Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ritual

The ritual begins. First I go to the bathroom and fill a tiny glass of water. I retrieve my kit and my dope, placing all three of them on the table in front of me. I open the eyeglass case and reach for the syringe. I take the orange cap off the syringe, revealing the needle…shiny and new. Oh, how I love a new needle. The numbers on it are dark and unscathed, and the plunger glides smoothly. I just know the point will slide right into my vein today, like slicing a warm stick of butter.
As I dip the tip of the shiny needle into the water, I pull back on the plunger. I watch the water as it steadily climbs into the syringe, swirling ever so slight. I set the spike down on the glass table, and take a tiny piece of fabric from the case. Its edges are tattered and worn, and the light pink color is tarnished with black soot. My spoon comes out next, and I set it soot side down onto the tiny piece of cloth.
My glass of water sits waiting, as I check to make sure I have a lighter. I set the lighter next to the spoon. I take a Q-tip from my kit, pulling off a small amount of cotton. I roll the cotton back and forth in my fingers to create a tiny little ball. You have to be careful with the cotton, if it is too big it will be hard to get the dope out of it. If it is too small or too loose, the cotton will not hold the dope. The cotton filters out the impurities, but you have to get it right. I set the cotton down next to the lighter and the spoon.
I pick up the foil, carefully unwrapping it so I do not spill any of the precious powder inside. I dump the entire contents into the spoon. Next, I take the syringe and push the plunger to extract the water onto the dope, as it makes a quiet and steady squirting sound. I gently move the needle around to make sure the water mixes with all the dope.
Even more carefully, I pick up the spoon in one hand and steady it so that nothing spills out. I pick up the lighter with the other hand, and hold the flame under the spoon. Gently, I move the spoon back and forth, swishing the liquid around so that it cooks more evenly. A tiny stream of sweet smelling smoke rises from the spoon. You do not want too much smoke or else you may be burning all the dope away.
The sweet smell of a shot cooking up. It smells earthy and sweet. When I smell it, I can almost taste the dope in my mouth. I know when I smell the sweet smell of dope cooking in a spoon; it will not be long now. I inhale, long and slow. I relish these quiet few minutes of ritual. Everything is serious. Everything is going to be better real soon.
Gingerly, I lower the spoon back onto the cloth. The smoke still rises a little, and then fades into the air. I drop the cotton in. The cotton expands, almost seeming to explode, as it absorbs the liquid. The tight round little ball of cotton turns from white to brown. It won’t be long now!
My hands are shaking a little from anticipation and the fact that I need them to be steady right now. I look at the shiny metal point of the needle, focusing on the tip. I push the tip into the cotton, bending it slightly from the pressure. My hand immediately steadies. The needle rests in my palm, and at an angle, I use my thumb to slowly pull back on the plunger. The chamber fills with a luscious brown liquid.
The liquid looks dark today, which means my shot will be potent. After all the dope is extracted from the cotton and air bubbles begins to flow back into the chamber. I turn the point up towards the sky. Holding it steady at eye level, I tap the edges to get all the bubbles up to the top. Very carefully, I let the air out of the chamber. I am careful so that I do not let any of the precious liquid out.
The chamber of the needle feels warm in my hand. I think of a Beatles song…”Happiness Is a Warm Gun”. I put the spike into my teeth, and take off my belt. Cinching it around my arm, I pump my hand several times. My veins stand to attention. Not like they used to, but the still stiffen and pop under the pressure of the tourniquet.
I am almost home, I think as I hope I do not have any issues with hitting a vein. New needle, and veins popping, I feel this will be easy. I angle the needle into the vein. I steady my hand, prepared for the way my veins like to roll back and forth.
I am right! Just like butter, the needle breaks my skin without any resistance. Poking it slightly to the left, then slightly to the right, I pull back just a little. I see a flash of blood! The blood jumps back into the needle.
At first, my blood looks like a string as it flies to the top of the chamber, mixing with the sweet and inviting brown liquid. When the string reaches the top, it curls back down, almost as if gravity is pulling it back to the ground. I pull back just a little more, and the blood blossoms like a poppy flower at the end of the chamber. Got it! I push the plunger in, slamming the dope into my veins.
Ahhhhhhhh, I pull the needle out as a little blood spurts out of my arm. I loosen the tourniquet, and lift my arm to my mouth. I suck the blood there, attempting to get whatever dope may have seeped back out. It tastes metallic and bitter like dope.
My eyes are cloudy, as a warmth spreads throughout my body. Starting at my neck, a relaxing warmth spreads down my shoulders and then towards both my head and feet. My eyes get foggier still, and I tip my head back towards the sky. Mouth gaping, I taste the dope in the back of my throat. I am perfect now.
I take the belt off my arm, and put it back around my waist. Nodding so slightly, I pack my works back up. I discard the cotton, leaving the residue in the spoon for a rinse. I pick up the tiny piece of light pink fabric, placing it in the bottom of the case. I put the spoon on the fabric, soot side down. Beside the spoon, I replace the Q-tip. I close the case triumphantly, and just sit back and relax. I feel so fucking good right now.

1 comment:

  1. you really do paint a beautiful picture of how exactly(the Ritual) is...Definitely a great feeling the warmth rising up from your stomach to the top of your head, the rush making your eyes cross; at least for me!!!Awesome!!!!