The Subtle Hell of Drug Dependence – R. Billings

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My crusty eyes open. I did not dream. I am anxious. I feel psychotic. Things would be easier if I just commit suicide. The alarm is blaring. Its 4:15 AM and the opiate withdrawal clock is ticking.

First things first. I text my using partner in crime. “U awake?” I stare at my phone, waiting for the immediate reply. No text back. Fuck, doesn’t matter, he will wake up eventually. I grab my keys and drive 35 minutes to a rough rural Exxon station. The car radio is off. I am surrounded by empty farmland for miles in every direction. I sit for 45 minutes and finally receive the text back. “Yea on way.” He arrives a half-hour later and jumps in my car.

You see, we have journey to make. My life depends on it. We drive 15 miles to the dealer’s house and park in his driveway. We are not allowed to come to his door and knock. We have to call first. I cannot offend him. I cannot risk being turned away.

My friend’s hand is shaking violently as he dials the phone. He too is enduring the early stages of withdrawal. One ring. Fuck, no answer. Two rings. Fuck, no answer. My nerves and withdrawal symptoms are teaming up against me. Please, answer the phone.

Voicemail. I am fucked. I am going to die. I am going to kill myself. No wait. Just redial. No answer. Okay, redial.

After ten minutes, and by some miracle, I hear a muffled voice answer the phone. He’s awake, he’s home, and he has pills. I spastically pull $180.00 dollars from my wallet and hand it over to my friend and he ventures inside. My friend knows the pill dealer and I do not. He goes inside and returns with six blue oxycodone pills. I crush one on top of my iphone and immediately snort.

All the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. My pain is temporarily alleviated. My friend glances over at me. He’s jealous. He needs cheaper opiates. Heroin. Now, it is time for me to return the favor. I must drive my friend to another dealer. Our relationship is reciprocal; and thus, the journey is not over.

 

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