Epidemic- Chapter 11

Angie doesn’t hide her complete and utter hatred for Eric, as she loudly questions why I would even think of talking to him after what he just did to me. Confusion is unsettling, as I am unaware of the situation I am in. Why does she not want me to speak to Eric, but yet she welcomed him into her home? If she is in on the home invasion plan and believes Eric was involved, why is she saying horrible things about him, knowing him and Marcos worked together on casing my father’s house? Perhaps, she is just as clueless as I am and was not in on it herself. Marcos has yet to say a single word. However, his eyes are locked on me. His stare paralyzes my body’s ability to move, as I keep my head down to avoid his dark, cold eyes. Eric is carrying a garbage bag of belongings that he did not have with him before. Being the mooch that he is, he questions where the tar is and Angie responds by pulling out the already semi-smoked foil. She calls him a loser and asks what he has on it, (meaning is he going to throw some money in on it). He laughs in response. Why is she getting him high? My mind is unable to wrap itself around what the hell is going on here.

Eric nods in Marcos’s direction and introduces himself. So, do they not know each other or is this merely for show? Marcos pulls out his own bag of pure Mexican, black tar heroin. He tears a piece of foil from the box and puts a piece of dark on it. No one is saying anything at this point and it is unlike me to sit silently. I break the silence by asking Eric just where the fuck he has been and why did he just jump out of my car like that? He just laughs and comments with an irritating, I don’t know response and elaborates it is none of my fucking business. Like a bright, red cherry on top of an ice cream sundae, he delights in topping his response off by calling me a dumb bitch.

Suddenly, Marcos speaks and to my surprise, it is to defend my concerns and respect! He tells Eric that’s some fucked up shit and that if he had a down ass bitch like me, he wouldn’t treat her like that! What is going on here? Why is Marcos defending me all of a sudden? Why is he speaking up for me? Does he know who I am? Does he recognize that I am the girl driving the Impala he has been following? The girl who was cowered under the wheelchair ramp in the pouring rain for hours? The girl who through her fear and terror, suddenly finds him very attractive? Marcos takes a pull from the foil and then passes it to me, his eyes never leaving mine. The instant the smoke hits my lungs, I feel like I am going to throw up. Like a complete amateur, I cough and apologize for doing so. Marcos smiles. He knows his shit is legit and I am fighting the urge to vomit. Angie has taken a pull off her foil and already passed it to Eric so I pass Marcos’s shit to her. Eric glares at me, as Marcos instructs Angie to pass it back to him, eliminating Eric from his rotation.

Staying true to his cluck like nature, Eric responds by taking another hit off Angie’s foil and then tossing it on the floor in front of him. Angie screams at him, calling him every name in the book while informing him if he’s going to act like an ungrateful ass he can go fuck himself. Eric stands up and tells me he is ready to go. My eyes jump back and forth between his and Angie’s stare. She is going to flip if I leave with him but he has a strange hold on me and I stand up with him. As suspected, she is angry by my compliance and tells me if I leave with him I better not come back. Eric pulls his usual shit and tells me if I don’t leave with him it is over and I can fend off the chase alone. Of course, he left me alone. He abandoned me in the middle of traffic on foot, but that reality does not register with me. Truth is, I don’t want to be alone. Marcos tells Angie to calm down and suggests it is my decision and to be a true friend and let me go. Angie argues that she is trying to be a true friend by keeping me away from an abusive son of a bitch!

Eric has already walked out the front door and I know that he is going to give me a verbal lashing once I catch up to him. I apologize to Angie and beg her to trust me and please welcome me back when I show up next time. Her silence is deafening. She is angry that I am leaving. Marcos informs me he will see me again real soon and winks at me before hitting the foil again. What does that mean? I know it is bad form but I still have that $65.00 from the gas station hustle and I need tar before I hit the road. Angie is angry that I am buying from Marcos and calls me a bitch for not buying from her. She has a legitimate reason to be upset but she knows damn well his dope is off the hook and she would have not hesitated to do the same thing if the roles were reversed. Marcos hooks me up with a fat chunk, weighing 5 points over what I pay him. This only further infuriates Angie and she runs into the bathroom and slams the door. Marcos traces my finger with his own, as he hands me the bag and tells me he will see me around. I kept the $5.00 to break Angie off for the smoke out and she screams at me to throw it on the bed and get the fuck out.

My mind is racing. What is up with Marcos? Where is Eric? Will Angie forgive me? Of course, I know Angie will not stay true to her word. She is a lying, thieving drug addict, always in need of favors. She will need something from me soon enough and this incident will never be discussed again. Once outside, my eyes scan the dark street searching for Eric’s shadow. He is leaning up against my car. I hit the unlock function on my key chain and he pounds on the trunk for me to unlock it too. He tosses his bag in and slams the trunk closed. Once inside the vehicle, I apologize and tell him I scored some of Marcos’s tar. I apologize. Why am I apologizing? He is the asshole who fled my car disappearing into the night! He is the one who for the millionth time has embarrassed me and made a huge scene! Education and book intelligence are not the same as street smarts and common sense. Tonight, I prove how stupid I really am, as I pull out and head to a spot to make up our shots.

Eric sounds like a hyena, laughing and snarling at me. Despite the fact he knows I have tar and he doesn’t, he repeatedly insults me and calls me a whore. He knows I have allowed this and it will not detour me from giving him dope. He knows I offer dope as a peace offering but it won’t ever bring me true peace. He accuses me of cheating and lying to him. These two accusations anger me the most; there is no truth in them and he knows it and uses them to push my buttons. I park in one of our off-road junkie spots and pull out my junkie kit. This dope is killer and I tell him we need to be careful and make smaller shots. He accuses me of being stingy when really I am looking out for our safety! Overdosing in a remote area is not the way I want to go. He rips the dope from my hand and tells me we are splitting it 50/50 and then he is out of here! The nerve of this mother fucker! I fight with him to get a hold of the dope and he exclaims, I am lucky he is leaving me with any, after the show that I just put on!
He takes the razor blade and cuts the tar and naturally pockets the bigger piece before preparing two shots out of my piece and tossing what’s left of it in my kit! Is he serious right now? Tears are silently wetting my face and I turn my head from his direction. He tosses my shot on my lap, bangs his and runs from my car, but not before telling me he hopes that I OD and die! He seriously took over half my dope and bailed on me again. Why the fuck do I put up with this shit?

Where am I going to go? Can I go back to Angie’s crib? Where is Eric going? I decide to head back to Angie’s house, in hopes that she will let me back in for the night. Despite the fact the shot is made up, I opt to toss it in my kit and hit at her place if she will have me. After I park my car across from her place a thought dawns on me. What is in that garbage bag that Eric threw in my trunk? I hit my trunk release and make my way to the back of my Impala. Old, ratty jeans, some Axe body spray, deodorant and a handful of t-shirts pour out from the garbage sack. Just as I start to stuff the contents back into the bag, my heart freezes. There is a Halloween clown kit of Juggalo face paint make-up in Eric’s bag.

My mind immediately flashes to the painted face of the person who recognized me and gently pushed me through the bushes the other night. Oh my God! Was the painted face, Eric’s? The familiar race of my heart’s beat, speeds up, as a little smear of red paint taints my finger. Why would Eric keep the paint? Isaac insisted Eric couldn’t have been involved because he allegedly showed up soaking wet, several times looking for me that night. I am so confused. Who can I trust? Lord, are you still with me? Isaac offered for me to stay there a few days because Jenn is in jail. It would take a couple of hours for Eric to get there on foot, so I decide I will head over to his house and see if any further details have developed. Like Angie’s, Isaac’s house is typically overrun with meth heads but he won’t allow heroin into his house. Out of respect, I opt to do my shot in my car before heading that way.

I chose to park under the shadows of darkness this large tree produces, but I don’t want to turn my dome light on and draw attention to what I am doing. Hitting in the dark is an extra complication to an already near impossible activity for me but I don’t allow the odds to detour me away from doing so. It may be the most ridiculous thing I have ever done. This trial and error of poking and stabbing up and down my arms, when I know I will be more successful in hitting my feet or the palm of my hand but the pain is excruciating in those places and I always have to test the others first. The vein that runs along the front side of my forearm taunts me with its bright blue gleam. However, I am unable to maneuver from that angle to hit myself. I attempt to anyways and fail repeatedly. My eyes scan the parking lot, searching the shadows for movement. My eyes deceive me many times, as I attempt to distinguish between what is real and what is not. I can’t sit here much longer before someone from Angie’s notices my car parked here. Out loud my voice pleads, please God as I continue to prod.

I draw out a long and desperate, pleeeeeeease God plee’ee’ee’ease, my voice whimpers. If I had any tears left they would be falling. What first was pitiful begging has turned angry and demanding. GOD! WHY? WHY’HA’HA’WHYYY DO YOU LET ME SUFFER? PLEASE LET ME HIT MY FUCKING VEIN, JESUS CHRIST! A year ago, I would never have cursed at God, let alone take the Lord’s name in such vain, but tonight it doesn’t even faze me. FUCK YOU! WHY DON’T YOU JUST LET ME FUCKING DIE THEN? DO YOU LOVE MY PAIN?

I take a few deep breaths and my anger subsides to a muttering and mocking tone. You must God, you must be sitting up there on your fucking cloud loving, absolutely LOVING the fact that I am a pathetic junkie who can’t even hit my OWN GOD DAMN VEINS! This is some sort of cosmic joke to you, isn’t it? Blood mixes with the heroin in my rig. Finally, I slowly pull my plunger back to fully embrace it’s mix before I push it in. SON OF A BITCH! My rig is so old and worn that the plunger is stuck and I cannot push my poison in! FUCK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Now my dope is full of blood and I have to pull my rig free from my connection. Quickly, I ransack my junkie kit for another rig, remove the plunger to both rigs and carefully pour the mix from one barrel to the other.

I put the plunger very slightly back into the rig I’ve transferred the mix to and tilt the rig so it will fall to the base. I flick the barrel repeatedly. Slowly, I push the shot through the barrel, careful to not push too quickly, causing the dope to spill out the tip. I have to be careful not to leave an air pocket. There is less room to maneuver with now that my shot is full of blood. Meaning when I hit a vein, I will have less time to pull my plunger back before pushing it in. It also means it will be a lot more difficult for me to know if I have successfully hit a vein because the shot is full of blood, which is the tell all of a successful connection to my vein. Now I am even angrier with God. He deliberately allowed me to believe I finally had it and then jammed my plunger as the ultimate way to torment me. This rig has a longer point and I have avoided using it because I had not hit with a longer tip before. To my surprise and delight, it was much easier and I can now be on way to Isaac’s house, in an attempt to get to the bottom of this.

To my surprise, there are no other vehicles parked in Isaac’s driveway. The lights are on so I pull in. Mere seconds after I knock on the door, I hear loud exhaust circling the roundabout behind me. The Honda’s are back! Oh God, Isaac answer! Answer the door! He does and I quickly make my way to the couch and ask if he is home alone. He informs me that Trina and Shane are upstairs passed out. Trina is a disgusting whore and I cannot stand her and her lying, thieving ways. I know she was responsible for some of my things being taken. At one point, she volunteered she had herpes and that if a guy chose not to use a condom it was their own fault if they caught it. I argued that it was still her responsibility to tell sexual partners beforehand. To this day I have no idea why she felt she needed to volunteer that information, but dismiss it as tweaker confessions. Isaac sits on the couch beside me and asks if I want to get high. He is jaw jacking already, an indication he is already spun but who am I to say no to free drugs? Light it up.

We pass the bowl back and forth producing monster clouds of chemical insanity. Between hits, I question Isaac about the three cars following me and who exactly was involved in the home invasion attempt on my house? Isaac informs me that it was Chelsea I saw that night with her boyfriend Kyle and that Red was behind it. He elaborates that despite her being involved in the planning, she recruited a group of badass Mexican’s to hit the lick (rob the house). Isaac warns me that these Mexicans are deep in the heroin game, among other things and that they are not ones to be fucked with.

I ask him if they are Ms-13 gang members but he refuses to answer. I slam my hands on the table and angrily explain I am not a complete idiot, I saw the tattoos. Gangland may be a television show but I have watched it hundreds of times and that gang is capable of some serious shit. Isaac assures and reassures me that I am not in danger but that these Mexicans are following me because they think Red set them up. My presence that night shook them and they believe that Red sent me there to rob them. They didn’t realize I was alone, nor did they know I was the homeowner.
That is why they fled while the Juggalo group spread out looking for me. He continues on to say that Red is in hiding which only makes her more suspicious. He assures me they are only following me to see if I am connected to Red because they want her and also, to make sure I do not involve the police in this. What about Eric? I tell Isaac I found the face paint and he sticks to his original story that Eric came by several times that night so it absolutely could not have been him.

Holy shit dude I cannot shake the thought of my family being in danger because of my idiotic and selfish drug addict behavior. The police are the last people I want to involve in any of this but I have to warn my family and tell my sister it is not safe for her to stay in that house! I don’t know who any of these people are. My mind wanders to Marcos. He must have been feeling me out. So calm and collected, so quiet and observant. He defended me when Eric was belittling me. Maybe Isaac is telling the truth. The tweaker sparks are igniting. Paranoia and wild ideas will soon consume me. Isaac tells me I am welcome to stay here for the night and after everything he has just divulged, I feel safer with him around. The Honda’s exhaust has subsided and I tell Isaac I just want to run to my car to grab my journal. He acknowledges me and starts tweaking out on his piles of cables and wires. I step off the porch and head towards my car when suddenly I feel an arm wrap around my body, as another hand covers my mouth and pulls me towards the side of the house.


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