FROM THE JUNKYLIFE ARCHIVES | 2005 07 20
One of the problems of being an addict - one of the very many - is how vulnerable you can become when you are dope sick - that is, in the middle of withdrawal from opiates where your body starts attacking you in a multitude of horrible ways. Under any other circumstance, your thought and decision making process would act so very differently than it does during withdrawal. Being dope sick muddies and clouds your mind no matter how hard you try to overcome this. Things and circumstances that would normally shout out to you to go the other way or scream at you to ignore or whisper to you that if it looks to good to be true then...suddenly disappear from our arsenal of tools we use to get by in the world.
No matter how many times I berate myself over what just happened or scream at the top of my lungs or throw pillows til there are none to throw, nothing can change how much of an idiot I feel like for allowing myself to get taken advantage of by a near complete stranger for no other reason other than how much I've allowed myself to become because of how sick my addiction has made me. As loathsome as this addiction is, there is nothing worse than that feeling of desperation one often feels because of it all.
It was near dawn and I had spent most of the night in a restless sleep. Just before bed, I had made the mistake of recooking some old spoons because we were completely out of everything and wouldn't be able to change this situation until late the next morning at the earliest as we had to wait until approx 4am for Jim's pay to be direct deposited into our bank account. Usually you can manage to get just enough from the old spoons to help with the worst of withdrawal's side effects for a few hours and when you're feeling as bad as this any little bit of relief is more than welcome. I somehow managed to contaminate this shot and as a result within 45 mins I had managed to give myself cotton fever.
Cotton fever can often feel worse than withdrawal from opiates though it lasts a relatively short time in comparison. Imagine the hottest and most humid day on record except you're not able to take advantage as your body feels like it has been immersed into a deep freeze it is that cold. More often than naught, there will be a bit of a fever but even if there isn't you won't be able to control your body from shivering nor from dripping sweat. Your head feels as if it has grown to be ten times its normal size with a headache to match and if this wasn't enough every single muscle and bone and in fact fiber in your body feels as if it is under attack. These are just a few of the most common side effects of cotton fever but I've found the few times I've gotten it that these are more than enough on their own!
This particular evening my cotton fever thankfully lasted just a bit more than two hours in total so I was greatly relieved. Problem is, it tends to leave your body in a much weakened state once it does disappear and the only way to get rid of it entirely is to sleep the remains of it off. I remember looking at the clock just before 1am and nothing else after this until Jim woke me up around quarter past five in the morning. Now, this time when I woke up I could feel no more side effects of the cotton fever though I definitely felt well and truly dope sick. Now as any junky will tell you, once an addict has managed to fall asleep, the last thing you should do is wake them up unless you've got a bloody amazing reason to do this!
I'd fallen asleep on the sofa and woke fairly quickly after hearing Jim's voice. He was not alone. He quickly explained that he had met this guy at the variety store where he had gone to grab smokes and money from the ATM a few minutes ago. Apparently this guy had lost his keys and was locked out of his apartment until 8 or 9am which was still a few hours away so Jim had invited him to wait at our apartment like the good Samaritan he is. This guy was barely in the door before he was bragging how much he could help me right now with whatever it was that I needed. Nothing at all was a problem and whatever it was that I wanted or needed would be here in no more than twenty minutes.
Right away, I should have been suspicious but any rational thought had quickly been lost to how dreadful my body was currently feeling. Every pore was screaming out for relief of any kind that I eagerly listened to his sales pitch. He certainly knew the various pain pills and their corresponding doses so was able to walk the talk with little effort. Once he had let me know what he could get, I told him what I wanted. I expected that I would give him the appropriate funds before him and Jim left to collect our order.
Now before they left him and Jim continued to carry on a conversation that they'd obviously started earlier though it didn't take me too long to follow along. This guy obviously did blow or crack and it didn't seem to matter how many times Jim attempted to tell him this was not something that we were interested in doing, he didn't seem to care. He kept saying the doing a hit would take the edge of my sickness etc until the pills showed up and wouldn't this be better. Well, yes, obviously this would take the edge off but normally it would never be one of my first, second or even third choices...
Surprise, surprise though. He had to go out to get this crack or blow as he didn't have it on him though he did make sure that he left us with the very distinct impression that he was only grabbing this crack at the same time he'd be grabbing those pills for me cause this guy he was going to see was some sort of one stop shopping kind of drug guy and two birds, one stone etc. Famous last words.
So off Jim and our new friend go jumping into a cab that I had just called for them. Honestly, they're gone no time at all, probably all of a half an hour. When they walk inside the apartment, I can tell by the look on Jim's face that I won't be happy. They're returning with no pills but $135 worth of crack that we have paid for though this guy is holding on to like its his and his alone. Colour me very confused. When I asked him about the pills, he dismissed me with a wave of his hands even after I persisted. I was quickly becoming pretty bitchy and argumentative and was fast losing my patience.
Sarcastically, I asked whether our money paid for this crack and the cab fares. Jim said that it was all of our money and none of his. He started to get self righteous with me saying that I was the one who had said that a hit or two would definitely help by taking the edge off of my dope sickness so why was I so bloody upset. I also tried to remind him that we had also told him that we were not looking for crack or cocaine and had had no intention of actively going after this and that the only reason we gave him any money at all was that we were supposed to be getting pills at the same time he was getting this. He was very possessive of this bloody crack and no amount of me attempting to explain why I found this whole situation offensive seemed to have any affect. He kept insisting that as soon as I did a few hits I would feel better and that he would be on his way shortly to grab those pills he had promised. As I could see the direction this was taking, I decided that there was little that we could do except ensure that we got our moneys worth out of this crack we had just paid for.
Shockingly once it was all gone, he was ready to book also and I guess I could not really blame him either. Just as suddenly, he could not find anyone that might have the pills that we needed. Excuse after excuse after excuse followed. I demanded money for the crack that he had smoked but had been bought with our dime as well as money back for the cost of the cabs but nothing. I was not prepared to back down. He said that there was one place he could go to grab pills and of course, he would be using his money to pay for them. Another cabbed called and another crack of dawn trip made with the guys returning in short order. When they return he hands me a bunch of pills wrapped up in some clear plastic wrap. Once opened I see that they are all garbage and of absolute no use to us. It is as if someone had gone into their medicine cabinet and grabbed whatever over the counter meds were lying around in there.
When I tell him that I don't want them he says that he has to return them to his guy exactly as he got them in order to get the money back. What money, or more appropriately whose money, did he need to get back? Of course, we had to spend an additional $60 plus the cost of the cab fares for all of this. When I demanded that he pay me the money that he owes us he starts to get all indignant and self righteous like he is the wronged party. I tell him to get out of my apartment and to stop saying that you're going to pay for this or that or whatever else cause I no longer cared. I called him a liar as well as a long list of other colourful not to mention pejorative names. He kept saying more of the same sort of crap that he'd bee spouting for the past hour now, but I did my best to ignore it. He said that I was lucky that he didn't trash my place for the names I was calling but he wouldn't do this as he wasn't going to disrespect me - whatever this means. He challenged me to call the police to charge him with stealing $200 from us as well. finally, he left.
Right now I am angry, upset and frustrated for a number of reasons though mostly I am mad at myself for not putting a stop to this whole fiasco before it even had a chance to start. The writing had been clearly on the wall but I choose to ignore it on the off chance that this one time this guy was actually on the level and could be trusted. When you are dope sick you want to believe so very badly that this person will actually turn out to be better than advertised and is not simply taking advantage of a situation that has practically been handed to them on a silver platter.