My lotto ticket is folded into an envelope with powdered death inside, nobody picked out numbers hoping for riches on this square scrap of orange yellow and black typed paper. Powdered poison that eats my veins and eats my dreams and leaves me nodding broken on my knees in the snow, cold winter rain forming crust on the drains while steam rises from the sewer grates where I sleep. There's a crowded filthy shooting gallery nearby but this burned out car in a snowfield marred by only my own tracks is fine. It's fine. It's just fucking fine. My brain won't work anymore until the powder is liquid and mixed with my blood. My body won't work anymore except to continue torture until I feed it this drug.
Climb into scorched steel built here in Detroit, a Ford Crown Vic that has seen better days. Wrestle a dull needle out of my socks, three pairs because winter is brutal here and I'm already frostbitten, body and soul, toes and spirit. I lost the will to live but I found my key to oblivion. Pull off filthy thin gloves and melt some snow in my hand, uncap the rig and draw up the frozen acid rain. Dump powder into spoon and add meltwater, hold over lit Zippo propped on my knee for light more than warmth or function. That delicious sick scent of hot steel and heroin licks up to my nose and my empty stomach growls, hunger deep and sick so few truly know and fewer still would wish to know. Bubbles form and I remove heat and drop in cotton wad formed from pocket lint, q-tips cost too much and aren't worth the risk to steal. Draw up my poison and wrap hoodie cord round my lower arm.
I've got one trusty vein running through the R in create, an old tattoo more a broken command than anything now. I don't create, I destroy, myself and anyone else who decides I'm worth the risk of bonding with. Christmas Eve and I'm alone in the streets, the only one sick enough to choose dope over life, tonight of all nights. It doesn't matter much what day it is when I'm sleeping alone in the cold, hoping the chimney in the abandominium I call home doesn't collapse on top of the weak flames from treated wood I ripped from the burned house next door. I'm sick growing sicker and weak growing weaker but this syringe in my hand full of heroin will make that all okay, will make it all fade away.
I touch the surgical steel of the needle to the well used and angry red flesh before the R and must apply intense pressure to pop the dull spike through my skin. I'm lucky the vein is so weak in that spot from repeated use and the flesh too swollen to allow it to roll or I'd be in big trouble, unable to IV and instead forced by my sickness to slam the filthy thing into my muscle, inviting abscess like the two on my left upper arm. Why I feel it's much better to inject filth directly into my blood I never know, but at least it hits quicker that way.
Blood registers, mixing with the golden liquid relief, and I depress the plunger with increasing speed, needing the gold to disperse and kill the pain and with luck me as well. Then I wait. I wait and I taste my thick dopesick saliva, waiting for that indescribable taste on the back on my tongue that means relief is here. One second. Two. Three. Counting in my head. Six. Seven. Did I miss? This is taking too long, did I blow my shot? I'm not itching and hiving at the injection site so not likely. Eleven. Twelve.
There it is! And then warmth. The night is no longer cold to my easily fooled body as heat spreads from fingers to chest, toes to stomach. Sweet, sweet relief for my clenched muscles, sore from walking and scamming and stealing and selling my body and soul day in and day out to keep the demons at bay. This charred leather seat is suddenly a throne and I'm in heaven, life doesn't matter and neither does death. I'm here and then I'm gone and everything is all okay, it's okay that I'm nodding out with a needle in my wrist in a burned out car in Detroit on Christmas Eve because it just doesn't matter anymore. None of this really ever mattered much in the first place and now it doesn't matter at all anymore.
My head gets heavy, my eyelids grow weak, my breathing is shallow and maybe, just maybe, I'll make it to heaven or hell this time at last. Maybe this is the last winter on the streets of my dog eat dog city, the city where I gave my life away and fought halfassed battles pretending I wanted control back. I don't want control, I want this. I want bliss. I want oblivion and I want death and I will never, ever reach any of those because I'm "not meant to die" and have a "purpose on this earth" but really because I can never find enough cash to afford a suicidal overdose and because my gun isn't loaded- but I sure am.
You've brought me to my knees my golden powdered queen, so now how do I stand up again before the roots grow too strong and I'm stuck kneeling forever? Where are your magic answers for the future, queen? You won't give them to your loyal, devoted servant? Your motherfucking slave who spent the holidays with you, eating cold, processed turkey at the soup kitchen on thanksgiving, grateful only to not be dopesick because there was truly nothing else worthy of gratitude? Your bitch who works her ass off or sells her ass when needed to meet your demands? You won't give my loyalty the reward of your secrets, my queen?
I'm alone in this and I know it, I'm alone and adrift and I know it, I'm freezing to death and I know it and my blacktipped toes show me the truth. My two eyes are liars telling different truths- one of heaven, one of hell- and my heart is full of fallacy but some part of me, somewhere in me I know it. Something says this is not okay and I am not okay and dying here is not okay, but my eyelids are so heavy and the world is fading out. I am not cold nor warm nor anything else, I'm crossing over and I'm ready to leave. I close my eyes and there's only blackness and then time staggers and stops and I'm gone.
And then I wake up and it's Christmas and I know still this is not okay. But I have no idea how to change it or if change is even a possibility for me, so I carry on as carrion for years and years more.