9-7-2010“Fuck,” she screamed. The ashtray, (you know, what I’m talking about that one ashtray that’s always there. The ever present ashtray filled to the brim with too many burnt to shit roaches and cigarette butts… it’s the same ashtray that always goes flying, spilling its grey guts through the air in violent streaks of dust and glass), ascended, taking a decent sized chunk out of the wall, narrowly avoiding the window.
We’d been getting high for the past couple days and now (as the laws of physics would dictate), it was time for a low.
“Babe, I can’t do this,” she said, the fever-soaked delirium setting in her arms weakly clinging to mine while I prepared her last fix for the evening. As my hands dug through our stashbox, I said nothing
Thirteen 30mg tabs of oxycodone, five 100mg morphine sulfates, one “party pack” of ecstasy pills, a few stray Xanax and Adderall IR 20’s, half a teener of rock and about an eighth of sour diesel… this had been what we had going in. All that remained now were a few crumbs of dank and a pile of blue salvation though it wasn’t nearly enough.
Looking at Amy’s face, her withdrawal face those beautiful ocean eyes of hers now dulled with a grey, alien pain…I knew what I had to do.
“I can help you,” I said weakly.
“Please, babe….I can’t take this. It’s like my soul is burning to death. This pain… the fucking pain is...”
She sobbed then vomited and I putting the fear of my own dope-sickness aside (I had yet to experience any actual effects from opiate withdrawal but at the rate we’d been using, I was sure beyond sure that it was in the mail; signed, sealed and delivered...fuck), kissed her on the forehead with as much solemn passion as my strung out lips could muster.
My junk-wrenched hand sliding down her frail, beautiful frame lovingly caressing her as I undid her belt and reached for the needle-less syringe, and blessed the tepid water it contained with the last of our bliss. There was no need for an enema, we’d both been on the speedball and ecstasy diet as of late. No food meant no natural processes. Insomnia, anorexia and paranoid ramblings… Atkins’s had nothing on that shit.
I nestled my way down, removing her sweat-drenched jeans like lovers do. Her being was altered by the poppy’s frigid absence, her motions, strewn with secret longing whispers, absent as they were remained in the forefront of my thoughts. In their place was silence and a freezing-to-the-touch sensation that was as close to death as I’d ever felt. I spread her apart, and with (despite my violent tremors) surgical procession, moved the demon (a 28 gauge syringe filled with crushed up morphine and tap-water for occasions such as this... if anyone who was curious) deeper and deeper into the left bowel wall. All of the typical human qualities had bled and died on the floor and as her pain (junk-sickness touches every nerve in the body turning them against the host like some savage flesh eating virus), reached a crescendo, I knew that it would be over soon, if only for a few hours (morphine sticks around a little longer than some of the more potent opioids but that’s neither here nor there), it would be over. This is what our love making had morphed into, nothing but a brief reprieve from the pain… It wasn’t always like this. I could very well have gone the rest of my life being content with smoking dirt weed and sipping my cheap vodka but all the powers that be, those great unknowns… they have a funny (sometimes beautiful sometimes sadistic) way of revealing themselves
Sweat rolled down on tiny acidic beads, eating the flesh from my forehead with their anxiety tinged microbes.
“… I think it might be best if you sat down.”
Those words though they haunt me now sound so far away echoing through a matrix of hellishly narrow tunnels, filled with as much death as there are cells in the human body. Cycling in and out of existence, changing us when we hit that fateful seven year mark. Some choose to look at something like this and see it as a chance at redemption. I don’t. As I sit here collecting my whiskey soaked thoughts, down to my last half-a-cigarette, I can see nothing good in this. I was never conditioned to believe in that. The; everything happens for a reason pseudo-inspirational dribble was lost on me a long time ago. To me the universe is a void of cold alleyways leading nowhere. I didn’t always think like this but those days of purity and innocence I lived as a child were being replaced as my dead cells tumbled away in soggy, fetid clumps. Reality was the bottom of a bottle that weighed as much as the world. It was the need to pump myself full of alien chemicals and tune in enough to drop out. I can’t trick myself into believing that anything happens for a reason...but that’s just me.
The paramedics that came to the scene stared her the same way an office worker three steps away from blowing their brains out would stare at the last-straw-covered stack of paperwork on their desk… One of my many regrets was not being able to see any of this up close. The partygoers, (including myself) that hadn’t ran off at the first sign of trouble were all hiding in the woods surrounding Ricky’s house. Despite all of this, I was close enough to see the not so subtle disgust in their faces. I popped a couple Ativan to get rid of the speed jitters and spare myself the withdrawals that come from a night of chasing Ritalin with a fist full of ecstasy pills, then made my way to the hospital as soon as the ambulance left.
The doctors were a little less cynical. They tried, but there was nothing they could do. So goes the circle of life, (fucking Lion King bullshit). After all was said and done, I went back to my shit-hole apartment and started drinking. The next couple of months are hard to remember. People came and went. I’d neglected to pay the power bill during that time. The only sources of light were the toxic embers of crack pipes and candlesticks. Eventually the small army of crusties and squatters left for greener pastures. I buried myself in my schoolwork and racked up enough credits to graduate from the narrow halls of my rather sad, rather lonely community college. Time passed, I still drank and burnt old photographs. Then it happened. I cleaned up my act and headed off to an out of state university… I’d hit rock bottom before but this time really stuck out. I’d been in trouble for a while and was looking forward to putting it all behind me. That never really happened but I gave it a shot and learned few things along the way… but there’ll be plenty of half assed musings on that later.
Words, cobbled together in chaos theory sounds lumped together to form a meaning we’re all desperate for, fell from my lips like baby birds tumbling from a nest. Words just as frail and naïve… sometimes words just aren’t enough.
Despite the best efforts of the paramedics and over-worked second year residents, she didn’t make it. She slipped away like we all do. The rational (sometimes atonal) mind isn’t something that should be bothered by death. A group of refugees in some third world hole in the wall can go up in flames courtesy of a McDonald’s brand bomb and no one here bats an eye, but when it comes to your doorstep… that’s a different story. Reason fails and that’s what the monsters feed on.
An acute poly-drug overdose (crack, MDMA with an amphetamine base and the crappiest drug of all, alcohol), to them it was a clinical term used to detach themselves from the fact that a fellow human being had ceased to exist. To me it was a bed of barbed wire resting on top of my little plot of land built on the bedrock of severely tucked Karma.
Ricky was in jail. He’d been found by the PD hauled up in some cheap motel with a felony amount of crack and three ten packs of needles, after he’d fled the scene (his parent’s home) to get away from the dead girl in his (parent’s) bathroom. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the funeral. Open caskets were dehumanizing in the most visceral way imaginable. The lifeless doll face of the person you’d shared a bed with staring placidly into the silhouettes of friends and family (in my case strangers and assorted drug addicts). I instead, opted to drink a fifth or McCormick and spend the night at her grave (sort of romantic in an Edgar Allen Poe kind of way) and tried to remember the good times.
"What time is it?”
Thin sheets of rain clung to the outside of our bedroom window, filtering the subdued light from outside as it crept through the blinds, its body meeting ours. The smell of Dragon’s Blood incense hung in the air its streams of smoke rolling over our unwashed clothes, caressing our walls decorated with assorted film festival flyers, bizarre collages we’d made after downing fistfuls of ecstasy pills and our giant poster of Layne Staley.
“10:08AM Central Standard Time,” I said with a smile.
“Babe,” she laughed while rolling over.
“Why do you always say it like that? It’s weird. You fuckin weirdo,” she said, smiling lightly batting at my face with sleepy, mid-morning hands… God damn that smile.
“Interesting choice of words.”
“Yeah, you know the idea that everything is connected at the structural level, but everything floats around in different places because of the whole uncertainty principle thing.”
“Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?”
“Exactly. So let’s say that one particle exists in moment A.), then flickers out to moment B.), happening in some different timeline and it keeps on disappearing and reappearing and so on and so forth... I guess it reminds me that out of all the other moments we could be experiencing, this, this right here is the only one that matters.”
“I love that fucked up brain of yours,”
I breathed her in as we caressed each other in the pale, rainy-day light. It wasn’t long before Trent Reznor’s voice filled the air and the first joint of the day was sparked up.
“I’ve got today off. You wana go exploring? I found this mini waterfall off of one of the trails at Fallen Oaks.”
“Yeah I’m down. It’d be nice to get out. You wana see if Jo Jo has any shrooms?”
“Isn’t he in jail?”
“Nope, I saw him yesterday when I was dumpster diving behind the mall.”
“What was he doing there?”
“Oh you now, talking/yelling incoherently. Same old Jo Jo.”
“Oh, I uh I could try… Jo Jo though.”
“Yeah I know but he sells for dirt cheap and he’s always holding… Pretty please?”
“Well for you. Just this once. I might have to look into it.”
“Yay!” she screeched leaping on top of me to the sound of Pretty Hate Machine.
The rain kept drizzling amidst the faint sun… it took God seven days to create paradise, sometimes I wonder if he overlooked moment or two.
“It’s sad really. She looks so… I don’t know, ordinary. Hell, for all I know I could have passed her in traffic or been at the same restaurant as her a week ago or… wherever.”
“Quantum entanglement.” Dr. Stevenson said after just the right amount of dramatic silence
The paramedic (I think his name was Joe or something) scratched his head. I suppose it was his turn to be silent for a bit.
“Well Doc, I’ll let ya get to it… Good luck.”
"Wooooooo,” Amy screamed at the waterfall.
“This is so beautiful babe. The shrooms haven’t even kicked in yet,” she laughed.
“I thought you might like it.”
“Hey, do you ever wonder where we’ll wind up? Like, the whole white picket fence deal. Is that in store for us? And don’t say quantum entanglement.”
“Heh, I… I don’t know. But I do know one thing.”
“I know that no matter where we wind up, I’ll never forget today. Our little slice of quantum… whatever. I love you Amy and that’s all I’ll ever need.”
Her crazy, painful, gorgeous slightly dilated eyes reflected everything. Every drop of water and fallen leaf. Every far off, extra dimensional version of myself looked up from whatever it was doing, if only for a moment and became lost in those beautiful eyes.
“I love you too. No matter where we go… we’ll always be somewhere.”