I sometimes miss those days where my life was spent in a opiated haze.  I was so oblivious to any other type of lifestyle and the only worries were, who had the best heroin.  I tend to gloss over those nights where I was flipping around in my bed like a fish out of water.  Twisting my body trying to ease my aching muscles, feelings like somebody was trying to drive nails into my calve bones.  That sense of nothingness after cooking up a couple bags to get my sick off and not being able to register a hit in my veins.  My hands trembling as I realize fuck my damn syringe is clogged and I dont have another fresh one.  Taking a lighter to the end of the needle hoping to burn out whatever is blocking the opiated water from entering my bloodstream.

One specific memory pops into my head when I think about clogged shots.  I was copping in Chicago and I was riding the L from the ghetto to Oak Park where it was just ‘easier’ to find a bathroom.  With a robotic rhythm I would shuffle with a quickness to a bookstore and walk straight to the restroom bathroom stall, filling up a glass of water at the drinking fountain if I didnt already have some water on me.  Which was rare unless I was super sick as dope paraphernalia was almost always in my pockets.  Lighter, a cigarette filter, and a pop can ripped in half.  Fingers and/or pants leg smudged in that black soot.  Most of my clothes had drippings of bleach on them as syringes were not sold over the counter than.  My scarred arms can still attest to fact I was stuck using a dull needle to get the job done.  Occasionally I would have to do a little ‘Junky 101’ and wet sand the burr off the tip of the needle using the gritty striker pad on the back of a patch of matches.  Back and forth, up and down, wash out with water, repeat, etc.  The thought of maybe not cleaning out the barrel of the needle all the way was a fleeting thought as it simply did not matter.  Whatever was needed to be done was done.  I wish I still had that insane twisted drive in my life [albeit in a positive manner] as the only thing that was going to stop me from getting high was the police.  Twisting on the concrete floor of some cold holding cell was just not in my plans.  That motivation to get that next hit was an intense feeling and puzzling as I think back on some of the stupid shit I would do.

The only thing standing between 50 units of an ice-tea colored elixir and my vein was usually some foreign substance blocking the needle.  Was it a shitty cut?  I had a few shitty cuts in my day, one of which I still recall scoring that day from the Southside of Chicago CPH buildings [Chicago Public Housing] the bags that day were ‘black spades’.  Big one inch by one inch square little ziplok baggies with black spades on it, [duh!].  Those southside bags you would always get much better dope not to mention bags that were almost twice the size.  That was some fucking good heroin, beige and clumpy.  This was probably 1999 or so a few years after the westside was completely flooded with dope and the quality there started to fall off after a huge influx of young suburban dopefiends started to look like walking or driving dollar signs.

Anyways it must have been an off day that day as the dope was still excellent but what ever they were cutting it with was probably best left to cater to the snorters.  A little residue was left in the cooker, gritty and sludgy.  A couple times I recall pulling a hair out of my head and than patiently using the hair to floss thru the tip of the needle as that was the only thing small enough to fit in there.  That was next to an impossible task to thread the needle as I was usually shaking like a leaf in a spring thunderstorm by that point and steady hands was something I just didnt have.

Thankfully I dont have to deal with that crazy lifestyle anymore.



This is a tale from the past, Winter 1999 to be exact.  I was definitely a full blown addict at this time.  My main line of discomfort was IV heroin although I was basically a drug dustbin during these days.  To put it mildly I was gone.  I was 22 and I was in my prime of using.  I knew I was an addict and frankly I could careless, the poppy had me hook, line, and sinker.  I was using close to a bundle a day and was not looking to change.  My ethics at that time were questionable at best.  I was staying at my parents house doing nothing and they were fed up or just didnt want to see me wasted day in and day out anymore.  I was loaded on H, pills, coke, booze, and weed always.  Prior to this I had been to a few rehabs, been on methadone, and have had a few drug arrests which thanks to a lawyer had gotten dropped.  I was not working just using fulltime.

So my parents [more so my Father] booted me out of the house and my lovely Mother rushed out and got me an apartment.  I never even mentioned wanting one was probably just going to couch surf and party, shit not much really mattered to me except for that heroin in my spoon.  So I move in and set-up shop.  I was hanging out with a girl friend at the time and what was on the agenda that morning?  Scoring.  She pulled up to my place as I shuffled out towards her car, I pop’d some Xanax and Valium prior to leaving to keep the sickness from creeping in.  It was a cold winter morning and I was ready to get fuct up.  We pulled away and were soon in the city making a right onto Independence Blvd.  The dope spot I was frequenting during that time was the original ‘pony-pack’ spot.  We pulled up and bought a strip [12 bags] of their dope to test out.  At that time they were one of the very few dope spots that were marketing their dope [in Chicago] in an East coast manner, stamped bags.  The stamps were a picture of a horse with the word, ‘Unbelievable’ written underneath.  We hopped onto the expressway to shoot a couple bags and get well, normal run-of-the-mill stuff.

When-we were returning to buy [stock up] I wanted to get some crack also.  The girl I was with just hated crack for some reason and would hate when I did it, especially with her around.  So I picked up a few $10 bags of yellowish rocks and started to smoke them on the way home.

-Load the pipe, bell-ringer, twinges of paranoia, g/f bitching about crack, inject another bag to relax a little, smoke another rock, more bitching from g/f, another shot, cottons, blackened spoons, digging for a clean shot, relaxation, numbness bliss behind the dashboard.

I decided to save the last bag of crack for when I get back to my new apartment but the damage was already done as the girl was pissed of at my using crack in her car without her permission.  Yet it was ok for her to inject her dope while we were cruising down the expressway at 70 mph, whatever…

I shot a few more bags on the ride back and was nodding out feeling real good.  All of a sudden I got a huge craving for KFC mashed potatoes and she drove me up there.  Remembering I just moved in and needed some vinegar to break down the crack for injection I asked her to stop at a store, thats when she blew up and said after this I am just dropping you off at home and were not hanging out.  Fine with me as all I could think about was that rush I was going to get from the IV crack.  We shot another bag each out front and than I stumbled out of the car completely wasted.

I was staying in an old historic house that was a 2-flat so we had a communal entry with an old twisted wooden suitcase leading up my apartment that was on the top floor.  I was struggled with the keys dropping them, not being able to get the key in the door, nodding off, etc.  All while balancing my cup of KFC mashed potatoes and bottle of vinegar.  Damn was I high, real high.  The benzos I took were really adding to my intoxication.  So I finally get in and start to walk up the first few stairs when I trip and fall down.  My face landing in my mashed potatoes, spralled out on 3 or 4 stairs.  I ended up nodding out, unconscious for quite a while.  I dont even know how long but long enough for the mashed potatoes that were on my face and all over the stairs to turn crusty.

I woke up to someone shaking me, ‘Are you all right?!’

“Ugh, ehhh… what’, I mumbled in slurred words.  

I shook my head and slowly the effects prior started to kickin.  Oh yeah I scored dope today.  Fuck I musta passed out while laying on the stairs, face covered in mashed potatoes.  Fuck! nice move Seedless nice.

“Well you must be the new guy living upstairs right, my new neighbor?”,  was her reply 

“Yup thats me, my name is Jimmy.”

“Hey Jimmy, I am Jenny… What happened?  Are you alright?”  She seemed a bit taken back.

“Oh I dont know I think I tripped and knocked my head.”

“Are you sure you were pretty out of it.”

“Yeah I will be fine, nice meeting you.”

 Boom I ran up the stairs unlocked my door and than shut it.  I stood up against the door thinking what the fuck just happened and slowly slid down to the floor trying to recollect what happened right before walking into the house.  Zing…  Fuck thats right I have crack to inject and boom off to the races again.  I did wipe the mashed potatoes off my face before getting out all my gear.  I tried to avoid my neighbor from than on and we greeted each other briefly and with the bare minimum.  That was one of the worst and most embarrassing time of moving into a new place and one that still makes me twinge with feelings of disgust and ‘what the fuck was I thinking’.