Monday, March 29, 2010

The Warning

Thinking of meeting Bob for the first time at Nell's house, I am reminded of another incident at Nell's house. This incident was probably within the next month after meeting Bob the first time.

Liam and I decided one evening that we would like to score a little dope. We still were new to this game, and did not have anyone to call directly. Addicts like to protect their sources as long as they can, so they can make a few free bags of dope from the occasional users who do not have a connection. If you are lucky, these occasional users will become everyday users and they will pay for part of your dope for a while. Eventually, though, a new connection is found and the whole process starts over.
We rode over to Nell's house this evening, knowing we could probably score there. Hopefully, we would not have to wait too long. That night it was real quiet over there, and only Nell was home. She was waiting for Bob, so hopefully it would not be forever.
Nell seemed really tired, and she was kind of spacey. She kept apologizing for her appearance. She was pretty much just sitting on the couch, and any unnecessary conversation was strained. She said she was just really sick, and she needed Bob to get there.
At the time, I had no real grasp on the sickness she was talking about. In coming years, I would come to know this sickness inside and out. I had no idea what she was feeling, and now that I look back I think she was holding it together pretty well. I do not think I could have held it together so well when I was really dope sick.
"Have you ever had an addiction?" Nell asked us. I related my experiences with coke, but admitted I had not been using heroin very much. Nell tried to tell me what a different beast opiate addiction was. I remember thinking, how could it really be that different? I was so naive.
Nell went on to say it was one of the worst feeling in the world to be dope sick. She said there was no way she could even get into the car and attempt to drive right now; she felt just too bad. She did not look so bad. She seemed like she could drive fine to me. She was just a little tired and out of it.
Nell warned me that when you are dope sick, you cannot do anything. You are immobilized. She warned Liam and I that the only end to messing around with heroin was this terrible beast we call addiction. She told us to be careful, and to tread lightly. As naive new heroin users, we thought we knew what we were doing.
When Bob arrived and we received our package, we were giddy with excitement. We did a couple of bumps right there while Nell pulled out her works to take a shot. Fascinated, I watched her as the warm water buzz began to fill my body.
She dumped the contents of two bags into the spoon. I was thinking how much dope that seemed like to me. Liam and I would both stay high all night on one bag. Nell dipped her syringe into an old cup of water that was sitting on the table. She drew some water up into the needle. Next, she squirt the water into the spoon, covering the dope from the two bags. Her hands shaking, she put the flame from the lighter underneath the spoon.
I noticed a little trickle of smoke rising off the spoon as she slowly and gently swayed the spoon back and forth. The smell was sweet and inviting. I could smell the faint earthiness of the cooking heroin. Then, Nell set the spoon down, and carefully rolled up a piece of a cigarette filter. She dropped the tiny round cotton ball into the warm, brown liquid. Placing the tip of the needle into the cotton, she applied a slight pressure and drew the liquid up.
Nell rolled up her sleeve and wrapped a belt around her upper arm. She tightened the tourniquet and held the end of the belt in her teeth. She poked around in her elbow for just a minute before the red blossom appeared in the needle. A vein! Slowly and carefully, she pushed the needles entire contents into her bloodstream.
A crooked smile came across her face, and her eyes lit up. Her hand relaxed as the belt loosened on her arm. The color came back to her face. The conversation began to take of just as Liam and I got ready to leave.

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