Chapter Two (pt. 2/3)

(… Continued from last post.)

I’ve been told by numerous people that I am “wise beyond my years” and that I was born in the wrong decade; I don’t think so. I mean, sure I’d rather have grown up in the 60s or 70s for musical and revolutionary reasons, but I may not have made it as far in life as I have with the past decades’ over-indulgence of sex and drugs.

We live in the age of immediate access and instant gratification, which is what I’m all about. I mindlessly self-indulge in things that work as quick as the striker hitting the base of a round after a trigger is pulled. Most days I feel as though the skilled and ingenious syringe was designed solely for me. If I had been born in another decade, like the 60s, I’d still be a junky, with a sick love for the needle. Immediate gratification fuels my addiction. And my addiction is my life.

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 until I find the right spot—sometimes taking hours.

When you use a drug intravenously, it’s plunged straight into your bloodstream, giving you the full effect of the drug—how you’re supposed to feel. After that, smoking, snorting, and ingesting drugs—cocaine, crack, meth, pills — becomes pointless and a waste.

In the beginning of a Cocaine Anonymous meeting, they read out loud a bunch of brief excerpts, including, For the Newcomer. Usually, the person running the meeting reads and every now and then everyone who knows what to say, chimes in with little quips:

The reader: “We who now freely admit that we are cocaine addicts thought that we could control cocaine when in fact it was controlling us.

‘I only use on weekends,’or ‘I only snort, I don’t base or shoot.’

Then everyone: “What a waste.”

The leader continues reading. The joke being that it’s a waste if you don’t shoot it. If you didn’t notice everyone glancing at you because they’ve never seen you before, you did now. It’s so discomforting you start to mumble the snappy remarks as if you know what they are.

At my first C.A. meeting, I was offended when everybody announced it being a waste to snort cocaine. Snorting that drug had brought me to some dark places and holding ugly regrets. Now, that I have shot cocaine more times that I can count on two hands—sometimes combining it with heroin, making what they called a “speedball,” until I shot a real speedball, replacing the coke with speed—I understand how much of a waste it is.

Don’t quote me but I believe when you smoke, you only receive about 60 percent of the drug. Eating is forty and snorting is 80 percent. Again, don’t quote me here. What I do know, I’d never look down upon another addict on account of he/she never having shot a drug. If anything, it meant they have more will power and self-control than I do.

My addiction had gotten to the point where I wanted to shoot up everything I could. Now, I nearly have. But deep down, past my addicted self, lies my child-like soul that cries every time a needle breaks the skin, who regrets the day I had been curious enough to try it. At this moment, my soul is an apathetic stranger who avoids me when we pass each other on the street.

I am forever under the influence of a mind-altering substance. However, even when I’m sober, off of everything, I’m still under an influence. Or rather, someone else’s influence. That someone becomes more addicting than most drugs. I’ve found that the strongest drug befitting for me, is not a substance, but another human being.

And it’s always a girl.

• • • •

I knew it after I found her lying there, ice-cold to the touch: She had passed away in her sleep. She must have, since she made it to my bed rather than passing out on the floor. Or even worse, with my repulsive roommate.

Just the thought of him makes my stomach sick. I would never let him touch such a beautiful thing.

I remember I had called my Dad and tried to explain what happened while simultaneously battling a constant flow of angry tears.

After I gazed down at her lifeless body my feelings were drowning in a flood of remorse because.. she wasn’t there anymore.

Ever since I was in middle school, I’ve noticed that I have strong senses. I’ve always had 20/20 vision, incredible hearing and have been able to pick up other people’s vibrations, sometimes picking up their vibrant auras when I close my eyes. But when I closed them and looked towards her body, I sensed nothing.

No vibration.

No color.

Just a dull emptiness.

It’s an eerie feeling when someone is lying right in front of you and you can’t feel their warm, comforting presence. Her body wasn’t but an empty shell; a cocoon harboring a departed soul.

I knew it was heroin that took her last breath away. There wasn’t anything in her purse showing she had taken too much of anything else. I remember her drinking and popping a pill or two—nothing different from what we were used to doing every other night.

Though, before last night, I hadn’t seen her in two weeks. I kept thinking, maybe something had happened to her during those few weeks that I wasn’t aware of. I was deep into my addiction and I didn’t want her anywhere near it. For two weeks I stayed downstairs in my frozen, flea-infested cave with my temporary roommate, Bubba.

Bubba. It was him who gave it to her. I know it. He was the only one in the apartment who’s heart is cold enough to let someone else try this evil drug.

While feeling as if I’m floating, I hover across to the living room and lie my mom’s leather couch. My head is weightless. Unfortunately, there is a ceiling that holds me back me from floating away. Maybe I should just smoke weed from now on. I try to pay attention to the TV, but my thoughts keep me distracted.

Looking over the couch arm, there’s a picture of my younger brother, framed, sitting on the table. It looks like it was taken a decade ago. That would make him eight-years old, back when I was his real older brother. Not this strung-out, ghoulish figure littered with scars and track marks.

He hates me now.

Growing up, being the older sibling, he was the younger brother by nature, and looked up to me. I hadn’t realized this until it was way too late.

I believe it was brought to my attention by my parents during my heavy drinking stage after high school, or perhaps, while I was in rehab for the first time. Whenever it was, I failed to show him the correct things to do in life. The night I found out my parents were separating, I was wasted on dope and had told him, saying he should think ill towards our Mom for it.

That had been the end of our “brotherly-love” relationship. I regret everything. It would’ve been a lot different had I known how great a deal my addiction had affected him. Maybe I would have stopped. Who knows? He may hate me, but I still love him to death.

I miss the relationships I had with my family. I hate being the person they look at if something goes missing.

I hate avoiding them because of there being a chance they might ask what I’ve been up to — It’s hard to lie to them — or why I’m wearing long sleeves in the spring and summer.

I miss the respect my younger brother had for me.

I miss the way he used to look up to me, instead of avoiding eye contact every time I came around.

An older brother is to be looked up to for doing the right thing; not to see what not to do. I remember when he was in his beginning elementary school years, he’d creep into my room at night and would ask if he could sleep in my room. He’d sleep on my top bunk. He never said why and I never asked, because I knew. I knew what sleeping alone in the dark was like. While I thrived in it, he needed the light. He’s always been in the light…

“Hey, come here. I have something for you,” I say to my 15-year old brother. He walks over to me, upset. I had just told him about Mom and Dad separating. His tears fill me with fire.

“Why are you upset? You should be mad! Mad at Mom!” I say.

He sniffles. “What do you have for me?”

“Here,” I say as I hand it over to him. It’s heavy. “This is all the responsibility of being the older brother, and by the looks of it, being the one who takes care of Dad and plays the middle man between them.”

His arms slump down at the weight I added to it. He looks up at me like a sad puppy. I shake my head at him.

“Also, I’m going to be ignoring the rest of the family, so you have to play both of our parts for our grandmas and grandpas. Just come up with a good excuse why I’m not there, can you handle that?” I ask. “You know what? It doesn’t matter, you don’t have a choice. I’m going to do what I want.”

I turn my back to him and walk away, while I tell him, “Have fun, bro!”

I’m happy to say this conversation never happened. But, that’s what I did to him. All of that was real. Hell, maybe this is what should have happened. At least he would have known what was expected of him and what he was going to have to do in the future.

If I could have anything in the world right now, I’d ask if I could have him back in my life. I miss having a brother. Not just any brother, either.

My brother.

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