Epidemic- Chapter 5

The motel is grungy, dirty and full of people that match the outside appearance. I drop Eric off and pull out and back around to the back of the motel. I can’t help but wonder why he is so adamant about being dropped off here. He insists the people he is visiting do not like me; however, they do not even know me. My anger builds and builds at the realization that he is getting high right now. Meanwhile, I am out of tar and have no money to score a bag. I position my vehicle so that I can watch the motel closely and see if Eric leaves and if so, who he leaves with.
I don’t feel like poking at my arms and feet when all I have left is shards. If I had heroin there would be no question about it, I would poke away desperately until I hit a vein but I will snort, eat and smoke meth when it is all I have left.

I pull out a big chunk and crush it up with my library card on my Tech N9ne Cd case. I grab my straw from my junkie kit and prepare to snort a massive line of crystal. It’s an overwhelming line, so I cut it into two and snort one line up each nostril. It burns. Oh God, it fucking burns. My eyes water and I try not to gag by the taste of the chemical drip burning the back of my throat. I lean my head back and bite my lip as tears seep from my eyes. I clench my fists as if somehow this will aid in the burn. It does not. My mind starts racing and my jaw is jacking to talk a mile a minute to someone but I am alone.

I watch Eric come outside with three females and a couple guys. They are piling into a white Toyota. I decide that I will follow them to see what he is up to. A couple of the girls head back to the motel room, as the Toyota backs out. I have never followed anyone before and am paranoid about being spotted. I don’t know the people in the vehicle, other than Eric. I don’t want to start trouble but I need to know what he is up to. Everyone tells me I deserve better and that he is a lying piece of shit. I suspect he could be cheating on me but I don’t know. However, for lying, thieving drug addicts to tell me I deserve better, he must be pretty bad.

I follow the Toyota on to I-5 South. I have plenty of gas, which is unusual these days. As we drive by several Mount Vernon exits I wonder where on earth this vehicle is going. I have been stuck in the Valley for so long, I really only get on and off about four consecutive exits. About 20 minutes pass and I begin to think about how close we are to my home town. Is this a coincidence? What are the odds? My heart slows down when we pull off an Arlington exit. I follow the car down a country road until it pulls into a farm house driveway. I park my car on the road and watch as people get out of the Toyota and run into the house. I didn’t see Eric but it is pitch dark outside. Suddenly, all of the lights in the house are shut off and I hear whispering.

Wait, can I hear whispering? I am outside, how could I hear whispering from the driveway? I creep down the driveway with my eyes on the big, front window. I think I see a shadow move in the candlelight from inside. The blinds on the side of the house move slightly and I am certain I am picking up on some tweaker blind syndrome. Tweaker blind syndrome is when you are tweaking and paranoid and check out the blinds every five seconds. There is a carport on the side of the house and a porch that wraps around. I panic and run to the side of the house and press my body up against it. I don’t want anyone to see me but I need to get under the window with the tweaker opening the blind, in an attempt to hear what is going on. My heart is punching at my chest and my breathing is heavy. I can’t hear anything over my own exhausting breath gasps!

I inch my body, still pressed tightly against the house, closer and closer to the window. I try to control my breathing so I can listen to the voices above me. I hear a female say they see my car parked up the driveway behind the tree. Damn it! I am not good at this at all. I don’t hear Eric and I am tempted to go knock on the door and ask if he is there. I decide to move around the house to the back, in an attempt to see something. I am tweaking balls, my adrenaline is extreme and I can’t hear myself think over the chatter in my head. I crouch down in the wet grass and drag my body military style around the back. As I stand up, my body movement triggers a motion detector light to come on and I hear voices in the house and footsteps coming my way.

I panic and run to the other side of the house, triggering another flood light to come on. I drop to my knees and roll my body behind a bush. A female walks out of the slider door of the second story of the house. She walks out on to the deck. She doesn’t say anything as her eyes scan the property. What if she shines a flashlight out here? What if a group of them come out and start walking the property? What if they go wait at my vehicle for me? Who are these people and where the hell is Eric?

She makes her way back inside. I hear her say that she knows the driver of the vehicle is a chick but has no clue who the chick is. I sigh a breath of relief. They don’t know me. Wait, if Eric is with them then how do they not know? I crawl on my elbows across the grass to take cover behind another bush. I decide I am in a dangerous situation and I need to get the hell out of here without being seen. Have I been spotted? Is my car surrounded? Do these people have guns or are they just going to kick my ass? I run into the darkness and back to my car. I cannot get into my car without the dome lights coming on. They are automatic lights. I cannot start my car without my headlights beaming bright, as they too are automatic.

How am I going to get out of here? Why did I follow these people tonight? I jump into my car and in a panic, peel out of the gravel driveway. Fuck! Real smooth Liz! Oh my God, I am an idiot. I am tweaking and I can still hear the female whispering about me. How can I hear her? I am driving away. Is this real? I pull off another country road, turn my car around, park it near the ditch and turn it off. My heart won’t slow its pace and I am breathing so hard I am near hyperventilation. I watch intensely, waiting for the Toyota or one of the several other Honda’s to fly by the main road. The white Toyota speeds past the road I am parked on and I wonder if they saw me. I have parked a long way off the main road but there is nothing to hide my vehicle, it is all farmland.

I start my car and speed up to about 90 mph, in an attempt to catch up to them. They make me. We are now entering town and they are doing about 70 mph over railroad crossings and I lose them. I don’t know where I am and I am completely turned around. I finally find the freeway overpass and get into the left turn lane to make my way back north. My entire body tingles and the voices go silent. A clear, single thought radiates through my entire being. It instructs me to go south and check on my father’s house. It is only a few exits away.

I immediately question if that was God directing me home. I have been led by the Holy Spirit before and it felt just like this. How can I discern his truth from the constant demonic chatter in my mind? I cannot decipher what is good or bad anymore. What is real and what is merely the illusion of said reality? I decide to obey the voice.
As I accelerate onto I-5 South, I think back to the home invasion plan. I had called and warned my sister who still occupies the residence, to alert neighbors and for her to be on alert for suspicious activity or cars driving by the house. I also told my father about my concerns without elaborating as to why I had them. Both of them dismissed me as paranoid.

Later, while I was at Cali’s trailer, 3 Honda’s were circling around her property. I became aware of them because at least one of them had extremely loud exhaust. The kind of exhaust that people pay money for, like a street racing car. Cali flipped out and said these people had threatened to rob her. I dismissed her claims because she is crazy. Now I question if perhaps there was legitimacy to her story. I experienced tweaker blind syndrome that night and watched as they repeatedly taunted her, driving up and down the street. Justin had gone out to confront them. When he came back he claimed they were lost and that Cali was looney tunes. Were those not the very same Honda’s I saw parked at the farmhouse just now?

That night, Julie stole my fucking cell phone. It was the third cell phone that had been stolen from me in just a couple short months. She asked to use it to call Ty and walked outside to hear well. I remained in Jim’s trailer and smoked shards with a group of meth heads I had just met through her. After about 20 minutes, I decided to go outside to see what was taking so long and she was gone. I flipped out and all of the people in Jim’s trailer told me I shouldn’t trust Julie and what a thieving tweaker she was. Gee whiz Einstein, you think?! Jim rode with me over to Ty and Julie’s and sure enough, they were there but refused to answer the door. I pleaded through the door for my phone and she claimed she threw it out the car window. Needless to say, they threatened to call the cops on me when I began throwing shit at the windows and pounding on the door.

That was my cue to exit. Now I am left wondering if this was all an elaborate setup. Julie had been the one to warn me about Red and put her on speaker phone, ensuring I heard the home invasion details. Then she turns around and steals my phone. Eric is MIA and now I am almost to Marysville, 30 minutes south of where my little drug valley resides. What am I doing here? Was God warning me just now? I pull up to the stoplight to make a left onto the main drag towards the house. As I am waiting for the light to turn green, a black Honda with loud exhausts pulls up next to me. I can’t see shit through the heavy tinting but I recognize the vehicle and my heart begins to race. Oh my God, they are here! Shit is about to go down.

The light turns green and I quickly turn right and speed towards the house. They must have spotted my vehicle because they pulled into the left turn lane. I watch in my rearview to see the white Toyota also turn left. Are they going to call it off now? I have to get home and get my sister out of the house! I decide to park in the very back of the apartment complex that is kitty corner to the house and run to the back door. I am out of breath and trembling, as I attempt to get my key to unlock the deadbolt. I dart through the eerily dark house searching for my sister, but to my surprise, she is not home. I hear loud exhaust racing up and down neighboring streets and immediately hit the floor. This is it. This is how I am going to die! I grab the cordless house phone and crawl to the base of the big, living room window. I am careful to only slightly lift the bottom corner of the blinds.

All of the lights in the house are off but I fear they can see me. I watch the white Toyota, the black Honda and a red Honda speed down the street. The black Honda peels around the corner so swiftly, its tires squeal. I see my chance. I open the front door, quickly lock it behind me and run to the abandoned dentist office directly across the street. I duck into the covered entrance and peek out from behind the wall. The cordless phone still in my hand, I contemplate calling the police but snitches get stitches and I am tweaking out of my mind right now. I cannot call the cops! I see headlights creeping slowly down the street. The white Toyota! It parks a few houses up the street on the curb and kills its lights. The driver gets out of the car and lights a cigarette. It is so dark I can’t see a face but I can hear his voice. I am shaking with anxiety and fear and now the Washington rain begins to drizzle, further contributing to my shakes.

There is a ramp that leads down into the darkness and to the main entrance of the building, which is also covered. I creep very slowly down the ramp and walk around the building. I need to get closer so I can hear the driver on his phone but I can’t walk out and straight across because of the businesses lights. I run around quickly to avoid being spotted by the other vehicles if they are still circling around. I cross the parking spaces over to the neighboring duplex and duck down behind the bushes. I lean against their fence and watch the driver as he leans against the door, still talking on the phone. I hear him say the street is quiet and now is a good time. A good time for what? Are they invading the house or have they spotted me crouching behind this bush and are coming to grab me instead? The drizzle turns to a trickling, cold rain. It drips off the leaves of the maple tree hovering over me, wetting my hair and face. I inch my way along the base of the fence, still squatting on my move.

I let out a whisper of panic as my face breaks through a spider web! Oh God, I hate spiders! I can’t see anything and I feel like there are spiders crawling all over my head. I am sure it is psychosomatic to the fact I just walked through a web but it feels real and it takes everything in me not to give away my location by running and screaming out into the middle of the street while ripping off my clothes and asking if it’s on me! I hear the exhaust getting closer and closer until both Honda’s are now parked by the Toyota on the curb. The passengers get out of their vehicles and I see there are six of them huddled in a circle. I can’t make out any of their faces, it is so damn dark! The rain is chilling me to the bone and I know I need to get back under the covered area to avoid getting soaked.

With every step I make inching myself along the fence line, I have to pause. The leaves and branches are crackling under my feet and I fear the sounds will draw attention to me. I can hear their voices clearly, so they most certainly can hear my movement. Can they? Are they looking at me? I can’t tell. Why are they standing up the road? With my body pressed against the fence, I make my way around the corner and run back around to the front of the building. I panic and run up the stairs into the covered front entrance and duck behind the wall. I have to catch my breath and I can’t slow my heart down. I sit for a moment, completely concealed behind the half wall that cases the door. I begin to wonder if neighbors have grown suspicious of the late night commotion, it is 1:00 am. What if the neighbors have seen me darting around the building, crawling along fences and ducking in and out of the shadows? What if they have already alerted the police and they find me cold, wet and shivering in this alcove.
If they search me they will find crystal meth stashed inside my bra. I have to eat it. I am so high and paranoid, I don’t want to do any more crystal but I can’t risk them finding it on me and catching a charge. There is no way I am tossing it. It is all I have left.

I have about 1/8 of a gram or $20 sack left. I know it will fuck me up if I eat it and I will be lucky if I don’t vomit from it because I am already tweaking so hard. My jaw is jacking and grinding. My eyes are bugging. I pull out the sack, toss the shards in my mouth and swallow. I lick the dust from the baggie. I hear voices getting close and hear footsteps nearby! Oh God are they casing the place? Are they searching for me? I try to control my breathing through my shivering. They walk right by me.

There are two of them dressed in all black. I didn’t dare look until they had walked past, so I have only seen the back side of them. They walk around the tall bush line that acts as a fence concealing the side of the building. I edge out of the cove with my eyes darting back and forth. I run over to the ramp that will lead me to the back covered entrance where I have a better vantage point. Slowly I crawl up the ramp and roll into the shadows. I can see the group has moved closer to my house. Suddenly, I hear a loud vehicle turning onto the street. A moving van! Oh God! A moving van has just pulled into the driveway to my father’s house!


Family writes passionate obituary after son dies of heroin overdose

Songs We Love: Kwesi Foraes, ‘Heroin

John 10:10, 11

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.


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