Teaser from my current WIP…

It seemed appropriate for where my life was at the moment. The floor was wet with God-knows-what, and the place stank like a cesspool. Scrawled graffiti reminiscent of hieroglyphics from some long-forgotten empire lined the dirty, peeling walls, while webs spun by spiders long-dead hung thick in the corners. Cigarette butts, fit wrappers, plastic spoons and syringes littered the rough concrete floor, punctuated now and then by a used condom or a crushed cigarette packet. A pair of legs stuck out from one of the cubicles, feet splayed apart as though in death and one jeans leg soaking up some unidentified puddle from the floor, the denim already wet halfway to the knee. Their owner wasn’t deceased, though, just asleep: the deep, dark sleep that heroin gives you. I had checked when I came in; we didn’t want to be involved in anything official if someone else happened to enter the public toilet and found us shooting up next to a corpse.
I looked over at Carolyn, stoned out of her mind, and wondered just where we were going. Life was shit, and not getting any better. We were both addicts and both unemployed: even though I was a trained nurse, I hadn’t worked in years, too busy looking for easy money and the next score. Here we were, off our trees again on heroin, sitting near the vomit of the dealer we had scored off. He had swallowed his gear, which was sealed in water balloons for just that situation, when an undercover cop grabbed him off the Richmond street. After being released from the police station without charge due to lack of evidence, he had gone straight to the public toilets around the corner from the cop-shop – which is where I saw him – and drank a heap of water laced with salt from his backpack. The name he used with customers was Johnny. I recognised him from other times I had scored here, and knew that he usually had good stuff and that his sizes were better than normal for street gear. Just as I walked into the toilet block, he threw up everywhere, the bright colours of the balloons blatant in amongst the pale red soft-drink that made up the bulk of the vomit. I had bought two bile covered balloons from him for our last seventy dollars and, as he left to do more risky business, called Carolyn in for our hit of smack. At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing, but now I see the strange logic of giving poison to the one I loved. Smack was our way of life at that time. We lived to score, and scored to live. As I packed up our hit-kit, capping the syringes after rinsing them out, I wondered why other junkies felt the need to leave their used works lying around uncapped for someone to stick themselves with. It only took a second to pick everything up, and junkies lived with enough guilt as it was without adding more to the load.
I felt all warm and fuzzy, relaxed for the first time that day. I had maybe an hour to enjoy it before I had to start thinking about getting some cash for the next score. Heroin normally lasts about eight to twelve hours before the effects wear off, but if you are running a habit, you need a fresh taste every six hours or so to fend off the withdrawals. You can never judge just how long it will take to get the cash for the next hit, so it pays to start thinking about it as soon as possible. I had a pretty good system going. I would steal books from the bigger department stores and sell them to second-hand bookshops – mostly the same ones – in the Eastern suburbs, where the owners asked no questions and were always willing to take as many as I could get. In two hours I could steal enough to get a couple of hundred dollars, enough for a half gram of gear, the bare minimum needed to get us off once again, although a couple of caps would settle the withdrawals for a while. For now, I would relax and enjoy the stone. We were in the women’s toilet block as there were more stalls to hit up in. We’d tried to go to the disabled toilet, with its own tap and more privacy, but some other junkie must have beaten us there. They were everywhere these days. Heroin use in Melbourne had spiralled to previously unknown numbers throughout the nineties.

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3 thoughts on “Teaser from my current WIP…

  1. GNBraun says:

    Not my stomach, but I certainly saw this event as it took place…;)Thanks for the praise.This should be published around the end of the year, maybe sooner but more likely a bit later…For a little more in this 'vein', try Boneyard Smack, a download in the FREE Series at http://www.legumeman.comGNB

  2. Draven Ames says:

    Wow man, you lived a crazy life. How did you get so many books out the doors without being seen? They are so big and sell for so little, you must have been taking fifty or a hundred a day. It is amazing that you have come so far since then. That is if this is the story that was based off of your life. Anyway, great writing. I love the descriptions and you certainly made it seem real. I haven't done heroin before and don't plan on it, but your story would serve as a good example of why not to.

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