Dopesick in Seattle part 3
Lawerence, Jan 27, 2005
- About a month had passed before I heard anything about �Sundance� again. He had been hospitalized for pneumonia, and while there found out that he was HIV positive. Upon receiving this news I had a melt down, as it meant that I was probably positive as well, as we had most likely shared rigs. In those days I rarely paid adequate attention. To this day I marvel and thank God that I don�t have HIV or Hep.
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As a result of this new information, and my fear around it even without any test results, I stopped hustling. I didn�t want to spread anything, and to tell the truth I really hated the work. Thus began my short lived career in scamming with fake dope.
I got the idea for fake dope from a bag of bunk dope I had been recently ripped off with. For some reason, I kept it, and from it derived the recipe for a very passable bunk tar heroin. It was one part fine sugar, one part instant coffee, and a small amount of vinegar for that fresh dope smell. I would put this concoction into two balloons, one wrapping the other, this I hoped would give me time to make a speedy exit in case someone actually wanted to check out the product before they left the area.
I was usually careful not to sell this stuff to people I had seen around, and never where I went to score. I had been bunking twice a day for about a week , and was starting to feel a little guilty about it . not guilty enough to stop though.
All of this came to a screeching halt the day I was stabbed by a dissatisfied customer. I had sold a bag to this person earlier in the day, and had even then known it was a bad idea. I had been nervous, and he, the customer in question, had not. I left quickly after the sale and went elsewhere to score real dope.
I had been there about an hour when I got tapped on the shoulder. I turned and found myself face to face with the guy I had ripped off earlier. �Fucking bitch� was all he said. I didn�t actually feel the first stab, just a little stinging and then the warm and wet of my blood. I turned to run and as I did he stabbed me again, this time in the ass. This time I felt it. Nothing gets your attention like getting stabbed in the ass. Man , it hurts! One thing is for sure, this new pain made me quick as I have never run so damn fast in my life. Turns out I didn�t have to, I wasn�t being followed. Seems he felt we were even.
And so I stopped bunking, an emergency room visit and sixteen stitches later mind you, but retired none the less. The upshot was the bottle of vicodin I got for my trouble.
The pills ran out. Funny how that happens when you eat eight or nine at a time. It was time to find a new scam, or God forbid, a real job. For a while I went to the waterfront and tried playing my pennywhistle for tourists. I made ok money, but it tended to take all day to make enough to cop and my playing would steadily deteriorate as the dopesickness slowly crept in. Sometimes I think people would pay me out of pity, or just hoping I would leave the area faster.
I started to meet new people, mostly what I took to be a higher class of bum. These new people pretty much had one thing in common though, they weren�t junkies like me. Thinking back this may well have been my first steps toward some kind of recovery, but more likely I was just afraid of having someone who I had ripped off catch up with me.
Eventually one of these new friends hooked me up with a real job. No application, no real interview, no drug test, I was hired on the spot. So began my new life as a junky fry cook at a chicken wing joint. Free food and beer, plus the grease burns on my arms helped hide my tracks. I was still living under the underpass, but the job gave me stuff to do and I made tips enough to stay on top of my habit. I was even starting to taper off a bit.
I had indeed started down the road to recovery. True the road was potholed with homelessness, illness, jail, and bad relationships, but as of this writing I have been off of all substances for ninety days. I am going to meetings, and I have every intention of making this kick stick.
My life still is, and probably always will be crazy, but at least I don�t have to be a junky anymore.
THE END? Stay tuned for �THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLES� or, �HOW I KICKED DOPE IN A HOLE�.
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