Every morning, we got up in our dirty little rented junky room, and took a wake-up shot. If we were lucky, we had one waiting for us when we woke from our wintry drug slumber. Liam was so intense when he took a shot of dope. He pulled his kit out, as a serious look overcame his face. He carefully opened the tattered eyeglass container, lifting the lid back to reveal its precious contents. First, he always pulled out the little pink cloth with the zigzag-cut edges that was intended to be used to clean the lenses of a pair of glasses. The cloth was stained with soot on one side. Liam carefully laid the cloth on the table, soot side up. Then he took out his spoon, bent slightly so that the cup would sit flat, never allowing any dope to fall out. He took out the lighter, setting it next to the charred spoon on the cloth. He then put his little orange cap full of water right next to the whole setup. He usually extracted a tiny little square folded piece of tin foil from his pocket, holding it up in the air, as if to watch it sparkle. Then he carefully pulled it down, slowly unwrapping each side of the intricately folded square, careful not to spill a single granule. He always looked over into the bag, inspecting its contents before dumping them into the spoon. Then he took his spike out of the eyeglass kit, pulling back on the plunger to make sure it slid easily. If it did not, he took the white piece out of the back end of the syringe, sticking it in his ear to lubricate the black rubber. He checked it again, making sure the rubber glided easily against the plastic sheath. He slowly filled the syringe with water, careful not to put too much. Then he squirted it in the spoon, moving the tiny spray of water in small circles, so as to cover all of the dope. He pulled the plunger out of the syringe again, swirling the dope around in the water before he carefully lifted it up. Steadily, he reached for the lighter, watching intensely as the flame scarred the bottom of the spoon, and pulling it back just as it began to bubble and smoke. He set the lighter down, not looking at it as he focused on holding the spoon steady, so as not to spill any of the precious solution held within. Then he carefully set the spoon down. He took out a cigarette, extracting a tiny piece of the cotton filter with his teeth, rolling it in his fingers to make it perfectly round. Dropping it into the solution, he stared unwavering as it expanded with the sweet, brown liquid. Eyebrows furrowed, he lifted the syringe, carefully steadying it into the cotton and slowly drawing back. Watching the brown dope fill the syringe, his eyes widened. When he heard the hissing of air through the tip of the needle, he stopped drawing back. He held the spike up to the light, tapping the bubbles out meticulously. He then put the sheath of the syringe in his mouth, undoing his belt. He tightened the worn, leather belt against his bicep, pumping his hand a few times as his already bulging veins looked like they would burst with his life force. Then, he switched the needle and the end of his belt in his teeth’s grips, and before I realized it he was holding the syringe in his hand and the belt taut in his mouth. Holding the needle slightly in the air, his fingers pushed at the throbbing big veins, until he found the perfect spot. Pulling his skin taut to keep those monsters from rolling, he carefully slid the needle in. Drawing slowly back, the blood would come bursting forth. His hair hung down over his eyes, as a smile of satisfaction spread across his face before he pushed…releasing the shot quickly into his veins. Then he sat back, staring up at the sky, slowly pulling the needle out, letting the belt slowly open up, and clatter to the floor.