This morning – today is the 23rd of December – I sleep till eleven. I don’t have to be at work till 3:00 this afternoon. The best part of my day is when I get high – about 2 minutes after I wake up – given that the rest of the day will be downhill from there, I sleep as late as possible. When I finally do make the decision to get up I sit squarely in front of the assortment of paraphernalia that I pre-arranged on my nightstand last night. It’s cold here in my basement level, windowless bedroom, but I’m so focused on the task at hand that I hardly notice. I take a razor blade and slit the piece of tape holding together the heroin glassine and unfold it to reveal the silhouette of the powder inside, a pinky finger high and an inch across. It’s my last bag of dope.
This one slim bag of drugs, although it looks formidable right now is all that stands between me and getting seriously ill. Not just dope sick either, if there isn’t another bag of drugs behind this one, my life as I know it will totally unravel. I plan on quitting dope real soon, maybe as soon as next week – being a junkie is just too fucking much work – and I’ve been tapering down my intake towards that end, but still… I can’t do it today. Not fucking today. I can’t get sick. I just got this job and if I get sick I’ll get fired for sure. Then where would I be?
I attempt to tap half the powder into a tablespoon –I spill more than half but leave it. Right now, this moment is the one point in my day that’s devoted to pure pleasure – that’s completely dedicated to drug taking enjoyment. If I have to suffer later in the day for it, then so be it. I stream a little bit of water from the syringe carefully into the pile of powder, put the lighter under the spoon and heat it till it boils for just a second. I drop a small piece of cotton into the spoon, draw the liquid into the syringe and that’s that.
I’m good to go. This is as good as it gets today – or ever really, and I try to savor the sense of wellbeing – before taking the drugs – the feeling knowing that very soon all will be right in the world. There’s no trace of physical need; my body knows it’s being taken care of, which is strangely somehow as good as being taken care of.
I flex my forearm. I don’t need a belt to constrict my vein. I’m young and the blood is right there, close to the surface. I avoid the spot that I’ve been sticking too frequently lately and jab the needle into my second best vein.
And the euphoria washes over me. It’s been described a million ways a million times but can never be adequately conveyed to the uninitiated. It’s a sensation that’s better than life itself. The experience is on a different level of existence, letting you leave everything but the essence of you behind. This is it. I savor the perfection as it massages my head and works it’s way down my body. I haven’t done enough dope to put me out – but it’s enough to feel perfect for a little while. I no longer care about any of it. The money. My nagging family. The lost girlfriend, my lack of a morning cup of coffee or the television being turned to the wrong channel. I just am and no longer need to be more than that. I smoke a cigarette and it too is perfect.
And then, in the seeming blink of an eye, it’s 2:00 and time to leave for work.