Epidemic- Chapter 17
Red! What the hell is she doing here? How did she know that we were here and why the hell did Eric let her in our room? Her eyes meet mine. A sly, devilish smile crosses her face. There are remnants of tweaker pot marks all over her face from where she has picked at her skin while high on meth. She attempts to cover them up with a shade of Cover Girl that doesn’t suit her skin type. It only cracks over the marks and makes them look worse. My blood is boiling, my heart is racing and I angrily lunge towards her. Before I am able to think clearly and truly articulate my words, I am screaming. Accusing and demanding to know what makes her think I won’t kick the shit out of her right now. I may be barely five foot and all of a hundred pounds, but like a firecracker with a short fuse, my temper when blown, creates sparks of startling terror and concern in her eyes.
The other people in the room sit quietly, while I verbally annihilate her. No one attempts to defend her, nor do they attempt to get in my cross-hairs. My verbal lashing is a rapid fire of assaults, threats and promises. Her eyes divert from mine. This only angers me more, as I demand that she show me the respect of looking me in my eyes and owning up to what she has done. Still her eyes shift back and forth and she is unable, or unwilling to stay fixated on mine. Like a mad women, I begin laughing cynically and taunting her to hit me. Red is known as a snitch. In fact, I have seen papers, (police records) confirming she is one. I know that if I hit her first, she will likely snitch on me and I am unwilling to catch an assault charge, despite how angry I am. My fists are ready to unleash their fury, all over her pot marked face. I am so angry, I want to knock her fucking teeth out but she won’t cater to my invitation to throw down, (start the fight).
My demons encourage me to drop her but I resist the urge, knowing I will be hauled off to jail. There is no way I want to go to jail for the first time in my life and detoxing in a cell doesn’t sound appealing at all. There is $500.00 hidden in the motel mattress and everything I own is in this room and my car. If the police were called I would likely lose everything, including my vehicle. There is no doubt in my mind that Eric would haul it off to Junkyard Justin and it would never be seen again. My breathing slows down, as I attempt to collect myself. My heart rate drops closer to it’s normal beat, as I pace back and forth. Careful to never take my eyes off of Red. She pulls out her phone and starts texting. My heart race speeds back up, as I inquire as to who she is texting. She doesn’t respond. At this point, I feel I will be unable to control myself much longer and I demand that she leave my motel room. Again, she doesn’t acknowledge me. It is as if she is begging me to hit her!
Eric has found his way to the bed and is laying back on the pillow with a large smile on his face. Suddenly, my anger and frustration is targeted in his direction. I begin questioning what is so funny, as he smirks and quietly chuckles. He assures me that it is sexy when I am this angry and he wants to see me drop this bitch. That response was not what I expected. However, I am uncertain of his intent. Is he wanting me to go to jail, or does he really want to see me knock her teeth out? My mind flashes with images of that night under the wheelchair ramp, discovering the face paint in Eric’s bag, the incident with the lead pipe and so many more. Who can I trust? Were they in on this together? All I want to do is grab my money and be on my way. That is not a plausible solution with all of these people in the room. Again, I demand that Red leave the room. Finally, her eyes connect with mine, as she instructs me to go ahead and hit her.
She continues to bait me, insisting that I do not have the guts to do so. She elaborates how she stole Chris from me and how great he is in bed. Her voice remains low and controlled, as she makes subtle moans with her obscene descriptions of their sexual encounters. She goes on to accuse Chris of confiding in her, how horrible I was in bed. Even going as far as calling me a prude. Like a fish who has suddenly found themselves with a hook in their gills, I run towards Red. I grab her throat with my right hand, squeeze tightly and slam her head into the wall. No one is moving or saying a word. A collective gasp emanates throughout the room. My hand squeezes even harder. Until I am choking Red hard enough, that her eyes begin to bulge from their hollowed out sockets. I pull my hand and her head towards me, before slamming it against the wall again. I have lost complete control and despite the voice inside of my head warning me not to do it, I dig my nails into her throat.
My warning will not fall on deaf ears, as I lean in real close before telling her that I will fucking kill her if anything happens to my father’s house or my family. I elaborate that my entire neighborhood is on watch for suspicious activity, (okay, so I lied a little). As an added insurance, I inform her that I have all of the license plate numbers from the vehicles that were chasing me that night and that I have trusted that information with a friend back home. If anything should happen to me, my family or my father’s house, my friend will turn it over to the police. In addition to the vehicle plates, I have taken the liberty of making a few notes about her and her little Juggalo gang including: names, phone numbers, addresses, car descriptions and places that they hang out.
Red’s eyes widen, as I tell her that I know she is a fucking snitch and that I have obtained a $7.00 copy of her police report where she gave a statement that completely narced out, (told on) her former affiliates, who are now serving time in prison for their crimes. I assure her that those papers are in safe keeping but she better not fuck with me again or that I will make copies and distribute them to the entire town. This was one of the biggest lies I have ever told, as well as the biggest demonstration of insanity and badass brutality I have ever played out. My grip releases Red’s puny neck and I step back awaiting a response. It worked. Red motions for the others that she is ready to go. Anger is coursing through my veins. Adrenaline forces me to grab her again and make sure that we are clear. She concurs and with that, makes her way out of the motel room with her two buddies.
As soon as the door closes, I am at the peephole ensuring they do not attempt to go anywhere near my vehicle. They do not. I turn around to see Eric has gotten on his feet and made his way towards me. He asks if what I said was true. I lie and confirm that every word of it was. Eric’s body language is shifty. I can sense the fear in his eyes, as he averts them from mine. An admission of guilt, without ever confessing his involvement. Eric paces back and forth asking me who I have given all of this information to. His voice cracks, as he repeatedly demands to know who I have trusted with these papers. Sweat begins to bead at his hairline. All the signs are in front of me, he most definitely was involved in the failed attempt at the home invasion! A shit eating grin crosses my face, as I make my way to the bed. I light a cigarette and as I exhale the smoke, I question him, wouldn’t you like to know.
The look on Eric’s face is one of panic. He is persistent that I don’t know the type of people I am dealing with and how they are not going to like hearing that I have documentation of them in safe holding. I smile and question if he is worried that his information has been documented, followed by a slight, crazy chuckle. Eric’s pupils dilate with rage, before he positions himself three inches from my face. Like a hurricane, my face is met with a violent wind of breath and spit, as Eric warns me that there better not be any papers being held on him. I wipe the spit spray from my face to reveal my own devilish smile and assure him that there’s not. Why would I; I question?
Eric retreats another two feet, before apologizing for his overreaction. He attempts to hug and kiss me but I sit lifelessly unmoved. After all the times he has left me, jumped out of my vehicle and abandoned me for some duration of time, this is the time I would most welcome his flee. But alas, his presence remains. If only I could get to my money and get the hell out of here, but where would I go?
The shower is calling my name, as I excuse myself to answer it’s call. Eric flips through the channels on the television. There is always this nagging voice in the back of my paranoid mind, that reminds me to grab my dope, so that he doesn’t make off with it, but I know when I grab my junkie kit, it will provoke a fight about my not trusting him. There is no way for me to reach for it without him seeing me but I opt not to let that reality detour me from reaching for it anyways. As I suspected, Eric immediately harps in on me about what a pathetic junkie I am. He elaborates that he has his own dope and has no need for mine. Perhaps, if he hadn’t already: stolen from me, lied to me, abused me and abandoned me all of those times prior, I would be moved by his attempted performance of legitimate hurt and disbelief in my inability to trust him. My only real concern is that I do not want him snooping around that mattress while I am in the shower and discovering my hidden stash of cash.
For this reason I decide to shower with the door open, in an attempt, to monitor noisy activity and his movement throughout the room. The hot water hits my skin and I immediately feel more at ease and relaxed. The Herbal Essence smells of my shower, tickle my senses that are otherwise dull from the dope. My mind refocuses on God and my prayer to hit rock bottom. I am done. I am so done with this pathetic excuse for an existence. This life has left me bitter, cold and has opened my eyes to an entire life form I never wanted to know existed. Fucking thieving tweakers, lying dope heads and the spawn of Satan himself. Of course, I am referencing Eric as the spawn. The constant chasing of bags, repeated stabbing of my body with dull rigs, failed attempts for a hit and bruised and battered shell of a corpse I am trapped in, has lost its appeal. The incessant chatter of paranoid voices, arguing in my head, has left me confused and unable to decipher who and what is real anymore. The only part of me unwilling to let go of this hell I have imprisoned myself in, is the fear of being dope sick. The memories of twitching with restless legs that won’t allow for me to sit still, spasms in my shoulder that jerk me from comfort and the excruciating pain and stiffness that consumes my entire body when it is withdrawing from opiates, is enough to keep the needle in my arm.
After I dry off and get dressed, I sit beside Eric on the bed. He is being unusually quiet, as I reach for my junkie kit to prep another shot. We have slept an entire day away, so I am conflicted between adding some crystals to the shot to stay up, or welcoming another nod and sleep. We have this motel room for a week, so I don’t have to stay awake and chase bags, look for places to sleep and make moves to obtain petty cash for dope. The idea of nodding and relaxing is winning. I break off a decent piece of tar and toss it in my spoon. Eric has not reached for his dope, but I know he wants a shot. He comments that I have too much dope in my spoon and that I am serving up a shot that would kill me. What a dumbass. Is he hinting that he wants one, or does he really not know that I am prepping him one too.?
Watching the heroin pool in my spoon is an intoxicating part of the ritual. Adding the cotton and watching as it soaks up the puddle, causes me to lick at my lips. Pulling the poison up into the barrel of the syringe, causes a tingle to shoot up my spine. I slowly push the air pocket from my rig, before pulling the remaining dope up into a second rig for Eric. He sits quietly and watches, as I slowly push out his air pocket as well and give his shot a couple taps before passing it off. The son of a bitch has the audacity to voice his belief that he should be able to choose which shot he takes, while further accusing me that my shot is bigger. The thing is, I have intentionally pulled an additional CC into his rig, so I am flabbergasted and angered by his accusation. Upon further review of the two shots in hand, he reaches for the one I had already handed in his direction and immediately hits without complications. I however, am not so lucky.
Twenty minutes of repeated failed attempts causes me great frustration. Naturally, Eric is taunting me about his ability to hit so easily and calls me an amateur junkie. My eyes avoid his burning stare, as I again stab at my arms without success. This shouldn’t be so difficult. I just took a hot shower, why are my veins not cooperating? They need more motivation, so I get a glass of water and down it, in an attempt to hydrate them. I take to the floor and bang out some push ups, before rising to my feet with a set of jumping jacks, to get my blood flowing.
Eric is laughing hysterically at me and insulting me with his usual verbal attacks, so I grab my shot and head to the bathroom for some privacy. It worked. My needle penetrates through the scar tissue of old reliable and my rig immediately fills with blood. Blood. Deep red, beautifully, enchanting blood. Slowly, I push my demon in and remove the tip from my arm before rinsing out my rig and tossing it back into my kit.
The television proves to be boring to Eric, as he comments that we should order porn. Is he serious right now? After all the shit he just said and did, does he honestly think I want to have sex with him, let alone after he has only become aroused by watching other naked people doing unrealistic things? My ears pretend I didn’t hear that comment, as I lay down with my back towards him to embrace my nod. He doesn’t say another word, with regards to porn. However, he positions himself behind me and cuddles me in a spoon. It is likely his eyes and head are heavy too. The feeling of the opiates rushing throughout your body, warms you from the inside out. It hits your brain like a tidal wave of complete heaven and can cause you to to nod out in mid sentence. Suddenly all your stiff joints, restlessness, throbbing muscles and aching headaches disappear and are replaced with a euphoric cocoon of calm and peace.
The only thing that can make this better, is a pull off a menthol cigarette. I reach for them on the nightstand and light up, despite my knowing how dangerous it could be. Not to my health, who doesn’t know that? Dangerous in the sense that I will likely nod and my lit cigarette will fall to the bed or carpet beneath me, posing a threat of an ignited fire. The first pull off a smoke, is never the best. It is the second hit that causes me to become lightheaded. I welcome the threat of fire. Every time I light a cigarette when I am in this state or condition, I am begging for it. Naturally, the thought of being burned alive is not enticing. However, I know the risk and still I cherish the smoke enough to risk the blaze. So what if I were to physically burn? I am already spiritually and emotionally burning in my own hell anyways.