Epidemic- Chapter 14

Blood sprays from Eric’s mouth on the door behind him. His hands go up in an attempt to block the series of other blows my fists are delivering. Isaac and Shane jump up from the couches and race over to pull me off of Eric. Eric threatens to kick my ass. Shane makes it clear that despite my attack, if Eric attempts to hit me or be physical with me in any way, he will kick his ass. Isaac adds that he too, will not stand for a man hitting a female. Even with the adrenaline raging through my veins, I am unable to fight off Shane and Isaac’s hold. I struggle desperately to break free from Shane’s grip but alas, I surrender to his manly strength overshadowing my feminine handicap. Overwhelmed with emotion, I alternate between screaming and weeping in Eric’s direction. A Cheshire cat smile spreads wide across Eric’s face, as he wipes at the blood on his lips. This only infuriates me further and I attempt to lunge towards him again. Isaac ensures I am unsuccessful with my attempt.

Shane is laughing hysterically at the fact I have hit Eric and caused him to bleed. However, Isaac is angry and concerned about the event and the possibility of cops showing up to investigate it. My anger is unrestrained and I threaten Eric with a rapid fire of verbal assaults, warning him that if he calls the cops on me I will make sure his bitch ass regrets it. Eric responds with his instigating smirk and laugh, followed by giving me the middle finger, sticking his tongue out at me and moving his head in a very elementary, neener-neener, back and forth sway.
He exclaims that I am lucky to be alive and elaborates he wishes I were dead. After all I have done for him, he continues to put me through hell and says the most horrible things he can to provoke my eyes to cry. It works. My voice falls quiet and tears wet my face, as I fall into a heap on the couch. Shane sits down on the couch beside me and pats my back, as his way of comforting me. Eric is relentless with his words, trying to reignite my fire. He makes several statements elaborating why he wishes I were dead and how I am headed in that direction because I am a pathetic piece of shit junkie.

None of these statements spark my flame, they only further dampen my fire. Isaac instructs Eric to leave but Eric ignores his demands by continuing to spat insults in my direction. Isaac informs me that if I am unable to end this, that I have to leave too because he doesn’t want the cops at his house. In truth, I don’t want the cops at his house for a plethora of reasons. Including the fact I just escaped my near death experience and the last thing I want is for that group to still be watching me and see police show up at any location I might be at! The reality is I know I cannot defuse this situation. Eric is a stubborn, insistent, taunting fool. He enjoys breaking me down and building me back up again. It is a game to him and he doesn’t give two shits about Shane and Isaac. He wants us to both be kicked out so that he can really get the upper hand in this. In fact, he is persistent in achieving this outcome. Still, I acknowledge what Isaac has said, by grabbing my things and apologizing for the event that has unfolded in his home today.

I hear Shane tell Isaac that it is messed up to send me away when Eric had this coming and then some. As usual, there are already two police cars parked at the gas station across the street watching this house. I understand Isaac’s concerns. As I make my way to my vehicle, Eric calls after me to wait up. Does he actually believe that I am going to let him get into the car with me? If he creates a scene, he will draw the police over here and I will likely be arrested for assault charges. What can I do? Should I allow for his emotions to escalate and bring them over here. Not knowing what he will say or admit to them about his cracked lip? Do I dare risk being physically attacked by him later, if I allow for him to get into my vehicle with me? Isaac has already closed and locked the door to the house and is probably tweaking balls at the possibility that the cops across the street might come over here. He is most definitely running around the house hiding all of his paraphernalia.

If I jump into my car and speed out of here, that too, might cause the police cars to pull out and follow me. I am in a difficult spot and don’t know what to do. Once inside my car, I immediately lock the doors hoping that Eric will just walk off. He does not. If I leave him here, will he walk over to the police and narc on my assaulting him? Where am I going to go? Eric pounds on my passenger door window and instructs me to let him in now before he makes a scene. He is not bluffing. I unlock the doors and he hops inside the car. I hate him. He smiles at me and has the audacity to put his hand on mine as I put my car in reverse. His fingers trace the top of my hand, as he tells me it’s time to go do a shot. That is all I want to do right now but I don’t want him anywhere near me. Once we have pulled out onto the highway, Eric compliments my right hook and calls me a firecracker. He continues to say that for a midget, I pack a mean punch. Of course, I am not a midget. However, I am short and have been called that my entire life by ignorant assholes that think they are being funny. If only he would suddenly flee my car, as he has done repeatedly to me now. He won’t. It is likely, he is out of dope and is depending on my stash for our shots.

This only further angers me. He stole over half my dope to begin with and already made shots out of my stash after doing so! Then he made a shot at the motel in the bathroom and abandoned me there. My body becomes hot with rage, while I relive the events of the day in my head. I repeatedly check my mirrors and observe the Hondas and Toyota, appear to no longer be following me. There are people at our spot at the lake today. This makes me incredibly uneasy, but I want more than anything to do a shot. After I park, I ask Eric to break out his dope. He laughs and asks where my dope is at. I respond by detailing that he took over half of it and then we made shots from what he left me, in hopes that he will pull out his bag if he has any left. Surprisingly, he does. There is enough left for two decent shots.

I watch as he lights the dope up in the spoon. Due to the amount of people around, I am careful to continuously scan the area around our car, as well as my mirrors. When I glance back over at Eric’s preparation of our shots, I notice he is pulling all of the dope into one rig. What the hell is he doing? Is he actually doing the whole thing? There is no time for me to question him before the needle is in his arm. That is absolutely what he is doing! I begin questioning him with a repeated, what the fuck and again I am met with tears. He laughs and tells me that was his dope and I deserve to be sick after what I just pulled. Anyone who has ever used opiates, especially needles, would understand this to be the most awful, dickhead thing you could do or wish upon someone. Eric tosses me a few cottons and tells me I can make a cotton shot. I still have some dope, but I don’t want him to know that because then he might attempt to take it from me.

What an unimaginable bastard. He is quite pleased with his stunt and tosses the baggy at me while informing me there is a little tar on the bag, that I can scrape to add to the cotton shot. He says it as if he is doing me a favor. My hands are trembling with anger. They are begging me to hit him but I exercise control over their repeated pleas to break his face. There are tons of people around and Eric warns me to be careful and informs me I need to serve as my own lookout because he is exiting the vehicle to get fresh air! Once outside, he positions himself on the hood of my car and looks towards the water. Without any hesitation, I hit the locks, start the car and put it in reverse. This startles Eric, who has now jumped off my hood and punched my windshield while screaming at me to let him back in. My eyes are fixed on my rear view mirror, as I gun it. He chases after me and I know I have no time to turn my car around. I will have to reverse it all the way out to the street.

As I approach the entrance, I pray there are no cars on the road that will cause me to have to stop my car. There isn’t. I pull out onto the road, put my car in drive, roll my window down and scream to Eric that he can fuck off and it is over! I am going home. Home? Where is home for me now? I can’t go home, I don’t want my family to see me like this. Going back to Isaac’s house is out of the question and I decide to pull into the grocery store parking lot to do a shot. There is a gathering of trees at the far end of the lot, that I seek privacy and shade under. My heart is still racing from adrenaline, after ditching Eric to fend for himself. I wish I could be more enthusiastically pleased by my actions. However, he has an odd way of always getting around so I doubt it will faze him for long.

Fortunately, I have enough tar left to make two decent shots. My entire body and mind are overcome with physical and mental exhaustion. Heroin induces a probable nod and I am out of crystal, so I have nothing to counter my eyes heavy haze. I contemplate relocating to the park and ride, so that if I do fall asleep, I won’t be bothered by anyone; I am already fading fast and desperate to take a shot. Watching Eric do his moments ago, has most certainly intensified my desire to plug my own vein. My junkie kit is disgusting. There are several used cottons that I have collected in one baggie, as well as several empty baggies I hold on to, in case I find myself desperate to scrape them. All that is left from my box of 100 syringes, (thank you cheap ass Walmart) are two rigs I have used repeatedly now. The tips are painfully dull and the numbers that indicate the cc’s, are all but gone from the barrels.

Nevertheless, I reach for my burnt up, bent spoon and begin my cooking ritual. There is a bottle of water I have secured in the back pocket of the passenger seat for prepping shots and I turn to grab it. My car is a chaotic mess of items that don’t belong to me. What are all of these phone chargers doing in my vehicle and where did they come from? Never mind that now. I draw a small amount of water into my rig and douse the piece of tar marinating in my spoon. When you are surrounded by dope heads and tweakers, a Bic lighter carries it weight in gold. Despite how careful I am in attempting to hold onto mine, I somehow end up with these cheap, plastic giveaways from the smoke shop. Eric on the other hand, usually has three or four of them. Of course, they are all my lighters. He insists they are not and it is easier not to argue with him.

Just the thought of him causes my blood to boil again. I frantically search the floorboards of my vehicle for a Bic. The glove box and middle console have already disappointed me. The torch lighter is great for smoking meth and cleaning pipes but I worry that too much flame will burn my dope up. Overcooking the dope is a tragedy I can’t afford. All of my stash spots have been raided but I doubt Eric has found the one in my trunk. The plastic liner that secures the carpet, pops right off and makes a great place for me to stash a few things I do not want Eric or anyone else to jack (steal) from me. I pop my trunk and quickly pop off the plastic piece. Oh shit! I had forgotten, I stored a baggie of unopened rigs back here! In addition, my little make up bag that houses a back up Bic is still here, as well. Finally, something is going my way. I reassemble my trunk and race back to the front seat.

I flick my Bic and wave my hand back and forth with the flame under the spoon holding my dope mix. The tar melts into a pool of pleasure, as i toss the Bic aside. I balance the spoon on top of my Tech N9ne CD case, toss a fresh cotton in it and reach for my brand new, yet to be tainted, syringe. After I place the tip of the needle into the center of the cotton, I slowly draw up the dope into the barrel. I tilt the needle upright and carefully push the air pocket out, giving it two faithful flicks before I tie off. My body suffers from constant dehydration, making it even more difficult to find a vein. Despite the sun shining and summer’s scorching warmth, I run my heat so that I can warm up my hand, in hopes this will bring a vein to the surface. My hands are both badly bruised and the discoloration and swelling makes it impossible to hit there today. What am I thinking? I am in possession of a rare and coveted fresh rig with a new, sharp point. It is likely I can puncture through the scar tissue that has formed around old reliable for a successful, more enjoyable hit.

Success! Blood mixes immediately with my dark master and I push the demon in. Immediately, I crank up the air conditioning, lean my head back and enjoy the rush of opiates coursing through my veins. The heat is sweltering; however, the air conditioning is numbing, so I crack my windows for an even balance of hot and cold air. My junkie kit and all it’s paraphernalia has been secured within my locked glove box, so that if anyone pulls up or passes by, I can play off being a tired commuter who has pulled off the road in the interest of safety. While I opt to keep my music at a low volume, as not to attract attention to my parked vehicle, I put on my instrumental music and enjoy the goosebumps the strings produce and the tickles of the piano keys. Instrumental movies scores, in particular the Twilight ones, are my favorite genre of music; however, I never am able to indulge in or enjoy them anymore. Dope heads are more incline to bang hip hop or rock music. Yet another attribute I have that sets myself apart from them and keeps the label, square bear and nerd attached to me.

My eyes are heavy and I no longer fight their desire to close. My chair is already reclined, as I allow my head to rest against the soft, plush leather behind it. Naturally, this is not an ideal location to sleep but I decide I can nod for a few. Realistically, I have no choice. The heroin is potent and demanding that I stop for awhile. The last thing I remember is thinking I should turn the air conditioning off, as I move the knob to low and drift off.
I am awakened by two voices beside my car. There is a concerned voice and another voice I know all too well. Eric! How the hell did Eric stumble across my location. Apparently he has been trying to get his arm far enough through my cracked window to unlock my doors and a man has noticed this and is questioning him about it. Eric reassures him that him and I are together and that I had called him because my car was dead and must have fallen asleep while waiting for him.

Wait, what? My car is dead? Shit! How long have I been asleep? Where did the sun go? My battery has completely drained and my car is in fact, dead. My body won’t allow for me to fully wake up and process the situation. My eyes continue to fall shut. There is only so long a person can go, go, go before their body completely gives out and I exceeded that point two days ago. Eric repeatedly asks me to unlock the doors and tell the stranger that I know him and have called him to help me.

My finger hits the door locks several times but they are power locks and the battery is dead. The stranger inquires as to whether or not Eric’s story is a legitimate one before driving off and I nod in concurrence without fully understanding what I have acknowledged as truth. Eric’s voice is sweet and mild toned. He is attempting to be deceptive with his transparent charming antics. He taps at the window and feeds me instructions on how to unlock the doors so that he can get in, but I am nodding in and out and unable to comply with his instruction. He asks me to pop the hood and somehow I must have managed to do so. The stranger has returned with jumper cables and is here to be a good Samaritan. There is no way I can fight this debilitating coma I have succumb to, in an attempt to act normal in front of this kind stranger who is attempting to jump my car. In order for this to be successful, I need to give it gas and turn my ignition over but I cannot keep my eyes open.

I hear Eric thank the man and feel the buzz of my car running again. Did I start the car? Am I dreaming? I open my eyes fully to discover that I am no longer in the driver seat. I am in the passenger seat and Eric is driving us down a country road.

News:

$3M worth of heroin, opium found in O’Hare passengers’ luggage

PHOTOS: 13 accused of dealing heroin, other drugs in Pa.

For Jennifer’s Legacy: Losing My Daughter To Addiction Pushed Me To Advocacy

Matthew 5:43-48 New International Version (NIV)

Love for Enemies
43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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