Ever have one of those days where all you want is some ice cream? All you want to do is sit back, relax on a hot day, mind your own business, and eat your double scoop on a waffle cone. Then just as you're about to enjoy that first taste, the fucker rolls off the cone, down your shirt, your pants, and finally depositing itself onto your shoe. This is the kind of day I was having. It had been a fucking horrible day at work, it was beautiful outside, and I was trapped inside. I had called a connection on my lunch break, everything was setup as soon as I got off.
At this point in my heroin career I was up to about a $40 per diem habit to stave off the effects of the sickness. I say heroin career because being a junkie is a full time job in and of itself. Hey, at the time shooting heroin and forgetting how shitty my day was seemed oddly more rewarding than going to a bar and drinking alcohol with a bunch of fucktards; people who I wouldn't cross the street to piss on if they were on fire. My daytime job was really just a part time gig. I only worked for an investment bank to have the means to maintain my real full time job. A $40 bag was by no means going to get me high or satiate my thirst, it was only a more temporary fix to a bigger problem with inevitable consequences.
The floor above mine was filled with people my age and like children running home when the bell rings, they would all simultaneously stampede out down the stairs to go home for the day. Ordinarily I wasn't leading the pack by any means, but today, today I was in pole position.Today however, was the pay day for that bullshit morning job where I pretended to be someone and something I wasn't. Today I was going to get high.
B picked me up from work and we headed in the general area of the airport. We stopped outside of a dollar store, made a call, and before we could even finish our cigarettes the man had arrived. We headed back to my house. I remember this stuff. We opened the cellophane and the smell of vinegar and tin was intoxicating. This is the smell I associate with good heroin. It was yellowish or whitish powder. I dropped mine in and tried to dissolve it, but it was chunkier than usual and I had to apply a little heat to it. I of course did this after I drew up the water and added more to melt down the chunks. B asked me if he thought I should do that much and I didn't see a problem with it, I was going to get high today. I had spent too many days and too much money just keeping myself from being sick. It was time for the real reward. The brown powder turned completely clear when I heated it. I shot and before the needle was out my ears were ringing and it felt as if my soul had left my body. I heard B:
"J, J! You've got to breathe man, you're turning blue."
"Nah man, I'm fine."
Next I felt my knees buckle and I fell to the ground. At this point I gasped for breath. I had walked the line, bordering on overdose, but had will enough to come back. It was amazing. For a brief moment I thought I had slain the dragon. The phone was ringing as my senses were returning. It was my Arab friend. He and Hawaii were at his place, drinking and doing blow with some cute girl and they wanted to know if I would stop by. My Arab friend and I had a habit of sharing drugs with each other. It was an unwritten, unspoken rule. Whatever one was using, the other was always welcome to partake.
Upon arriving at his house, I could see they had only put a dent in the eight ball they had bought from Jack the night before. I asked Arab if he minded if I dipped my spoon in and fixed myself a shot in the bathroom. He was reluctant, as he was not a fan of my using a needle, but none the less, he obliged. In my past I had used better coke than this. This was nothing special. I had used some with him when he first procured it. I drew up 20 units of water, combined it with the dope in the spoon, and when it was all said and done, I had a 65 shot of cocaine in a 1cc syringe. There is no way I can accurately describe the terror I was shortly about to succumb.
As was usual I could feel my arm go numb and warm, I the taste of cocaine in my mouth was overwhelming, I couldn't move, I couldn't talk. All I could hear was the sound of a train. It sounded as if I were standing right next to a moving train. I could yell as loudly as I wanted and I'd never hear my own voice, just that fucking train. I must have been at this point for quite a while. I have no idea how long I was actually in the bathroom in this state, but I was later told it was about 15 minutes. I had tried to conceal my gear, stand up, and walk out of the bathroom. Instead, I fell off the toilet, and my body wouldn't obey the most simple commands. Get up. Move your right leg. Slide the left knee under you. Put both arms outright and use the wall to stand up. Fail. Back down onto my knees, unable to answer my friends whom I could now hear calling my name, asking if I was okay. I grabbed the sink and attempted to stand. I ripped the sink from the wall, hit the ground and was convulsing. I could feel the water spraying my face from the section of wall where a sink previously resided. The water was cold. It felt good. Next my legs locked. I went from a fetal position to locking both legs straight out and in doing so I kicked my friend's toilet in half. Rather, I shoved my right leg through the base of the toilet. I can't tell you how glad I am that there was clean water in the toilet. By this point Hawaii had forced the door open. I had control of my body again and leaned over into the tub, ripping the shower curtains down in the process, and proceeded to throw up several times.
I don't really remember so much the details of conversations I had shortly thereafter. I convinced them not to call the paramedics. I went rummaging through my jacket, found my prescription for xanax, placed 4 tablets under my tongue, and swallowed an additional 6. 5mg of alprazolam should be more than an adequate dose to counteract the effects of a speed ball overdose. After the tablets had dissolved under my tongue all I could say was, "I'm done. No more drugs. I've done them all and I've done them all to the greatest degrees and I'm still alive. I'm done."
Hawaii tried to talk calmly to me, "J, you don't mean that. What about the psychedelics? Pot? You're not done with them, you just need to quit doing this hard shit."
"No, I'm done. I'll pay for all the damage that has been done to your apartment. I'll pay for it all. Right now I need to go to sleep."
I slept for 20 hours. I woke up in the throws of severe heroin withdrawal. Later that day I would find myself attending my first NA meeting. No one describes heroin withdrawal like John and Yoko: