Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Reflections

Christmas was beautiful this year. My mother has a gorgeous house in the mountains on the border between North and South Carolina. This is her little dream home, where she plans to retire as soon as she is able. She spends most of her time there, these days.

The house is a Timber Frame house, and it reminds me of a refined log cabin. There are no logs, and all the boards are sanded flat, but the entire house is natural wood. The dark circles of the wood, dot the walls and ceilings, as the boards naturally crack as the house begins to settle. There are no nails, and you can see the pegs holding the house together in certain corners. There entire outside wall of the living room is windows, and in the summer is is a lush jungle in the yard. There is a tiny waterfall just past the property line. There is more square footage of porches than on the inside of the house.

I got to the Mountain House on Thursday early afternoon, and my son and I got settled in to wait for the rest of the family. My sister and my stepdad came up in the early evening, followed by my brother. It was really nice. It has been a long time since it has been pretty much just that nuclear family unit for a holiday...other than the addition of my son, the rest of us have been together for most of my life. My brother and I are really close, after all we are only two years apart...and we went through the same trauma of divorce. My sister and I are growing closer and closer all the time. One of my biggest regrets from my addiction is that I never formed a relationship with my sisters (either of them.) in their formative years, as their little personalities developed beyond toddlers and small kids. My whole nuclear family gets along really well, and there was no tension that night. (You know how holidays always produce some kind of tension!) It was really nice, as we ate and then sat up just hanging out.

On Friday, my mom watched the baby for a couple of hours while I took the car down to Brevard, NC...about twenty minutes away. The Mountain House is relatively remote. It is very close to Ceasar's Head State Park, but the nearest grocery store is almost thirty minutes away. There is no Internet of cell phone service at the Mountain House, although you can take your laptop to the State Park and use their Wi-Fi. I just never really do when I am there. It is a nice break, sometimes. I can be reclusive at times, though...and maybe it is just an excuse. (I was never reclusive when I was using...I was always a social butterfly...I am shocked sometimes at how reclusive I have become.)

On Christmas Eve after lunch, I drove down the mountain and into Brevard. It was a gorgeous drive down, as I was able to let go without the baby in the car and really concentrate on feeling the roads. It has been many years since I had driven on mountain roads. The bright blue sky was dotted with puffy white clouds, and the sun shone brightly on everything. Brevard is a cute little mountain town, and my last minute shopping was much better than I imagined. The drive back up the mountain, I had the windows down halfway, with T-Pain blaring on the radio. Wind in my hair, and hip hop on my speakers, I weaved around the mountains climbing up, up, and up...winding to the top, and then back down again, trees naked in the winter to reveal gorgeous landscapes of the vast hills in the mountains of the Carolinas. My son went to bed at 630 that night.

Christmas morning was beautiful, and my son was overwhelmed with all the presents and activity. He was delighted! At ten o'clock that morning, the snow began to fall. Small flurries, fluttering around almost resembling rain. Then, quickly, big flakes began drifting with the light gust of the wind. It had been cold all morning, and the snow began to accumulate, and within an hour the ground was dusted with white. Snow fell all day, sometimes heavy and sometimes lighter but it kept falling and falling. Piling up on the ground, and the darkness of the mountains on an overcast day was illuminated by the brilliant reflective white. It snowed for over twelve hours on Christmas day, and we had to help our lunch guests dig their cars out. It ended up almost nine inches of snow. We took my son out several times during the day, and he had a blast. He made snowballs, and snowmen, and he sledded on a garbage can top. At one point, he tumbled off the sled rolling down a small snowy hill. I waited, holding my breath to see if he cried, but he jumped up and exclaimed, "Fun!"

The next day it was really cold, and I don't think it got up past twenty degrees. The wind whipped across the top of the mountain, chapping your cheeks in minutes. The wind whipped and whipped, blowing snow off the trees reminding me of a blizzard at times. My stepdad and sister went down the mountain, headed towards home while my mom and I settled into a quiet relaxing day. Power can go out up there sometimes, and my parents do not have a generator. The power flickered several times, always coming back on. My mom and I huddled together in the living room, several times as the lights flickered, wide eyed, hoping the power stays on. But, it stayed on and we all stayed warm. We huddled up, enjoying the we avoided travel on the icy roads. When we finally left, most of the roads were clear and it was an easy ride down the mountain.

I must say, I was not at all excited about returning to work tonight. The shift went fine, but I really just wanted a few more days off. It feels like I have not had much time to rest and regain my thoughts and composure lately. Between school, and work, and the book, and the seems like I never get to just relax...and rest. So, I wish I had a few more days off...but the truth is, I need the money right now. The hiatus is over, and before I know will be starting again, and there will be no time for rest then. One last semester.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Mountains

I am leaving tomorrow for the mountains. My parents have a second home in the mountains of the Carolinas. It is right on the border of the two states, between Greenville, SC and Brevard, NC. It is really beautiful and peaceful there.

We have a lot of mountain history in our family. My parents took us camping near this area many time when we were young. My grandfather had stories of those mountains that went back for generations. This country is in our blood, and in our souls. We come from those mountains, at least on my Momma's side.

I am excited to leave the bustle of the city, and I am still trying to decompress from the semester. I am excited to listen to the winds, and maybe see some snow. Although, i am not much one for the cold, at least at is appropriate. And I am excited to get some quiet time, where my mom can take the baby...and I can look at my book for the first time, work on a few tweeks...and get a couple of hard copies printed up. It is time to get this project rolling...

I will, however, be mostly offline. There is no internet connection at the Mountain House. I may brave the cold winds, and drive up the road to Ceasar's Head State park, and use their internet connection. But, maybe not. I do not even have cell phone reception up is always a real getaway when you leave the phone and internet behind.

I leave in the morning, right after I pack the car, full to the brim, with presents. I still have a few gifts coming in the mail, and my best friend is staying retrieve the gifts, and she is coming to the mountains on Christmas Day. I am brother (whom I adore, and am really close with) will be there, one of my little sisters, and my Mom and Stepdad will also be there. I will miss my Dad and other little sister...they are at the beach. But, it will be a nice retreat, although I am going to miss the blogsphere...

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning to me this year. My son is almost two years old, and he is really excited about Christmas. He sees Santa Claus everywhere, and he exclaims..."Santa Claus!" When you ask him, where? He responds pointing, "Right dere." He loves the Christmas lights, and the reindeer. He loves the "Noman," other wise know as the Snowman. He talks about presents, and how he really wants skateboards.

I have never put up a Christmas tree before. Let's face it, a junky usually doesn't put up a Christmas tree; I barely realized Christmas was coming up some years. And in the last few years...well, just too much going on. But, this year, I had to do it for my son. He really wanted one. And he wanted a big one, he made that very clear when we went to look at the trees one day. I had to wait two weeks to afford a big one, but that is what my son wanted to do. I bought lights, and decorations for the first time as well. My son had a blast decorating it, although he got very upset when one of the silver balls dropped on the floor and shattered. First thing in the morning, he asks for me to turn the lights on the Christmas tree on.

We have been listening tom Christmas music in the car. I am not a big fan of Christmas music, but I have managed to find a few good albums. Kermit Ruffins Christmas album, Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas album, Harry Connick Jrs Christmas albums are a few I really like. My son sings along with Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

We have really been doing it up with the season this year. So, I decided to take him to the mall to see Santa Claus. I wanted to make a night of it, so I got him a cute outfit for the picture. I know most of you are thinking, maybe a little Christmas outfit...well, he is too fashionable for that. I picked out this black jacket with red embroidery and a patch on the back that had flames and angel wings and dripping and splattered paint. The jeans had crosses with angel wings and flames, and his shirt was a long sleeve punk rock t-shirt. I had on my long black vinyl jacket with the crazy fur collar, sporting my usual chain wallet and ripped jeans. Santa actually commented on his outfit, and then he asked me if we rode bikes.

I thought it was pretty cool that Santa asked me if we rode bikes. We do not, but we must have looked pretty cool if that is the impression we made on Santa Claus. I said, "No, sir...we are punk rockers." And he chuckled, with a look in his eyes like my grandad would have had at that he had no idea what a punk rocker was. I am proud that Santa at least confirmed that I am cool.

We got a great picture, and had dinner at Chic-fil-A...which my son devoured. Then, he had some cookies from his father's work, which is the nicest restaurant at the mall. (It is really nice.) We sang Christmas songs the whole way home, and I took the long way so we could see more Christmas lights. We came home and we laughed and talked and played with a toy I bought him at the mall. Before we started watching Christmas movies, we went to put on his pajamas. I offered his red and white pants that we have always referred to as his Santa Claus pants because my best friend said they "looked like the kind of pants Santa Claus wears to bed." I thought for sure, after his great Santa Claus experience, he would surely want to wear these pants. I realized that he may be too much like me, when he insisted that he wears his Halloween skeleton pajamas instead.


My son loves skateboarding. He is almost 21 months old, and all he wants for Christmas is "skateboards." I must clarify that he wants those tiny skateboards that you skate with your fingers, alnog with the 2ft. long ramp. (I have gotten some horrified looks when this tiny little person tells someone he wants a skateboard for Christmas.) When ever he sees a kid skateboarding, he just watches intently. Once, when a kid flipped off his skateboard at a park, my son got on it before his father could stop him. I bought him a cool book, called "Scarred for Life," that documents skateboarding, and its history. He just pours over it, he passes up the pages covered in words, but he stops at the photos, turning the pictures in all direction, attempting to make sense of the images of an upside down skateboard.

I don't know how many of you are familar with the television show "Yo Gabba Gabba," so I will give a little background on the show...It is a Nickelodeon Jr. show hosted by orange clad Dj Lance Rock who brings life to the 5 costumed characters. The show has special guests, including a regular appearance by Biz Markie in his segment called "Biz's Beat of the Day," where he teaches the kids a beatbox series of sounds. Jack Black invaded the show for a segment, as he got lost in Gabba land when his minibike ran out of gas. There is a "Dancy Dance" segment that often features a guest teaching a dance to the characters, featuring stars like Elijah Wood, Sarah Silverman, Andy Samburg, Sean Kingston, and Sugarland. Other guests include Anthony Bourdain, Mos Def, Solange Knowles, Jack McBrayer, The Roots, and Questlove and Rahzel in other episodes, Shiny Toy Guns...and also Tony Hawk. My son's face lit up when he saw the skateboard on his favorite show! It is interesting to see Tony Hawk doing kids things now...I think back to how great I thought Tony Hawk was when I was in Junior High. I had a crush on this one kid, just because he looked like Tony Hawk. (I always liked the bad boy...) Now, Tony Hawk is still the most well known name in skateboarding, but he is also just a little bit older than me...and we are both middle aged now...

My son is enthralled with anything skateboarding. I am excited to see if this my be a passion developing. I have never pushed the idea of skateboarding onto him, and I do not know anyone who even rides a skateboard son has just fallen in love with skateboarding anyway, already...

Thursday, December 16, 2010


So, I wrote a book for one of my classes...Expository Writing. Now, the assignment was to choose a nonfiction writing project that would be four installments...totalling about twenty-two pages. One category he suggested was a memoir....

The first class, he asked a series of questions to generate topic ideas. I saw several themes recurring in my answers. Katrina, stripping, and addiction. And just like that, I decided to write the memoir. My professor encouraged me to go ahead and write the whole thing...he would only grade 22 pages, though.

So, I wrote it. I started the project at the end of August, and finished at the beginning of December. Essentially, it took me three and a half months to write the book. In the summer, I wrote a short story about part of the storm, which was included in the manuscript. The rough draft of the book, that is. And I turned it in two weeks ago...

We had a reading instead of a final, where we each read from our portfolios. The entire class sat there with their mouths gaping open after my reading. It was pretty intense, and a lot of cussing, I noticed when I read it out loud.

My teacher handed out comments on our work...pieces of his comments..." I'm not convinced I was of much use to you, other than to encourage you a bit "(which was exactly the thing I needed to get this book written...I have been sitting on the story for five years...) "I hope you can find the unit of meaning that matters the most to you in the revision process-the word, the sentence, the paragraph, the section, the chapter, the volume, and really polish this around that unit-put your stamp on it-make it part of a recognizable and distinct voice. You are a writer. Now find your editors, publish this, and go on to the next."

I am excited about the revision process. My mind is reeling with thinking about revision, at the level of the sentence...the word...I already have several parts I want to work on first....

And I am excited...about the entire thing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rambling Shit...

Kind of rambling, tonight. Exams are drawing to a close, and my brain is flooded with too much random shit. So, I am just going to ramble a little.

Sometimes, I wonder if maybe I am too cheery. If maybe I am too happy. I try to be positive. I try to stay upbeat, and my life is really good right now. Things are finally starting to fall in place for me. it has been a long, fucking time coming, I will tell you that. Things were real shit for me for quite a while. I guess years before I even realized it, things were shit for me. And when I realized I was up to my fucking neck in shit, the climb out of the god damned toilet was hell in itself. Shit, piled upon shit, scrambling for the fucking top as the rest of the world just tries to flush you down. Yep, recovery was a bitch a lot of times. And addiction, and all the fucking relationship crap, getting beat the fuck up, and such....Yeah, my life was pretty shitty for a long time. But, is finally going good. And let me tell you, I feel like I have earned it. I know I have worked really fucking hard to get my life back, to get myself back, and to get my fucking shit back on track and headed in the right damn direction. And hell life is finally working out. And hell yeah...I am finally happy. I worked hard for that shit.

Let me tell you, therapy ain't easy. It ain't easy to bare your soul to your ownself, and take a hard look at that person inside. It ain't easy facing up to all the shit...but let me tell you, it is worth it. It is no easy thing to get clean and to stay clean. You gotta climb out of that shit your life has become. You gotta do more than get clean. You gotta battle some demons, both inside and out. Its hard fucking work....but it is worth it.

I believe in the Threefold, everything you do comes back to you...three times as good or bad. If you put enough good hard work into are bound to come out on top. The Universe has a way of balancing out, and it all works out in the end. To those of you in recovery...put it out there, and you will eventually get your return. That is how the universe works...

Now, back to my point about being cheery...sometimes I think maybe I can be too cheery. Anna, this piece of the post is dedicated to you. (I have thought this before when I read parts of your blog...) I bet you hate me for being so happy. I really hope that you do not. I know that I can be optimistic, and I always try to look at the bright side. At one time in my life...I would have hated me, too. Some times, I still stick my tongue out at happy people...especially happy couples. I hate that shit. It pisses me off because of a relationship I lost in the past...But, anyway, I am happy now. For the first time in my life, I am really happy. I am happy to be a strong single mother, who does not need to rely on anyone else. I am happy because my trials and tribulation s have made me a better person. I am happy because I have a lot of stories m to tell. Things are finally starting to work out...and most importantly, I have a beautiful child. And I can't stop smiling some days. Please don't hate me...and do not think that I cannot understand the bleak, dark moods of an addict...because I can. I was once there, and now I am here... I really think I can give you some good advice, and I do apologize if its too cheery. You day will come, too, dear, sweet Anna...and you will be fucking happy, too. I believe. (Anna...I know you do not hate me....)

Sunday, December 12, 2010


A little story I have been meanin to tell for a while...

Have you ever seen cats dressed in clothes? Now, maybe its just me, but I don't really see cats dressed in clothes very much. Yeah sure, you see dogs dressed up in clothes all the time. sweaters and shit...but cats? I have always had cats. I am a cat person, and I am not a big fan of dogs. I tell you, my cats would have NEVER, EVER let me dress them up.

That said, I met this girl at the Methadone clinic in Savannah. She was getting on the same time I was, and we got to know one another a little as we sat outside the clinic together that first day...just waiting, no dying, for our dose. I always saw her in and out of the clinic. She was nice, and she seemed pretty normal.

One day, she offers me a ride home in her light tan trans-am, you know, like a Firebird. I climb in, and staring at me from the back seat are two cats. In dresses. One is in pink, and the other in blue. I shake my head to make sure I am really seeing this. After she introduces me to her children, I asked her about the clothes.

"How did you get them to put those clothes on? Don't they hate it?" I ask, knowing my cats would have a shit fit...literally.

"oh, no...they don't mind anymore. At first, they hated it but they got used to it. They have a closet full of clothes!" she tells me, excited. "One is a boy, but I still dress them both up like little princesses. Oh, my babies."

And all I can think is , "Damn...this chic is more fucked up than I imagined."


Reading some blogs today written by people in early stages of recovery....and I think back to those days. It seems like so long ago, but I remember exactly what it felt like to still be obsessed with my need. I remember those days when all that I thought about was dope, dope, fucking dope...don't wanna do no dope no more. I remember how the streets of my beloved city looked different, their hue a little more grey, my insides a little more blue. My feet dragging along behind me because I barely have the strength to stand theses days. Waves of nausea cascading for months and months and months...when I least expect it.

Uncomfortable. I shake and I twitch and I really wish I would itch. I moan and I groan and I really wish I could hone in...on some dope. Dope, dope, fucking dope...its all I ever think about. Invading my thoughts and my wishes and my dreams, there like a constant reminder in the back of my head. Droning on and on like a television you cannot shut off.

It gets better, I promise. A day, into a week in a month and a year...pretty soon, your thoughts of dope get further and further apart...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Doctor's Office

I took my son to the doctor yesterday. He has been sick since he started daycare several months ago, and we have been to the doctor quite a lot. His doctor is a really nice man from Nigeria with a complicated name. He came highly recommended from the hospital where my son was born...and he took my son while his Medicaid was still pending. He really has a way with the children. He is kind and gentle, and very realistic. I really love him.

He runs a small family practice, and many of patients are on Medicaid. He also is licensed to prescribe suboxone. I did not know this when we first started going to him almost two years ago, but I noticed some information about it in his office. I have never asked him about it or anything, because it is not something I really care about at this point in my life. I never even really thought about after the day I saw the pamphlet...until yesterday.

My son and I waited in the waiting room yesterday, speckled with random people. There are always other people in there, and my son can be quite a handful at times, so I did not notice her at first. My son, who can be overly friendly, started making eye contact with everyone, waving and saying hi. I noticed her, as she tried to avoid his eye contact.

That was when I noticed the look of pain in her eyes. I recognized that pain, that pain from the void. That anxiousness and irritability that comes with dope sickness. I could read it in her eyes, and I knew it in her movements, stiff and uncomfortable. I could see the look I wore for years, the look of trying to hold it together in a place like this for just a little while longer. I recognized the pain. I could smell it.

And I thought about her shoes. I thought about all the times I have been in her shoes, trying to act normal. Through the pain, she avoided eye contact with my son...and I bet he was real annoying to her at that moment. I know a kid in a doctor's office could have driven me crazy as i sat there waiting for my medicine, or waiting to be seen my a doctor. A lot of suboxone doctors here will have you come in in withdrawal, and wait several hours then for the medication.

She probably took the bus here, and had no where to go for those hours. She probably didn't realize it would take this long. She had a long, deep scratch that stretched across her dark, black face from her eye to her chin, marking it with pink and white where the skin had been ripped away. Her hair was disheveled, and her eyes were distantly wild with the pain and insanities in her own mind.

I thought about the days i was in those shoes...sitting in a doctors office, hoping to be given something to make me feel fucking better. Trying to fake normalcy, when all my insides were screaming with both need and want. Everyone around me, getting on my last fucking nerve...especially myself, an all the fucking pain. Trying not to puke. Trying not to lose it all together. Trying to hold on just a bit longer, as all the shit is creeping slow...

And, I was tankful to be the one with the beautiful baby. And not the one waiting on some one form or another. I don't miss that fucking shit one tiny bit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stagnation vs. Change

Yesterday, I noticed two crack heads walking down the street, by my house. The live in my old neighborhood, and I used to see them almost everyday, walking the streets in search of money and the next hit. I actually wrote a post about them when I first started my blog, called "Crackheads on a Snowy Day." Seeing them yesterday, got me thinking...

They toted the same cart as before. They wore the same clothes, and they had that same adoring look for each other, with a hint of desperation behind their eyes. They looked exactly the same as they looked when I watched them spark up a rock almost a year ago in the snow. I think about stagnation. And I think about change.

This couple always reminded me a little of me and my ex husband. They were always together. The way they looked at each other, it was obvious how close they were. And they were always walking around the neighborhood in pursuit of their high. Not at all unlike me and my ex. That was a long, long time ago.

And a year later, these two crackheads look exactly the same. I think about all the years that went by when my ex and I were immersed in the addiction. I think about how we looked the same year after year, with our bruised arms and battered souls. And I think about how different I look now...

I think about how different things are now. I am no longer a junky. I am no longer living my life in constant pursuit. I am no longer skinny, with sunken eyes dressed in stripper clothes wherever I go. I am a little chunky, now...and I never show my stomach or milk full boobs. I am a mother now, and I have a car and my own place. All my bills are caught up, and I no longer get high before I go anywhere. Stagnant in the mire of addiction, even my physical appearance remained, I am changing and growing every day. Granted, I am growing older every day, which is something I never felt before...but I am growing closer and closer to what I want to be. And granted, my muscles and bones felt better back in those days of stagnation...but, now I am happier than I ever thought possible. In spite of everything. I am productive, turning out writing like there is nothing else in the world. I am finally whole, once more. I am changed...and I am better in spite of it all...because of it all. I am thankful to be back in the real world of the living. Change is good. Growth is good. Life is fucking good, too. Finally.

A Note On Music

A little rambling post this morning before I go on to begin the next few hours of editing and revision...the scariest part of the book!!!

I want to ramble on a little about music, today. I love music. I love all kinds of music. Punk music is my heart and soul. Let me say, Social Distortion rules...and I can't wait for their new album coming in January (?). The Bouncing Souls, the Distillers, and of course, who could forget old school Ramones. (I actually have a punk rock bathroom complete with a Ramones shower curtain!)

I toured with Phish for several years, back in 95, 96, 97, and 98. I got into the whole hippie jam band thing for a while. Although, I still really like this stuff...I got tired of the closed minded attitude of so many of these neo-hippies. Hippies are supposed to be all about acceptance, but I was not accepted in some circles when I rolled onto the lot pumping NWA's "Fuck the Police." Apparently, hippies aren't supposed to like rap music.

I love house music, too. Progressive house music. Dancing all night on X in the 90s. My ex husband was a hard house DJ. Like Jersey Hard House, almost industrial. I like it hard.

People are always shocked to find out that I really get into hip hop. I keep up with all the new releases, and I love so many rappers. Yelawolf is my new favorite. He looks like a very red neck version of my ex husband. He is from a small country town, but his voice is a little like Andre 3000 from Outkast. So many great hip hop albums have been released in the last few months.. SB...this one is for you, I fucking LOVE Kanye's new Twisted Fantasy, and that mother fucker may just see my mother fucking hands at the concert! Also, Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday...TI's new album is amazing. And the best two released recently....Rihanna's Loud is awesome, and I gotta mention Eminem's Recovery, too.

Anyway...just thinking a little about music this morning...and I want to give my respect to these hip hop artists....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Feedback Please

One more excerpt. This one describes the post traumatic stress that manifested as pure anxiety.

Feedback, please.

I cannot really remember when it started. It just seemed like one day, I could not seem to focus. I could not concentrate on my thoughts. And it seemed like my heart was racing. I could not sit still. I had this feeling inching down into my bones that was not unlike the uncomfortable, cannot sit still feeling that accompanies dope sickness. I knew it was not the dope; the methadone had me nodding out just a week before.
I sat down on the couch. I turned on the television. Flipped through channels. Too fast to really see anything. Too fast to really even catch a sound bite. Just various images. Flashing images, of all sorts of things. Flashing across the television screen, as I flip faster and faster. Trying to avoid the chaos. Flip, flip, flip…the sound of television static clicking between the flashing images. Flashing images in my mind. Alex. Blue. Johnny. Blue. Linda. Howling like a fucking cat. Flashing images of water. Just look the other way. Just pretend like you are watching the television as you flip, flip, flip. The sounds are driving me crazy.
Thoughts flitter. Birds flapping their wings, pounding my brain with the sound of flutter. Maybe I could read a book. Open up the pages, they feel rough in my hands. Close the cover, smooth to the touch…as I fingered the image of Anthony Keidis on the cover. Smooth cover. Rough pages. Uneven on the edges, when I run my hands along the sides of the closed book. Smooth cover, smooth and shiny, slipping slightly beneath my fingers. Open the book again. Read the first page. Read it over again. Read the first paragraph. I don’t know what it was about. Read it again. Uncomfortable. Stand back up.
I walked around that little living room. Again. And again. I walked out on the balcony. The air seemed to be a little colder. And I am really nervous. My heart is pounding all the time. I cannot sit still. I am smoking tons of cigarettes, but I think I want another. Liquor. Liquor. The pills do not really seem to be working.
I take a couple Seroquel. Am I building a tolerance to these things? I took several of the small ones. I waited. Still nervous. Sit. Stand back up. Walk to the kitchen. Open the refrigerator. Look inside. I see everything. I see nothing. Thoughts of cigarettes, the need for something is screaming at me in a rushed and hurried pace. Thoughts of vodka. Cheap vodka. The cheap and flavored kind.
I discovered Burnett’s vodka in those days in Rhode Island. I have always been a Jameson drinker. And I generally drank for free in the club…and I always drank for cheap in New Orleans. Well, Jameson was expensive in Rhode Island. Everything was expensive in Rhode Island. Cigarettes were six dollars a fucking pack. And I had taken to smoking cloves, my voice had become gravelly…and I always smelled like apple pie. A half gallon of Burnett’s vodka was around ten bucks.
The flavors made it more palatable. Orange, grape, sometimes raspberry. Liam and were drinking about a half gallon a day. We mixed it with Gatorade. We mixed it with Sprite. We drank it straight. I mostly just swilled it right out of that big plastic bottle, chasing it with whatever was fruity. The alcohol did not seem to permeate through the anxiety a lot of days. I dank, and drank, and drank. Seemed like nothing was getting through that insane exterior that was keeping me pacing around the room.
The pacing. Pacing back and forth. Pacing back from one bedroom, to the next. Then around the table, and through the living room. Pacing through the kitchen, before I started the circuit all over again. I wanted to cuddle with the new kitten. But, I could only hold him while I was pacing. Back and forth I wore a hole in the carpet. Back and forth I wore a hole in the linoleum.
I woke up in the dark of morning every day, with several hours of a fitful sleep under my belt, and within minutes, the anxiety took over. The pacing began. The trek to the clinic was riddled with insanity. Sitting still on the fucking city bus was impossible. Middleton is a pretty small place, and in small places…it seems like you wait forever for the bus to come. I paced the streets where the bus stop was. I walked up and down that block, looking in the distance for the bus. It always seemed like an eternity in the dark, cold autumn mornings for that damn bus to appear.
Then, once on the bus…I was instantly relieved when I saw the bus approach. I felt like the wait was over and maybe I could get on with the next step. But, all the steps of my day were riddled with anxiety and everything seemed to run together. I wanted off that fucking bus, just as soon as I had gotten on. I could not sit still in my seat. Shifting my weight, and shifting around in my seat. Looking out the window. Feeling fucking trapped. Let the clinic get here quickly. Let me off this fucking bus…it feels like I cannot breath. I want to get off the fucking bus. Let me off this fucking bus…I am screaming in my mind. I am pacing in my mind. Back and forth. Back and forth. Running all over the same ground with broken thoughts and fucked up images. Yet, somehow, I am not sure what is wrong with me. Get me off the fucking bus.
Off the bus. I want to run. I need a fucking smoke. It has only been fifteen or twenty minutes since I got on the bus. I still need a fucking cigarette. I need one bad. I probably smoked five waiting for the bus…but I need another fucking cigarette. I need to do something with my hands. Occupy my hands…and maybe I will occupy my mind. Six bucks a pack, and I am smoking two packs a day sometimes. Cloves. Newports. Whatever….
I puff on the clove cigarette like a madwoman as I walk to the clinic. I am surprised I did not pass out on those little walks. It was only about three blocks, and I would inhale a whole smoke in that time. I walked at the insane pace, with the hurried gate that is only owned by a crazy person.
The methadone clinic sat on the corner. It had one of those caddy cornered doors facing each street. This little part of downtown Newport is really cool. I wish I could go back there now. I would like to look around. I really do not remember that much about it.
It is weird how my memory is so disjointed in this time. I think that the anxiety left my memory more busted up than any drug use ever could. I cannot clearly remember so much of that time in Rhode Island. It was running by too fast in my mind. Images flashing all day, and most of the night. I was blind to the world around me because I was constantly bombarded by the world inside me. I remember bits and pieces, and I am convinced everything in my mind was disjointed in those months.
I would get my dose, gulping down the methadone with orange kool-aid each morning. I left as quickly as I came in. I am sure I breezed in with a scared expression, and a panicked manner…rushing back to the dosing line. If there was a line, I fidgeted the whole time. Shifting my weight back and forth. Twitching my hands. Looking back to the left. Glancing back to the right. Shift my weight again. Look ahead. Look back. My mind spinning, thoughts running a marathon through my mind. Shifting back and forth. Fiddling with my ring on my hand. My skin feels rough and cold. My heart…beat,beat…beat,beat…beat,beat…beat,beat…and echo in my head of that panicked heartbeat. An echo in my head of Linda screaming. Always echoes in my head of that scream. I was frantic inside, trying to keep the cover on this insanity as I shift back and forth on my feet.
When the dosing was over, it was back to the fucking bus again. I was too frantic to talk to any of the strangers at the clinic. When I did try to communicate in those mornings, my words seemed to merely jumble up in my mind, and all I could do was look stupid while thoughts raced through my head. Duh, uh, duh, uh. Mumbling and bumbling and fumbling through attempts to speak. I hoped no one asked me a question. I hoped no one in authority even talked to me. I smoked another cigarette. All I wanted to do after the methadone hit the back of my throat was get back to the safety of the apartment, and start drinking again. At least the vodka made me for forget…a little. It helped me to sit…a little. It helped me to stop shifting and shaking…a little.
Vodka. Gotta get the vodka. Of course, Liam and I emptied another bottle last night. The sun had barely come over the horizon. The bus ride here was mostly in the dark. Now, the sun seemed to be blaring all around me. Singing like an alarm that another fucking day had begun. Back on the bus, and I just wanted to get back off again. I felt like I am fucking trapped. I could not get out of here, even if I wanted to. The city flowed past me, as I barely took notice. All I could think about is vodka. And getting the fuck off the bus. I was ready for another fucking cigarette. I will need to get more smokes before I get home. I will be chain smoking while I wait for the liquor store to open.
After an eternity, the bus finally got to my destination. We passed several liquor stores. They were all closed. The two near the bus stop are also closed. I cannot take it. I was shaking, and shifting, as I waited to get off. Open the fucking door already; I wanted to scream at the driver. When the door opened, I came exploding out as if I was shot from a strange trajectory.
I guess I needed to stop at the store. I could tell the methadone was sinking down in my bones because I was starting to get hungry. Grocery store it is. Maybe I should get Liam first. I started across the street, headed home. I changed my mind. I needed to go to the store. My stomach rumbled. I stopped short, turned around. When I got to the other side, I hesitated again. Unsure. Unsure where to go. Home? Store? I continued to the grocery store. It wasn’t far.
Up and down the isles. The pacing had settled in again. At least here, in the grocery store, I could look at everything with my mad pacing. I was sure I got something sweet for breakfast. Sweets were all I craved on methadone. Cigarettes. Oh, and I went ahead and got a 12 pack. Headed back to the apartment.
When Liam woke up, I was drinking and smoking. I was pacing back and forth with a beer. This was generally how my morning went. Get to the clinic. Come home and drink. And smoke. And smoke. And pace, and pace, and pace.

Another Excerpt from the Book

Okay, so here is another excerpt...

This is when I wake up the first morning after evacuation in Rhode descibes the state of my mind in those first few days after evacuating New Orleans...

Let me know what you think.

I woke up that morning in Rhode Island, not at first unlike many of the other mornings I had recently awoke. Still groggy from a plethora of pills, opening my eyes a little leery and unsure of my surroundings. Images always flashed back in my head during those first few moments after waking up. At least for the first few weeks. I always woke up, of where I was. Then, the barrage of images, sounds, memory flooding back onto me.
Water, rushing and rising. Water all around me, up to my chest. Wet and warm, with my clothes sticking to me. Wet shoes tracking water inside until everything has water seeping into its core. Water, bloating bodies and buffering boundaries between the wards. Water, black as an oil slick shining on the surface in the light of the moon.
Darkness. Stars bright, shining down on the city that was previously starless. The moon, shedding the only light when the sun had retired, sparkling its reflection on the slight lapping waves. The sound of the water, lapping the houses in the pitch black of the night. The darkness that still sinks down into the hearts of all those who witnessed those days.
Deserted streets, and utter chaos. Buildings churning with people and a rejection that spit them back out. My own deserted soul comes following me here to Rhode Island. And I am still left cold and unfeeling, as this barrage of images pushes me way past the limits of my sanity. I look the other way…I am distracted by all I have known these last ten years.
Sickness creeps in a little, only around the edges. Flashing images, and my heart rate is raised a little, pushing out the mundane madness of withdrawal…and all these fucking pills have to be holding me over a little. I remember the cooler…full of our looted prate’s booty of pharmaceuticals. I look over at Liam, sleeping with his arm draped over the chest. We are still on that back porch in our minds.
I flash back there momentarily. Scavengers, desperate for drugs and the mayhem around had made us all a little more aggressive and feisty. Liam and I slept with one hand on our drugs for so many days; I guess it had become habit. I know the minute Johnny fell asleep, we were in his stash…I am sure they did the same with us. In the world of a junky, a friend will steal from you quicker than a stranger might. The friend has the inside advantage…they know what you got, and where you got it.
In a circle of junky friends, there is always one or two that steal. I was never one of those. I always earned my dope money; even if I had to twist my morals to get the money…I never stole. Liam, on the other hand, was quite the thief. He did not think twice about stealing to get what he wanted, and I know he stole from me more time than I can count. I wonder if he would admit to it now…or if he would still deny it to the hilt, like always.
Liam, sleeping so peacefully in a comfortable bed. I looked down at him sleeping that morning with those adoring eyes I often had for him. I noticed the perfect shape of those lazy bedroom eyes, and that chiseled nose, with his long, shaggy hair falling over his eyes. His veins, strong and bold. Long and lean, his thin legs were still adorned with a little sculpted muscle. I remember looking at him with that look in my eye that morning, as I had so many other mornings but this morning felt different. Looking back onto that morning, I realize the only other person I have ever looked at that way is my son.

Small Excerpt from the Book

I am posting a tiny excerpt from the book...let me set the scene.

This scene is in Rhode Island, after I have been evacuated from New Orleans. I am just starting to feel the dope sickness once again...

Weed can take away the pain for a while, as it helps you relax, and you kind of slip into a semi-nothingness…the uncomfortable sinking Sickness is mellowed slightly around the edges. Sedatives are good for kicking, too because they help you sleep. A kicking junky wishes he could just sleep for three days, but that is impossible as the Sickness is looming over your bed. Seroquel and Phenobarbitol were what I liked to take to help me sleep. It would only let me rest a couple of hours, but anything was a relief in the pits of hellish withdrawal. We had all three strengths of Seroquel in this cooler, and several bottles of each. But, that wouldn’t quite do it. Benzodiazapines are good for kicking, and a xanex can really mellow out the rough exterior of the kick…making it just a little more comfortable. There was a huge bottle of T3s, Tylonel 3 with Codiene. But, those are really weak…and a shit ton of them would not help as much as it would hurt my empty and rumbling stomach. There was nothing in that cooler full with hundreds of bottles of pills that could help me. I took a couple of Vicodin, and a handful of T3s, and I tried to relax.
I could not sit down. I left the apartment, headed out to just walk. I could not think about anything but the Sickness, and I could not sit down because the old, familiar foe that was pure discomfort was creeping back in. Dope, dope, fucking dope, the circular dance in my head begun, and its disparaging damage sank deep down in the dark crevices of my dead, and dying spirit. I was crumbling. My stomach was grumbling that empty grumble from the Sickness.
That empty grumbling is what eventually drives me crazy. As the Sickness sets in, my stomach is almost always empty. The stomach of a junky is completely empty at least 70% of his existence. The Sickness, which creeps in daily in strange and untreated hours in a junky’s world, hurls up everything you have eaten, as you puke and wretch, with this disgusting yellow bile seemingly emmitted from every pore. When the dope man finally shows up, your veins are quieted, and your body is longer screaming and wretching. But, you are not hungry. You are still weak, and shaking, and the last thing you could handle is food. But, it would make that grumbling come to an end.
Oh, that god awful grumbling. Stomach just flipping, and skipping, and nipping at your insides. Collapsing inward, hunger cries turned into a call for nausea. Fucking empty stomach is what starts it all, it starts the first bits of nausea, and then it just escalates in my mind and body…until the constant wretchhing starts. Wretching, gagging myself…trying to puke. Trying to eject all this fucking poison out of my system. That is what it is like, your body is trying to eject all the poisons and toxins from your body, and the Sickness is wringing your entire body out like a wet towel, with liquid bile and leftover poisonous toxins squeezed out from every possible hole. I just know I am not going to be able to take this fucking shit.
Not again. Not here. Not now. I just can’t do it. I cannot handle puking and shitting and walking around like a mad woman. Lying in bed and moaning and groaning. Hours in the bathtub, when we share a bathroom with these random people, anyway? Hell no. I am not kicking in this foreign land. I just do not have the strength to go through that shit again. Grumbling, grumbling madness gets a grip on my gastrointestinal track as well as on my fucking mind. Hell no. Hell no…I can’t take this fucking shit now. And all the while, that fucker Liam is just sleeping his fucking ass off. And I am wallowing in the mire and muck of this painful madness. Hell no. Fuck no. I just cannot. I just can’t.
Still in a bit of a frenzy, I dig through the kitchen drawers in search of a phonebook. My mind reeling back and forth, no phone book in the drawers. I look on the table. And I look with the books, and by the TV, and by the stereo. Back into the kitchen again, digging through the drawers once more. Until, I look by the phone….
Ahhhh, the fucking phonebook. Methadone. I flip through the pages, fingering the corners of the pages, reading the tabs. A, B, Cs floating by with alphabetical listings of everything from here to Providence. M…Maintenance, McDonald’s, Mechanics, ahhh…there it is, Methadone. See Drug Treatment. Flipping back once more, with a grumbling stomach driving me to panic and Sickness. D…Damage Repair, Debt Consolidation, Dirt, Docks, Driving, and ….Drug Treatment. I only hope they have a methadone program near here. I hope there is something available to me here. I hope that I will not have to go to Providence…that would be a real pain in the ass on the fucking bus.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Power of the Internet

So the book is getting closer and closer to being finished. My current goal is by Monday, but that could change...

The power of the Internet...

In my story in the book, I am in a manic state of post traumatic stress after the Hurricane. I go to describe the methadone clinic in Rhode Island, and I am having trouble picturing it in my head. I cannot even remember the name.We all know how the details can get a little fuzzy in our memories, especially for those of us whose memories are laden with multiple substances...

I google "methadone clinic in Newport RI", and the name and information instantly pop up. I click on the bold blue name of the clinic, and right before my eyes google maps provided me with a picture. You can even get up so close that you are right at the front door of the clinic, getting ready to walk in...

And all the memories of the place come rushing back over me, until I am almost there once more

Oh, the power of the fucking Internet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rant for the Day

We all get frustrated sometimes, I know. And we all have these days like I am having today, I know. But, I can't help but think sometimes that I just can't seem to catch a break. And, I know, I have caught lots of breaks, and I am lucky to be alive via a series of good breaks. I know, I try not to let it get me down...and I try not to get upset and scream "Its not fair." I know, life isn't fair.

I know. I know. I know. But, some things should be fair. Some things should have rules, and everyone should adhere to them. I believe that you get what you put out in this universe, but sometimes I just wonder when the people who keep fucking with me are going to get theirs. Maybe I should stop worrying about all just makes it hard to deal with when it keeps happening.

Work. Fucking work. First of all, I want to say...I cannot wait to graduate in May...and I cannot wait to get a real 9 to 5, that lets me pay all my bills, and that is professional enough to hold people to some sort of standards. I am sick of the politics in the restaurant business.

Two people quit today, and there were some shifts available. I asked the manager if I could have one or two of them...after all, the holidays are coming up, and I am almost done with school for the semester. After all, I am a single mom who doesn't get much help. After all, I do not go out and spend my money on alcohol every night (like many of my fellow employees.) I was told to just wait a few minutes, and we would all get to pick up a few shifts...

Meanwhile, the rest of the servers who were also told they could not get these shifts yet, just changed the schedule anyway...picking up all the shifts I wanted for themselves and even an employee who was not even there. And when the manager found out...he did nothing. Like he couldn't be bothered. I did not make a big deal of it because it would get me nowhere. I merely pointed out that it was bullshit, but just call me if you need me on those days. And I let it lie.

At least I did then. But, it has not just been let lie. I cannot. It is not fair. I try to do everything the management wants. I always follow the rules. I do not step on others toes. And yet, I am just shoved down for all that...and those who go against the management's wishes get what they want. I know the manager's have more to worry about than a couple of server shifts, but damn...

What kind of message does it send? It rewards those who cheat. And punishes those who are honest. I do not want to be a part of that environment. I want to work in place that fires people who break the rules. I want to work in a place that is rewarding...I am tired of feeling like crap when I get home.

One of the greedy servers who changed the schedule without asking, is bitching because she has four teenage kids to buy gifts for. Her landlord told her she did not have to pay her 1000 rent this month, as a Merry Christmas cannot get your four fucking kids nice gifts for that grand? I mentioned to her how I was just tired of juggling everything being a single mom in school with no help. She callously says, she had to struggle for a while, too...that's the way it is. Well, if it makes me greedy, and underhanded like her- I want no part of it. I like to think my struggles have made me stronger. And I like to think that I am a good and honest person, and that counts for something. I refuse to be made a callous, selfish, greedy person who will bend the rules in my favor. I did not do this kind of underhanded shit when I was a junky in need of a fix...I am certainly not going to do it now. Yet, I have been upset all day.

Why can't I just let it go? Injustices in the world. I hate it. I know, it can't all be is not perfect...I know, I fucking know. I am just getting sick of it. And I like to think that when I move on to a real job that all this dumb shit will be over. But, I know, the truth of the matter is there will be dumb shit everywhere. There will be selfish assholes everywhere. I just hope I do not become one of them, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful thoughts...

Thanksgiving morning. I have gotten up, and gotten my head out of my ass because I am fighting a cold. A terrible cold, I might add. I had to work the past two nights, in the midst of my sickness. I felt awful...and my mind kept drifting back to things that might make me feel better. Now, it is not a thought I am going to take action on...but when I feel really mind will drift back to the dope, and how it always made me feel better when I felt so crappy.

Back to this morning. I managed to pull my head out of my ass, at the insistence of the smiling face of my angel baby boy. He pulled my hand, begging me to get out of bed and play. I looked at the clock. I am thankful it is 8:15. He never sleeps this late, and since I did not get home from work until midnight...I am lucky to sleep so late in this miserable head cold.

I get up, only grumbling a little. And my son and I talk, as we pack an overnight bag. We talk about the day. We talk about who will be at Maman's (my mom's). We talk about why daddy will not be there. We talk about turkey. We talk about money, and breakfast, and brushing teeth, and what we will wear. We turn out all the lights. He asks to take his packpack(backpack), and he wants his Spiderman lunchbox. We close up the apartment and head to my mom's. (She lives on the other side of town.)

It is misty, and I think it rained a lot of the night. It is cold, and a little foggy. The streets are empty. It is almost 10 am. Most things are closed today, and most people are not out. I notice a few people walking. A few people at the bus stop. The city seems deserted, and these few stragglers stand out.

I am reminded of previous Thanksgivings. I remember standing at a deserted bus stop, waiting for the man. I remember having to stock up on dope for the holiday because the dealers would not be out very long. I remember working in the strip club on Thanksgiving. I remember walking in the rain to a friends, in search of dope and turkey. I remember the loneliness of those holidays. Liam and I...wandering the deserted streets, searching for dope when the rest of the world was comforted at home. I look at these few stragglers on the streets, and I wonder what their story is.

I am thankful to be watching them from the windows of my warm, new car. I am thankful to have a smiling little angelic face in the car seat behind me, talking about whatever comes to his 20 month old mind. I am thankful to be headed to my family's house. I am thankful that I only have a cold, and I am not suffering from the sickness of withdrawal. I am thankful to have my own apartment. I am thankful to be warm, and dry, and clean, and loved. I am thankful to be writing. I am thankful to be me.

I think about Liam. I wonder where he is, and what he is doing. I wonder about his sister, and his mother...with whom I spent so many holidays with. I do not wonder about his girlfriend, who was once my friend. I wonder if he is happy, and if he ever thinks about me. So many things remind me of him sometimes, and I wonder why did it all end this way. And I wonder if I would be so happy if we had stayed together. And then, I am thankful...that things are exactly like they are.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Coworker Bitch

I should no longer be disappointed in the greedy assholes of this world. But, of course I let them piss me off...yet, again.

Let me explain...I work as a waitress. We work off tips. My job has just started a team service approach where two servers work together, sharing tables and tips. I should have known when my coworker today refused to do it anyway other than her own...that I was in deep shit. But, of course, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. And I hate to stand up to bossy, overbearing people sometimes. (I need to work on that.)

Anyway, this girl I am partnered with today is always talking about her activities with the church, and she is always toting around some morally righteous slogans. My mom says those are the ones you always have to watch out for... Anyway, this bitch totally fucked me. Before we got any tables, she had talked me into splitting everything equally because she was so damn fair. As soon as we decided to split everything...she suddenly comes down with a case of really terrible cramps. Then, she is nauseous, and thinking of going to the hospital. So, I wait on all nine tables that are jammed with people for three hours during lunch...while this bitch walks around groaning and talking about the fucking hospital. But, she refuses to leave until the rush is over.

When it is over she demands half her money, so she can get to the hospital. I tell her I do not think it is fair, and she takes the money anyway...more than half the money for less than a third of the fucking work! Then, instead of going to the hospital she sits around rolling other people's silverware for an extra twenty bucks! I think I am so pissed because of the principle. She is always talking the game, but when it comes down to it...she is just as selfish and greedy as the next person.

And I have been really nice to her! When the restaurant first opened, and she could not afford to buy a shirt for work...I gave this bitch two shirts I already had! I have gone into work when she called me sick. I called her to check on her when she got suspended for giving poor service. I ask about her fucking kids every damn day. And she still fucks me over!

I try to chalk it up to a lesson learned. Never trust this bitch again! But, I am still pissed. I would have never taken half the money if I didn't do much work. But, then...I am honest. And I am fair. And I am too fucking nice sometimes. And I am definitely too willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.

It is always heartbreaking to learn that another person is just another asshole. I should stop giving people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. I should just consider everyone to be a selfish fucking asshole, until they prove otherwise. You are not innocent until proven guilty, but instead...the opposite. You are a fucking asshole until you can prove that you are really a decent person. But, I know I cannot do this. And I know I will keep trusting people as I give them the benefit of the doubt. And I will often be disappointed. But, hopefully...the rest of them will be gems.

I do have quite a few gems in my life. I have a few friends that are worth their weight in gold...who would do anything necessary for me, and I for them. Although it would be easier to become angry and bitter and is just not in my nature.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Book

Three installations of the book are complete. I have put them all together, and the book is now up to 116 pages. The story is a little more than half way finished. I am guessing 100 more pages, and the first rough draft of the book will be completed. I am planning on having it finished before the year is also finished. (I may be cranking out the last few pages on midnight, as we move into the year 2011, but it will be finished....)

I have not talked much about my book project on this blog. I have not been posting as much lately because this book project has been taking a lot of my writing time. The book is about my addiction, and also my experience in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The theme is different than most stories about Katrina because I want to tell of how my experience changed my life...for the better. Hurricane Katrina saved my life.

It is coming along really well, and I will be working on editing and polishing the manuscript next semester. The project is really coming along nicely. I am very happy with the project. I am happy with the rough product, thus far.

I have not really mentioned much about the book on here. I thought I should bring it up, as this project is becoming more and more significant each and every day. It has been somewhat of a journey of rediscovery, as I unearth pieces of the story I had forgotten. It has been a journey to wisdom and realization, as the retelling of the story has made me really take a good look at some pieces of it. It has been cathartic, and haunting, as well. But, it has been awesome, so far. I am really pleased with the way it is all falling least in this early stage. 116 pages...and I just spent my first night away from New Orleans...I am 14 days after the journey will still take me back to the city once more before the final scene, when I leave the last time and "never look back," at least on my life as a doper. Looking back for the book has been a journey in itself.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Needing to Belong

Another heroin episode of Intervention. They talk about divorce, and the addict felt like he just did not belong. And I relate. A relative says that she thinks he started using to belong, to be different, to belong somewhere...and some of feel like we belong to the drug culture. I can relate...
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Monday, November 8, 2010


I am very moved by an episode of Intervention tonight. I did not even watch the episode. I came in during the intervention. I am still not sure what the addiction is. Maybe heroin. Maybe thats why I am so moved. The brother is crying. Another brother is crying. The addict agrees to go to treatment, with tears in his eyes. Everyone in the room is crying.

Granted, I am a little emotional today. I am a woman, after all. Last night, I did a lot of writing, and I delved into a lot of emotion. Things that normally would not stir such a strong reaction are easily bringing me to tears. But as I watch this episode of Intervention...I really connect with the addict. I think about what that kind of situation would be like. I think about how I would feel. And I feel like I am in those shoes again, and I am flooded with emotion. It is a powerful image to me tonight.
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Friday, October 29, 2010


There is a party raging out in the yard behind my house. There is a small bonfire, and I thought there might have even been a band...but I think it is just the radio. Looks fun. Reminds me a little of some of the gutterpunk parties I have attended, with the bonfire...

I think back to so many parties, outside with a fire. Man, those kids I used to hang out with really could drink. Really can drink, so many of them still drink like that today. Swilling cheap tequila right out of the bottle. The clear shit. The real nasty five dollar fifth. I swear that shit will make your life shorter. Keg stands by thirty year old guys who stink and haven't showered in days. Food grilling up, adding to the sweet smell of the bayou. The smell of the fire, and the food, and the liquor. Sitting out back, on an upturned bucket, or sometimes chillin right there on the ground. I see the faces of my friends around the fire through squinted alcohol eyes, swirling in smoke from cheap swag weed. Looking up, the light of the flames licks the faces of Maya, Shannon, Wick, Paul, Jordon, Kelly, Bald Paul, Mikey, KC, Angele, Kayne, Aimee, many others...

Interruption of thought, slamming right into my thoughts...something that sounded like a pop. Being from New Orleans, my thought first goes to gunshot. Then, cheering. I hear it again. My son's room is in the back. I just have to check. The mother in me takes over and goes to investigate the sound.

It is a hell of a party. I am still not sure what the pop sound was, but I am sure it is harmless. This is a nice neighborhood. I watched out the window for a while. It is loud...and there is a fucking band there! Pretty cool. Except that Lucien is sleeping in the room closest to all the ruckus. It looks fun, but I just really wish they were partying somewhere else.

I understand. It is Halloween weekend. This used to be a weekend that I partied all weekend. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I loved dressing up in a costume, and it was always a great excuse to party. Halloween is a big deal in New Orleans...and one of the best times of the year. I fucking love Halloween.

But, things are different for me now. I wish the party behind my quiet little piece of heaven was somewhere else. I am excited about Lucien's batman costume, but I am not even sure if I will dress up. I will not be going out to all the bars, and I will not be doing a lot of shots and lines. I will be trick or treating. And I will be in very early. I probably will not eat much candy, and I have to get some sleep because Mondays are always busy. Things have really changed for me...

And I am happy. I do not want to leave the house tomorrow to do a bunch of running around. I want to spend the whole day with my son...going to the park, taking a walk, cooking, and talking in three syllable sentences. I have an easy dinner planned, and I am looking forward to a peaceful day with my baby. I cannot wait.

My how things have changed. I never thought I would see the day that the party is just too loud. I never thought I would see the day when I chose to just stay in. Solitude. Sanity. Soul. Complete.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Update, and a bit about Perry

Just a little update because I have been SUPER busy!!! I am working with the new media at my college, which involves the online paper and radio station. I start my own radio show in the morning. It is 9am, and I am not sure how many listeners will be out there listening to college radio this early...but I will have been up for hours! My show is about music. I am researching many of the unknown college bands that we play, and talking about them while playing their music. I am pretty excited. Tomorrow I talk about Thievery Corporation, whom I already know and love. They feature Perry Ferrell on one of their tracks, and I have to say I have made respect for anyone who works with Perry Ferrell...

I fucking love this man. And I think he is really fucking sexy. Back in the early days of Jane's Addiction, I loved them. Most of my friends swooned over Dave Navarro, but I always got weak at the knees with the sight of Perry Ferrell. I mean, just watch the man, with his energy and his oddities. And his as shit. He is weird, and I fucking love it. Not to mention, the whole kissing other men on stage is a turn on to me. I just watch perry Ferrell and get excited. I saw him last summer, and he is sexier than ever, by the way. His hair is shorter and more brown than it used to be, and he is in better shape. I always loved his stick thin figure, but recently he had some muscles (lean muscles of a former skinny man...) and I loved the muscles too. He is just fucking sexy. (I also think Billy Corgan is one of the sexiest men out there...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Conditioned to mistrust
I want to believe...
I want to trust,
But past progresses
To future,
And I am too burned.
Like one two three
I know how it is
To be all alone
I know how it is
To have it all
On your shoulders
I know how it is
To be stuck...
And we single mothers
Have to stick together.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rant at Baby Daddy

Are you serious that this mother fucker is such a cheap bastard? What the hell was I thinking when I had a kid with this mother fucker? I do not even have an excuse, I was not high at the time. I had been clean for a while...

Just bad mother fucking judgement...AGAIN.

He does not even buy diapers. He does not help out with childcare. Or clothing. And he cannot be trusted to watch my baby for more than a few hours, for fear he will get too frustrated...

And then he has the fucking balls to ask me to bring my 3G modem over for the afternoon!!! Are you fucking serious? I pay for that Internet, and you cannot even buy a mother fucking diaper...and you want to use my Internet connection? Fuck you, you fucking fuck. Get a mother fucking life. Buy your own shit. Pay for some stuff with your son. And pay me some child support, and don't forget about the mother fucking 700 bucks you owe me. And no, mother fucker, you cannot use anything else I fucking pay for, until you pony up some cash, you asshole!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I read an article about methadone, and when it discussed some of the side effects of the drug, I was reminded...

When I was on methadone I sweat profusely. Granted, I lived in Savannah, Georgia at the time, and in the summer it is really hot there. But, it did not matter to my body...I constantly sweat.

Waiting tables in an air conditioned restaurant, and the sweat was pouring down my face. It would just drip and drip and drip. A constant stream of sweat, drip, drip, dripping. I thought it was really bizarre. I had always been cold natured, but on methadone all I did was sweat. I would be bundled up in a jacket, slightly shivering, yet sweating a little. In the summer, it was unreal.

I never remember being like that on dope, and I most certainly was never like that before. Among all the other detrimental side effects from methadone, I think the sweating was the most obvious. And the most annoying.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rambling On...

Thinking about disclosure at work...

I dare someone to judge me for my past, without looking at the person I am today...which happens to be the only person my coworkers have ever met. I dare someone to look at the time clock, and see who is never late. I dare someone to challenge my work ethic and knowledge of food. I dare someone to pass a judgement on me because I was once addicted to heroin, I guarantee that today I do a better job than they do. And I am more reliable. I have been clean a long time, and I don't even drink.

I work in the restaurant industry, where a lot of people drink and go out. And I am pretty sure that I am more clean and sober than the majority of the people I work with. I bet almost every one of them has been so wasted in the last year that they did something they regret at least once. I have not done that in almost five years. I am not late for work, and I work really hard. I go to school, and I write every day...and I am a good mom...I dare someone to judge me.

Go ahead, take a good look at my life. If you are not willing to give me a chance, then you are not worth my wasted breath. My life is pretty good. I have a lot of positive things happening to me, and if you cannot see through that veil of the past...then I don't give a fuck about you.

I feel pretty damn good about myself. I feel pretty damn good about every single thing in my life. And I got nothing to hide. But, that doesn't mean I have to flaunt it either. Sometimes it is best just to keep your mouth shut, act like you don't know anything. But, I never lie.

If someone asks me directly about it, I always tell the truth. There is no point in lying about it. I have nothing to hide. I am not ashamed of anything. There are some things I may not be proud of, but I have nothing to lie about at this point in my life. Lying about my past, makes me look guilty. I am no longer guilty. For the first time in my life, I got nothing to hide.

And I volunteer the information to some. I talk about my addiction a lot in school because I write about it so much. Sometimes, when we are doing a peer edit and I first tell the other student about my memoir about my addiction and experience with the Hurricane, I see a look of partial shock on their face, like they don't really know how to react to me when I say, " I used to be a junky, and here is my story about it..."

I will say, I am glad I did not defend myself to the coworker, and I don't think I could have done that anyway. I really do not like anyone who makes prejudice statements such as this. I think it is moronic to stereotype people. But, I do not want to waste my fight and fire on a losing battle. Sometimes, no matter what you say or do, that mind set will not change. And those are the kind of motherfuckers I cannot tolerate, and I don't even want to waste my time. I would rather waste my time with the type of person who can learn something from my experiences, even if they only learn that not ALL ex junkies are not such and such...

I do wish there was as much respect for recovery as there is stigma for heroin addiction. It seems very unbalanced to me. It takes a lot of really tough work to make it in recovery. It takes a lot of soul searching, which is something most people avoid. If you do not know your demons, well, you most certainly cannot attempt to overtake them. It is a major accomplishment to stay clean and to become something in your life. It is a serious accomplishment to change your life around, and fucking do something with it. I wish more people could see how hard a road recovery really is, but then the only way more people could see this is if they had some personal experience with it because that is the only way you can know...and I do not wish more people had experience with addiction. Instead, I wish less people had this experience.

It is what it is...and its one of the things I cannot change...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Conversation with a Coworker

Talking with a coworker this morning, and the subject drifted to concerts coming to the area. Apparently, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice are starting a tour together. My coworker wants to see this show, and then he mentions, with a tone of disapproval that Vanilla Ice has his own home improvement show. I point out that while Vanilla Ice may be a musical laughing stock, he was smart with his real estate investments and has made more money flipping houses than he was able to save from his short rap career. My coworker shruggs his shoulders and replies, "Yeah, but he is a recovering heroin addict." I am left speechless. Then, all the questions start spinning for me. Do I defend recovering addicts, and hence defend myself? Or would that merely open the door for problems at my job? I never lie about my past, but I do chose to omit those details in some settings. There is such a stigma with heroin addiction, and the stigma with recovery is never enough to overcome those labels. I feel sure that a recovered addict has put more effort into his recovery than most people put into anything they do. There is nothing I can do about the stigma and attitude surrounding addiction, even the recovery from addiction...but it still leaves me speechless and frustrated to hear these sentiments.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Obssesion, A Warm Up

I recognize that face, as he stares down from that toilet in the ramshackle of a bathroom. A crazed look of obsession and need painted all over his face. His eyes, glazed and wild, staring intently at the tip of the needle. Sores, open and gaping all over his legs, as he stares intently down at the shiny tip of the needle. Desperation and need, as that fucking tiny, shiny tip of the needle becomes the center of the obsession.

Cuts and sores and bruises, I remember my arms. I remember my neck, and my wrists, and my hands, and my fucking soul. Some cuts are much deeper than others. Slicing into the skin every day, a ritual. The brand new needle slices the skin like fucking warm butter. Every single day, the poking and the prodding, the obsessive look of gotta get the fucking shot. The desperate days where the physical bruises and sores and marks were a map to my spiritual demise, but I did not care about anything when that obsession had taken the fuck over.

I remember sitting on the floor in various hotel rooms, apartments, and houses, for hours sometimes, obsessively poking and prodding. My veins were a fucking wreck in these days from the daily invasions of the poking and the prodding. My blood was always thick and coagulated from all the fucking poisons, drugs saturated my veins in those days making them thick and heavy, as my blood simply would refuse to flow back. Reminded me of pancake syrup when it finally backed up into the syringe. Before, it burst a light red, pumping and healthy, like a poppy flower as it flowed into the syringe, beautiful and enticing. But, in the end, my blood flow was thick and dark, syrupy and bitter fucking sweet. Obsession with the needle, gotta get the fucking shot. I ain’t wasting the shit by putting it up my nose.

Hours and hours wasted, locked away in a bathroom with my obsession with the needle and the veins. Blood splattered ceilings and doors, became a staple of this lifestyle I had become obsessed with. Wasted so many hours, just poking and prodding as I pushed and pulled at my skin, slapping and pulling, and turning and then pushing and prodding. Desperately searching for that deep, deep blue that is just below the fucking surface. It is in there, it is in there, I know it is fucking in there!!!

Thinking about all the wasted hours locked in the bathroom, locked in the thickness and the fucking darkness of the god damned addiction. Images pop up, all the fucking time, and this raging demon screams up on upon my fucking, fucking god damn fucking back. Screaming demon, screaming demon, straight from the mother fucking syringe, my ears are a screaming demon, a screaming demon just screaming, screaming a hollowed out holler of a fucking scream. Shoot that fucking arm full of coke, and the fucking train is screaming from the station. Screaming in my ears and screaming in my throat. Ringing, singing, screaming like a Mimi between my fucking eyes.

Absence, absence, the essence was the light, living in the void, the devoid of this mother fucking century…her..oin. Screaming out to the void in my soul, and turning my life from meaningless into a riddled obsession with the fucking needle get the fucking shot…gotta hit….gotta git, gotta git that fucking shot. Look back, at that face, I know that fucking face. I know that fucking face. I seen it all before….

Obsession taken over the desire to live, as this mechanical soul just takes the fuck over. Emotions are melted on the heat of the spoon, and they dissolve quickly, like the second you pour the coke into the clear, warm brown liquid waiting for the speedball in the bottom of the spoon. No stirring required, just dump all your emotions into the warm shot of drugs in the spoon, and they, too melt away. The fix, the fix…it all fades into nothing as the character of the fucking fix takes center stage. Center stage, that mother fucker.

Fuck it all, sneaking around in public bathrooms because the need of the needle has simply taken over your life. Steal away, at work…steal away for the bathroom, and take a quick shot. Taking a little too long in the bathrooms at even the junky bars, I sometimes reverted to just using the alleyways, hoping no one stumbled upon me. Sometimes they did, and other times they didn’t as I was a junky huddled up in the alley way on the side of some bar in the French Quarter. It wasn’t like I was out on the streets or anything; those alleyways in New Orleans are all a fucking maze, winding around throughout courtyards and all.

I miss the fucking city…time to switch gears and start working on the book. Good writing exercise…

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Soapbox Ramblings

have been thinking a lot lately about treatment. I guess these thoughts have been prompted by comments, and also other blogs. I feel like I may be back on the treatment soapbox a little here, but let's face it...addiction treatment has a lot of holes in it.

I left a rather long, and ranting response to Erin about treatment, and my wheels have started turning on the subject again. And then there is No2Methadone, who I believe also has some really great ideas about reform for the methadone program. So, once again, I am going to get back on this soapbox about treatment. Here, with a little more background information about me....

I have stated before that the methadone program is good in theory, but falls short in practice. I also have put up my seal of approval for suboxone. And furthermore, I now acknowledge that I personally had to be opiate free to really begin to release and beat my demons of addiction. I am not here to argue or defend any one point of treatment over the other. I think they all have their place. But, I do think things could always be better...

Two years ago, when my son was just starting to show through all the baby fat I had eventually regained in my clean time I started looking towards the future. And taking a serious look this time, for the first time in many, many years. Since I started the journey of recovery, I tried several different career paths. I had lots of half hearted and half serious ideas about what I wanted to do when I grew up. This child growing inside of me had made me realize that I needed to re-evaluate some things...and I needed to get serious thinking about my future.

Up to this point, I was still just floating by, almost flying by the whims from the seat of my pants. Even in recovery, I still had so many ideas about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. My writing had taken a bit of a back seat in the early days of my recovery. I felt like I just never had enough time, as I filled my life up with all sorts of activities to keep me busy. And then, there was the question of what to write about. Writing had always been a strong piece of my past, my history. I may have abandoned a lot of things in my addiction, but I never abandoned my writing. I carried a tattered and blood splattered journal where I would scrawl down all the decrepit ideas that sometimes where vomit ted from the depths of my mind. I read voraciously in my using days. I did not watch tv, and I surrounded myself with other addicted artists. I was tragic. I was the tragic writer addict who would someday publish his works of addiction...I would really get started once i could afford a laptop, and finally start organizing some of these tattered and torn notes.

But, in my early recovery, I put down the notebooks for a while. Let me transgress a jail, I wrote all the time, again all the feelings and revelations from the bottom(jail really was my bottom)...came spilling out. My heart and soul bleed out on that paper in jail, splattering it with reality and ideas for a new future. When I first got out of jail, I was writing lots of letters. I shared my revelations for the future, and God's hand that was guiding me to those I had befriended in jail. But, just as quickly as the blood flow had begun, I abandoned my craft once more.

I cannot really explain why. Part of it was that I had taken on a whole new series of activities. I was also hurting from the terrible heartache that comes with divorce. And then, I think there was some subtle piece of me that was associating my writing with the past. Also, I experienced a writer's block, after all I had always written about my experience with drugs, and when i was trying not to focus on all that, I just did not have much that I was so passionate enough about to just get lost in the words. I stared at a blank paper.

I delved into the restaurant business. For those of you who do not know, food is also one of my passions. I have always worked in the restaurant business, and much of my life that was not consumed with drugs was consumed with food (and drink...) and often, this lifestyle went hand in hand with the service and hospitality industry. I think we all know that the restaurant business always is worked by those who have a tendency to party. It is the hours, it is the high pace, and it is the flexible attitudes of so many in the business.

Anyway, in my early recovery, I focused on my desire to excel in this restaurant business. It was the only way to make money I had ever known besides stripping...waiting tables and bartending. I was well aware that I could not work in bar any longer, so I chose to dive into food. I ended up waiting tables in a really nice steakhouse, and I decided I also wanted to work in the kitchen, in hopes to maybe go to culinary school.

I wormed my way into the kitchen, and excelled at a rate that even surprised me. I really loved it. I wanted to cook for the rest of my life. I wanted my own restaurant. I wanted to stay just inside the gas flames that ignite the burners in every kitchen. I made a plan to move back to Charlotte, and go to college at Johnson and Wales.

Then, Lucien comes unexpectedly along. At first, it did not really sink in. Some women report that they became a mother the moment they realized they were pregnant. Well, it wasn't like that for me. It took a while to sink in. The ramifications of how my life would change are still sinking in sometimes. At first, I thought since I was already on a good path, this would not change anything. I really thought I could just take a couple weeks off from work to have the baby and then just get right back into the grind. I really thought I could start Johnson and Wales, have a baby, and not miss a beat.

As Lucien grew inside of me, and the realities began to sink in with the tiny feet prodding at my ribs while I waited tables, always walking around on my feet. (I am a hard worker, and I did not slow the pace while pregnant...I even waited tables on a double on my due date. ) As Lucien began growing inside of me, protruding for the world to see, I realized that I needed to rethink my plan. I had been contemplating other options for a while, and it became a reality as my son became more obvious to both me and the rest of the world.

One of the things I really considered was substance abuse counseling. I am passionate about treatment, and I am recovered now. I think I have a lot of insight to offer addicts who are struggling to find their way. I think the best counselors I ever had were former addicts. The only methadone program I was on that I would agrgue was a good program, was run and staffed by former addicts. These truly are the best people to be involved in treatment programs. People who know what it is like can better help those struggling. At least, that is what I think.

I wanted to open my own treatment center...that worked. I had this heroin treatment utopia facility in my head. I think the methadone program is a good program, in theory. I also think that as an addict in search of treatment, this was the only option I really considered. At least in the beginning. I was not about to go cold turkey again, and I had already tried that several times and it never worked. If not for methadone in the beginning, I might not be clean today. At the point that you have been using for seven years, it is just too scary to consider the fact that you may never, ever use again.

That was what was hard about treatment in the beginning. When it got bad enough that I sought treatment, I was not ready to give it up completely, which is what many treatment programs require. It was just too scary tom think about not ever getting high again. And then the agony associated with withdrawal. Hell no. Oh, and the agony after the initial "physical" withdrawal is over. Yeah, you might just be sick for three or four days, but after that part of the sickness, is when the mental anguish comes crushing down on you. Racking and reeling your brain, pounding it with thoughts of ony dope. And the exhaustion. You just can't seem to walk more than the pace of a snail. You feel like you have been through the ringer, and you just feel like crap. It is those weeks after the initial kick that are the real agony of lethargy and depression, riddled with the anxious spinning and turning from your brain and its obsession. It is hell, and I knew I could not do it. Methadone was my only option at this point.

Now, this was almost ten years ago that I started to seek treatment for the first times. Suboxone was unheard of at this time. It was about three years later before I began to hear of the treatment called buprenorphine. It wasn't even Suboxone or Subutex when i first heard about it, it was just buprenorphine in those days. I wonder what could have been different if my first inquiry into methadone had been treated differently.

Let me fill you in...the first time I ever called a methadone clinic was before I left New Orleans. I had been using for six months or so. Well, I had been using every day for about six months. It was still in my earlier experiences of the agony of withdrawal. I had experienced this agony on occasion when I waiting for the dope man. If I did not call soon enough, and then I had to wait a couple of was miserable. I was still snorting the drug at the time. My dealer got busted, and there was a couple of days when i could not get much. I had to call in for over a week. I would eventually find a little something after about two days of pain, and then another two days of agony passed before I found another little something. I did not have any back up sources in those days, I was relatively new to the game, and my guy was reliable.

Well, in those days of agony I did call a methadone clinic. I was not ready to "recover", but I did not want to take this sickness any longer. One of the first questions they asked me over the phone was "How long have you been using?". When I responded, six months...I was immediately shut down. Nope, there was nothing a clinic could do for me. You had to be using for at least a year to get on methadone. I could have just gone down there and lied about how long I had been using, but in a few days the dope man was released and things went back to normal for at least a couple of months.

I think about how that crucial call, six months into the addiction game could have been handled differently. This is one idea that fed my idea of this treatment utopia. With buprenorhine, you are not required to be addicted for a year. I think that clinics should be able to prescribe both buprenorhine and methadone, and they should be able to evaluate the patient and mutually decide the best treatment. For instance, when a caller says they have only been addicted for 6 months, then the clinic explains that buprenorhine could be used but not methadone. Instead, when I made that call, I was basically told to keep using for another six months and then call them back.

What if there had been some intervention from the clinic I reached out to? What if they scheduled me an appointment, and offered me some other program, some other sense of relief. Maybe if I had been given buprenorphine and proper counseling then, I would have never gone on to the next stages. And maybe I would have simply rejected it, or just returned to using once my source returned. No one can say. (In defense of the clinic, buprenorhine was not out back then, and I am glad they do not put people who have been using less than a year on methadone.)

Also, I wanted to start a clinic that provided good counseling, and that it was mandatory. I wanted to start a clinic that gave financial discounts with an extended amount of clean time. The methadone clinic I attended in Middletown, Rhode Island was a nearly ideal program, and it gave me some ideas. This program was run by a recovered addict, who knew the score. They were not lenient, and you had to follow the rules. They required counseling, and they provided both group and individual sessions that were also covered by insurance. They had an incredibly high success rate, I think out of the hundred or so people on the clinic, only about 15 would test dirty. Most of the people on the program here really had gotten their lives together, and there was not much drug talk here. They were strict about the rules, and if you did not follow could not dose. Most clinics merely want your money, and do not care to provide any service beyond that.

So, I wanted to open a methadone/buprenorhine facility that worked. I wanted to help addicts with counseling, and I wanted to make a difference in live's and still make a buck doing it. I do think that these programs need a lot of fixing, and i want to commend those who realize the programs are worth fixing, but they are definitely broken.

Anyway, my ideas of getting into substance abuse counseling began to fade after Lucien was born. I realized a lot of things that I did not know before becoming a mother. And I had to make a stable living for my child. As things began to get ugly with Lucien's father, I realized i had to get my degree, and get on with my life. I had only a year left for my mass media communication degree, and then the writing started to spill out once again, and I realized I had to pursue my god given talent. The stories started to pour out of me, and the blog was born. The book was started, and school is now well underway. So, I have abandoned the ideas of opening a clinic and becoming a counselor to help others. I hope i can helf them through my writing.

Now, I feel I have come full circle. I have come back to my writing, and it is getting more and more polished. I write every day. And I am getting a lot of good work done. I am getting a lot of good responses. I think I have come abk to this path I was destined for, in a different light. But, I really hope that someone else decides to open a utopia clinic, and I hope that the system for treatment does eventually get fixed. And although I can stand on my soapbox, I really do not know what is best. And although, I have all these ideas of improvements, I still am not doing anything about it. It is just not my fight anymore. I may talk about it. I may think about it, but my focus is now my writing, and my family. All the rest will have to be taken on by someone else...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Interesting thing happened to me today...and I am happy with the outcome...

Cleaning the yard at a friend's house who lives on a busy side of town, and I see a syringe pushed into the mud of the driveway, near the street. I gasp, a little. There is no cap on it, and it is a long needle, slightly bent and shining in the sunlight. Dirt from the driveway clings to the nasty thing.

Almost instinctive I pick it up, this is a yard where kids live on either side! I pick it up, by the shaft...way from away from the possibly infectious needle. Holding it like it is covered in disease, I took several steps to the trash can and quickly tossed it in.

I looked at for a second when I first picked it up. I noticed the numbers, noticed it had not been used many times. I noticed how the dirt clung to it, and I noticed the needle itself, but I think mostly because of safety. I have to say, it did rattle me just a little.

It almost exhilarated me when I picked it up, but my heart seemed to race in fear. Instinctively I picked it to protect the children in the area, but it was almost like I was fearful when I held it. I tossed it away quickly, almost yelping the same way I do when I have to kill a bug. I knew I was on uncomfortable ground.

Then, the idea of the syringe crept in a little. I thought about what the blood looks like flowing back into it. I thought about pulling back on the needle and watching the deep brown dope fill the chamber. I thought about holding it between my teeth, the warm dope against my tongue while I tightened the tourniquet. I thought about watching the blood splatted liquid contents forced through the tiny tip...

All these images, flashed in the front of my brain. Just a couple of seconds, and these images flashed past while I was left standing by the trashcan. Then it was over. I noticed the pace of my heart had quickened slightly, but it quickly regulated. The images just sloughed off, and I was left thinking about the fact that it did rattle me. I was caught off guard. It was a tactile sense, right there in my face.

I write about getting high a lot. I write about the way it felt, the ritual of the needle, the places I used, the things that I did...but, I am prepared when I do that. When I sit down at my computer, I am a sober mother with a goal and a mission. I am a writer. I am still concentrated on my focus, my angle. And my angle is sobriety. I know these images will be coming up, but I also know how to handle them. Sometimes, I may have a slight physical reaction, like a quickening of the heart...or a turn of slight nausea in my stomach...or a deep breath, almost a sigh. But, it does not rattle me.

Being caught off guard, like that did rattle me little. The images flashed past, and the left as soon as they came. I took a minute alone. I looked at the sky. I looked at my car. I thought about my apartment, and I allowed the pages of my book to turn in my head. My perspective regained. Just a passing montage of imagery...almost like something was speaking to me.

And they said, "Hey, look what you, look what you've got."

Then, I walked back inside to the house and there was my son smiling at me. His beautiful smile, radiating towards me. His eyes twinkling in the sunlight, as he giggles. His golden curls, reflected in the afternoon light like a halo around his head. A rush much better than heroin came over me. And I realized, that this is where the best high is. And I would never trade any of this for even one more second back there.

I sit in the silence of my new apartment, writing. My son sleeps soundly on our first night in the new home. The tap, tap, tapping of the keyboard is the only sound to compete with the traffic outside. There is a steady stream of cars down this road, and it reminds me of Port Street. The house has arched doorways, only much, much smaller than the one on Port Street. All hardwood floors, and a lot of character.

I met my neighbor tonight. He had a son that is only two months older than my son.

I am enjoying the silence. The solitude. It is peaceful. It feels really good to be here in my own place, with my own quiet, with my own work, with my son... I did feel a little lonely when my son first fell asleep. It has been a long, long time since I have lived alone. But, it feels great, too.

I called my best friend, and we talked for a short while. Now, I don't feel lonely anymore. I really love it here...