oh. I don’t know why he’d do that. He’s dumb.”

Max is so far gone mentally that this kind of fuckery is par for the course. Nothing about Stephanie or Max makes a lick of god damn sense, and I’m done questioning it. We drop Stephanie off at the apartment and she runs inside. “Fuck dude, you were right.” Jack says as we wait. “She’s basically a female Max, dude. He ruined that girl’s brain.” Stephanie returns moments later with our Molly, which of course, is “bagged” in the cellophane from a pack of cigarettes. This is one of my biggest pet peeves as a drug user. “How fucking hard is it to go to Walgreens and get some of those little ziplock pill pouches?” I do my best to origami-fold the wrapper and stuff it into my sock. We mix up a couple more drinks in the parking lot. “Where do you wanna get dropped off?” Jack asks as he pours the vodka. “Oh, are you guys 21?! Can you bring me by the liquor store and get me a 40?! I’ll give you… Fuckin’….” Stephanie tears through her purse and pulls out a few crumpled dollar bills. As she straightens them out, she realizes she only has enough to cover her 40, and has no money to tip Jack with for getting her a run. Jack takes pity on her. “It’s cool, I’ll do it for you. My fake might not work, though. Some places don’t take it.”

Jack’s “fake” ID isn’t actually fake at all. The only trouble is that the man pictured in the ID is six years older than Jack, and bares no physical resemblance to him whatsoever. On top of that, it is cracked in several places, and is taped together in others. The man in the picture, whose name is Jason, doesn’t even have the same eye color as Jack. We have never met Jason, but his ID was given to us by his ex-girlfriend Katie. Katie claims he was abusive and a heroin addict and a loser. Katie is an alcoholic, though, so who knows how much of that is true. We were all getting hammered together at her parents’ house when she gave Jack the ID for reasons neither of us can remember.  

The only place in town that would take Jack/Jason’s ID was the liquor store in the Asian neighborhood in the next town over. One of the young cashiers there actually tried to deny Jack his booze at the counter one day, only to be yelled at harshly in Korean by the elderly man who owns the store. She quickly changed her tune after that, and sold Jack whatever he wanted as long as he had the cash.

“Where’s the closest liquor store?” Jack asks as we pull out of the parking lot of Max’s apartment building. “It’s fuckin, like, two seconds away. I’ll show you. It’s like legit down the street.” Stephanie slurs. “Thanks for doing this for me, guys.” “No problem.” Jack says as we drive. I take a nice big swig of my lemonade and gag. “Four out of five teenagers agree that Rubinoff vodka is fucking awful, but will get you wicked hammered for cheap, dude. The one kid that disagreed is a pussy.” They oughta write that on the bottle. “WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, SHIT, THAT’S IT ON THE LEFT!”

SCREEEECCCHHH!

BOOM!!

FUCK!

A small sedan t-bones Jack’s truck as he makes the turn into the liquor store parking lot. “SHIT! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, DUDE??!” Jack screams. “Everyone alright?” I ask. Stephanie doesn’t say anything, but looks alright, if not terrified. “Take that bottle of booze, and stuff it under the seat. Take some shit out of the backseat and stuff hide it good. Grab the weed, too. Hurry the fuck up.” Jack instructs me as he gets out to talk to the other driver. I hop out of the truck and quickly stuff the handle of cheap liquor out of sight under the seat. “Shit, hey, listen to me. Listen to me right now.” Stephanie says to me from the backseat. The whole incident seems to have sobered her up a bit. “What?!” I ask, frustrated. “I have fucking warrants, dude. If anyone asks, my name is Melanie Levitt. You get that? Melanie Levitt.” She frantically makes phone calls as I stand there, dumbfounded.

The other driver is a young dude in his 20’s and is pretty cool about the whole thing since nobody got hurt. “You need to fucking come get me now, seriously, the cops are gonna be here any minute, dude.” Stephanie pleads into her phone. Eventually she secures a ride and a cop does show up, although he doesn’t give a flying fuck about me or Melanie. Jack is like Obi Wan Kenobi when he’s talking to cops. I once watched him finesse a sobriety checkpoint while tripping on LSD. It was a performance that should have won him an Academy Award, but I suppose getting out of an OUI is better than an Oscar. A creepy looking sketchball with face tattoos pulls into the liquor store parking lot. His early 2000’s Taurus looks like it’s done just as many drugs as he has. Suddenly, Melanie comes running out of the back of Jack’s truck. “Tell your friend I said sorry!” She mumbles as she darts to the Taurus and hops in the passenger side. Everything about their exit is loud and sloppy and the cop should arrest her right there just for being a shitty criminal.

The cop leaves and the other guy gets his car towed. Jack’s truck is surprisingly drivable, although there is now a massive dent in the side of it. “Did the cop ask if you were drinking or anything?” I ask him. “Huh? Oh, no, he had no idea. Look at my fucking truck, though, dude.” Jack kicks one of his tires in frustration. “Yeah dude, that sucks. Spun out bitch…” “And you know I’m not getting the fucking money to pay for this. My insurance is gonna go up, my parents are gonna be pissed, fuck!” “I can think of one other way she could pay you…” Jack smiles. “Yeah, no thanks. Fuck this, dude. Let’s go get fucked up.”

We go to the one truly safe spot to do hard drugs: the parking garage at the subway station. We drive all the way to the top level, where there are rarely other cars, and park. You have to pay seven dollars to park there, so cops never come through. It is a prime spot for teenagers to do drugs at, and has yet to be discovered by other kids. Those idiots are probably still drinking at the park. We both start rolling and the accident is an afterthought. “Yo, did you hear her when I first called her? Like when she was yelling into the phone right before I hung up?” I ask Jack, laughing. “I heard her yelling ‘WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!’ but I didn’t hear the rest.” “She was like, ‘You need any Suboxone?’?! Like are you fucking kidding me?! I’m buying Molly…”


“…I don’t do fucking heroin. I’m not a loser.” 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Crystal Meth

“Oh fuck, it’s tomorrow!”

Not just any tomorrow, either. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day. I promised my family I’d go to my parents’ house for corned beef and cabbage. Even if it wasn’t cooked by Irish people, corned beef and cabbage would still suck. But I’m an asshole that never sees his family enough, and I’ve run out of excuses for skipping family gatherings. My family is made up of good people, me being one of the few exceptions.

I tend to overthink these kinds of things. Getting together with my family really isn’t all that bad, especially since alcohol is always involved. A lot of ball-busting and jokes, dinner, and then you get to leave. But this particular gathering is a bit different, because I have been up for two days high on crystal meth.

Two weeks ago, I ordered some meth on the internet. What a time to be alive. I only ordered a half gram to spend a weekend with, but the homie sent me two grams instead. I don’t know if it was just a fuck-up on his part or a slick move to get me strung out and hooked. If it was the latter, it worked. Very well.

Which brings us to now. It’s 6 AM, I’m tweaking, and trying to drink myself to sleep. I want off of the ride. But in order to get off, I need (at least) two days to catch up on sleep, eat, and cry to myself about how things got to this point. I don’t have two days. I barely have a few hours. I elect to chug the rest of this whiskey and set an alarm for 10 AM. Sleep is a necessity, as I’d rather my mother not have to learn what stimulant psychosis is at the dinner table.

When I awaken I’m so strung out and weak that I can’t even keep my eyes open. My chest hurts and my tongue is stuck to the roof of my very dry mouth. I remember this feeling from my nights of heavy drinking and MDMA use. I’m still pretty drunk, too. I know that my only means of escape from this bed is a shot of meth. Here we go…

I never should’ve started shooting this toxic shit. I’ve tried my best to keep the vein damage and track marks to a minimum these last two weeks, but there’s only so much you can do when you’re injecting meth. Even though I used a fresh spike every time, my arms are covered in grotesque track marks and huge black and blue bruises. Shockingly enough, tweakers don’t have the steadiest of hands, and I’ve missed more than a few times. I do my shot. The rush isn’t even pleasurable anymore. My heart races and my palms sweat. How my body still has any liquid inside of it after all this is beyond me.

Good Lord, I look like shit. Almost like a person that’s been tweaking for two weeks straight. I’m sickly looking, with bags under my eyes. My face is even paler than usual and I’ve lost five to ten pounds. My pupils are huge too. Fuck, man. No amount of cold showers and black coffee can level me out of this one. But I try anyway.

All I can do is try to act natural, which is easier said than done. I can barely focus on the road as I drive, since all I can think about is what a piece of shit I am. Driving to go see my family drunk and on crystal meth. There seems to be no low that I won’t stoop to. Thankfully I make it to my parents’ house in one piece and without ruining anyone else’s life.

Everyone is already here. I don’t think anyone is on to me yet, except for my Dad. He knew something was up the second he saw my strung-out ass. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, and my Dad is a master bullshitter. He’s been clean for years now, but he still knows every trick in the god damn book. “You ok, son?” He whispers to me sympathetically as I walk into the living room. God damn it, this is brutal already. That “I’m genuinely concerned for you as a friend or family member and am scared you’re going to die” inflection is the worst. I’ve had a lot of “we need to talk about your drug use” talks over the years, and the angry “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST STOP BEING SUCH A FUCK-UP!?!” ones are so much easier than the supportive, calm, ones. “Yeah, Dad. I’m fine.”

I make myself a very stiff Jameson and coke and have a seat at the table. My younger sister sits next to me. I’m proud of her. She’s the exact opposite of me. She works hard and does well in school. She doesn’t use her rough upbringing as an excuse to use drugs and wallow in self-pity like I do. “You look like you lost weight.” She mentions as she stares at the mess that is her older brother. “Yeah I’ve just been…” Everything stops. I cannot do words right now. Yup, I’m having a brain zap. These are common with stimulant drug abuse. You’re sitting there, having an inane and illogical conversation, and then… nothing. The crystal took the words right out of my mouth. I snap my fingers, say a lot of “um’s” and “fuckin’s” to start my brain up again. “…Eating less shitty food. Sorry, I was out late last night…”

I barely say a word while my relatives talk amongst themselves at the table. Mentally, I checked out days ago. I am on auto-pilot and every time I open my mouth this becomes more and more apparent. My mother brings out the corned beef and cabbage. I have never been this unhappy to see food in my entire life. The thought of eating nauseates me, despite not having done so in two days. But I can’t just not eat. That would blow what little cover I have left, if any.

I swallow the bits of corned beef and cabbage like pills. I almost gag and puke right there at the table. “Come on Harry, it’s not that bad!” My uncle jokes. “Hehe, my drink went down the wrong pipe, I guess.” I croak back. “You still working at the pharmacy?” My aunt asks me. “Yup. Still there.” Shit, that’s right, I do still work at the pharmacy. Doing exactly what I was doing when I was 19 years old. I punch the same clock as legitimately retarded people. My job can be performed regardless of having little to no grasp on the English language. It’s funny how real life fades to static when your world revolves around getting high. Then, when you least expect it, it kicks back in, and it’s loud and unnerving as all Hell. My aunt isn’t drunk enough to comment on the severe lack of progress in my life and I’m very thankful for that.

I can barely get half the plate down before I have to tap out. I shouldn’t have drank so much so quickly. Jesus Christ, acting normal is hard. It used to be so easy. Everyone’s talking about TV shows they’re watching or movies that have come out recently. Cable and Netflix cost money, so I have neither of them. “You don’t watch Game of Thrones?!?” My little cousin asks in shocked disbelief. “Nah. Never seen it.” I reply robotically. “I’m going out for a smoke. Care to join me?” My Dad asks. Ah fuck, here it comes…

We smoke on the back deck in tense silence until my Dad finally pipes up. “You sure you’re alright brotha? You look rough.” “Yeah, Dad, I’m fine… really. Just had a rough night, you know?” My Dad reaches into his pocket and pulls out two pills. “Well, you know that if you’re struggling with anything, you need anything, you can call me. I’ve been through it all, I know how it goes.” He dumps a couple of his Ativan out into his palm. “I know that, back when I would have a rough night, I’d pray that a few of these would fall out of the sky. I feel like you could use some of these right now.” I just nod and put them in my pocket. “Thanks, Dad.” “Don’t take them until you’re home and you’ve sobered up a little. And lay off the Jameson, you’re driving.”

Everything comes to a boil as I walk back inside. Free drugs are free drugs, and who wouldn’t be pumped to be handed some benzos after a meth binge? But not when your Dad has to give them to you. He knows I’ve gone off the deep end at this point, and he’ll find out just how badly eventually. My brain has been depleted of serotonin and dopamine. Throw some whiskey and shame over that and you’ve got a recipe for a breakdown. I’m gonna lose it if I don’t level out with more crystal. I head to the bathroom and mix up a shot. There’s a knock at the door while I tie off. “Just a minute!” I snarl with my belt clenched between my teeth.

Of course, I can’t find a fucking vein. Dehydration always constricts my veins. It takes me almost ten minutes to finally hit and my arms are covered in blood. I go to check the medicine cabinet after I wash my arms, but stop just short of opening it. “Really, dude?” I leave the bathroom to find my sister waiting outside. This just gets better and better. I mumble out a “Sorry...” as I walk past her and go to the living room.  

I make up a lie about having to go to work and leave as quickly as possible. “Be safe, remember what I said.” My Dad says as I hurry out. I put my meth in my sock and ditch my needle out of the window as I drive. Only break one law at a time. With my high tolerance to alcohol and the crystal coursing through my veins, I am surprisingly lucid as I drive. But in the eyes of the law, I’m driving drunk. It just dawned on me that it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, the day of drunks, and the cops might be anticipating people doing the same dumb shit that I am doing. But the luck of the Irish prevails, and I make it home safely.

Crystal meth might be the only drug I’ve ever been scared straight with. It’s just too damn powerful for its own good. The first night or two of partying is fun, but god damn does it turn its back on you quickly. I no longer wish to tweak, and debate taking the Ativan. The benzos would put me out of my misery and get me some much needed rest. But the depression and shame compel me to run back into the loving arms of heroin. Yeah, I could really go for some heroin right about now.

I call Slim first. He’s rarely late and is the most professional connect I have. He drives a nice car, but not too nice. He doesn’t dress like a thug, because he doesn’t have to. His eyes do all the intimidation for him. “Sup, bruh. Haven’t seen you in a minute.” He says as he closes the door to my apartment. “Yeah, tried the quitting thing, didn’t work out so good.” I mumble back. “Hehe, heard that before. This new shit’s pretty fucking crazy, though. Take it slow, ‘specially if you been off it for a while.” “I certainly hope you’re not just blowing smoke up my ass here, Slim, and that this heroin is indeed good enough to potentially kill me.” “Thanks, man. I’ll be careful.” “No problem, bruh. You got my number.”

I can barely discern the bruises and my veins at this point. I’m out of fresh needles and have to use an old one, which gets duller and duller with each failed attempt to register. My jaw aches as I bite down harder on my belt in frustration. “FUCK!” I take a moment to compose myself as blood runs down my arms and I try to hold back the tears. After taking a deep breath, I steady my hands, tie off again, and…

An overturned chair, an old needle, drugs everywhere, and a body covered in dried blood. My room looks like a crime scene. “What the fuck happened? It’s 10 PM, have I discovered time travel?” I landed on my chest, apparently, and now have a nice big bruise there to match my arms. “Maybe an angel came down from heaven and beat my chest until I returned to consciousness, saving my life.” This retarded idea makes me giggle childishly as I stumble to bed. I’m way too high for the gravity of the situation to truly sink in. I don’t care, and I love it.


I can finally get some sleep.