Epidemic- Chapter 25

Whoa! If there is anything I’ve learned after all these years of watching stupid talk shows is that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Granted, I don’t believe either one of these guys is carrying a literal gun; however, they are men, so by nature, they are physically stronger than us. This isn’t some anti-feminist statement, it’s the truth. There are two of them and if they were to get that knife away from Angie, she would be in big trouble. If I participate in this, I could be, as well. Getting stabbed doesn’t sound fun. In fact, after all the forensic shows I have seen, I might put that in my top three ways I am not trying to be killed. You rarely hear of a person being stabbed once and going peacefully into death. The story tends to be a number of wounds accompanied by a bloody ass crime scene. Multiple dull knife wounds do not sound pleasant at all.

What is she doing? My mind is arguing the case against it; however, I remain speechless and unrendered by her demands. She continues to scream at me to pull the fucking car over and finally my mind complies with its insistence of speaking up. My mouth opens but she won’t let me get a word out. She is frantically swinging the knife around and in truth, I fear that she might accidentally take my ear off if I don’t pull the car over. Once the vehicle comes to a stop, I urge Angie to calm down and rethink this scenario. Tyler is arguing with Angie and calling her a barrage of insulting names, while Eric is laughing. His laughter only further infuriates Angie, who comments that he better shut up because after all, he has done to violate me, she hates him and doesn’t need an excuse to cut him.

This statement causes me to smirk with a giggle and I quickly attempt to hide my face. This isn’t really a funny situation at all. Angie insists the boys get out of the car so that we can pat them down. The plan is she is going to hold the knife on them and I am going to empty their pockets. I can’t help but think back of my big casino win that resulted in my sticking the extra cash up my pooper and there is no way I am doing body cavity searches on these guys. My mind races with the possibility of what may happen provided I put my hand in a pocket to discover cash that we were being robbed out of getting our cut from. Angie gets out of the car and opens the back door where Tyler is sitting. Eric screams at me to drive off and leave Angie on the side of the road.

Tyler refuses to get out of the car, insisting that she is a psycho bitch and that he has not screwed us. The $500 is all they received in trade. Without thinking my mouth opens to speak that if they have nothing to hide it shouldn’t be difficult for them to let me frisk them. My eyes connect with Tyler’s briefly and I attempt to plead with him without saying the words. Clearly, this bitch has gone crazy and I don’t want to be a part of this, nor do I want anyone to get hurt. Tyler gets out of the car onto the side of the road and Angie screams at me to move my ass. Eric is still laughing and is now taunting Angie by putting his hands up and suggesting that she stop and not stab, (mocking the motion of stop, don’t shoot).

Angie has the knife at Tyler’s throat, as I make my way around the vehicle to them. She instructs me to pat his entire body down, checking his pockets and socks. My hand reaches into Tyler’s jeans and Eric calls out that I should move my hand a little to the left, (suggesting I touch his unmentionables) still laughing in our direction. I shoot him a glaring look. His meth pipe and crystals are in this pocket and I pull it out and show Angie before putting it back and moving to the other pocket. Angie suggests that the old man could have traded drugs and cash and wants to know how much crystals he had on him before we made the deal. She is correct, meth is commonly a bargaining chip. People are more inclined to part with meth than cash or heroin in exchange for things. It’s cheaper and abundant.

Tyler begins to protest her suspicions, suggesting he had smoked us out so she knows that he had a bag. There is a little bit less than a half gram, ($50-75$) in the bag. It is reasonable to assume he had a half gram on him and smoked us out but Angie is not convinced. She wants to hold it until we are done searching them, elaborating it will ensure they comply with the search. Tyler argues, Eric laughs and I reach into Tyler’s other pocket. There is no cash, only a lighter and some coin. While Angie and Tyler argue about him surrendering the bag, I make my way down to his socks. My eyes are fixated on his, as my hand locates a bag of dope in his sock. I estimate it is a chunk that weighs at least two grams, ($160-200) by the feel of its size in my fingers. Angie is not watching me and is unaware I have discovered it. It is Tyler’s eyes that are now pleading. Eric’s laughter is silenced and I quickly move over to the other leg, hoping Angie didn’t catch that.

There is no way for me to know whether or not Tyler had that dope already or if they got it in exchange for the generator and were not going to be forthright with that information; however, the fact Eric is silent suggests that they did. While I should be fucking furious, I really don’t want this situation to blow up any further and I keep my mouth shut and tell Angie that he is clean. Eric gets out of the car and suggests I pat him down so we can be on our way. That action, confirms for me that they scored dope and were not going to tell us, but now that I have not shared this information with Angie, I will be cut in on it. It really isn’t fair to Angie but I am a junkie. The dope always wins.

Tyler gets back into the car and lights a cigarette. His eyes are piercing and although I am not looking in his direction, I can feel him staring at me. What if Eric has shit on him too? My hands tremble at the thought and I pray that he doesn’t. How would I maintain my composure, if I were to discover more loot they were holding out on us with? I need to make light of the situation and to do that I use humor. Sarcasm is a defense mechanism I have held for years and I am quick witted. While I put my hand in Eric’s pocket I laugh and crack a joke about going to the left on him, in an attempt to ease the tension. Angie is disgusted. She hates him and retaliates that I have gone to the left on Eric too many times already and that he is an undeserving prick.

My hands discover not one, not two but three of my Bic lighters in Eric’s other pocket and as crazy as it may sound I am more outraged by this discovery. The number of arguments we have had about this. The list of insults he has spat at me about my being disorganized, stupid and losing them, knowing damn well he had stolen them. All the times he has demanded I buy another one when we had no money because he didn’t have my precious Bic’s and here I am, discovering three of them in his pocket. He was not oblivious or unaware that they were there. This son of a bitch gets some sick joy out of tormenting me. He doesn’t need three lighters. This is a game to him. He gets off on taking them and waits for me to accuse him or question him so we can fight. What a sick bastard. My self-control goes out the window and I punch his arm while I scream at him about doing this. Naturally, I take my lighters back and the asshole has the audacity to inform me they will all be back in his pocket by the end of the day.

Angie is not amused and screams that she doesn’t give a shit about lighters. Perhaps, it is because Eric is my boyfriend, that she insists on checking him herself. He responds with his own suggestion that she just wants to go to the left in his pocket and Tyler bursts out with laughter. While Angie aggressively pats Eric down, I sit next to Tyler and reach for my smokes. Tyler has taken the dope out of his sock and he tickles my back to get my attention. He passes it to me discretely and I palm it, (close my hand around it) before placing it in my pocket. The pocket with the lighters, so that I can pull a lighter out and it won’t look suspicious. This was an unnecessary measure, as Angie is focused solely on Eric at this point. My heart is racing, as I attempt to light my cigarette without trembling. Why did he do that? Of course! He likely fears Angie will insist on checking him and he needs to make sure the dope is not on him if that happens. She doesn’t.

Finally, she puts the knife away and suggests we all go back to her place and talk there. We can split the money and discuss dope plans more comfortably in her home. That’s the crazy thing about the dope world; one minute you can have a knife at your throat and the next minute you are getting high with the person who was holding up that knife. Of course, there is further discussion behind each other’s backs on both ends, but for now, their game faces are on and we all agree this would be best. The best thing to do in this situation is to blast some Tech N9ne and end all discussion, so I swap out my T.I. CD and do just that.

Once we arrive at Angie’s, Eric asks what the grocery store trade was an exchange for. He knows we got dope and he is ready for a shot. Tyler and I are ready to take shots too, only Angie doesn’t bang, (shoot up) in this group. She wants to smoke and suggests if Eric wants a shot I can break him off and she will break Tyler off enough for a shot;. However, she doesn’t want to smoke alone and demands we all smoke out together and asks me to match foils, (both break into our dope for the smoke session) to make it fair. Sounds good to me. After we locate a couple tooters, we light up the circle and get high together. Heroin. Saying the word out loud sends anticipating shivers down my spine. Most the people in my circle, detest the smell of it and can barely stomach its taste, but not me. The smell is intoxicating and the taste is sweet as molasses or maple syrup. It’s sticky between my fingers and it scrapes beneath my nails, for me to savor the flavor later. Eric’s eyes are fixated intently on what I am loading. He is always angry when I have copped dope without him and I can feel his anger radiating in my direction. A smile escapes my lips and I give no fucks.

Angie is still ranting about the events that have unfolded, while she loads another foil. I can’t help but think about the large piece of dope in my pocket that Tyler handed off to avoid detection. We need to ditch Angie and frankly, I am tired of her incessant bickering and accusations anyways. There is no evidence that the boys have held out on us, as it is safely concealed in my pocket, but she continues to speculate and because I know her speculations are way off base, it’s becoming more and more irritating with each judgment made.

Another aspect to the drug smoke circle is the criticizing of the size hit people take from the foil or in the case of meth, the bubbler, (pipe). Many people hold their tongues until the smoking session is over and they retreat to their own cliques to talk shit. Some people, like Angie, are loud and obnoxious during the smoke out. Her voice is very raspy and she sounds more like a man, as she accuses Tyler of wasting smoke and taking too big of a hit. She continues to ridicule him, suggesting he wouldn’t have to take that size pull off the foil if he would actually inhale the smoke rather than wasting it by letting it escape past his lips. There is some truth to that, but we are IV users, so we already view smoking heroin as a huge waste of dope. You go through it more quickly smoking it, than melting a couple points in the spoon and shooting it, (10 points in a gram).

After the foils are burnt and the pow wow is over, Eric tells Angie we want to take our shots and she flips out. She doesn’t understand how we need to shoot up when we are high from smoking dope already. She insists that we leave her house because she doesn’t want needles and junkies there. This works in our favor. Now we won’t have to make an excuse to ditch her and I won’t be put in the position of choosing Eric over her. She is equally angry with me for my confession that I am not satisfied with smoking and that I too, need to bang this shit. In truth, I am more concerned with the piece in my pocket and my next moves than choosing Eric or the needle over her, but I can’t let her know that.

After Tyler breaks the $500, 4 ways, the three of us leave Angie’s place. She is a psychotic bitch who is yelling after us as we leave. Moreover, her anger is directed at me, as she believes I should stay there and she can’t believe I am choosing them over staying with her. She needs me to return her boosted items, but I have no desire to do that and only will stoop to that moral low, in times of desperation. There is no regard to the fact she has neighbors and she doesn’t filter her angry tantrum. She has a pit bull named Rex, who is jumping up and down on the couch and barking and slobbering at us, viciously through the window. Rex was abused by Angie’s former lover but has always been nice to me. He is terrifying at this moment, however. Finally, she slams the door and we load up and move out.

Eric wastes no time in suggesting that we get a motel room for the night so we can chill comfortably and bang dope. Tyler interrupts his suggestion with his question as to why I didn’t blow the whistle on the dope I found in his sock. He is in complete shock over it and confesses he has not been able to stop thinking about it this entire time. Eric chimes in his two senses about my loyalty to him and I can’t help but laugh at the idiocy of this man. It wasn’t loyalty to Eric that prevented my snitching out these rats. I had two very good reasons for keeping my mouth closed. One, Angie was wielding a knife around like a maniac and two, there was no way I was going to be cut out of this being split three ways by keeping my mouth shut. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that at one point I had contemplated ditching all of them and driving off with this dope, but that really is not in my nature.

Eric insists I hand over the dope, but I refuse. Tyler put it in my possession and I am not parting with it until it has been equally split into three delicious chunks. Tyler defends me and insists I am trustworthy enough to hold onto it, elaborating that I didn’t rat them out. In his eyes, this shows that I am not only trustworthy but also, caring enough that I didn’t want to see anyone get hurt. Not even someone who was about to rob me of my cut in the loot by holding out on dope. That is the part that resonates with him the most. The fact that I knew when I pinched it between my fingers that they had scored a couple grams of tar and were not going to tell me about it and still I chose their safety over my own anger and revelation of truth.

This doesn’t sway Eric from taunting me and calling me names. He accuses me of being a liar and a thief. He attempts to convince Tyler that I cannot be trusted. His attempts fail to persuade him. Once we reach the motel, Eric tells me to go get a room. This causes me to laugh and insist that I am not paying for a room for the three of us. We can all split the cost equally for one night or we are not getting a room. Eric doesn’t like this new attitude I am demonstrating. I can sense his frustration at his loss of complete domination and control over me and I love it. Tyler agrees that we should be fair, but Eric won’t give me any money. This irritates Tyler who argues with him about being reasonable about the situation, but even Tyler, can’t convince Eric to fork out the dough. Finally, Tyler tosses Eric’s share of the rooms cost on my lap from his own money and asks me to please go get us the room.

Once inside the room, we waste no time breaking out the scale and razor blade. I take the dope from my pocket and Eric jumps on me and throws me down on the bed, screaming at me to surrender the tar. Tyler frantically paces by the bed, begging Eric to be quiet and get off of me. My hand is wrapped tightly around the heroin and my arm is under my body. Eric fights to get at it and without warning, bites my lower neck just above my shoulder. Not a sensual bite that may be confused with foreplay. But rather, a very painful bite that feels like he could tear a chunk from my flesh. I scream out in agonizing pain and tears immediately soak my face. This causes Tyler to jump on top of Eric, who is on top of me and the wind is knocked from my body. The weight of two men on my 103-pound body is making it impossible to breathe. It is not dead weight. They are wrestling with each other and I am experiencing knee and elbow blows all over my torso. Tyler manages to rip Eric off of me, just long enough for me to get off of the bed.

Tyler is angry and screaming at Eric about it never being okay to hit a woman, let alone bite her so hard it makes her bleed! Bleed? I run over to the mirror to discover, Eric has drawn blood. Due to my anemia, the severe bruising has already surfaced and my entire neck and shoulder have turned deep shades of purple, green and blue. That son of a bitch. I could easily grab my purse, run down to the car and have my money and all the dope, but I can’t do it to Tyler, who has come to my rescue. I won’t. They are still wrestling around before I hear Eric actually call out uncle, (meaning I surrender that’s enough). The boys both sit upright on the bed, as I proceed to cut the dope into three equal shares. My arm is throbbing and it hurts to move it. Cutting through tar is not like slicing a piece of a pie. It is either very sticky and you risk smearing it all over the razor blade, your fingers, the bag and whatever surface you are cutting it on or, it is hard and you risk little pieces, (points) breaking off and flying across the carpet. This is that good sticky. The blade smears with its tar residue, as I split it. The three of us immediately find our own spots in the room and break out our junkie kits for the dope cooking ritual. Of course, Eric depends on me to provide him with a fresh cotton and a Bic.

I’ve got a package of clean rigs from Walmart and toss both Tyler and Eric one. While these are new needles, Walmart sells the kind I despise. The tips are shorter and with how difficult it is for me to hit, I have greater success with the longer tips. Still, in the interest of safety, I opt to use a new rig. Safety? The irony behind the word is laughable. I am sticking a needle full of poison into my arm and yet I regard safety? There really is nothing safe about IV drug use at all. Tyler has his bag of crystals out and despite everything that has gone down, asks if we both want a piece to put in our spoon. Drug addicts don’t say no to drugs. Eric quickly crushes his into his mix. I pocket my shard for later when the boys aren’t looking. I want to nod.

This dope tastes good, as I lick at my fingers. I excuse myself to the bathroom, explaining I don’t want to shoot up in front of them because it can be hard for me to hit and both of them are well on their way to doing so. While there is some truth to that, I really want to secure my dope in my bra, in case I nod. I have two chunks of tar. One from the grocery store run and this one. If I were to nod and leave this out or in my junkie kit, there would be no guarding against either of them pocketing it and taking off. If it is in my bra, I would like to believe that I would awaken to anyone trying to get to my goodies. Although, I have been so exhausted before that people have robbed my pockets without stirring me.

Time is ticking away and I have attempted to hit myself several times without luck. Every once in a while, I hear Eric calling me a pathetic junkie and criticizing my inability to hit a vein. There is a knock on the bathroom door. It is Tyler. He feels bad for me and is offering to help. A mixed emotion of reluctance and gratefulness course throughout me;. The gratefulness wins and I surrender to his offer of help. Eric continues to call me names and is now teasing Tyler about helping me. Tyler whispers for me to ignore Eric and attempts to hit both my arms and my hands, but is unsuccessful with his attempts. Tears of frustration stream down my face and Tyler wipes my cheek and asks me if I am willing to let him hit my neck. My neck? That is a dangerous spot to bang dope, but I know several people who do it, despite the dangers. I am desperate. Eric calls out that I am a damn fool and walks around the corner to see if I have agreed to this. There is a huge vein throbbing from my neck and if Tyler knows what he is doing, it should be no problem for him to hit it with one try.

Eric gasps, as I take a deep breath, close my eyes and tilt my head. Tyler tells Eric to shut up and get back because this is such a dangerous spot to hit, he needs full concentration. Eric storms off into the room and turns the TV up loudly. I take another deep breath, as Tyler sticks the needle into my neck.


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1 John 4:4

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

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