Epidemic- Chapter 18
There is nothing like the feeling of a new iPhone in the palm of your hand. The last two days with Eric have been amazing, so naturally, I put two phones on a plan and gave him one. He has been so attentive to my needs, calmed my tears when I cried about missing my daughter, rubbed my back and even helped me hit once, when I was struggling to find a vein. If I had known that Sprint would hook me up with two iPhone 4’s without requiring any deposit or money up front, I would have obtained these earlier. Eric still doesn’t know that I have that $500.00 stashed in the mattress and is himself, out of money. The idea of hitting the gas stations up to hustle dope money doesn’t sound appealing at all. However, there is no way for me to suddenly come into money without admitting I lied to him about how much I won at the casino that night.
We still have the motel room for a few days, so at least we have our own place to chill at. We need dope and crystal. The Sprint store is not far from Isaac and Jenn’s house, so we decide to score some crystal there with what he believes is my last twenty. Apparently, Jenn is still in jail. However, Isaac is home along with a houseful of meth heads. My elbow nudges Eric, as I whisper don’t mention the money. With this many Tweakers in the house, it is likely they will be smoking and passing the bowl around freely. Eric and I could get geeked, (high) without putting in on it. Eric shoots me a glare. It is a familiar look that has been absent from his face for two days now. I realize, Eric isn’t happy simply smoking. He has been on the needle a lot longer than I have now and anything less, is a teaser for him. While I am angry that he will likely disregard my instruction, I understand because I have already achieved that level of dependency for the needle concerning heroin . Nobody in this house likes Eric. They have accused him of stealing from them and have warned me about his thieving ways. I refused to listen because I had never once seen him with anything they alleged he had jacked, (stolen).
He insists that it is the other way around; that in fact, they don’t like me. The truth is they probably don’t care for either one of us, but every single one of the guys wants to fuck me, so they at least pretend to give a shit about me. I don’t dare tell Eric how they have all at one point or another, attempted to nail me. He already accuses me of cheating and being a whore, when in actuality, I have never betrayed that trust. Sure, I may have used my cuteness to score an occasional free smoke out but I have never exchanged sex for dope. Isaac pulls out a sack of crystal and asks if we want to smoke. Before I can accept his invitation, Eric answers that we have a twenty and are just looking to buy a sack. My mouth drops. Not only is he disregarding what I asked of him but he has refused to smoke. It is down right rude and I can see it all over Isaac’s face. Isaac must be reading my face as well, when he suggests we do both and hang out for awhile. Eric glares at me, as I sit down across from Isaac on the couch. Without warning or explanation, he stomps out of the room and heads upstairs where the other tweakers are likely smoking their own bowls.
Isaac shakes his head at me and inquires as to why I have continued to put up with Eric’s bullshit. I have no answer or excuse that will justify a satisfactory response for Isaac, so I just shake my head back in his direction. Isaac knows I am not much of a meth smoker anymore. He realizes I typically snort or eat it, although I doubt very much that he knows I bang it too. Now that it is just him and I in the room, he chops up a line and passes it to me with instruction to hurry, so that no one else will see his generosity. Without hesitation, I inhale it, lick the remaining crystals form the DVD case and set it on the table. It’s funny how you don’t think about the reality that the case has likely been handled by many before licking it clean to digest crystals. I quickly dismiss the thought, as I fight my eyes not to tear. This house is large, but very old and you can hear every creek, footstep and whisper that passes through its walls. Like a cat, quietly on the prowl, Eric has found his way back into the room, undetected.
My mind races with paranoid thoughts of him being behind me the entire time, hearing me loudly snort up a line and even perhaps, hearing the conversation that occurred between Isaac and I in regards to why I put up with him. However, Eric strolls in nonchalantly questioning if we had already finished the bowl. Isaac has loaded a bowl for us, while I was riding rails, (snorting the meth) and after pulling from it, hands it to me while assuring Eric we had not started yet. The fact that Isaac would pass over Eric to make sure I hit the bowl before him when I am a a female and not Isaac’s girl is insulting to a man. While I detect this insult on Eric’s face, I take a small hit before passing it to him. Eric takes the flame to the bowl and begins rolling it back and forth frantically, as if he is attempting to finish the entire bowl himself in rebuttal to the insult. Monster clouds are billowing from the corner of Eric’s psychotic grin, as he burns the dope in protest of the demonstration he just witnessed between Isaac and I.
He attempts to pass it off as an accident but I am not fooled and I am certain Isaac is not so naive. Burnt dope taste like ass and when you are the one who burns the dope, typically you are scrutinized. I only know this because in the beginning of my use, I burned the dope on several occasions, until I forfeited the lighter and asked others to light it for me. In fact, it is Isaac who finally told me that I needed to learn how to do it myself if I was going to smoke and patiently showed me how to avoid this tragedy. Eric’s apology is dripping with cynicism, as he hands the pipe back to Isaac. Isaac instructs Eric to go ahead and finish the bowl, elaborating he will clean it and load another bowl for himself. Eric tosses the pipe to the table and asks that Isaac just give us our dub, (twenty dollars worth of meth) and we will be on our way. Once again, I am mortified by Eric’s behavior. He has pulled this kind of stunt on multiple occasions among several different circles we are around and I am angry and embarrassed.
Isaac pulls out his bag and scale and asks me if I have a baggie to put ours in. I do. I’m uncertain as to why Isaac would break us off after Eric’s complete demonstration of disrespect and deliberate insult. Perhaps, he needs the money or it could be that he cares enough for me he is willing to make sure that I am taken care of. Whatever the case may be, he throws an extra large crystal in the bag, after weighing it, before sealing it and handing it to me. His eyes tell me he did that for me. Eric opens the front door and instructs that I better hurry my ass up or he is leaving me. Isaac shakes his head at me and deep down I know it’s bullshit. The crystals Eric wants to shoot up are in my possession; however, I don’t want to fight or cause a scene, so I follow. Once inside the car, the anger, embarrassment and frustration boils over, as I scream at Eric about my disbelief in his little display of inconsideration. He laughs before grabbing my arm and squeezing it tightly. He informs me that I better never do that shit again and calls me a whore.
My arm is throbbing, as I attempt to pull it free from his grasp but that only encourages him to squeeze harder. As we pull onto the highway, Eric enlightens me as to what he was doing upstairs. He speaks excitedly about a come up, (quick way to get cash, usually involving stealing) he overheard the tweakers discussing. He insists they didn’t realize he was standing on the staircase listening and that he overheard their plan of execution. Apparently, they are going to hit it up tonight. There is an abandoned property that he believes is a gold mine. Immediately, I refuse to be any part of it. Eric slams his fist on the dashboard and calls me a fucking square bear. His insults don’t detour me. I can’t, I won’t be any part of this. This is not who I am. I’m not a criminal! Sure I break the law every time I buy and use dope but that’s different, that doesn’t hurt anyone but myself. I am the only victim of that crime, or at least that is what I tell myself. There is no way in hell that Eric will ever convince me to be any part of this ridiculous plan. He knows it too. Despite my refusal to go along, Eric grabs me by the hair, forcing my car to swerve and demands that I drop him in the area of the property, elaborating that if I don’t I will be sorry.
That jumbo size line of crystal I inhaled moments ago, is hitting me hard and my jaw is jacking. Tweaker status is approaching fast, as Eric insists he needs to bang a shot of shards and wants me to find a secluded spot to pull over. My pupils are dilating and I cannot hide the fact that I am already tweaking balls. This only infuriates Eric more. He continuously belittles me and expresses his anger about my being high when he is not. Once pulled over, Eric demands I give him the bag. I am tired of his shit. His non-stop verbal assaults, his demands, insults and his constant ridicule and control. My heart is racing, my mind is flooded with an overwhelming chatter of paranoia and I can’t take his bull shit anymore! He doesn’t deserve me and I don’t deserve this.
Eric, again demands that I relinquish the bag of crystal and reaches for my bra. With both hands, I cross my chest and struggle to keep him from getting the bag, I’ve concealed there for safe keeping. He is angry, aggressive and relentless with his attempts. Eric doesn’t have long fingernails; however, he has short, dirty nails that claw at my skin nonetheless. A yelp of pain escapes from my lips, as I continue to clutch my chest with both arms. Despite my determination and attempt, Eric is much stronger than I am and is able to pull one of my arms back behind my back and twist it upwards. The pain is excruciating. I refuse to call uncle, (forfeit/give up). My jaw is grinding with rage, as I slam my head into his. Somehow, this looks a lot easier in the movies. Tweaking balls or not, that hurt. If I didn’t have to secure my chest, I would be running my fingers over my forehead, checking for blood. The only plus side to the pain I am experiencing, is that my head butt, appears to have caused him significant pain too.
Eric pulls away to a slump in his own chair. He curses at me and exclaims that really hurt while he rubs at his forehead. Is he checking for blood? The thought causes a slight giggle to escape from my smile. Good! I am glad it hurt, but I won’t be playing WWE Smackdown ever again. My shoulder is throbbing and I am most certain that I will have fingerprint bruises from Eric’s grip, lining the inside of my upper arm. While Eric is sidetracked with his pitiful anguish, I take out the bag of shards and toss him a decent size shot’s worth. When you are strictly banging meth, there is no need to cook it. Typically, I use the back side of the syringe’s plunger, to crush the shards in the cap of my rig. When you are crushing meth you have to be cautious. Pieces of crystal are extremely hard, so when you apply pressure, they can bust into multiple pieces that go flying from the crush site.
I’ve done it. It sucks. The next thing you know, you find yourself carpet mining, (that’s the term you use for tweakers who spend hours with their eyes bugged out of their head, searching the carpet for crystals). Usually, your mind will play tricks on you and suddenly every piece of fuzz, every crumb and all the other dirt and dust particles appear to look like crystals. That is until you pick them up, examine them closer and press them between your fingers to discover they crumble and are nothing more than bread crumbs. Often times, people go as far as tasting each piece of garbage they pull from the carpet to rule out if what they are holding is meth or trash. While this has happened to me before in my early days, I will force myself to get up and walk away, to avoid hours of torment and looking like a cluck. After witnessing a guy spend seven hours with his head bobbing up and down, smacking his jaw, licking his lips and parting the carpet fibers in desperate search for precious meth, I strive hard not to allow that to happen to me. Your brain only focuses on one thing when you are tweaking like that and you get stuck. In fact, one time I lost crushed particles in the carpet of my car and I immediately went to the car wash to vacuum it out so I wouldn’t get stuck. Of course, it was the longest vacuuming in history, as I caught myself several times examining the floorboards before committing to sucking up the debris.
It is from those experiences that I chose to crush it in the cap. The long, narrow walls allow for me to press down on the crystal without it flying anywhere. Of course, tiny shards then blanket the end of the plunger on my rig, but I just lick those off, as not to waste anything. Eric is crushing his up too, in the same manner. You don’t have to use a cotton when you pull meth up into the rig. I like tainting my old heroin cottons with meth sometimes so I toss one in, in hopes of a little opiate rush. When you miss your vein with heroin, it can cause your skin to bubble up at the injection site and it’s not pleasant; however, the worst part about it is you have wasted your shot and will remain dope sick. When you miss your vein with crystal, it burns and sends stinging pain throughout your arm. With heroin, it is more difficult to see the blood mix if the shot is particularly dark, for confirmation you are in; however, meth is clear, so your rig will turn bright red, making it easier for you to know it’s alright to push your poison. Of course, if your vein rolls or blows after blood has already invaded either shot, it makes re-hitting a more daunting task for both.
This is the point I have reached. I’ve already pushed into a painful realization that my vein wouldn’t support and blood has mixed within the shot. If the blood coagulates, I will not be able to take this shot. If it were heroin, I would be in tears by now. However, it’s just meth so while it is frustrating, it’s nothing to cry about. Besides, I am already unbelievably high. Still, I fight repeatedly to find one. It is always more difficult for me to hit when Eric is sitting right next to me. He stares and runs his mouth constantly taunting me about my inability to hit and elaborates with name calling. Today is no different. Fucking pathetic junkie and horrible mother are his two infamous taunts. Today he adds square bear to the list, presuming it’s an insult.
Of course, I know he has added that taunt, merely to entice me to partake in his come up scheme; however, I am not falling for the bait. Finally, I am in! Slowly, I push my shot in. It is imperative that I do not get overzealous or my vein will roll or blow, hence why I always push slowly. My heart rate immediately increases rapidly, to a point of my heart exploding from my chest. In truth, this feeling makes me anxious and concerned but I don’t allow it to detour me from using. Eric’s jaw is jacking something fierce. The iris of his eyes have been completely invaded by his pupils and his speech is rampant and unfettered. He is insistent that I drop him off at this abandoned place. He utilizes his coercion technique of playing Tech N9ne’s song Demons, to amp me up while I am not in my right state of mind. The piano intro tunes my ears to its upcoming message and I welcome the bass drop with fist pounds to my gear shift in sync with each boom. A singer by nature, I know every word and rap along with Tech and Three 6 Mafia, while I bounce with excitement in my seat. It’s lyrics accurately describe this demon inside of me that I cannot kill. So what’s left to do but to embrace it?
Eric guides me up, down and around a twisted confusion of unfamiliar roads. I have no idea where we are but I continue to take more turns. True to his nature, without warning, Eric opens the passenger door and runs from my car! What the fuck does he think he is doing? Even if he scores, how will he haul stuff off? I realize, he has an iPhone now and can call anyone to come help him out. This enrages me. I don’t want anything to do with this plan. Still, I follow to see where he is going. I trail him up a long, winding driveway, that is canopied with trees.
This causes Eric to slam his fists on the hood of my car and race over to my door. My window is down and I am certain we are whispering out of paranoia, as there are no people around. Take into account the wind and everyday outdoor sounds of nature and there is no chance that anyone can hear us, whispering our heated argument. He insists that I get out of here and tells me he never wants to see me again. He elaborates that I am a pathetic whore and junkie and that after this come up he has no need for me.
My blood is boiling and I fight the temptation to jump out of the car swinging; however, instead I demand he give me the phone back. Naturally, he refuses and to avoid me getting my hands on it, he throws it into an overgrown mess of blackberry bushes and brush. Blackberry bushes, I sigh internally, not again. I get out of my car to retrieve the phone but he grabs me and slams me into the vehicle, warning me to get out of here before I am lying in those bushes lost and forgotten with his phone. Tears begin to stream down my face and I whip my car around and leave him. Fuck him! There is nothing left for me to do now but to go back to the motel, collect my money and score some dope. It doesn’t take long before I find myself in familiar territory and I head back to the room. My money is still there and I score a gram, ($100) quickly. Alone in the motel, I relax. It is nice to not have Eric with me. Still, I am angry about the $600 iPhone in the bushes and his treatment of me.
Luckily, I know how to numb that pain and humiliation. I take out my junkie kit and find my rig with the longest point, hoping I will be able to hit more easily with it. For the first time, in a long time, I have a nice amount of dope, all to myself. I am not careful. There is no restraint on the amount of dope I toss in my spoon and I don’t exercise good judgment with the large piece melting before my eyes. I pull it up, push it in and it hits me like a ton of bricks. At some point, I wake up to find the needle still in my arm. I remove it and fall back out. Is this what it feels like to die?