I spit out a projectile of saliva with a gob of phlegm on the sidewalk full of cigarette butts then I took on the last puff off my cigarette. I took that last hit until the torch reached the filter it almost burned my lips. I coughed and spat again.
“I’m done” I heard my friend Andy; he’s finished with his lunch. We ate grilled spareribs and sisig, a native dish made of pork’s jowl area and liver that is cooked in a sizzling pan until golden brown. I must say we were full, each of us had two cups of rice and a bowl of free soup. I was done eating earlier than him that’s why I was smoking in that sidewalk with cracked pavements. My friend does not smoke cigarettes.
We went on, walking, straight forward, until the end of the road. We were on a private area, an abandoned building on a rural-like area, a mini forest beside our school. Andy took his wallet from his pants’ back pocket. He kept the joint in that wallet, safely held in the middle, that area where it folds. He lighted a matchstick and lit up the joint, it was a bad burn which implied a bad roll, but we smoked it all up. As we entered the school, I asked him why are we taking lunch first, should we smoke first then eat afterwards. He stared for a moment, and then burst out an uncontrollable laughter. So, did I.
That was me when I was in high school, pretty much a stereotype student in our hometown. Now I’m about to finish college. Well, a little background first, I first smoked pot before smoking cigarettes and then started drinking liquor when I quit smoking pot in college. I went on drunken nights practically every day and was a chain smoker, the typical college guy.
One night I received a call from my best friend Andy. He was talking gibberish while crying.
“Call me tomorrow, you’re drunk” I said to him and hung up the phone. Instantly after that call, I felt something weird, a feeling of somewhat like a premonition. I was scared and confused for I have known all this time that Andy was addicted to heroin. Since my first years in college, I warned him to stop it, but I think the addiction gets stronger and stronger for him, maybe. So, I called a friend to check him in his condominium. I can feel my heart throbbing, “Oh God. Please guide him” I prayed.
After 28 minutes of shaking because of anxiety, the phone rang. I paused for a second, took a deep breath and grabbed the phone reluctantly. It was the friend I asked helped.
“I’m taking him to the hospital. He’s not in good shape. Good thing you called. I am afraid we’d lose him if I were a minute late” he said sounding both worried and relieved. I thanked her and then stopped for a moment and tried to recollect myself. I’m waiting until my heart stops beating so fast. I was sad and happy at the same time. Sad because my friend was almost dying and happy because I followed my instinct to get someone to help him out instead of thinking he’s just drunk. The anxiety drained my energy and I felt so tired physically and emotionally. I’ve fallen asleep the second I went to bed. While on a deep dream, I could feel that I’m smiling.
In my sleep, I dreamt of my high school life and it feels like it is all that I can remember. The dream was in a loop, that moment when Andy and I were eating lunch and smoked marijuana kept on repeating for like a hundred times. It was strange that I wanted to wake up from this dream, this dream that I know that is not a nightmare but seems to be an abyss of uncertain thoughts and emotions.
I woke up but cannot open my eyes for a minute, but my body was all sweaty and my head nauseated. There’s definitely something strange – I thought to myself. As I finally opened my eyes, I can’t explain why my room was all messed up, it’s confusing and distracting, I can’t move my body just my head. I am lying in the couch of my living room in my condo and began to scan the area while still lightheaded. The walls and floors are crammed with psychedelic art -works and -installations. There are needles and syringes, foils, bongs, and dime bags in the table. The room was filled with a funky odor, smelled like beer, rhum, and piss. I looked at my arms and body, it’s so skinny. My skin touches my bones, there’s no muscle or flesh. I panicked but I can’t move my body. What is happening to me? – I screamed in my thoughts.
Suddenly something snuggled me from below and grabbed my dick. I blurted weakly, I removed the blanket and searched for that fucking thing. It was naked girl, I don’t know who she was, and I can feel my world revolving because of mass confusion. Oh fuck, she sucks my cock now. It was good, no question about that, but the turmoil of confusion was still of great effect to me. I took her head away from my dick and asked who she was. She said her name was not important. I guess she’s a prostitute.
“Can you please leave now? How much do I pay you?” I said while putting my hands in my eyes.
“Pay what! I’m taking my heroin. Fuck you and your friend for calling me late at night and use my drugs!” she shouted and grabbed her drugs and blazer in the side drawer. Well, she’s a yuppie junkie and not a prostitute, that’s one answer to these confusions, but what friend is she talking about. As she banged the door while leaving, I suddenly felt chills in my spine, I can feel the world turning around both fast and slow. I was dazed, blacked out, and hoping this is just a bad dream.
I woke up again, I looked at my hands, still skinny, the place was the same. I screamed, shouted, ran, kicked, destroyed, I was basically outrageous by this situation. Then a ring.
“Hello?” “John!” A familiar voice embraced me.
“Oh my God. Andy! Help me please, I don’t know what’s happening to me.” I was hysterical.
“John, you called last night remember, I was worried so I sent Amy over to look out for you but I guess you two had a good time, huh?” Andy was laughing.
“FUCK! What’s happening to me Andy, why am I skinny, why is my place trashed?” I said still hysterical. I shouted due to irritation, when you don’t know something and you badly need to know it. Its like hoping you could just easily find answer to that puzzling question by just using Google.
“John, I’m coming over. You just stay put there and stop the heroin.” He said giving emphasis on heroin and hangs up. It was the second time I heard “heroin”, from that girl Amy and from my best friend, Andy, who I knew was the heroin addict. It was all vague like muddy waters in my mind.
I walk around my room, I come to sight a spoon, lighter, injection, and a dime bag of heroin. I can feel those materials pulling me towards them. I tried to control that magnetic pull, but I can’t. My hand took the spoon and pour that powdered heroin. In my mind it was like an involuntary action of my hand — now I’m using lighter to burn the spoon. The powder now slowly turning to liquid, I can smell the smoke. Then a knock at the door. I stayed put, steady on what I was doing. The door opened, it was Andy.
Andy rushed towards me and took the spoon, throws it away. He scolded me. I was perplexed.
“What is this?” I asked myself while crying.
“You need to stop” Andy answered my question to myself.
“I’ll put you on rehab, you went far in your addiction John, I’m scared to what will happen to you.” Andy’s words cut my heart.
“What are you talking about Andy, I’m not an addict! You know that you are the crack addict!” I said to him hoping an answer.
“John, your delusions are getting the worst. Look at yourself in the mirror.” He said calmly but with pure frustration.
I went to see myself in the mirror. There was me in a clear reflection, a half-naked me wearing only boxers. The outline of my face was like an actual skull with long uncombed and curly hair, red with a tint of purple eyes sagging deeply, sunken cheeks, malnourished body, I could almost see my collarbone coming out, and my chest, arms, feet, legs were ultimately skeletal. It was like I haven’t eaten or slept for months or maybe years. I was scared, so scared that I blasted again in tears.
Andy comforted me and he called a hospital, I knew he wanted me safe and back to normal. I must say, I’m still confused, I can’t believe I was the one addicted to drugs. It’s like I have a dementia and amnesia, I don’t know who I am anymore.
Andy was in the kitchen while calling the hospital, a mental hospital maybe – who cares, I just want to be clean. Then at the couch, my sight become dark. I took the spoon with little drops of heroin and put the liquefied heroin in the injection. Andy saw me, he was about to take away the injection. The world became dark for me, I can see the devil, the injection slowly transforms into a knife, it was hell, and I was frightened. The devil treads towards me while laughing. Those vicious eyes and menacing face, it wrestled with me with a scary grin, trying to take away my knife. I fought back and stab the knife straight to his neck seven times. Its bloodcurdling face slowly fades into a human being, it was Andy with an injection in his neck, lifeless.
Tear fell from my eyes while sobbing uncontrollably. It all flashed to me. I remember it now. I remembered all that happened to me. From my drug addiction to that time when I was in a car accident, and when I went to prison because I beat up a drug runner when she gave me a fake drug. It’s all here in my head. Andy always helped me in all my fuck ups in life and now I killed him. As I close my eyes, I recall the smell of cigarette while we were going back to school from our pot session. A part of me wished we have smoked marijuana first before we ate that grilled spareribs and sisig for lunch.
I took out the injection from Andy’s neck. My right arm is wanting the heroin, while the left was fighting not to have it. I found a pocketknife nearby and my left arm grabbed it. I slit my right wrist. As the blood flow from my wrist, I slowly released the injection from my grip.
I let go of the injection and it fell. And there it was. I could see it, cracked.