Junk Mail, Part 4
"I'm a junky. And an alcoholic. This, is Tuesday."
(Methamphetamine ~75mg, beer~1500ml)
It's six o'clock in the morning and my head is fucked.
Didn't realize I'd gone to sleep.
I wake up, disoriented, on the couch.
For a minute or two, I don't know where I am.
My lounge is an alien.
Memories flood back into my head like a blocked toilet.
Yesterday is incomplete.
I remember hanging out with a girl, 10 years younger than me.
A girl I've always loved.
I remember telling her to show me her tits.
She was too shy.
If I persisted, she would have.
But I'm a nice guy.
I didn't want to make her uncomfortable.
So we talked.
Now, I love her more than ever.
Withdrawing from meth.
I wrap the thin blue blanket around myself and try to sleep, but it's no use.
I say, “Fuck,” at the top of my voice.
Not hungover enough to vomit.
I'm in that post-alcohol grey area, between nightmarish and insignificant.
I am so close to the nightmare.
My head might as well be in the toilet, but it's not.
If I could vomit, if only I could vomit, then I'd be okay.
I get up.
There are musical instruments set up on the carpet.
My electric piano.
Did I jam with her last night?
She has a beautiful voice.
It is operatic, divine.
Listening to her sing sends shivers down my spine.
She's too good for me.
I regret imposing myself upon her.
With all my problems.
My track marks.
She doesn't need any of that.
My bottle of scotch is empty, lying sideways on the carpet.
I find four half-empty beers scattered around the room.
Four empty pre-mixed vodka cans.
Cigarette butts, a half dozen syringes.
Shit, I didn't inject her did I?
I've corrupted too many young girls.
I start to panic.
Can't find my gear.
There's about a thousand dollars, in fifties, littered around the room.
Did I score last night?
I search everywhere.
Finally, I find it.
Half a gram of meth in a little baggy.
Nice little crystals, too.
Better than usual.
I try to force myself to vomit, but I can't.
My body temperature is fluctuating between too hot and too cold.
The withdrawals are getting unbearable.
I can't stop using.
I have a serious problem.
I need to go to rehab, but I keep putting it off.
I keep telling myself, “Just one more bag.”
“One more syringe.”
I've been saying that for, I don't know, maybe six weeks.
I lost track of time a long time ago.
Three days feels like a year when you're tweaking.
I have no conception of how many hours have passed, at any given time.
I don't know how much meth I've done, either.
It's impossible to say.
I grab a beer out of the fridge, and place a cigarette against my lips.
The sun is shining.
I shade my burning irises, with my hoody.
Stumble down the road, listening to The Grey Album by Danger Mouse.
I don't know where I'm going.
I need something.
Need to go somewhere.
I cross the road.
Walk down to the bottle shop, on auto-pilot.
I cross the road.
A city-bound tram is approaching.
I stumble up to the tram stop.
Men and women, respectable types, on their way to work.
They don't make eye contact with me as I empty the contents of my beer down my throat.
Spilling it, beer dripping off my chin.
I say, “Fuck,” at the top of my voice and throw the empty beer into a bush.
Jump on the tram.
Don't know where I'm going.
I need something.
Notice a fast-food joint, out the window.
Jay Z, rapping: “If you got girl problems, I feel bad for you son; I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain't one.”
I order a double burger with bacon and an egg and bacon wrap.
It's been at least three days since I've had a proper meal.
I sit down and say, “Fuck”, at the top of my voice.
The other patrons don't make eye contact with me.
My pants are torn to pieces.
My underpants are clearly visible.
I smell like shit.
The lines under my eyes are so deep, you could swim in them.
Both of my eyes are bloodshot.
Skin is peeling off my lips.
I glance at the newspaper as I eat, but it doesn't interest me.
I am not hungry.
I force myself to eat.
Throw the paper on the floor.
I try to finish the burger on my way home.
But I can't.
It's way too much food.
I eat, maybe, two thirds of it.
When I arrive home, my cat Squid greets me at the letterbox.
He makes a happy little noise, rubbing his arched back against my leg.
I give him the rest of my burger and pat him affectionately on the nose.
The withdrawals actually make the hangover less severe.
Meth inhibits the effects of alcohol and withdrawals inhibit hangovers.
Hangovers are nothing.
I wish I could vomit, though.
As soon as I step inside the house, I feel depressed.
The place is fucked.
Somebody burnt the carpet last night.
It's black, and soaked with beer.
I'm in no state to clean up, so I avoid the lounge.
The smell of stale cigarettes and flat beer thick in the air.
I call work and tell them I'm sick.
They struggle to understand what I'm saying.
I have to concentrate in order to articulate coherently.
I hang up.
I need to get high.
Really fucking high.
But there's no 29 gauge syringes left.
And I'm not going to start using 27s again.
I can't, my veins are too damaged.
I realize my right arm is red.
Did I slam anything last night?
Did I inject her?
Please tell me I didn't.
I examine my tracks.
Can't tell if there are any fresh injection sites.
But the fingers, on my right arm, are swollen.
My skin is wrinkled.
My knuckles are bright red, like cherries.
Did I punch someone?
The one thing about hangovers that isn't affected by meth, is the amnesia.
I hate alcohol amnesia.
I tend to do things and say things I shouldn't when I'm drunk, I can deal with that.
What drives me crazy is not knowing.
I open another beer.
Consider smoking a joint, but I don't like weed anymore.
Meth renders weed impotent.
Meth renders everything else irrelevant.
Need to get high.
Super fucking high.
Slam some of that beautiful crystal I found on the fax machine this morning.
Might as well take advantage of my day off.
I leave the house.
Walk half a kilometre to the bus stop.
Got a twenty minute wait.
I walk to the next stop.
Time is going so slowly.
I realize I keep looking at my watch, like every ten seconds.
I lie down, on the nature strip, propping my back up against the bus stop pole.
I look like a fucking derolict, but I don't care.
People walking their dogs don't make eye contact.
I hear them muttering about me.
I dont' care, about any of it.
Dedicated to the mission.
I lie down, on the bus.
Find myself falling asleep.
No wonder, really.
Had about 3 hours sleep over the past three or four days, I think.
It's hard to say.
People on the bus don't make eye contact with me.
I get off at the end of the line, Box Hill.
Head straight for the NSP.
There's an Indian guy working there, never seen him before.
I tell him I need a hundred 29s, a box of swabs, and a dozen ampoules of sterile water.
He tells me I have to pay for the water upstairs.
Fifty cents each.
I stop at the water cooler.
Drink three cups of water.
There's a couple of middle-aged women, typical conservative suburban types, sitting nearby.
They are watching me with the corners of their eyes.
I can feel them, looking.
I get on the elevator, holding the door open for an elderly woman.
I smile at her.
She doesn't say, “Thank you.”
Doesn't make eye contact.
I don't care.
I get off, and head for the reception desk.
Fourth on the left, like the Indian guy told me.
I'm standing there, waiting, behind an old guy.
It's a reception desk for the community dental practice.
A waiting room, full of patients.
They don't make eye contact with me.
Time is trailing, slower and slower.
The old cunt in front of me is taking forever.
I want to stab him in the spine and leave him bleeding on the carpet.
But that would just interfere with my mission.
They're not going to sell me water if I kill someone.
The woman behind the counter convincingly feigns her pleasantries.
She treats me with more respect than I deserve.
I feel ashamed.
Having to deal with junkies on a daily basis.
I am pacing back and forth like a bull.
My eyes darting around the room.
There is a laminated chart on the wall beside reception.
Little pictures that mute people can point to in order to communicate.
I wish I was mute.
The elevator takes about three years to arrive, give or take a month.
I stand there, with my water receipt, aging rapidly.
Every second is painful.
I give the receipt to the Indian guy.
He packs my supplies into an inconspicuous carry bag.
I thank him, insincerely, and head outside.
Stop at the water cooler again.
Drink three more cups of water.
The suburban types, still glaring at me.
There's a junky with a pony tail on the street, on stakeout.
He's waiting for another junky to rob.
You've got to watch out for theiving junky cunts when you go to NSPs.
It's okay, he doesn't like the look of me.
Good thing for him, I'd beat the shit of him if he tried anything.
Lay my misery on him with my swollen red fists.
I tell him as much with a little stare, as I walk past.
He looks down at his shoes.
I go to the bottle shop and grab a six pack of mid-strength beer.
I always feel conflicted buying alcohol.
Every time I buy a six pack, or a bottle of wine or scotch or bourbon.
Today I am more conflicted than usual.
I seriously consider leaving.
I try to consider it, anyway.
I should stop drinking, I know.
I keep telling myself, “One more day.”
I keep telling myself, “Tommorow.”
But it's always today.
There is a twenty minute wait for the bus.
I say, “Fuck,” at the top of my voice.
Glare at an old Asian woman, sitting on a bench, as if it's her fault.
She avoids eye contact.
I go back to the shopping centre.
Grab some tataki.
The red meat equivalent of sashimi.
Raw beef and salad.
I love Japanese food.
I could eat it all day.
Don't even need to be hungry.
When I get back to the terminus, the bus is idling.
I eat the tataki on the way home.
Resist the temptation to crack open a beer.
The bus driver, he might kick me out if I start drinking.
Seems like a bit of a cunt.
Fat fucking piece of shit.
I'm not going to let him compromise my mission.
It's not worth it.
I drink a beer on the way home.
My cat Squid greets me at the letterbox.
He makes a happy little sound and rubs his arched back against my leg.
His tail wrapped around my ankle.
I love him.
I feel warmth spreading through my body when I see my cats.
The same way I feel when I see women I love.
I love so many women.
Life is too short.
I'll never be with them all.
The love I feel for my cat is incapable of combating my withdrawals.
I feel depressed and happy simultaneously.
As soon as I step inside my house, I want to die.
The smell of cat piss, stale cigarettes and flat beer.
Clothes scattered about in the hallway.
A pornographic magazine lying crumpled amidst an assortment of debris.
The carpet is rank, full of parasites and thick with dust.
I say, “Fuck,” at the top of my voice.
I avoid the lounge.
Go straight into my study and prepare a shot.
Drink a pint of water, so I'm sure I can register.
That is the only reason I hydrate.
So my blood will flow.
Otherwise, I would quite happily die of thirst.
I don't weigh the dose.
Eye roughly three quarters of a point into a spoon.
Suck it up into a 29.
Go outside, through the back door, the syringe gripped between my teeth.
The lawn is mowed into crop circles.
I settle down in the middle of one, leaning my back against an upturned table.
This is my favorite spot for injecting during the day.
In clear view of my neighbours, who I'm certain are terrified of me.
The sky is clear.
The sun on my skin.
I take off my hoody.
The right arm is red and swollen.
So I use the left.
Register on my second attempt.
But the flow isn't great.
I'm half in the vein.
But, that's okay.
Half in is better than out.
This vein's not going to collapse if I miss a bit.
I push the plunger in, as slow as I can manage.
Feel a tiny bit of pain.
The rush kicking in, I keep pushing.
Empty the syringe completely, including a large air bubble.
It spreads through my body, flushing my face.
The hangover is gone.
The withdrawals are over.
I put the syringe back in my mouth and walk blissfully back inside.
The state of my house no longer bothers me.
I find a book open on my bed.
A short story I had published, about an older man corrupting a young girl.
A short story about rape and intravenous drug use.
She must have read it, last night.
I love her.
The first sentence reads, “It's six o'clock in the morning and my head is fucked.”
I'm a junky.
And an alcoholic.
This, is Tuesday.