The weather was becoming brutal, and by the weather, I mean the damn sun. I couldn’t even stand outside for a mere second without a drop of sweat plummeting to the ground.
It was much hotter than the year before, which became a record heat temperature.
To make things worse, our precious lake had been on the decline for the past couple of years, getting lower and lower each day to the point that it was dangerous to take your boat out.
How could that happen?
My parents had a pool but it was too far of a drive in the my black on black car that radiated heat.
Our apartment complex had a pool, as well, except when in it, I wouldn’t be drenched in cold, refreshing and reviving liquid. It was more of a warm, sticky slime reminiscent of saliva.
It was on one of these dreadful days that my phone rang from an unknown number. And just from a simple hello, I recognized his voice.
It was Mickey, my junkie Mohawk buddy from both times in Arcadia Rehab. He was in town and wanted to see what I was doing.
I told him to come over and sure enough, he took the bus from downtown or wherever he was, and then appeared on my doorstep.
Like a long, lost dog who walked miles and miles to finally find his owner. Of course, I took him in. I didn’t bother to ask what his plans were, just told him to stay with me.
He seemed excited about it, which I was too, so I lent him the couch.
This is where my compassion got the best of me. We sat on my couch with the blinds drawn trying to escape the horrid heat outside, talking for a while.
I told him everything that had happened to me since I last saw him when he stayed at my house for a few days and along with Scarlett, had stolen my dad’s expensive binoculars.
I didn’t bother bringing it up. What was he going to say besides sorry? I knew what dope will drive you to do, and stealing from friends isn’t as bad as most things he could have done.
Plus, I’m positive it was Scarlett’s idea.
He had been living in his hometown of Laredo, a city in West Texas on the border of Mexico. He said it was much hotter there than in Austin, so he had to leave.
I then had a feeling that wasn’t the only reason he had left. So, I had to ask, “Are you clean?”
He took a second to answer. It was during that pause I knew.
“Nooooooo,” he whispered, dragging it out.
His head was down with his eyes gazing at the floor. I knew he felt ashamed at himself. He had been beaten by the dragon again and was on the hunt for it once more.
This was when my pulse started to quicken its pace. I had been off of dope for two years. There was no way I could get back into it, turning those years into a complete waste.
So, instead, I brought up playing music and asked how his guitar playing had been going. We exchanged stories about different bands we’d been listening to and songs we had written.
I was in school for music so I had a lot of originals I had made in my computer.
My pulse had gone back to normal and the thought of relapsing was extinguished. Until, he started telling me of a new song he had written while playing the guitar, high on dope.
I had never even thought of playing guitar while high on H. It sounded like something I had missed out on, something I’d like to try.
It wasn’t a minute after he mentioned that, I was asking Mickey if he knew where to get dope in Austin.
Of course he did.
By the time my birthday came around, at the end of April, I had already been using for about two weeks. It had taken one shot and I couldn’t quit, it’s so addicting.
That night he first arrived, he introduced me to a connect. This young girl named Julie. She was a few years younger than I, and was cute.
I could tell she was a drug addict just by her eyes, face, and arms. She had probably looked very attractive before she had started using, but the needle was ruining her.
Mickey confirmed that by saying she used to look like a Barbie doll before she got into meth. She was a junky, but had just gotten into methamphetamine—i.e. crystal meth.
Once she and her boyfriend started abusing meth, her outer beauty started to fade away, according to Mick.
Julie and her boyfriend sold heroin while living in their unkempt apartment, which was about a fifteen-minute drive from my place, if traffic wasn’t bad—sometimes it took an hour,
which was complete hell, when we were dope sick. Their apartment was a mess and smelled awful. Mick had warned me to never use any of their stuff—syringes, nail clippers, bathroom, etc.
, for, the place was crawling with Hepatitis.
Hepatitis C was a huge disease junkies had to be on guard for. It’s said that one infected junkie is likely to give thirty other people Hepatitis.
Luckily, I didn’t have it, and wasn’t looking to receive it, either. So, whenever I scored from Julie and her boyfriend, I was in and out.
Unless, they were already high on meth, where they would make me stay for awhile because they believed the feds were watching the place—very unlikely, but that’s what tweakers do.
In these cases, I would bring my own syringe, cotton, spoon, and bottled water. I’d also bring a book if I had to wait a long time.
There was one instance when Julie was clearly tweaking. She had found a pad of Post-Its and decided to label everything in the house with “Please Ask.
” She claimed that people were always using her things and eating her food without asking. However, the only people I had seen there were Mickey and I.
It started off with rational things such as the cabinet, phone, and refrigerator,
but then it escalated to the TV (that was already on); the couch; everything in the kitchen and cabinets; and even a certain spot on the floor.
For the entire hour she did this, I just sat and watched her while she dashed back and forth; eyes shaking; and picking at her arms, legs and face. It was sad.
On meth, she was a different person, rude and arrogant. She would walk up and down the drag selling dope with a syringe conspicuously tucked behind her ear.
She didn’t care because she claimed she knew everyone down there, which wasn’t true. Her looks weren’t the only thing to go, her wits were disappearing, as well.
Julie used to keep a bag of balloons (tied water-balloons filled with twenty-dollars of dope) in her sex.
Once, at a small festival, she was dancing and was completely unaware of the balloons falling out one by one as she bounced up and down to the beat of the live music.
Junkies were falling her around all day waiting for a red, blue, yellow, or green ball to land on the ground.
When I first met Julie, she was a pretty cute girl, but the meth was ruining her. Each week, she’d be skinnier and I’d see new scabs on her arms and face from picking.
The last time I saw her, she was kicked out of her dirty apartment and on the street spanging (sparing for change). I offered for her to come to my place to eat and clean up.
She took a quick shower, then was out the door right after. I never saw her again.