“Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m an addict.”

“Hi, Jessica.”

“Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m an alcoholic.”

“Hi, Phillip.”

“Hi, I’m David and I’m addicted to heroin.”

“Hi, David.”

Sitting down I could swear one of my kidneys has popped and that my left leg is on fire. This Subutex crap they’re giving me doesn’t do anything and it’s certainly not helping with the fire ants crawling around my inner thigh, but the questions they ask here are striking many chords, a fucking Beethoven symphony to be a bit more precise – tears and all.

At forty-three and with the divorce had happened twelve years ago I’d never have thought it could be the basis of my newest relationship; heroin usage. I say relationship because that’s what having heroin addiction is. It’s that person who at first makes your life brighter and without whom, ultimately; there can be no light at all.

I started using heroin about a year ago. I was in the projects just before the holidays researching my latest book when I saw her; a teenage girl with a look of endless bliss on her face like something I’d never imagined; a part of me asked if it could be real. She looked about 18, pretty, and the nonchalant way she sat against the wall, forearms resting on raised knees and slender hands draped like cloth, drew me to her.


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