The First Taste…

December 2006

Houston, TX

Owen and I were sitting in Scarlett’s mint-green Honda Civic, waiting for her to come back. She had run inside of a Walgreen’s to grab what she called “rigs,” which was a junky name for syringes, I found out. I’d later become all too familiar with this trip.

Our plan was to drive to Corpus to retrieve my car, but first making a short detour through Houston to cop some dope. We brought Owen to drive my car back. We chose him because we knew he would want to see Scarlett again. Plus, I didn’t really know who my friends were anymore. After attending rehab, I was forever stamped and labeled. Much like the “A” for adultery in The Scarlet Letter—here the A would stand for alcoholic or addict. Everybody looks at you differently. When they hear “rehab,” they automatically think of the worst. It’s a catch-22: You’ve become an asshole that nobody wants to be around because you drink too much; however, when you decide to get help via rehab or treatment, all of a sudden, you’re still a fucking loser.

An outcast.

Forever shunned because you tried to get help—to stop being that asshole.

With all that, there is one good thing:
the detestable stigma that you begin to despise becomes the way you find out who your true friends are. I had lost most of the relationships with whom I thought were friends, but I found out who my true friends were. Or I just had to wait until they had a problem—a handful of people I knew, ended up in rehab. Suddenly, we were friends again.

There were a group of girls I loved hanging out with after high school, who came to visit me in Kerrville. That was a really nice surprise. To know that they were there for me, without a doubt. Until I screwed up that relationship, later on in my addiction. You can’t spell “addiction’ without being a “dick.” And I certainly was one, in my using days.

After leaving the drugstore, Scarlett was already phone in hand, talking to her dealer. She had called him earlier on the three-hour trip there to make sure he was available and ready. Unlike many other dealers, who made you wait for hours or were so geeked out, they made you drive to a dozen different places before you finally met up.
Not this guy.
You called him, gave him an estimated time of arrival, and then you would meet him on his street, while he was “taking a walk” or “walking the dog.”

In and out.

I loved dealers like that.

I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent solely playing the waiting game.

With some dealers, if they tell you they’ll be there in five minutes, this usually means they’ll be there in about an hour. .

If the dealer doesn’t know you fairly well, they could leave you waiting all night.
Never meeting up with you.
While you’re getting sicker by the minute,
cursing the dealer for making you wait so long, leading to tears being shed because you know they possess the one thing that will alleviate all the pain and suffering you’re feeling.

Waiting, while you’re dope sick, is not fun.
At all.
So it’s good to always have a go-to guy or girl, who knows and trusts you. Even though in this game, you can’t trust anybody.
Not even yourself.

I don’t precisely remember how we told or asked Owen about doing dope. All I can recall, is it being dark outside and the three of us were in Scarlett’s car, waiting for her to cook each of us a shot. To discover why Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious, and many other celebrity icons had danced with the devil known as heroin.

There was a moment when she was cooking the dope up, when I questioned what the hell I was doing. But I didn’t know what addiction meant or was at this time. I figured if Scarlett was letting me do it, it couldn’t be all that bad.
Maybe it was alright, and it just had gotten a bad rap because so many people had done way too much of it at once. Or maybe the government had them executed because they had gained so much power and influence over people—a friend had told me this theory while he was tripping on acid, and it actually made sense, granted, I was stoned out of my mind, likewise.

Looking back, why did she do this to me? Why did she put that needle in my arm, knowing full well what it was going to do to me, and make me become?

What I believe, is she didn’t want to ruin my life. She just wanted to make her’s better. For us to do and share everything together. I knew that, the first few seconds after she stuck that needle in my arm for the first time. It was so intense and dreamy. Heaven was all I could describe it to, even though I had never imagined what heaven was like. I just had no words to describe that blissful sensation of the very first shot. The feeling seized my body, as I sank deeper and deeper into the front seat.

She shot me up first, before herself, telling me that I might throw up.
It happens.
Most people do after their first taste of dope. But after the drug took over my body, there wasn’t any vomit or dry-heaves. Only pure, unadulterated bliss flowing through my veins. I don’t even remember her shooting Owen or herself up, either. But I do remember Owen vomiting, which I thought was the funniest thing in the world.

I can recall tiny snippets of us gliding down and around the highways and streets leading to our motel. I remember street signs popping out like they were out of a pop-up book and grabbing the wheel from the passenger side, thinking she was going to wreck. For some reason I couldn’t speak, though. She wasn’t seeing what I was seeing, or feeling what I was feeling, to a degree. This was the high, that every junky chases. However, they won’t ever get as high as this ever again.

I think Scarlett just laughed at me for trying to “steer us out of danger.” It is kinda funny, looking back.

Then we arrived at a fairly decent motel.
For some reason, I got out of the car with Scarlett, while Owen stayed in the back seat nodding-out, feeling good, it looked like. Before, him and I had smoked pot for the first time together, then we rolled on X for the first time together, and now we had shot dope for the first time together. I had never realized this pattern until now. We were drug buddies, I guess.

Scarlett was talking to the guy or gal at the window, I couldn’t tell. I was trying like hell to stand up straight, holding on to the white wooden wall. I think she told the motel clerk I was drunk and tired, or something. I knew she was trying not to laugh the whole time. If she was frustrated with me, I didn’t feel any of it. Every vibe I came across was peaceful and pleasurable.

“I love you, sweetie.” I somehow got out.

“Love you too, babe.”

We sat in the motel room and relaxed. By relaxed, I mean nodding-off, in and out of a dream-state that could only be described as pure nirvana.

It wasn’t long after that, when Scarlett wanted to do another shot. I still have no idea how much we had bought that day, but if she was doing another one, then so was I.

She shot me up again, but this time I puked. Now, ordinarily, vomiting doesn’t feel particularly good. It hurts.
Sometimes even feeling like you’re ripping your own throat.
But not this time.
Everything felt awesome, even throwing up. It was like I couldn’t wait until I had to spew another load into that porcelain toilet.

The high this time wasn’t near as intense as the last, though. I felt good, but could stand up and speak about it, this time. And what did I have to say?

“I feel hungry.”

“OK babe, let’s get you something to eat, sound good?” She spoke to me as if I was a tiny baby, which was soothing and reassuring. Knowing that I was being taken care of.

Owen was still in an unspeaking state.

Scarlett was a vegetarian, so there wasn’t much for us to choose from, but we decided on Subway™. However, on our way there, she had to make a pit-stop somewhere.
“Quick,” she said.
We parked in the Walgreen’s parking lot, then she grabbed my hand, forcibly guiding me towards the bathroom.

“Whaaa are we doin’,” I slurred, then waited. “Oh.. I know.” Then smiled.

We both entered the handicap stall in the one bathroom they had, which both men and women shared. She threw me up against the back wall, then lunged herself at me. I struggled a little getting my pants undone, then dropped them to the floor. She had a skirt on, which made it easier for her.

She jumped on me, wrapping both legs around my body as I held her up in the air. I turned us around, putting her back against the wall. She, still gripping tightly. It was a position I had previous experience with, but not much. But that didn’t matter, as I moved her up and down.
She was screaming, it seemed like, in the square stall where the sound bounced up and down as quickly as she was. I don’t think the designers had this in mind when building this bathroom.

Our movements were quick and smooth. And felt raw and passionate.
Making love had never felt like this.
I could’ve lasted forever if I wanted to. But she started to slow down, and so I did, as well.
Kissing her until it was over.

Heroin was a type of Viagara, in a way, giving you extra strength and endurance. If heroin made you feel anything, it was horny.
That was apparent.

It took me a while to gain back any composure. I didn’t even think about how paper-thin the eggshell walls were until I was putting my pants back on. Normally, I’d have a humiliated fiery face, but this time, I simply, just wore a big grin, coming out of the bathroom.

“Oh my God, you guys… were so loud,” Owen felt to mention.

I looked at Scarlett, who just smiled and shrugged. We both wrapped one arm around each other’s back, then casually, walked back to the car.

After that, Subway had never tasted so good…

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