March 1, 2012
“Ok, how about this. You give me five bags, I’ll give you $60 right now, and that way I’ll only owe you $240. As opposed to $300.”
He pulled the blue, plastic, rubber band strapped Pokemon box from his book bag. Happy Meal toys, these days. I could feel my stomach turning and twisting in horror and anticipation, my veins pulsating as a bundle arose from storage, like Lazarus from the grave. The promise of life. There is a God and He loves me most of all!
The next few hours would be spent in touring the grandest of cities, meeting past Presidents and shaking hands with Death himself. Ezra had a couple of other stops and deliveries to make, so after the shipments had been received into my clammy, grateful hands, he bid me adieu, gave me a hug and left a trail of stomps behind him on the steps.
Words could never explain the elation of knowing that you’re set for the next couple of days. Or a few hours, depending on how the disorder took hold on that particular day. Conserve? Was there really time for that sort of thing? A common misconception is that junkies have no logical rationale; that we are absurd and nothing we do has hope of making sense. Major misconception. We are actually more logical than your average person. The only problem is context, which rarely translates into an everyday type of rationale. Which is fine. It isn’t as though we live under the pretense that we are the only ones caught in contextual vortexes which are undefinable. As far as vortexes are concerned, anyway. There’s a strange battle of tug-of-war perplexing the junkie. A contradiction. A need to know. To understand. And not through experience, but through cutting yourself off from all that is sacred and everyday. For myself, I am so overwhelmed by the love I feel for the common man and the pity I curate for their souls that I am unintentionally thrown into this place of self-repulsion and demise. That doesn’t make sense? I feel I’ve been given an insight which most others lack. As though I was randomly chosen for life amidst millions of others condemned to death. Barbed wire, gas chambers and striped pajamas left in a vanishing distance. Comrades and enemies left for dead while I pursue a freedom I was awarded by chance. How can you not feel guilt? Would you say unworthiness? Why me? Why should I be the one to escape this concentration camp we’ve created and labeled as Earth? Heroin was the only hope I had to squelch this flame of unworthiness which was growing more outrageous with each passing hour.
We have all been left for dead. Wallow in this knowledge or find a remedy? Homeopathic, eating disorders, pleasant suburban living… why is the one thing I feel inclined and partial to in life condemned this way? I have the same roots, the same dissatisfactions, and the same hopes and dreams as you and your loved ones. I just… feel the need to fuck my arm with spikes of smack as passionately as you fuck your wife’s asshole, under the pretense that she’s that guy you saw at a bar one night when your marriage bed was aflame with dispute.
It’s all relative. And unrelatable. I don’t care if that’s not a word. Can’t we all just fucking agree to disagree? It’s not murder. It’s fucking heroin.
Ezra sat across from me at the kitchen table. Which was actually in my living room. He lifted the strap of his pin-covered, green H&M book bag over his head, reached into one of the front pockets, then looked at me.
“Nate, you owe me $200.”
“I do! You’re absolutely right. But Ezra, I just lost my job. I can’t even begin to think about real life at a time like this.”
“Ok, how about this. You give me five bags, I’ll give you $60. right now, and that way I’ll only owe you $240. As opposed to $300.”
“I need to know when you’ll be able to get me back, though. I can’t just keep fronting shit, man.”
“No, no, I know. I’ll borrow some money. It’s not a big deal. I just don’t feel like talking to anyone or asking for money today.”
“Can you get it to me within a week?”
“Hah! Duh.” I lied. I had no one to borrow money from. All of my friends were just as strung out as I was (Or dope sick) and I hadn’t received my tax return yet. “Ezra, don’t fucking worry about it, man.”
He pulled the blue, plastic, rubber band strapped Pokemon box from his book bag. Happy Meal toys, these days.
February 29, 2012
I’ve always been more of a listener. Not to say I ever minded talking, listening just comes naturally. When you talk, you never know what might slip out. Details, it always seems to be about the fucking details. In life.
Why Saratoga? I left Troy with the hope of creating a new life. A life anew. As far away from everything as a 45 minute car ride could get me. Was it the hope of hope? The promise of hope? Or the fear of hope? I was so close. The end was near and I could taste it. Suicide has never been my forte. I’m a miserable failure in that department. However when it comes to failing, I seem to succeed endlessly. I could kill life, sometimes. The only reason I let myself live is to prove to others how strong I am, how much I can endure. Is that really a reason to live? How does it feel admitting to not having a reason to live? It feels fine.
I feel like people who live too fast must die younger. It’s the only way to maintain balance, that way we all essentially die around the same age. I don’t know if that makes sense.
I am so cold I could cry. I should probably be giving thanks that I am only withdrawing and that I don’t have cotton fever. Once it lasted for 24 hours. The fever, I mean. I’d rather overdose again. It’s strange to think how I’ve contemplated it for literally years, and finally when I had the money, I threw the opportunity away. How I wish I had just bought the heroin. What a hassle, though. And once again, here I am, still alive. I can’t tell the difference between miracles and curses anymore. They all swim together, entangled in a chaotic knot of confusion in the pit of my stomach. Acid and bile. A toast! To a life poorly lived! Let me finish out my days in the only solace my shallow skin can find: the tear of a dull needle, the warmth of a gross high, and the silence in a solitary nod.
February 6, 2012
My life is so terrifyingly like “Friends,” except on heroin. And less lame. Also, if Chandler was gay and sleeping with his straight guy friends. Oh, and I’m Chandler.
Ezra, Jordan and I were hanging out in the living room. Ezra’s phone started ringing. It was Fin. Dope hungry Fin. Ezra only had a bundle on him, so he made the 30 min drive in 15. Fin and I had always been close, and I had always been more or less “attracted” to him, however it was never anything life defining or even “crush” worthy. He was kind of like the cafe ho. Spiritually so. Is it the number of people you’ve fucked that makes you a slut, or is it your motive? Is it just something you do, or is it something you need? Regardless, Fin purchased 3 out of the 10 (Thank God they weren’t those fucking blue bags from last week) and promptly poured them onto a plate I had eaten a burrito off of only moments earlier. Is it weird that I thought that was hot? Lines scraped into formation and an old receipt rolled into a straw, he began.
An hour or so later, Ezra, Fin and myself found ourselves in my bedroom, Ezra at my laptop, Fin and I sitting on my bed talking about some chica he had the hots for. I was about to make a complaint about her pit hair when I stopped. One hand on my cock, the other over my mouth, he looked at me me with care, concern and craving. I motioned to Ezra, who was sitting but 5 feet from us and would find the whole situation more than perturbing. Apparently this was no concern of his because he immediately shrugged, removing his hand from my mouth, and leaned in to kiss me. And I let him. Oh holy God, how I let him! I tried to slide my hand in between him and the waist of his pants, but was pushed away. Five or ten minutes had passed. Ezra still hadn’t noticed anything was going on behind him. Or was he just ignoring us because we were being beyond gay and inconsiderate? Either way, his browsing continued. A sharp inhalation finally turned his head.
“What the fuck, guys?”
Fin thought this hysterical, and after insincerely apologizing, he looked back at me. “So, did you come?” His hands now at his side.
“Yeah.” I lied.
“Cool. I’m not gay. I’ve just always wanted to make a guy come.”
January 29, 2012
January 26, 2012
I spoke with her. Mom called, and I answered. What in the name of all that’s holy was I thinking? It’s been almost six months since we’ve spoken. Again. Was I expecting a new strand of emotional refuse, or was I just having a bad day? Bad days are every day. And so are good ones. It’s no excuse. I should not have picked up my phone. I know the woman loves me thoroughly, but I cannot handle– love? Care? Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I threw myself into this situation so wholeheartedly. Because if you’re an addict, you don’t need love and you probably don’t give a shit if you are loved (Unless you do) because you are invincible, to the fullest extent of the word, and need but one thing. Something cash (Among other things) can provide. It’s an easy enough lifestyle, provided you can keep up with it. Financially. Therein lies the problem. We almost always eventually run out of money. And this is why you see us traipsing down the sidewalk, eyes dull as paper, ink running, ink dripping, ink sneezing. Does ink vomit? I sure as fuck have been.
I told mom about the heroin. I justified it, too. Maybe that’s where I went wrong, incurring her fear, outrage and completely motherly silence. She has always told me, since leaving home at eighteen, to be completely honest with her so she knows what to expect. I had a problem with crack when I was eighteen and nineteen. She was there, on the phone with me every night, as I sobbed to her about my inexperienced confusion and frustration with life. What kind of person puts their mother in that position? I didn’t want to leave home. I had to, what with dad being a Presbyterian minister and my ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ lifestyle being a convictional overload for them. I suppose sometimes families can’t just agree to disagree. Was I supposed to give up my music? My band? The mere concept of happiness with another man? Sometimes I wonder. Once she found my Myspace and the inclusive photos of me with my boyfriend at the time. “I would rather find you in a hospital bed dying of AIDs and repentant than see you living the way you are.” This was, mind you, before heroin. This was also, mind you, said out of love. Which is something that I have had to come to terms with. The way my parents choose to display their affection. How can I be offended by something they said, as hurtful as it may come across, when they only want what they think is best? Salvation. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t have to be one or the other. But fallibility is a tricky thing. One never truly knows. I love them, regardless, I only wish it didn’t have to be like this.
Anyway, I found a suboxone yesterday. I traded it, however, with someone for a couple bags. Hah. Sucker. At least I considered taking a break, right? If it’s the thought that counts, keep counting. I don’t want to get better. Not yet. The indifference I feel is overwhelmingly moving. I am moved. Truly and thoroughly.
I think I left my spike at work. Fuck fuck fuck.
January 26, 2012
January 25, 2012
So. I’ve been thinking about quitting. And then I realize that I just started shooting, and I think about how much I’d be missing out on. Also, shooting seems to lessen the respiratory problems I was enduring, so why bother? A week ago I went to the MediCenter for the second time due to being unable to breathe. I guess heroin doesn’t set well on the lungs.
I was on my way to work when I bumped into Rose and Raphael. Rose immediately told me to get in the car. Raphael called UG and told them that I was having severe asthma complications, excluding the fact that it was as a result of heroin use, and that I wouldn’t be able to come into work as I was in the hospital. We arrived at the MediCenter, Rose dropped Raphael and me off and left to find a parking space. Clutching Raphael’s arm, we slowly found our way inside, stopping every few seconds so I could catch my breath. What is wrong with me? I should have known to stop a few weeks ago when I was unable to climb the fucking stairs to my apartment without stopping at every landing for a few minutes. But if I stopped I’d have to get sick, and though I’ve always gone to work dope sick, I can’t say it’s my favorite thing in the world. I’m not exactly sure where the fucking suboxone has been lately, but I guess I’m going to have to track some down somewheres.
As I reached the receptionist and her walled-in-by-windows desk, I began motioning at my lungs with my hands and tried to explain that I couldn’t breathe, except I couldn’t even speak. I began to panic. Rose came running in, holding the bookbag I had left in the back seat. The woman behind the desk began to call for a doctor. No one came. Her volume increased. Two men in white appeared out of nowhere. I leaned on the ledge in front of her desk as everything became dark. If I wasn’t about to die, you might say it was like tunnel vision. I suppose you could call it that anyway. There was no light. Just white, on either side of me, catching my fall. The last thing I heard was Rose delivering my address and personal information to the woman we had first encountered.
I opened my eyes. White room, white walls, white men in white. I felt blinded. They had carried me to a room and I was on my back. I tried to sit up, grasping the sides of the bed, the strange plastic/paper hybrid bed covering crinkling between my fingers. They forced me to lay back down and I struggled to sit back up in reply. One man straddled me, while the other approached with a gasping tube of air which he proceeded to slide into my mouth and down my throat, the man sitting on top of me prying my mouth open all the while. Was it worth it? Of course it fucking was. The two men began to bicker. Something about the tube in my mouth. “GET AN AMBULENCE!” From bed to gurney. At least I had a couple moments of almost upright positioning. It’s the little things. I was out, once again. Lack of oxygen? Lack of interest?
Where were my friends? I wanted their hands in mine. I wanted their eyes, their– I opened mine. Rose stood to the side of the ambulance I was presently being lifted into.
“Who do you think you are, Richie-fuckin-Tenenbaum?”
It must have been the hair and the headband. Or was she talking about something else? I smiled. There was an oxygen mask over my face, so I gave her a thumbs up. The ambulance doors slammed shut, and they were on me once again, checking my eyes, adjusting the air flow, and talking amongst themselves. Not about me, however. I guess the one who sounded a little like James Franco, from what I recall, had gotten laid the night before. I was happy for him.
Blaaaah blackout round two.
I opened my eyes. This was definitely a hospital. The first thing I noticed was that I could bloody breathe, and on my own! The second, Cruella DeVille incarnate sat in the corner, watching me like a hawk. No bullshit, straight to the questions.
“So, Nathaniel. Do you drink?”
“It’s alright. Mostly crack and heroin, though.”
“I see, and do you shoot heroin?”
“I have. I can’t shoot all the time, though, because I’m still nervous to go get spikes by myself. So I’m more or less dependent on who has cleans on them. So I guess that’s more of a ‘no’ than a ‘yes.’”
“Is this something you’d like to seek help for?”
“Not at the moment, but the thought has crossed my mind.”
“Well, I’m going to give you some information on detox and recovery. You know your respiratory conditions will persist with your continued behavior?”
“Thanks. I’ll look into it.” I wanted to follow that up with “the next time I can see straight,” but she was being so nice, aside from the facial expressions I received upon certain admissions. But I suppose she’s getting paid to be nice. Just like I get payed not to look like a drug addict. I guess I’m just bad at my job.
She gave me directions as how to exit the building. I did. Rose and Raphael were waiting for me outside. I lit a cigarette and climbed into the back seat.
“Nate, you need to slow down.”
“No, you need to stop.” Corrected Rose.
“I will. After I finish off the last few bags I have at home.”
I asked them to drop me off at the CVS downtown under the pretense of seeking out an inhaler. Wrong! If I was to conquer this respiratory condition, I had better learn to suck it up and start buying my own spikes. I had the piece of paper that Ezra had scribbled the necessary information on.
30 gage, 1/2 in 1/2 cc, I can manage this.
“Uhhh, what are they called.. insulin syringes! Yes, a pack of insulin syringes, please.”
January 1, 2012
The way this is coming on is so much more rippled than usual. Water, river, river, rippling ponds. Usually you grow drowsy and are then submerged beneath waves of crashing confusion. You don’t want to try to open your eyes, knowing you cannot, because this feels like failure. As the waves wash you to shore, you find sand in every fold and crease on your body. Itch, scratch itchy itch. There is no relief. And the absence of relief is relief itself. In human form. We care not for spirits or apparitions. Give us cold, hard blooded flesh and bone. Sand scouring my skin, lodged in the elastic pressed against my waist, I claw at the wet sand bank where the water left me not in attempts to escape or survive, but to regain a sense of surrounding. Bring me back up to breathe so I may sink again. I might be overdosing. Over-dose. O-ver-DOse. Overdosing would be nice, but in overdose there is no recollection. I want the steel shadows dancing around me and the warm touch of a friend’s fear to last. I spit out a lung’s worth of water and gasped for breath.
“I’m drowning!” I choked.
I felt the hot sting of Evie’s hand across my face.
“Nate! Nateboy, wake up!”
I wasn’t coughing up water. I was drowning in my own vomit. Love, vomit, peace and calm.
My hand stumbled through a maze of foggy streets and haze until I found her’s. I wasn’t alone. I wouldn’t die alone.
I stood next to a lamp post amidst the fog and gray, five figures standing around me in the distance. It was an ambush. An ambush of senses. They drew near and put their hands on my naked body. I remembered the beach, the wet sand and waves. Where was I now? Was I dreaming? Which was true? I dropped to the stone beneath my feet and held my knees to my chest. The dark figures lifted me up by my arms. Trawled down the streets by regret and solitude, I can still feel the flicker of the lamp posts as we passed beneath them, 1, 2, 38, as though it were my present.
I opened my eyes. I was neither on a beach, nor in the streets of a darkly lit town. The cold of my bathroom linoleum ran up my spine as Evie lifted me from the floor to rest against the side of the tub. I could taste the gritty concrete of heroin and the salt of blood in my mouth. I was naked and there was blood on the floor. I stood. A needle, spoon and q-tip sat by the sink, basking in the glory of the stale florescents above. My reflection was pale with a hint of blue. I had shot myself up for the first time. I had overdosed. I had lived. I should have locked the door.
January 1, 2012
Dying is easy
life is one enormous concentration camp
that God has established here on Earth for mankind
and that mankind has refined yet further
as an annihilation camp for his own kith
Taking one’s own life amounts to
outwitting those who stand on guard
escaping deserting those who are left behind
laughing up one’s sleeve
In this big Lager of life
the neither-in-nor-out neither-forward-nor-back
in this wretched world of lives held
in suspended animation where we grow decrepit
without time moving any further forward…
this is where I learned that to rebel is
to stay alive
The great insubordination is
for us to live our lives to the end
and equally the big humiliation
that we owe ourselves
The sole method of suicide that is worthy
of respect is to live
to commit suicide amounts
to continuing life
starting anew every day
living anew every day
dying anew every day
I don’t know how I should continue
B’s funeral took place on a bleak, dark autumn day.