Excerpt: First Taste

The Abbey was my home away from home. Everyone I knew hung out at The Abbey.   I spent so much of time there, drinking and waiting for dope, or coke, or whatever else might be coming my way.    I tried heroin for the first time at The Abbey.

It was my twenty fifth birthday.  I sat at The Abbey that night, while Genevieve worked behind the bar.  Genevieve’s thin; brown hair was slightly curly, as she pulled it back in two ponytails.  The curls grasped at the thin air, giving the wild and wind blown appearance.  On her temples, two tattoos peeked out from her hairline, purple little comets, sailing across her head, and peeking out from the tiny wisps of baby hair that cluster by one’s hairline.  Her arms covered in tattoos of Pinups and Pan, and everything going down in flames.  Her teeth slightly gapped in the center, making her smile that much more real and radiant.  She was charismatic, and people were drawn to her, as she often shouted insults across the bar after a few shots Jameson.

I sat at the end of the bar, by myself on my birthday, as I waited for Liam to meet me after work.  Genevieve beckoned me towards the bathroom as she walked out from behind the bar.  The Abbey bathroom was widely known to host more drugs in one night than many well- versed people see in an entire year.

Generally, these bathrooms were flooded with cocaine, and much of the bar was waiting on the coke man at any given point during the night.  I faithfully followed Genevieve, looking down at my shoes as I turned the corner into the narrow hallway that lead to the bathroom.  On a busy night, this hallway was packed tight with people, waiting to get in and out of the bathroom, as the lines got loner and longer, with everyone going in in twos, and taking a few bumps while they were in there.

This night was much slower, as customers sparsely spotted the bar.  It was much earlier, too.  Genevieve closed the bathroom door behind us, and her eyes lit up with a mysterious and excited glow I had not noticed previously.

She sat on the toilet, and pulled out a tiny, little aluminum foil.  It sparkled in the light.  I knew right away what it was, although I had never seen it before.  She whispered the word, HEROIN.  And we both nodded in agreement.

She unfolded the intricate piece of aluminum foil, revealing a light brown powder on the inside.  She dumped a tiny little bit in the sweetmeat between her thumb and forefinger.  She held the foil tight with one hand, and raised the other to her nose and snorted.  Then, she did it again, but this time using the other nostril to snort the powder.  Her imploring eyes looked at me.  We said nothing, and I held out my hand.

I bent my thumb and forefinger, holding out the sweetest meat I had.  She carefully dumped the powder on my hand.  I looked at it, and it seemed to glisten in the yellow light.  It did not glisten because it shines, like cocaine does.  Instead, it was a more dull reflection off a substance more chalky and earthy.  I noticed the light brown color, and the clumpy dirt like granules.  I lifted my hand up to my nose…and snorted.

Bittersweet taste hit the back of my throat.  Sweet.  And slightly earthy.  I could taste something that reminded me a little of dirt, and then it was bitter…bitter like a pill given by a doctor.  Bitter, and sweet, and earthy.  It tasted really good, settling on the back of my throat.

I did not feel a rush that night, and her effects crept up on me instead.  Soft hazy lines began to take over everything.  Soft faces, and soft eyes, patio lights twinkling in the night.  Soft, and subtle…and everything seemed perfect, as my body tingled slightly with perfection.  I drank more, taking a few more bumps in the bathroom, and remember having one of the best nights of my life.  Just calmly discussing the ways of the world with the others, outlined in soft, hazy lines and edges, with the Christmas lights that lined the little patio behind The Abbey, twinkling like magical stars.

The nest morning, I woke up with one of the worst hangovers I have had in my entire life.  I swore of the heroin, assuming its pleasure was not worth this pain I felt the next day…the worst hangover I have had in years.  It was several months before the alluring powder would begin to creep back in my life.


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Excerpt: Description of Dope Sickness

People must wonder what dope sickness feels like.  It is different for everyone, but excruciating for each addict.  I always puked.  I felt like I was going to puke.  I kind of wanted to puke so I would feel better.  All I could think about was feeling nauseous and all I could think about was dope.  Round and round in your head…dancing images of pills, and powders, and prescriptions, and pandemonium.

I puked through the flashing images.  Diarrhea…gushed out like burning liquid acid…and the images kept flashing, rolling like the same old movie reel of distorted obsession.  The same image hammered my brain for a while…a pill…a particular pill…a particular girl with that particular pill…oh, I might know where I can find her.  And my Sickness entertained the thought of going to the bar she is probably in with her pocket full of pills.  Her pills that I want, that I need.  I think there must be someone staying at this hotel that has an injury.  Surely, someone here has some morphine.  I vaguely think about asking around, but I know I am too weak to stand.  Uncomfortable.  Everything hurts.

I puked up yellow bile.  I believed that it was pure liver toxins being aspirated from my stomach.  Yellow bile, acid diarrhea.  Coming out of every pore sometimes.  Pure anguish mental, physical…I never felt worse.  Never before, and certainly never since.

Dope sickness is the worst feeling in the world.  It is what all addicts fear.  It is what keeps us sick, in so many ways.  The avoidance of the Sickness and the pains of withdrawal are what really keep us sick with our addictions.  Dope Sickness is fucking unbearable.  Three days of pure physical hell coupled with an insanity plea to the distorted judge.  Thoughts overriding your already dark, dark mind, the sweating, the tossing, the pacing, the water, the running water that soothes.  Cold, cold air soothes.  I was absolutely insane in withdrawal, most of the time.

I had this water thing.  Running bath water felt so good, running all over my body, distracting me from the pain.  I sat in the tub for hours, until the water had run cold for quite some time.  Many later baths were taken in various junky infested motels around New Orleans.  I remember one particular room in the Empress Hotel where the tiles of the shower were falling into the dirty wall behind it, revealing a maze of plumbing and ancient dirt and rot.  I was a little fearful of what could be lurking in those moist, wet chambers between the walls of the dirty old hotel.  My fear was far outweighed by my Sickness, and I just lay there in the tub with water running for hours, as the tiles fell out one by one until at least ten of them lay in the bathtub with me.

The good thing about living and kicking in a hotel is that they have a lot of hot water.  I eventually got out of the tub, exhausted, and I climbed into bed soaking wet, with the air conditioner pelting me full blast.  Shivering insanely…I was somehow able to finally fall asleep like that.  For three days, in and out of the tub.  My bed was soaked, and the faint smell of mildew always hung around the motel room as those three days of hell drew to a close.

A few brief moments of sleep, intermitedly spaced throughout the longest nights.   When you kick dope, it is almost impossible for me to sleep.  The insomnia really killed me because the whole time my mind ran through the gamut of insanity, like battling a gauntlet course in your own head.  I would have done almost anything for a few moments of sleep…a few moments of reprieve from this hell.  For just a small handful of minutes, my brain would shut down in its feeble attempt to rest, until moments later I tossed and turned once more in the utmost uncomfortable feeling.

Three days later, you rest.  You sleep.  You wake up feeling a little better.  You wake up moving very slow because you are completely exhausted.  You wake up, thinking about dope.  You think you are over the worst, and you are no longer contemplating running to the man for relief.  But, the thought of dope is still all pervading.  It takes more than three days to get rid of something like that.  The first three days are physical hell, but the next few months are the real hell.

Thoughts of dope constantly running around in your head.  Images flashing of needles.  Blood squirting back, blossoming like a poppy and taking your breath away.  You think about where you got it, where you did it…how you could get it, and where you might do it.  Insanity in the form of obsession.  Involuntary obsession.  Oh, did I mention pure madness?

You feel a little crappy for months, not the hellish crappy of the first three days when you can barely move…but crappy just the same.  That is why it is so hard to quit.  It is hard to quit because it is just so much easier to be high…even in the most desperate times.  Being high is avoiding the impossible.  Staying high, you avoid the painful kick.  Staying high, you also avoid responsibility…and you definitely avoid the law.  You avoid society, at least the respectable parts of it.  It takes a lot of effort to be a junky, but it takes even more to get clean, and an insurmountable effort to stay clean.


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Excerpt: The Charity Hospital Fiasco

We were loaded, as usual.   For some reason, I wore a white silky camisole, and a white lacy tutu.  I am not shitting you, a fucking tutu, and a pajama top with crazy white stiletto boots.  I remember leaving the pool at The Country Club in a hurry, rushing towards Liam in a speeding black and white United Cab.

My bag was crammed with needles and I was laden with drugs.  I was fucking drunk, and my eyes were probably nearly rolling because I was so fucking high. I think I even had shot a little crystal meth that day, as well.   Crystal was not something I often encountered, and when I did I generally devoured it.  Arriving at Charity Hospital, I tossed some money at the cab driver, staggered out, and I walked up the steps like I was the Queen of fucking Sheba.

Once I got to the middle of the steps, I remembered the guards at Charity.  I was wasted.  I was stupid.  And I was a junky who refused to toss my shit.  I turned around, too fucked up to realize people were watching me.  Not to mention that I looked like a fool in my tutu.  Liam had called days earlier, begging me to bring him something for he claimed he was dying.  I shoved a methadone wafer in my bra for him, along with a small bag of crystal meth.   I shoved my kit, complete with the metal teaspoon and used rig, into my panties.  I also put a whole bag of fresh needles down there.  Right between my legs.

Once the guard put the metal detector wand down by my underwear, the beeping started.  Beep…a lone; low-pitched beep.  The guard moved the wand detector back and forth.  Beep.   Beep.   I thought, oh shit…the fucking spoon.

I knew I was fucked.  And although my heart rose in a slight panic, I remained calm on the outside at first.  They retrieved the kit, and the next few scenes played out more like watching someone else on the big screen.  Only it was definitely happening to me…as I watched, detached, in my mind.  They opened the kit, inspecting the black soot covered spoon, bent to perfection.  The needle seemed to be gleaming like a beacon to my criminal activity, and I thought everyone looked on with curiosity.  A guard pulled out all the contents, and before I knew it I felt the handcuffs closing in on my wrists.  I didn’t panic.  I didn’t flinch.  I didn’t even have much of an expression on my face.

Blank detachment.  The blank detachment of a junky that has been strung out for years.  Security guards whisked me into a private room, and sat me in a hard, metal folding chair.  They thought they found it all.  A needle and spoon probably seemed like a major bust to a hospital security guard.

I think I was in the underground security area of Charity Hospital.  In front stood a glass window that gave off the bullet-proof aura.  Several guards bustled around behind the glass.  I heard phone calls made in regards to my future.  No doubt I would be arrested.   And I knew I would not be seeing Liam, yet again.  All I could really think about, though, was the Sickness.  In jail, there would inevitably be a period of Junk Sickness.

I thought of William S. Burroughs’ description in his book Junky, as he kicks in holding.  He rubs up against a bench and has an orgasm.  Guards and other prisoners witness his own personal hell first hand.  I thought about the Sickness.  I thought about the insanity that is coupled with Sickness.  I thought about being behind bars through it all.  Panic rose in my heart.

I knew I had that wafer.  That 40mg orange methadone wafer would keep me good for at least a day.  I began to crave its bitter orange taste, dissolving on my tongue.  I realized that I must get to that wafer.  I needed to get that wafer out of my bra and into my mouth.  I started to fidget in the cuffs.  I pulled my hands one way, and then the other to see how much leverage I had in those things.

I thought I could do it.  I thought I could reach my bra and then my mouth.  I was desperate.  And I was delusional.   I went for it.  I tried to make it swift and fast.  I got the wafer from my bra to my hand, and then I attempted to maneuver it to my mouth.  I panicked.  I needed to be quick.  I was not sure the cuffs reached, so I stretched. And stretched.   I ended up with a guard breathing down my neck,

“What the hell are you trying to do?” barked the gruff female voice behind me. The ominous female guard stared down at me, snatching the pill out of my hand.  I saw my methadone relief mission flush right down the toilet.  My heart sank in fear of the impending doom.

“Uh-uh, I was, I, uh,” I stammered.

She breathed harder.  I could feel her breath hot on the back of my neck.

“I said,” she clarified,  “What the hell are you trying to do?”

I just stared.  My cottonmouth froze up.  I had no explanation.  I was flat busted.  I sighed.   She breathed hot and harder.

“Well, what the hell is that in your hand?”  I just opened up my hand, flexing it out, watching my fingers curve in the air like a swan.  Like a beautiful swan holding my only relief.  I watched the orange crumbly pill glisten in the fake overhead fluorescent light, sparkling like no chalky pill I have ever seen before.  I could almost taste the bittersweet orange medicine I craved.   I could almost taste relief, as it gleamed in my curving swan-like uncupped hand.  Until the guard’s hand clamped down on the pill, and then, of course, she clamped down tighter on me.

At this point, I was not afraid of jail.  I was not afraid of charges.  I was only afraid of being without dope.  I was deathly afraid of the Sickness.

The guard marched me into a bathroom.  The sinks seemed really low to the ground, like this bathroom was meant for children.  Maybe it was just the nine-inch stiletto boots I was wearing.  The tile was small, like that in so many government bathrooms.  Green and white tile.  A light, limey green.  I bet it was once bright, brilliant lime green, back in the 50’s when that color was popular, but had since faded just as the white tiles had faded to yellow with age and traffic.  The guard pushed me into a stall.

The stall was the same faded green.  I leaned my head against the green walls surrounding me.  Faded green plastic walls.  I looked down at the tile.  I looked down in shame as she took down my underwear.  Needles were sticking out of the lips that surround my vagina.             The guard shook her head as she retrieved the needles from my pussy lips.  Her brow furrowed, and her heart softened a little as she looked at me with complete pity.

I was definitely busted now, I thought as she marched me back to the folding chair.  My bra and panties were much lighter, but my charges were now much heavier.

I heard the guards behind the desk, relaying the extra charges to some brand of higher authority.  My own dam began to break at this point, until I shook in hysterics.

I explained that I was a junky.  “I am a heroin addict,” I sobbed.

The guard looked at me, shaking her head back and forth.“I am an addict, my life is spinning out of control,” I whispered.    Another guard came from behind, and they both looked at me with eyes of pity and disbelief.  The shorter one put her hand on my arm kindly.  I sobbed out of control.

“I am a junky.  I am sick, and I really need help.”  Both women nodded in agreement, and put their hands on my arm.  I cannot remember what either of them said.  My personal levee began to flow out of control, in the days before the Hurricane.  I was suddenly hysterical.  I just wanted to see Liam.  I suddenly felt so obligated to see Liam. And yet again, he would sit upstairs, alone, locked in his madness, waiting for a visit from his true love.  And, as usual, I left him dangling.

The guards tried to comfort me, reassuring me I could into rehab, right after I got out of jail.  The next bit went by in a blur.  Before I knew it, I was down the street from Charity Hospital in the first waiting area of Orleans Parish Prison.  Otherwise known as OPP.

They took the handcuffs off and threw me into a big room right near the enterance of the jail.  Wooden slatted benches cradled the walls of this octagonal corner in the intake area of OPP.  The wood smoothed flat from years and years of butts.  I slumped down on the bench, and I noticed a couple guys also in custody.  I looked around, and I saw that no one was watching.

Since my intake, I had been more and more afraid of the bag of crystal meth in my bra.  I could not let them find it, warranting yet another felony charge.  And as addict, I could not bear to throw it away.

This was my chance.  I reached into my bra, and took it out.  I held onto the bag, while as discreetly as possible as I surveyed my surroundings.  I dumped the powder on my hand, right onto the sweetmeat between thumb and forefinger.  I dropped the bag between the wooden slats of the bench.  Carefully, and inconspicuously, I lifted the small of my hand to my face, and quickly snorted.  I sucked all the bitter crystal up my nose. Crystal burns when you snort it.  A tear ran out my eye on the side I snorted, a long single flowing tear.  Putting my finger over one nostril, I took one deeper suck to inhale as much of the acidic powder as I could.    I noticed one of the other prisoners watching me.  He was a black guy, with long dreads.  He smiled at me, as he gave me the nod that let me know he was also one of us.

The crystal managed to stave off much of the Sickness, at least for a while.  The process at OPP is quite lengthy, and I knew I would be there for the next 24 to 48 hours.  They transferred me from chairs to benches to backrooms, and I knew it was getting late.  My stomach was rumbling with the beginnings of the Sickness and I knew the sun had probably gotten low.  I thought of the The Shobar.

I thought of the musty smell that I encountered each time I walked through the front door of the strip club.  I thought about the smooth wooden bar, sloshing with Jameson and beer.  I thought of the dressing room, full of blunt smoke and make-up.  I tried not to think about dope. I wondered what Sophia was doing.

I wondered if she had made it to work yet, or maybe it was not quite that late.  I wondered if she scored from Shay or from Bob.  I thought of her hands, shaking as she tried to get the potent and pungent brown liquid into the hardened veins on the backs of her bleeding hands.  I pictured a drop of blood running down from where the needle was, one slow, lone drop, falling bright red onto the dingy tiles of the bathroom floor.  I saw Sophia and her track marks in the florescent lights behind white, wooden doors.  I wondered if the dope was any good out there tonight.

Night was followed by day, and it seemed no relief was in sight.  My freedom was still in question, and I tried to hide my fear and impending Sickness.   I was transported back and forth to court where they kept us in a small room with bunk beds awaiting the courtroom.  There must have been at least twenty girls in there.  Two and three girls huddled up on each bunk, as I tried desperately to avoid the pains of withdrawal.  As I tried desperately not to puke.  The smell of thirty desperate women permeated the room.  In the back corner was a “closet”, that was really just a recessed space in the wall.  A stench rose from there, and on further inspection I realized it was full of pads and tampons.  Maybe there was also toilet paper.  It was mostly the menstrual waste of the many incarcerated women who had waited for their court decided fate here.  The smell rose in the humidity that seeped in the ancient buildings of New Orleans.   Walking out to the courtroom, I preferred the smell of fear to the smell of rotting menstrual waste.

The courthouse scene went by in a blur, and I was shackled with a girl who sold crack to a minor, and an undercover.  A few seats down sat a man who was appearing on his twentieth crack charge.  Both of them got bonds less than two grand, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Momentarily.  Up next, I shook as the lawyer up front took out my eyeglass container.  I saw my kit, and my spoon and needle sitting on the wooden table near the judge.  I heard methadone, and I heard felony.  I heard something about former marijuana charges, and traffic tickets.  And then I heard nine thousand dollars…

Almost ten thousand fucking dollars?  Are you kidding me?  The girl next to me sold crack TO A FUCKING KID, and her bond is a fraction of mine.  My eyes widened, and I thought about how much dope ten thousand dollars would buy.  And I was thankful to know a bail bondsman.  And a lawyer.  And a strip club client who would pay the outrageous bond.

Court date.  Bond set.  Transported back to the tier once more.  I long since quit calling the Shobar because they were no longer answering.  I hoped that was because I was going to be bonded out soon.  One of the worst things about being in jail is not knowing.

I was so exhausted when I saw Spider, I hardly knew who she was.  I knew her from the street.  We shared the same dope dealer, and she knew I was one of his best customers.  For her generosity, I will always be grateful.  She gave me a Thorazine that came from some crazy girl, and I knew I would finally sleep.  As tired as I was, the crystal still tickled my mind, taunting me away from slumber.

I twitched in a wave of dope sickness as I lay down hoping to fade away.  The images on the television slowed to a crawl, and all the voices became long and drawn out.  I, too, slowed to a crawl and faded away.  The next thing I knew, Spider was shaking me awake in the dark because they had called my name.

The process out is like walking the steps backward, but the waiting is not so excruciating.  It is still a long wait, but at least you know at the end of it, you will be free.   The end was in sight.  The end of this rumbling stomach, and the end of this insanity in my head.  I hoped.  I hoped whoever picked me up would have a bag waiting. I knew my bond had been paid, and the wheels of this process had finally started to turn.  I focused on staving off the dope Sickness in my mind for just a little while longer.  I could do this.

I walked out those front doors of the jail almost two days after I went in.  Still a little wired from the crystal, and still a little groggy from the Thorazine, and still wearing a tutu.  I desperately looked around to see who was here to pick me up.  I prayed they had a fucking bag of dope for me.  I was not sure how much longer I could keep up this charade.

I stood outside the jail, looking down the alley as I leaned on a chain link fence.  The bright orange tinted streetlight hummed, illuminating the fence to sparkle in some parts.  It was late, but I could barely hear the crickets over the orange sparkly hum.  My best friend Quentin, his girlfriend Barbie, and our bail bondsman- junky friend, Reese, finally pulled up.


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Excerpt: No Discussion of Evacuating

After my morning shot that Saturday, I walked around the Treme.  The sun was bright, but the clouds hustled in.  The air felt ominous and eerie, while the brightness contrasted with the grayness in a way that made my heart feel a little excited, or maybe nervous.  My friends would still be asleep for another hour before they woke up full of need and nausea.   I always enjoyed a small amount of time to myself, which was a rare thing when sharing a tiny apartment with other often-desperate junkies.  The streets were clamoring with activity, and it seemed everyone was bustling around headed somewhere.

I wandered through the Treme, talking to people that I knew.  People were boarding up windows.  People were packing their cars.  Some people were shopping, carrying their groceries home from the corner store or the A&P in plastic bags.  Some people were just drinking, as usual.  A lot of people were not planning on leaving the Treme, and instead they just stocked up on supplies.  I thought I had just stocked up on most of the supplies I would need.  After all, I thought I only needed a pocket full of dope to survive.

When I got back to the apartment, I woke the boys up.  A junky never minds being stirred awake if you have a bag of dope in your hand.  I waited patiently while Liam and Jim took their morning shot, but I didn’t dare wake Jim’s mother because we all knew she was meaner than a mountain lion if you did.  The boys would not hear a word I said if their heads were still full of grogginess and their bodies straining from lack of dope.

“Did you guys know there is a storm coming?  A lot of people are evacuating,” I told them.    We did not have control of the television, and I cannot remember the last time Jim’s mother watched the news anyway.  I was met with two blank faces just looking at me because they had no idea what I was talking about.

Between Liam and me, there was no discussion about evacuating.  We did discuss how much dope we had and that it was barely enough to hold us off until the following morning.  Liam, fresh out of rehab, had already succumbed to the heroin beast, and his need was slightly more than recreational.  My need, on the other hand, was monumental, moving mountains and making the world go wrought with madness as the Sickness set in.

The mission for the rest of the day was to make money and procure as much dope as possible before this hurricane struck.  Previous storms, we faced withdrawal for a day or two because most of the dealers had left town.  The junkies all stayed put because we had no where to go that we could cop dope, and most of us did not have enough money to get very far from the city.  We knew we could not evacuate to some strange place where we had no chance of copping any dope, so leaving the city was never even discussed.  We never left before.


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Excerpt: Waking Up, After the Storm

When I woke up after the storm, I still felt like shit.  I think it was Tuesday, but I still cannot be sure.  I could have slept until Wednesday, and after I woke up time was not an issue at hand.

I could see the sun shining through the windows.  I felt like I had been through the ringer with that exhausted and awful feeling that comes on the third day without dope.  The third day of the kick is the worst because all you think about is fucking dope.  Physically, you feel a little better and you finally think you might live…but your mind now turns back on to drive you insane with its constant obsession with heroin.

The apartment was silent.  Everyone else must be up at Larry’s.  Either there or they were outside on the porch or balcony.   I got up from the sticky bed, and I began rifling through all my pockets, searching madly for dope.  I always searched madly for hidden or misplaced dope on the third day of a kick.  The frantic search usually turned up empty.

But low and behold on Tuesday August 30th, I found a foil that was still about half full.  I was fucking ecstatic.  I gathered my works and went to the bathroom to get high.

It was dark in there because the power was off, but the sun was bright enough outside that there was light.  I sat, shaking, on the toilet.  The big buckets that had been filled with water were still sitting full, on the floor.  My need had completely taken over as I mechanically took my kit apart, setting up my works on the side of the porcelain sink.  I did not even take note that when I turned the faucet on, water just poured out.  I really had no idea that I was going to walk outside into a different world from the one I had known before I slept.  At that moment, as the needle slid easily in on the first try, gliding into my skin like slicing into warm butter, I had no idea that my life had already been altered permanently.  I was not nervous about what I would find when I finally felt high enough to be able to venture out of the house.

I walked out of the bathroom, barely noticing all the plates and cups scattered about.  The single bed in the living room where Jim’s mother slept was crumpled and disheveled.  I opened the door to the apartment and walked into a dark hallway.   The stairwell was unusually dark, but the sun shone in bright on the second floor coming from the balcony.  This was the first time I was really aware that the power was out.  I would guess it was about ten in the morning at this point.

I walked up the stairs, exhausted from the torture of kicking dope for two days while the storm raged on outside.  I was a little high, which made up for the exhaustion.  There is nothing like that shot when you are really in need.  You have been puking and shivering, and twitching, and turning, and moaning like a dying old man.  Your mind is riddled with insanity because all it can think about is dope.  Dope, dope, fucking dope…Heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, the boy, Morphine, Demerol, Fentanyl, china white, the downtown brown, heroin, Percocet, Vicodin, Dilaudid…round and round my thoughts keep running over the same old feet.  A movie reel of needles and pills and powders and pleasure and pain kept rolling through my head like a trailer to a film I had seen in a thousand different places.  The only thing that would stop that train of thoughts, the only thing that could give me any peace was more fucking dope.  That was the ONLY answer.

As I walked up the giant stairs, the hallway seemed to get brighter and brighter.  I emerged onto the balcony.  The sunlight was so blinding to my eyes that had been locked closed from insanity and pain or the weight of the Seroquel that I did not take in the whole scene at first.  I looked at the sky.  It was blue with small hints of grey, and the breeze was still while the clouds were large and puffy.  The sky was calm, and peaceful, and fucking gorgeous.  My eyes squinted from brightness and slight nausea; I looked down from the second floor of the raised old house and realized the streets had morphed into rivers.  I looked on with both disbelief and amazement.


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