One Detroit Junkie's Battle Laid Bare

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lapping At My Heels

I cook it up and shoot it up and make an attempt to live it up, but fighting death gets tiring. So I suck it up and turn it up and make an attempt to sing it up, but screaming lyrics gets old. And so I turn around and look around and make an attempt to live this down, but stereotypes are stronger than I am. So I fuck it up and shake things up and make an attempt to change it up, but wasted days just bleed into wasted nights and form endless wasted years.

I sit beneath the streetlight for hours before I look up and see only darkness, some kind of metaphor for the reality of my mode of living. The truth does battle with my self-convinced mind full of lies, and up sure looks like down these days. Black looks white and darkness is blinding, and I know I have become the embodiment of urban blight. Self-imposed isolation is the hardest kind to overcome, when only shattered glass and missed cues keep me company. If you ask me to lie, I'll always tell the truth, but ask me for the truth and it's bound to be a lie.

This lifestyle weakens me physically and hardens me mentally and tears away my ability to trust the human race, because I've seen the desperation of various human conditions that have no place in this world. I've seen the aftermath of a cold shoulder, the loss of hope that dulls the eyes and steals away all light. I've seen 15-year-old kids who held more pain and weariness and distrust within their souls than prisoners of war, than battered police brutality victims, than New Yorkers on 9/11. I've stared down the barrel of a dealer's gun with no fear, only a longing for whatever rides on the butt of the bullet. I've felt cold, sharp steel against my back and felt no regret, only longing for whatever hangs on the dull side of the blade. I've felt violent hands around my throat and felt no need for air, only longing for whatever floats on the other side of the darkness. I've seen the impact incoming and stood to face it because really, what could be worse than what I've already seen?

Frostbite steals skin off my toes I won't miss, and I steal stereos and moments of euphoria, knowing always I'm only ripping off myself. Leaving smashed car windows and crushed hearts in my wake, destruction and blatant criminal acts only mask my fear of what's around the bend. If you look me in the eye I'll always look away, because to face you would mean facing myself. I run from confrontation and always crack under pressure. I'll spill guts to the masses from the tallest buildings and spill blood into empty streets and desolate alleyways, fighting with staggering violence against all that I am, all that I have become. And every time I look over my shoulder I see less and less of who I used to be, as the dust grows thicker, as the lights grow dimmer, as the wreckage piles higher. And every time I look ahead the path is drastically shorter, as I further batter my body, as the pains in my liver grow sharper, as the hours I spend asleep grow longer and longer while my body gives out. I know how it feels when my mind is no longer mine, when loss of control is so complete it leaves me questioning whether control ever existed to begin with.

I dream the dreams of the dying, so starkly clear, those that don't fade a bit after I wake. I'm dancing life's razor's edge, pushing the limits of even this addict's endurance, feeling pieces slip away as the walls close in. I don't just take chances, I take major risks, putting my life at stake by constantly seeking that once-in-a-lifetime high, shooting as much at once as I can fit into the syringe, regardless of whether it's heroin, coke, or whatever else I've decided to use to blot out my thoughts. And even when I scramble and get up on my feet for brief periods, my body still lives with the aftermath, constant physical pain and weakness that doesn't fade anymore. After I've been running the streets for months seeking dope, I finally become so sick that I sleep solid 72 hour periods as my body tries desperately to heal. To rest for the next week's inevitable torment. And yet, I just can't stop.

So I spend my life searching, while my wasted days bleed into wasted nights and form endless wasted years. And I spend most hours face down on the pavement, cursing the moon and stars while I grasp at straws that only get shorter and shorter. There's interference in the clouds and my satellite dish fails to pick up transmissions from the future, and the static is the perfect place to stage an ambush.

And as the edges blur and the sun becomes reluctant to rise, I grow tired of waiting for the storm to pass and make another attempt at learning to dance in the rain, water rolling off my shoulders, washing away a decade's worth of dried blood and city dust. And though I dance alone these days, my neck is gaining strength, almost powerful enough to lift my head again to salute the world as it passes me by, our parades marching opposite directions on the same crowded street. And in these moments, if you tell me the end is near I'll just laugh and live on forever, with flames always lapping at my heels, the hounds of hell bounding circles all around me, rain pounding my back and elusive hope slipping in and out of my grasp.

(Written by me in 2008. Still had five years of living in hell left ahead of me. And elusive hope was a lie- I had no hope left.)

1 comment:

  1. I had no hope left for so long, and yet somehow I sit here tonight with 22 days clean thanking the moon and stars above for letting me live despite my determination to die for so long.