Junkies I Used to Know

Maybe you should go to rehab. 

I still hear stories about you from people I kinda know. And I guess what I mean to say is maybe you should go back to rehab. Clearly the first time didn’t work out all too well for you, because you’re still slinking around the Lower Bottoms with a needle in your arm and soot in the stars in your eyes which barely stay open under the million pound weight of too much heroin and the blistering, brutal sunshine which refuses to stop reminding you about the world outside this petered brown bedroom. You find sheets in the street and drape them dusty over window sills so cracks of bright light streak in unexpectedly when day time hits hard like hangovers. 

What would your mother say. My god, I hope you don’t have a mother. I hope your mother is long gone in her silk pajamas and her concerned face with that care in her eyes, knocking on your bedroom door back in high school years before it was ever dirty rigs tossed willy nilly in between with the cigarette butts and the busted boots with soles ripped from the feet and the free weekly paper with help wanted ads circled in the back, but you never had the time to pay your phone bill to call the number to get that job. So you sit in your room with the other junkies who really are just accessories to your fancy amphetamine high and with your stolen computer and your stolen wifi and a few keys have fallen off the keyboard like the teeth in your mouth are dying to fall out, too. What would your mother say. 

People you know who are doing slightly better than you are still happy to see you when you peel yourself off the carpet of discarded beer bottles and every garment of clothing you know own has a little dab of blood on it in some spot because sometimes shooting up is tricky business, it’s perilous so use the whatever fabric on the floor to stop the bleeding. Your friends – they’re your friends, right? – have been taking pictures like they always do, so even though you haven’t logged onto Facebook in weeks now they are still posting pictures of you like forensic evidence of the fuckery and the misery and the all around patheticness of bloated and beaten up and that leather jacket used to look so cool but now it’s just tattered and belies the inability to ever make good choices. Nothing lasts. Friendships don’t last. Leather jackets don’t last. Heroin highs don’t last. 

Be more angry at people. Be coming off heroin and in the streets frantic and panicking because there is only one thing that will solve all your problems and it’s not succumbing to the artistic bohemia of netherworld drug indulgence and living a life apart from the hullaballoo of the rat race and city living and people in suits and squares. Nope, it’s the one thing that you’ve secretly just always wanted, it’s the one thing that matters, and money is the only cure for the dope sickness dancing jitter bug up your veins and into your brain where the screaming never stops and the pain is leaking back down into every muscle and throbbing up throwing you up against the wall, slammed and breaking and bleeding.

Sometimes you wonder when death comes, and I’d like to let you know that the rest of us out here in Oakland are wondering the same damn thing. When are you just going to die already? Get more money, buy more drugs, and just fucking overdose already. 

We’re waiting for you to die. We’re just waiting for you to die.