ATTENTION: It is not advised that anyone who is not an adult read this story. It contains content only suitable for adults. Please remember this is a work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised… Contains drug use and references to suicide…
Tuesday 3:59 AM
Let me get right to the point here. I’m dying. I know I’m dying. Now you know I’m dying. Everyone knows I’m dying. Not the sad way that movie stars often portray it, the real way that people like me go out. Lying on a flooding bathroom floor with pieces of shattered mirror strewn around as I foam at the mouth, twitching and heaving as my lungs fight for air.
Tons of fun…
Anyway, let’s put that picture to the side for a moment, and trade it out for a better one. I don’t want to see it any more than you do, but there it is. I thought you might need to know where I’m at before I tell you my story. Whether it’s more poetic, or if it’s just spoiling the story, whatever. That’s not my job. That’s the guy behind the keys. (Yes. I know he’s there, plugging away, listening to my thoughts, watching me. Some of us see the world for what it is, others, not so much.)
Let’s see, where should we start… Oh, yeah! Let’s start at my twelve-step program… That was a good night, relatively speaking of course…
Monday 6:09 PM
“Hi, my name’s Kevin Jones. I’m a recovering heroine addict.” I said, standing at the lame-ass podium for the thousandth time. “I’ve been clean for-”
I paused. I don’t know why. I had done this every week for years. Sometimes more than once a week. Tonight seemed different. It was me getting tired, them being them, it didn’t matter in the end. None of it did…
“Go on, Kevin.” Jessica, the program director whispered with her fake, albeit slightly worried, smile, “This is a-”
“-a safe place, yeah I know. I also know that I’ve been doing this for so long that the weeks blur together. I go to the clinic every morning to get my ‘medicine’, which is bullshit, it’s just trading one addiction for another. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of your shit. Fuck you all!” I finished, storming out of the building through the fire exit.
I heard the alarm sound behind me, but I didn’t care. My body hurt and I felt like throwing up all the time. Even as I walked down the street with my shaking hands jammed into my jean pockets I knew I could throw up. It felt like the flu, but I knew what it was in reality. Withdrawals.
Fucking people think that they know what’s best for me, I thought as I rounded the corner heading for a familiar side of the city that I hadn’t visited in years. They just want me to give the drug dealers wearing suits my money instead of the guys on the street.
I shook my head. I knew I shouldn’t. My ex-wife had disappeared with the kids two years ago. My family had abandoned me. The only people who would still call me were the other junkies, or ex-junkies, that I had gotten to know over the years. I didn’t have a phone. All I had was a shitty apartment in a bad neighborhood that was a sort of half-way house for people like me. People attempting to limp along in the fucked up lie that was the American dream.
Monday 11:12 PM
I had walked for hours despite the fact that my house and the place I wanted to go were both only around an hour from the meeting. I had made it to my ex-dealer’s house and turned around, making it home in record time, but ultimately the urge was too much and I turned around. I felt like shit. I felt like shit before, and after, but the only time I didn’t feel like an oxygen thief was when I was high.
I didn’t want to feel anything and the escape I longed for was just down the block.
I hesitated when I got to the door, my hand hovering in the air as the signals between my brain and arm became confused. I took a step back, considering what I was doing for a moment and changed my mind. I turned and stepped off the porch when I heard the door open.
“Get your ass in here, man,” a voice called from the doorway.
I froze. My legs wouldn’t move, but my mind screamed to run. My body wanted to be in that house more than anything, and a little part of me, deep in the darkest parts of my mind, wanted it too.
“Hi, Daryl,” I said as I slowly turned.
“Jesus Christ, if it isn’t the fucking party king himself!” he said, opening the screen. “Get the fuck in here, man, we’ve got some catching up to do!”
My legs suddenly started working, but my brain, feeling the familiar warmth of positive human interaction decided it was alright to step in for a minute, provided I didn’t do anything.
Tuesday 1:22 AM
I was sitting on the stairs to my apartment when it hit. The sickness. This time, not because I didn’t have my fix, rather because I did. I had fucked up. I had used when I knew I shouldn’t have. I had given in and let the tiny demon in the back of my mind out for a second.
Reality crashed around me. I felt everything a thousand-fold. At least, that’s what I thought. My hand went to my pocket instinctively. Where my cash had been was now only a small bag. I knew what was in it. I didn’t need to look to know. You probably know too, to be honest, even if you’ve never been a user.
My fist clenched around the bag as I stood up. I pulled my hand from my pocket and readied myself to throw it before the thought hit me.
What if someone else finds it?
Alright, then I guess I’ll hold onto it.
I’ll flush it! It’ll be gone, no one will know how bad I fucked up and everything will go back to normal.
I practically ran into the house. Slamming doors as I passed on my way to the bathroom. I rounded the corner in the kitchen and bolted up the stairs, taking them three at a time before I lost my nerve. I shouldered the door open and threw the bag in the toilet.
I reached for the handle but stopped short of it.
What if I need it? What if I can’t…
“Shut up. Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Don’t think like that.” I muttered as I paced the room. “Just hit the handle and it’ll be alright. I can do this.”
Come on, just a taste… There isn’t that much in there… We could just use it up then go back to the center and check in… One last ride…
My head was shaking as I left the bathroom. I couldn’t look at it. I wouldn’t. I went to my bedroom and got in bed without getting undressed. I needed sleep. It would take me away. It would stop the struggle. At least for a little while…
Tuesday 3:53 AM
I don’t even know if I slept. I know I didn’t do anything. Tossing and turning, feeling horrible, tossing some more, then pressing a pillow to my face.
My head had started to hurt an hour ago, but I refused to move. My ibuprofen was in the bathroom where it was, still floating in the toilet. It may have sunk by now, but I doubted it. I needed sleep. I knew I needed sleep.
My head could have had a jack-hammer smashing into it at this point. My mind was still racing back and forth between flushing my stuff or using it.
Go get a sleeping pill, you don’t have to look at the toilet…
I crawled out of the bed, my eyes slits, not letting in more than the bare minimum amount of light to see. I crawled on the bathroom floor to the vanity, pulling myself up to a kneeling position, and finally standing on shaky legs.
I looked in the mirror and saw the bags under my eyes. The eyes of a junkie. My skin was pale and sickly looking. At some point I had begun sweating.
You look like shit… You should-
“Shut the fuck up!” I screamed at the mirror, smashing my fist into it. It exploded into a thousand tiny pieces, some of which embedded themselves in my hand.
The pain grounded me for a moment as the rage set in. Rage over the last few years that were now wasted because I had been weak. Rage at myself more than anyone or anything. It wasn’t the dealer’s fault. It wasn’t my ex, my kids, my last job, or the prison. It was me, pure and simple. It was my decisions that led me here. It was my choices that led me back to the beginning of my problem.
I grabbed the vanity and pulled. It came lose from the wall easier than expected and snapped the drain and water lines before I threw it through the closed window next to me. The bottom of it slammed into the medicine cabinet, spilling bottles of medication all over the floor. I heard it hit the top of my broken down piece of shit car in the driveway.
I screamed again before sitting on the floor. I looked at my bleeding hand, and the destroyed bathroom around me. I was done. Everything was done. I didn’t want to try anymore. I didn’t want to use, or hurt, or be hurt. I didn’t want anything anymore. I wanted it to be over.
I leaned back, letting myself fall into the glass. What was a little more pain. It didn’t matter. I didn’t want to live. My head turned to the left and through the headache blurred vision I saw a bottle of drain cleaner. I turned over and opened the cap, not even pausing to consider what I was doing before it touched my lips…