Wednesday, April 4, 2007

heroin 1983

I lived in this great old Cape Cod style house on Avenue P in Galveston. It was painted New England blue and had a huge deck as wide as the whole house where the front porch once was.
Our house was on the route of one of the Galveston tour trains and it was a running joke among my roomates and I that every time we heard the train approach we would run out onto the deck and wave and scream, "Hi tourists!" For some reason almost all Galvestonians hate tourists.

Carolyn and I were sitting at the dining room table smoking pot as she unwrapped the foil and showed me the tarry substance inside. "My brother says it's really good shit and we should'nt take too much at once."

"Is that it?" I wasnt sure she wasn't fucking with me. "I thought it was white and that it was powder. That shit looks like tar."

"It's called Rio Grande mud stupid. It's black tar herion. It's from Mexico. Gah. Damn Walter, that white powder shit is from the movies. I swear, stupid ass white boy." She was giggling.

I was the token white guy and they all assumed I was incredibly naive and ignorant as far as what was what in this particular subculture. They were for the most part right. I had no idea until years later I was hanging around with a bunch of Mexican mafia guys who only didn't kill me because I had befriended a capos little sister in college.

It was said little sister in my dining room at the moment schooling me in the proper protocol for riding the horse, as it were.

"Okay, remember all the shit we learned in that nursing class about starting IV's? Totally works. Only real secret here is, you're gonna want to puke real bad when the rush hits you. Trust me here, don't fight it. Just run to the nearest toilet and let it go. Empty your stomach, you'll feel better and you can start enjoying your buzz. Where's your nearest bathroom?"

I pointed out the half bath, first door down the hall.

"You want me to hit you? Or do you want to hit yourself?"

She was kind of crazy and I had taken the nursing class on starting IV's so I opted to hit myself.

"Suit yourself, why don't you go first so if you have any problems I can help out and I won't be rushing or anything."

She was really very considerate.

She took a small exacto knife out of her kit and cut a chunk off of the oozy black pearl in the aluminum foil and put it on a spoon she had bent backwards like all junkies do, so the well of the spoon will set flat on the table and not spill a precious drop. Then she took the exacto knife and cut a tiny piece of filter off the end of a cigarette. Then she pulled out a u100 syringe and sent me into the kitchen to get a cup of water. She drew a bit of water from the cup. Squirted it into the spoon, picked up the spoon, lit a bic lighter under it, brought it to a boil and melted the precious, precious black pearl into a small ungodly bit of soul poison soup. She dropped the bit of cigarette filter into the mix and drew up the potion through it.

All the while I watched as in a trance. Forgetting it was real. Like it was some kind of movie or performance art I was watching. She held the syringe to the light, thumped the bubbles to the top and pushed up the plunger to dispell the air.

"Here ya go man. Here's a tourniquet. Don't forget about the puking."

She handed me the syringe, and tourniquet, the syringe was still warm. My heart was thudding. I wrapped the thick rubber band around my bicep, bending forward to hold it taut with my teeth. The veins in the crook of my elbow bulged. I placed the needle, bevel up, in the middle of the biggest one. I pressed gently but firmly, just like they had taught in the nursing class. Pop. Through the flesh. Is it in? Pull back the plunger. Blood flows back! Yes! Direct hit! Release the tourniquet. Push in the plunger, not too fast. Just right. Just right. Just right.

I feel my lunch start rumbling but my head, man, is swimming, man.

Carolyn, "Run, dude go puke! Hurry! Dude you're gonna puke on the carpet!"

I take off for the bathroom and puke into the bowl. I feel relieved and then it really hits me.

I'd just finished vomitting when Carolyn came in and did the same. We both just sat on the bathroom floor for hours talking about everything. Very slowly. Very slowly.

Later we took a drive down the sea wall in her old Impala. Springtime. Sunset. Beautiful day, the wind in my hair as I let my head loll on the back of the seat. Best day, best feeling ever in my life to that point. I leaned back and looked over at Carolyn and said, "Man, I sure can see how you could get addicted to this shit."

"Stupid ass white boy, I told you this shit was good. Let's go hang out at my brothers."

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