Under the Wave of In•flu•ence

September 2009

The human body is mostly made of water, therefore, everything comes to us in waves—highs, lows, sickness, luck, pain, anger, anxiety, etc. Though, I wasn’t ready for my addiction to come at me in a massive, unexpected tidal wave, while I merely stand there, allowing it to destroy every part of me.

I allowed my body to be infiltrated.

To be possessed by a demon.

In my pathetic world, full of constant pain and confusion, heroin runs the streets.

Like a malevolent master, heroin, with her gritty hooks, has control of me, pulling the strings of her new powerless puppet to do anything to destroy myself and others around. They aren’t hooks though, she uses her sharpened needles to stab my body, nailing thousands of tiny holes in my skin, until my arms and legs run as red as crimson clover.

I remember growing up, harboring a fear of needles. If only that hadn’t been another wave, I would have jumped out of the car when my eyes had caught a glimpse at that first one, entering my body. But my compliant mind had already been taken over, overwhelmed by an even stronger force, love.

All she had desired was to share that warm, dreamy high with me. Scarlett was already my drug of choice. In the future, I wouldn’t know if I was addicted to heroin, or her. But for now, she held every bit of my trust. Like Cupid’s arrow, she pierced me in the name of love. Instantly, I was hooked. Hooked on dope. Hooked on Scarlett.

My fear of needles did come back, just not in time. Now, they terrify me.

Now, I dig a needle into my skin multiple times a day. When I can’t find a working vein, I’ll stab myself a hundred times till I find the right spot. This can take hours at times.

When you use a drug intravenously, it’s plunged straight into your bloodstream, giving you all of its effect, how you’re supposed to feel. After that, smoking, snorting, and ingesting any drug — cocaine, crack, meth, and an endless amount of pills — becomes pointless and a waste. Except the time I snorted lines of ketamine while tripping on acid and ecstasy. I would do that again.

I’ve gotten to the point where I want to shoot up everything I can, and now I have, just about. But deep down, past my addicted self, lies my child-like soul that cries every time a needle breaks my skin, regretting the day I had been curious enough to try it. But at this moment, my soul is an apathetic stranger.

I am forever under the influence of a mind-altering substance, or drug. My body needs it to feel normal and my head is so conditioned to using, it’s convinced it needs the drug.

One instance in high school, I was reprimanded for insubordination and the mindless teacher had me transcribe a dictionary. Instead of proceeding with the ridiculous task, what ensued was looking up inappropriate words and jotting down their definitions. Yet, when I had looked up the word Influence, I found something compelling and thought-provoking. If you look up influence in the Oxford English Dictionary, before you get to the meaning most used — the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc. of others, there are two other disparate meanings: a supposed emanation of ethereal fluid, and, the exercise of occult force from the stars.

My thoughts ran wild with this. I made-up a theory that still entertains me: all substances have a supernatural influence on you, if consumed. The definition emphasizes the, sometimes insidious, but stealthy nature of influence — something that transforms us when we’re not paying attention. It can have a positive effect on you, or a negative.

Based on the “occult force” definition, all alcohol and drugs have a malevolent effect due to the essence or spirit, residing in each. Why do they call alcohol spirits?

It possesses you, taking over your body and mind, keeping you going when you blackout. However, drugs have a more sinister specter, a demon, if you will.

I smoked a lot of weed back then.

However, if my improbable theory were true, then I have met the devil that remains in heroin. I know it’s pure evil. There’s nothing else that will not kill you, but kill your loved ones around you, making you live through the agony of grief and a guilty belief that it is your fault every damn day.

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