I need help.
I'm haunted by these three little words.
They follow me around, along with my shadow.
But as my shadow fades away with the sun, they're still there.
Following me on my search for more.
More instant gratification, being led by my addictive personality.
I pull out a Camel Crush out of my left pant pocket—never pulling out the whole pack, so others won't try to hit me up for one.
I light it up, then roll down my window.
Cigarette smoke fills the car, as well as the yearning void inside me—replacing the fuming jealousy and envy that permeate my lungs—with synthetic pleasure.
A temporary fix to my everlasting struggle against thine own self.
I fell in love with this fix.
Anything to prevent me from feeling the grudging resentment dwelling inside me.
Why do I fall in love with things that kill me?
This hole in my dead spirit likely developed from having no love.
Even though, I have so much love inside—I wish others could see—none of it is for myself.
How can a kid, who came from such a loving family—such a great childhood—begin to hate himself?
It just happened one day. All of a sudden, I felt different from everybody else.
Then I found my elixir—my fix—that helped make me happy.
Comfortable being myself. But eventually, without paying attention, it started to kill me.
Why did this happen to me? What did I do?
I just wanted to be like everyone else.
To be comfortable living in my own skin.
To be liked and loved by everybody else.
To not have to rely on drugs or alcohol to be happy.
Then, with the straight-faced mask I wear everyday, hiding what I truly feel—
...I blow the smoke out, knowing nobody knows what lives inside of me.
While driving, I'm also watching all the different people around me and I can't help but envy them.
Why can't I be normal, like them?
I hate being an addict.
I'm headed back home from the world's greatest department store. No, not "Wally-Mart," but its eternal crimson nemesis, Target.
The red against the blue.
Just like gangs are at war with the bloods and crips, there is a war in the white-collar business world, as well. The Wal-Marter's and the Targeter's.
I represent the red flag.
I come to this place just about every other day, particularly to buy two things that I could easily get at the gas station two blocks down from my apartment.
I live in a quaint one-bedroom, one-bath located in, what is considered, the central part of Austin, TX. It's actually perfect for my neurotic, hermit self. It's a few miles to the nearest Target, but I enjoy the drive.
I was born and raised in Austin and it's surrounding towns. It's the Live Music Capitol of the World. But with its many live shows, come many bands. And with the many bands come many strung-out musicians. That's where I fall into. Just another one of Austin's junky musicians walking around The Drag trying to cop some dope. At least I have my own place and my own car—thanks to my loving parents—so I don't have to walk everywhere like the other Dragrats. They don't have the luxury of driving to Target for food after scoring and shooting some dope.
I don't know what it is that brings me to this store, other than the pink Vitamin Water and bag of snow-powdered donuts. I know it's not the awful smell of commerce, nor the feeling of fluorescent light shining down on my already pale skin. It could be the red taste of the store's infamous primary color that I always find in the strawberry soda I drink regularly, while browsing. So tasty.Sound weird?
That's on account of me being aware of everything around me, at the moment.
Right now, I'm experiencing what's known as being dope sick. It's only the first day of it, though. Basically, I feel sick and I can sense everything in weird ways. Like my senses have been turned up to "11"—in the world of Spinal Tap.
Sure, I'm becoming sicker by the hour, but I'm quite used to it; at least, the first day's sickness. Normally, I'd have a shot ready for me when I wake up, but I either couldn't find it or had done it the night before. Like they say about breakfast, the morning shot is the most important one of the day. It gets you out of bed and keeps you feeling alright while you go out in search of your next one.
I believe every genuine junky is, or should be used to this first-day sickness. If they're not, then they're probably still in the "amateur" phase. No offense, to those idiots who want to be considered hardcore, genuine junkies. They do exist. I know my fellow junkies would agree with me here. I need to head back to my apartment to see if my asshole roommate has come back. He'll fix me right up.
I knew he would be home. He told me he would be right back when he woke me up.
I was woken up with the beautiful Brianna laying next to me. She is a comely creature, who could sleep as long as I could.
I love it.
I love her.
She's my best friend; my wingman; my partner in crime.
I left her sleeping in my bed while I took off to get my breakfast of donuts and flavored water. So, when I came back, I expected her to be awake—it was already going to be after noon. But we did have a crazy night, from what I remember.
I arrive back at my place and enter my room to find Brianna still sleeping.
"Geez girl, come on. Time to wake up."
I needed her to wake up and leave, so when my roommate comes back, I can shoot up and have this sickness taken away.
Brianna lives in the same complex as I, just up on the third floor, while I have settled on the ground level. Makes the moving easier.
"Wake up, Bri—."
"Hmmmmm," I wonder aloud.
I find it odd, her being in the same position she was in when I left: Lying on the right side of the bed, on her stomach, with her head facing the left. And in the same glitzy clothes she had on the night before. I guess we didn't have sex. That's probably a good thing though. It always seems to screw things up between friends, but I'm not saying it never happened.
I would never date her though. If anything were to happen and we broke up, I would be devastated. I'd never risk losing my best friend in the world.
She is the type of person who would spend hours getting ready whenever we went out. She is the definition of "fabulous," and always made a strong, glamorous entrance, letting everybody at the party or club know she has arrived. I tend to cling to her at these places; she breathes spirit into the party so we always have a raving time together.
I walk over to the side of the queen-sized bed. She looks like a queen underneath my cotton covers. Though, I am no king. Far from it.
I reach over with my right arm to shake her left shoulder. As I gently shake her, I whisper her name in her ear.
Still asleep, I sweetly glide my finger along the side of her face.
But, it's ice cold.
My stomach sinks; heart stops; everything in the room, in my apartment, in the world, comes to a halt.
I put the side of my face in front of hers as if she were telling me a secret. But no words come out.
Not even a warm breath.
My heart comes back to life, pumping at an alarming rate. I take the same hand I used to shake her shoulder and flip her listless body over.
There was nothing in my stomach, otherwise, I would have thrown it up. I gag and choke on air as I stare in horror at the dark purple splotches that spread across the entire right side of her face she was laying on. With both hands, I palm her ears and shake her gently.
"Wake up. Wake up sweetie." This isn't happening. "Wake up!!!"
There are two bodies here, but only one heartbeat.
A flow of blood surges up to my head as I draw myself up off the bathroom floor. I nearly make myself sick moving her body here from my bed in the adjacent room, thinking the shower might wake her.
The dizziness just about spins me back down to the ground. My muscles give out. This can't be happening. I step back to gather my thoughts: My best friend is lying lifeless on my bathroom floor, with her ashen face, colder than the unkempt linoleum she lay upon.
I don't have any dope in my system; I should be sicker than hell, but the shock must be masking it for me to somehow manage this nightmare.
I know in situations like this, time is of the essence. It's a life or death circumstance, unless, of course, she has already passed, which is despairingly likely.
My apartment now feels like a revolting realm of misery and malady.
The smell of death lingers.
I have to find her purse to determine what she had ingested the night before. It wasn't going to be hard to find though—her purses tended to be huge, gaudy bags that would likely fit my entire wardrobe. Also, of a brand like Gucci or Louis Vuitton—only the best for her.
The purse was sitting behind my stained sofa. Easy to find, since it lived in the heart of the living room, or the "Boom-Boom Room," as it tends to be after hours. Inside the cavernous bag, I can easily spot the bright-orange prescription bottle, where she carries her stash. I pop open the pale, child-proof cap with ease to discover broken bits of Xanax.
Oh God no.
My stomach sinks to its lowest depths as I can feel the shock start to dissipate. Reality starts physically kicking in. I feel a wave of nausea twist my stomach, among another wave of vertigo hitting my head. My first thought in unfortunate times like these:
I need a shot, Now!
I can't, for the life of me, figure out how this could have happened. Until, the dusty light bulb in my mind—I thought was broken—ignited once more. It is a nauseating realization. I crouch down at the open toilet as I start to heave. It's more like drowning on air—my stomach hasn't had any solid food to process in days. There are merely a few burning bits of bile. After a minute, I stand up slowly to confront myself in the mirror and scream out loud.
Snot is running down to my chin, mixing with the salty tears pouring from my damp, ghoulish eyes. I'll never forget the saline taste, nor, the piercing pain. I cant tell if it's from the sickness or from the invisible knife twisting slowly into my chest, murdering my soul.
"That bastard must've given her a taste."
I've known for a long time, and had even cautioned others, to never, ever mix pills with other drugs, especially this certain, sort of mixture. For a normal person, or even an amateur drug addict—both unlike me—it is invariably a lethal combination when you combine Xanax with her...
the other love of my life—