There I was, (figuratively speaking of course) and lost in an empty field with tall grass, bending, and swaying in the wind.
I was someplace else. I was in a long incredible dream, which I could somehow feel in my body. I felt myself drifting like a warm breeze, halfway in a nod, and slipping gently into this great new spiral I found near 134th street.
I was unaware and unconcerned with where I was or what I looked like. I wasn’t thinking about the problems at hand or anything crucial.
No, I was fine to sit with my back against a wall. Besides, there was no place to go and there was no reason to be anywhere else.
Instead, I sat for a while and let myself be drawn in by the undertow of something no one else in the world could ever understand.
I found myself a nice warm place. And it was like my own soft cocoon, lofty and painless, high, and above all, perfectly weightless. All the fast moving things and loud-mouthing sounds had slowed down to a quiet unobjectionable crawl.
Everything around me became instantly meaningless. The filth and stench of the room or the vomit on my clothes was meaningless. The outside was unimportant to me. But inside, I saw this vision in my head. I saw Angels from Heaven falling backwards in darkness and dying off like my tragic brain cells. And each cell was quick to die in what I saw as beautiful suicide missions, exploding into the vast and empty excess of my euphoria. Of course, the appeal and the loft in my mind were far different than my actual surroundings.
I was in a small dirty room of a rundown apartment. There was a light bulb that hung from the ceiling and dangled from the wires of a broken fixture. I watched the light swaying above the middle of the room in the empty air. I could smell my vomit on my shirt but it didn’t matter. Actually, at that point, nothing mattered to me
I always loved the way euphoria came in and shoved aside the unneeded nonsense in my head, which was nearly everything. Therefore, upon liftoff, my head was nothing more than perfectly empty.
I loved the way my high could soften the harsh sounds and quiet the ongoing thoughts, which would never stop unless I found a way to stop them.
I loved the switch and how my body sort turned off.
And you —you didn’t mean anything to me.
Vince came over and asked to set up. He sat nearby and I watched him prepare to go through his routine.
“Never let it get this bad, kid.” This was a case of the elder (namely Vince) warning the younger (namely me) to run and get as far away as possible.
But I never understood why it was like this. I never understood how someone like Vincent could tell me, “Stay away from the needle,” while pushing forward on a plunger.
Vince told me, “You should kick,” and then he wiped his mouth.
“You should find the book or something.”
“Get away from this shit,” he told me.
The book, in Vince’s reference, meant the bible. Although Vince was seen and known as a junkie that had done terrible and unthinkable things; Vincent still prayed and he still said The Rosary every night.
Vincent also carried a copy of King James Bible, which he lifted from a bookstore downtown, and he quoted Bible scriptures that always seemed to fit the time
Vince told me, “I’m telling you now kid, you need to get clean,” before puncturing his skin. And once he shoved in, then Vince just fell away.
I swear his exhale was the perfect explanation of his fix; it was the sound an ultimate relief, or in Vince’s case, it was a closer reach towards the unreachable Gates of Heaven
Sweat rolled down the bridge of my nose as I regained consciousness. I wasn’t sure how long we were there for. And as I re-entered the room and emerged from the nod, Vince was back at it.
This time, Vince was speaking about a passage from the Book of John.
While going setting himself up, for another bag, Vince went back to his routine while reciting, “I am the light of the world.”
This is part of the jazz that makes us spark. This is part of the calling, which no one seems to get —I’m telling you, the ritual means everything when getting high.
Vince continued to recite, “He who follows me shall not walk in darkness . . . but shall have the light of life”
His eyes began to water as he shoved the pin into his vein
“I am the door,” he said.
“I am the bread of life.”
Pushing the needle in, he finished “I am the good Shepard . . .”
God the Father spoke to me. I saw my poison I used and the sins I committed materialize in the sight of my weeping angels, falling backwards, and upside down. The Angels sung to me.
They sung like the sound of a young choir singing about the sadness of crucifixion. And this echoed in my head, so to speak; it echoed like a song echoing inside a church that was destroyed from a battle we could never win.
My eyes half-closed . . .
I thought about the prism like colors of sunlight that comes beaming through stained-glass windows in empty churches. I wanted to reach toward the light and see if I could grab hold of it. I wanted to touch it and find some kind of redemption —but the light always seemed so out of reach
The remedies we used were temporary answers to the stress of never-ending questions. And to me, i never thought I would ever be able to beat the game straight.
Of all things, I just wanted to feel redeemed. Or maybe I just wanted to feel like Vincent said.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I hope so Vince, because the sickness is incredible.
You would think this is frightening enough to scare someone away. But that’s not how this devil pulls off his trick. He doesn’t invite you in. No, he warns you to stay away while welcoming you back with a tempting smile
And then it’s over