Sauna Day 9:
This is torture. Knowing that I have a couple hundred dollars on this card and not having the cell phone, is agony.
“What did Derek say about getting it?” I ask Hayden.
“He is going to. Buster is being a little bitch boy, but has agreed that after dinner we can have the phone,” she assures me. “He just wants it back before lights out.”
The back of my throat is teased by the idea of tasting the darkness of heroin. That sweet, tart taunting is too much for me to be able to focus on anything else. I still haven’t reacted to the niacin, as Hayden and I walk swiftly around the track before sauna.
The sauna is hotter today than usual. Bryce is sitting up on the top bench and I am on the bench below him. Hayden has secured a chair.
“Look at the lights guys,” Bryce says.
My attention turns to him. He has both of his arms extended in front of him and is swaying his hands back and forth.
“It’s the tiny trails and chasers. Go burning man, burn!” He says.
Hayden laughs and asks, “Are you okay Bryce?”
“Of course I am okay Hayden. Do you see the colors of my twirls?” He asks.
Bryce’s DOC was acid, or LSD. His favorite event is called, The Burning Man. I’ve never been before, but he made it sound amazing.
“I think Bryce is having a turn on,” Hayden suggests.
“It would appear so,” I concur, as I watch him laughing at the movement of his fingers in front of him.
“Hey Bryce, I’m going to lean up against your sweat bro. I want to be where you are at,” I laugh.
Bryce’s pupils look dilated and Jan informs Madison of Bryce’s turn on. Madison observes as Bryce continues to make swirls in the air.
“That looks like an LSD turn on to me. Bryce you need to stay in sauna. Everyone else I want you to leave Bryce alone and let this turn off,” she instructs.
“I’m so fucking jealous right now!” I exclaim.
I have only done acid and shrooms a handful of times. Shrooms were by far the best fucking drug experience I have ever had. I remember the body buzz was killer and the visuals were out of this world. I experimented with them back in my Rave days, right out of high school. The best thing about them was that the come down sucked but then it was over. There wasn’t an extreme sickness or craving to go get more. The addictive tendency wasn’t there for me with hallucinogenics.
The first night I ever took Shrooms, I spent the better part of six hours with my head pressed up against the wall telling my friends to come check out this world I had discovered. I had found a colorful vortex that occupied me for a great portion of that high. When I pressed my forehead against the wall, it felt as though I was melting into another realm. It was pretty fucking badass.
Now, as I watch Bryce chasing the light trails only he can see, I long to experience psychedelics again. Without any warning, Bryce resumes his normal state of being.
“Damn it is hot in here,” he says.
“Dude you were fucking tripping balls, ” I laugh.
“Really? So what happened? Was I just here one minute and gone the next?” He asks.
“Pretty much,” Hayden and I say in unison.
“Bryce, come talk to me,” Madison interrupts.
Now that his turn on has turned off, Madison needs to ask him a series of questions and document it on the sauna paper work. The rest of sauna drags on. All I can think about is experiencing my own high. I attempt to read, but the words blur together on the page, as my mind is completely consumed by heroin.
After sauna, Hayden and I take turns showering the funk from our bodies. We spend the time before dinner in our room talking about how badly we want to get high.
“I feel like I am being a really bad friend Liz,” Hayden admits. “I love you to death and I don’t want to fuck up your program.”
“Girl, you are not fucking up my program. I have been plotting to get high since I got here. Shit I almost climbed down the balcony in Huntington and ran off to the pier,” I reply.
“I know, but if I wasn’t here, you wouldn’t know anyone in California and maybe you wouldn’t do it. I mean, look at Keisha. She wanted to get high in the beginning, but now she is farther a long in the program and doesn’t want any part of this. I feel like I am pulling you back,” Hayden continues.
“I just don’t want to be the reason that you have to start sauna again, or be transferred to another center, or worse, what if you were to OD (overdose)? I mean, if sauna really purges the drug residuals from your body and sets the clock back to zero tolerance, it won’t take but a little to do what a half of gram used to,” she suggests.
“Fuck. I am not going to OD. We will do tester shots. That is, if he can brings us rigs. Besides, there is literally 100 people around us at all times. If something were to happen, they probably have staff training on how to handle overdoses. They must have some protocol,” I explain.
“Yeah. I guess you’re right,” she says. Still, she hangs her head.
“Would you stop worrying about me? I am the one being a horrible friend. I have been here longer, I am older than you and I fucking know better. Without my money, we wouldn’t be able to score the dope. So I am equally fucked in the head for this,” I admit.
“I want to do this. Truthfully, now that I have my card, I am doing this. With or without you. I will hitch hike down the fucking mountain if I have to,” I confess. “Heroin has completely taken over my mind for the last 48 hours. I am getting high Hayden,” I continue.
During dinner, Derek makes good on his word and delivers the phone. Hayden and I make our way back to the room. Keisha follows.
“Liz are you really doing this?” She asks.
“Yes, but you can’t narc. Keisha I know you, you are not a narc,” I say.
“No. Of course I am not. I just worry about you. I can’t believe you stole your fucking EBT card,” she admits. “How the fuck did you pull that off?”
I walk her through the events of that day and she nods a long while listening.
“Wow. So what are you going to do when they take the wrong card to Wal-Mart for your list?” She asks.
“Simple. I didn’t turn in a Wal-Mart list this week. I have enough cigarettes to get me through until next week,” I admit. “So I don’t get my CLE’s (Crystal Light Energy). Big deal. Heroin sounds much more appealing,” I laugh.
“Is this triggering you?” I ask.
“A little,” she admits.
“Keisha, I don’t want to trigger you. You are doing so well. I don’t want to be the reason you fuck up your program,” I say.
“You won’t. I am responsible for my own decisions Liz,” she replies. “I have the ability to say no.”
After dinner, Keisha heads back over to Objectives and Hayden makes the call. I sit on my bed, eagerly anticipating her connect’s response. It is difficult to sit quietly, as I rock back and forth on my bed like a fiend. Finally, she hangs up with him.
“He said yes. He will come tonight!” She exclaims.
“Really? Fuck yes! I am so excited I can’t sit still,” I admit.
“I know, but now we have to figure out how we are going to meet up with him,” she suggests. “I think the best way is for him to drive up past the track. One of us can distract ethics and the other one can make a run for it past the office,” she says.
“Make a run for it? Let me dress in all black. I am petite. I will drop down on my belly and scoot military style across the track, past the office and then hop up and go get the shit,” I suggest.
We both laugh at the idea of crawling through the trenches military style.
“I know, but I kind of want to see him. I don’t think he will be happy if he doesn’t see me,” she explains.
While I understand that, part of me is reluctant to hand her my card. Who is to say that she won’t just hop in the car with him and take off? I feel bad entertaining that possibility, but after spending four months on the streets with thieving, lying drug addicts, nothing surprises me anymore.
Hayden and James text back and forth for awhile about the plan. He has agreed to park up past the center and wait for us to meet him. He is a couple hours away and we want to time it right with the center’s activity. It wouldn’t be smart to have him show up while the van is driving students to the houses. However, we don’t want to wait until light’s out either. If we go while ethics is occupied with watching the students in the lodge and handing out medications, we have a better chance of getting away with it.
Every minute feels like an hour, as time appears to stand still. Hayden keeps checking the time and reporting that it hasn’t changed. We alternate between plotting our plan of attack and sitting in complete silence. We were supposed to have returned the phone to Buster by now, but we need it. In order to avoid seeing him or anyone, we smoke in the bathroom and do not leave our room at all.
The time is nearing when James is supposed to be here with the dope and my heart’s race won’t slow it’s pace for even a second. My mind is haunted by the influence I’ve had over Hayden, the idea of her running off with my card and screwing me and with the image of my daughter. I turn from her pictures, as not to think about what my decisions are doing to her. I can feel the demon inside of me smiling with anticipation, as the clock finally strikes the time of Jame’s arrival….