“That One Perfect Shot”
Fish Tale #2
For all the trouble, gathering the resources, the wait, everything that comes with preparing to finally buy heroin…this feels like that one perfect shot. Executed. The perfect crime, if there ever was one. Slide through the lair, exchange food stamps for the items I desire. Dope, new needle, new q-tip ,the hookup, he gave it to me. Leaving the shadiest of dwellings, this dude is drawlin in the parking lot right behind the lair .The car is noticeably on, the old sedan’s engine rumbling. His girlfiend’s in the driver seat lookin around all nervous; this dude’s got like 4 bags and the spoon and syringe all in his lap and as i’m walkin out. The hookup, this oldhead’s waving at them like ‘get the fuck out’ and this punk is confused as fuck as his girlfriend pulls out slightly and this just…doucher, black hat, face tats, just like…total faggot. He’s… I can see him through the car window, telling his nervous, probably non-using (or at this point dabbling) girlfriend “nah chill.” Yeah. You’re only in the alley where you just copped heroin and shooting up in the car that blocks any cars from getting through. As i’m walkin he keeps looking up as i’m walkin by yet it’s the oldhead whose lair it is that’s now knocking on the window telling him to get the fuck out. This guy just violated a cardinal rule. Never piss off your heroin dealer. He holds the power to leave you sick, puking and shitting at the same time, or have you floating in a cloud of apathetic euphoria. And the oblivious car doucher keeps looking at me like ‘what the fuck.’ ME. As they pull out, trash seeps out of toothless bae’s mouth, his trashy ass girlfriend says something at me not audible due to the trashy accent and my lack of care. I have what I need, that’s all that matters.
Heading down the block, I realize that he didn’t give me my fucking foodstamp card back yet, which only has maybe $9 left on it anyway. When it comes down to it, if I have $10 left and I’m dopesick and hungry, I can either force-feed myself some crap that I risk vomiting shortly thereafter, or shoot the dope and not be withdrawing and not caring to eat. I’m walking around chugging a 2L of sprite, nicorette gum, and Neurontin. They’re my meals today.
So the library which is my default spot to get high is only maybe 4 mins away, 3 blocks. The walk gets progressively longer as I approach the destination of my ultimate desire. Finally, I arrive, walking straight for the bathroom. Given my disheveled appearance, the heroin epidemic, other homeless addicts hanging out at the library until the shelter opens, and my going straight to the bathroom, someone probably knows. I don’t care.
Into the library bathroom, it doesn’t reek like shit so I don’t have to imagine shit particles going in my veins. That’s a plus. I plan my shot wisely: plug earbuds in my phone which rests in my right pocket, as I use phone charger to tie off with in order to get a vein to the surface, and have another pocket open to slide that in with the rig once I finish. As always, if I haven’t shot up in ten or eleven hours my hands tremble as I pour the powder into a water bottle cap. Suck up some sink water. Spray it into the cap and toss a q-tip’s tip in. Swab the thing around to absorb everything, hopefully filtering out the non-heroin stuff. At least the non-water soluble things. The needle presses into the cotton and I draw it back. Turn it upside down and flick the syringe so that the bubbles of air rise to the top, and impatiently press the plunger so that the air evacuates. And then, into the vein. The signature plume of blood rushes into the rig. I force it in the opposite direction.
The ineffable rush. I stop to enjoy it.
Basically all goes well. Potent heroin. An easy shot. Time to enjoy it. Smooth execution followed by rapid cleanup, then outside to smoke my first cig of the day. The cigarette after a heroin rush beats a cigarette after a meal, even after sex. This says it’s a Newport and i got it offa DC but it feels and tastes and has the airiness of a rolly…guess ill never know. The rush continues to fluster me as i roll-stumble (somewhere along that continuum) outside, match lights the cig, Youtube Red marks “Redefinition” by Black Star as the song to start all within an instant of gently yet effectively pressing open the exit door; on the steps, leaning over slightly, i inhale. Cool shadows hide some of the smoke trailing away in the already fragmenting wind. A warm rush also fades just as fast as the invisible air carries that clogged breath away. The peak of the day effectively ends as my no longer tense muscles slouch imperfectly over what I would have once labeled as grimey steps. But who am i to judge the markings of where other men traveled? Is their dirt not the soil for my future? Echoing before they spiral away with a whirlwind of solitary leaves, these thoughts and more dampen and settle like my eyelids over the ruins of where once large pupils lurked. The heroin is in. No longer does food or shelter or future present itself along the complex crossroads of my frontal lobe. Instead, pleasure in its rawest measure rubs against the innard of my skull, and nothing more. As I stand up, I do not carry, but merely pilot the poorly programmed machine nowhere, save for where it will crash inevitably, invariably, endlessly, all across the compromised hyparxis of fate.