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The Needle and the Spoon

Dope ain't so dope.

Sucking Life Straight From Your Body

7:27pm November 14th.  Approximately four and a half hours before I turned 18.  I was at my own party at my parents' house and looking for a way out.  Everyone was telling me how proud they were of me and what a wise young man I had become.  It put a sickening feeling in me but it was almost funny.  I was a junky.  My family knew a bit about my previous use of drugs but thought it was a phase in the past.  

My mind would engage in a conversation for a few moments but would swiftly and precisely rebound to a cellophane bag containing a half gram of coke.  I didn't want to be fucked up around my family so I left it in my truck but now I could only thing about how exciting the high was and how boring everything else in the world was.

The urges overcame me.  I mentioned not feeling well and abruptly went to my truck.  I grabbed the aux cable and plugged in my phone to set the mood.  I think it was "Junkhead" by Alice in Chains that came on.  Ironically fitting.  I frantically rolled a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.  I used the tip of the bill to scoop a load of blow and brought it to my nose.  I reversed sneezed and almost instantly tasted that bitter taste that initiates immortality.  I stomped the gas and flew down the street laughing.  It only took me five minutes to hit the highway and then I really opened up.  I was going about 90mph in my old Dodge Ram and managed to hit another bump of blow while I was driving.  I felt unstoppable.  

Another 10 minutes of tweaking and headbanging and I arrived at my shitty apartment. My roommate wasn't home so I cranked my amp up to 11 and shredded some guitar riffs while I finished the bag of blow over the next couple hours.  

Around 10pm I finished the bag and began to look for some Suboxone to take the edge off the come down.   My roommate had a prescription for it and it sat around our apartment like candy.  I started looking through a plastic Wal-Mart bag by the couch and realized it was trash but noticed something inside.  There was a neatly folded piece of notebook paper in the bottom of the bag.  It was common for us to use a piece a paper like this to store partially snorted Suboxone tablets so I picked it out of the trash.  Inside the paper I found nearly half a gram of heroin rocks.  I remembered my roommate tearing frantically through the apartment the night before and talking about missing dope.  I always begged him for some but he always denied my requests and said he wasn't going to be responsible for my first time. 

I'd done literally every other drug I had heard of except heroin.  In my mind I wanted to be able to say a had done every single drug before I turned 18 and I only had hours left.  Despite us being junkies, me and my roommate were like brothers.  I wouldn't steal anything from him but I made up my mind to hold his dope hostage until he would let me try it.  He came busting into the apartment moments later and I immediately started convincing him that he owed me a taste of dope since I had found his.  After a bit of convincing he agreed but he said no shooting just snort a line.  I made a small line and made it disappear just as fast.  I sat back in the chair and waited.  In a couple minutes I felt a drowsy high come on but it wasn't very good.  I told him I already had a tolerance to opiates from my Suboxone and Percocet use and that I was disappointed with my heroin experience.  He almost seemed disappointed too as if he was hoping I would now understand his addiction.  He told me that shooting it is a whole different game.  I asked him if he had a clean needle for me.  He reluctantly said yes and made me promise if he shot me up that it would be a one-and-done deal. 

I felt nervous and excited as I watched him prepare the shot.  He crushed a little rock into dust and poured it from a bill into a spoon.  He then took the orange caps off a diabetic syringe and drew up water from a newly opened bottle.  He proceeded to squirt the water carefully around the edge of the spoon in a circular motion.  The water slid into the spoon easily and mixed with the powdered poison to form a kind of brown mud.  He took out the plunger from the syringe and used it to mix the solution together.  I asked him if he wanted a lighter but he shook his head and said he didn't cook his dope.  He put the plunger back in the rig and drew up the potion.  He then held the needle against the light and slowly tapped and squeezed until all the tiny bubbles of air were out.  He told me to give him my arm and I eagerly did.  He wrap a piece of cloth around my arm and squeezed until my veins were popping out.  He told me to look away but I told him I wasn't a bitch and liked blood.  He pressed the tip of the needle down onto my vein until I felt a light pinch and saw the needle disappear under my skin.  The drawback took my breath away.  He pulled back on the plunger and a cloud of blood mushroomed into the rigs tube.   It was awe-inspiring.  I relaxed and smile as if the dope already hit.  "You ready?", he asked. 

"Hellyeah", I weakly mumbled.  With every ounce of care he could muster he slowly but steadily pushed the plunger into the syringe until it was empty and my veins were full.  I fell back into the couch as he held the syringe making a natural separation of tool and user.  This was heaven.

The world around me melted.  Color in paintings on the wall escaped the frames' confinement and dripped down the wall.  The popcorn on the ceiling rained down like snow.  An indescribable warmth set over my entire body from the inside out.  I felt innocent.  In whatever world I had just entered my heart had never been broken.  I had never experienced pain or discomfort.  I was experiencing love and beauty.  I think I cried a single tear from the relief I had just been granted.  I didn't have any reservation about my decision to do this drug, as I always had for the others.  This moment was meant to be.  This was where I belonged.  I could see nothing evil or nasty about this drug.  It was pure. It was clean.

I couldn't find a reason to move for about 15 minutes.  I just laid there in complete and utter bliss.  Nothing mattered except for the moment I was in.  My roommate was laughing his ass off at me as he made a shot for himself.  He seemed to make it and shoot it in such a routine manner.  "It'll loose it's magic brother.  Nothing's a novelty forever." he said.  I supposed I mumbled incoherently because he went back to laughing at me.  I began laughing myself and moved over to my recliner and joked with him until we fell asleep.

It's still weird to me how such an innocent feeling was the beginning of the devastation of my life.  I fell more deeply in love with the needle then anything I put inside it.  Meth, cocaine, heroin, crack, it didn't matter.  I just wanted to see the mushroom of blood and feel instant gratification.  I even broke Xanax down with mouthwash and shot it.  I shot a piece of dry wall once.  I missed veins and overdosed multiple times.  I became a monster and did things I never thought I was capable of doing.  I lost friends and family physically and metaphorically from drugs.  I completely ruined myself and my life.  

You can not trust your feelings.  They lie to you.  Don't follow your heart because your heart wants to get high.  Follow your mind because therein lies victory over your disease.  It's a nasty and dirty path that will feel wonderful until you wake up one day in a pool of vomit next to a dead friend with an eviction notice on your door and the sound of sirens in the distance.  You'll look in the mirror and wonder who the fuck is looking back at you.  You don't need to worry about it killing you because those are honestly the lucky ones.  You have to worry about being alive to see everyone and everything you love die.  Dope ain't so dope.

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