Something went wrong. I was not sure how this happened. I was not sure what took place or what would happen next. I just knew I was about to die. I knew the paranoia had overwhelmed me and I swore (if this were possible) that I was beginning to see the sounds I swore I could hear.
I felt my heart beating through my chest. There was a sensation of pins and needles going down both of my arms, which were numb for some reason.
I was wet and cold.
It was wintertime and I was hiding (like usual) away from the faces, the places, and the people in my town. I was wired and caught up in the aftermath and desperate.
I had to find a way to redeem myself from the demons that disintegrated into my bloodstream.
This is the part that everyone warns about. But no one listens. This is the devil’s trick; it’s not that he tempts you. He warns you. And that’s what does it. That’s what calls us in.
I was never much to believe in God but nevertheless, these are the times I would pray. They call this “Foxhole” prayers. These were the times when I prayed most to ask for His Grace.
I remember begging for help and swearing that I would change my ways, which, I knew was a lie. But I guess God knows when He is being conned.
I would promise, “This is the last time. I swear.” but the concept of a last time was just too impossible for me to consider.
As a boy, I recall hearing sayings about man’s first love and how he never forgets her. None of my first loves ever panned out to be successful.
In fact, none of my friendships ever panned out to be successful either.
This is why I always had to change my surroundings. I had to change crowds to avoid further alterations or beatings and humiliations.
I had to change to protect my lies. I had to switch friends because I could not surround myself with anyone that did not, could not, or would not do the things I did.
I had to stay away from people that lived good lives and did good things because they were painful to me. They were not only a reminder but a mirror and a reflection of my disappointments and shame.
I recall a time I was nodding with my back against the wall. I was at the East Meadow Avenue side of the Meadow Dairy.
I was nodding off into never, neverland, and sitting at the intersection of Prospect and East Meadow Avenue.
I had just infected one of my younger running mates with a new high, which of course, he was unprepared for. He finished vomiting, which is par for the course, and then swore to me how he would never do this again.
I leaned with my back against the wall with my eyes shut like mostly drawn window shades. My mind was elsewhere and me in my soft cocoon; I was elsewhere too.
Mikey L. sat beside me, swearing off the drug. He went on to swear that he would never do this again.
Mikey swore he would never try it but in the first place, but mid-sentence, I allowed my eyes to open partly. I regained a partial sense of awareness and said, “Yes you will. Don’t kid yourself”
I never saw the sense in swearing how I would never do things again because deep down, I knew I would.
But I digress . . .
Hiding away (like usual) in the tunnel of the town’s storm drains. True, I was out from the wind and rain but I was far from warm. I was still wet, still cold, and still going through the aftermaths of a cocaine binge.
I was stuck with no answer to my riddle, no means of resurrection, and the only thing I had left was a small bottle of Robitussin, which I would drink in emergencies like this.
I used to carry cough medicine with hopes to settle the twitchy squirminess. I needed to settle the feeling of me wishing I could break through my own skin.
This was at the cusp between me and my first adventures of heroin. I hadn’t done it yet, but I knew the first experiment was on its way because at that point, I would have done anything to feel better.
It was times like this when heroin not only made sense but as a result of desperation —dope was like a hero that stepped in to settle my outstanding debt with cocaine demons.
The only problem was my debt was not absolved. It only changed hands. Either way, I had to pay interest and either way, all debts had to be settled. Of course, there were always exceptions to the rule because the devil always loves to make deals
I swore I thought my heart would stop. I thought I was going to die but gladly, in exchange, if I were offered another blast, I would have taken it.
I would have readily accepted death for one more hit.
I would have gladly traded my soul. And why not? I had no soul left. To sell my soul meant nothing to me. Nothing meant anything to me (except for my debt to the demons.)
I recall hearing my heartbeat. I recall thinking to myself, wishing I could get away from my schizophrenic thinking.
I was having a meltdown. I could hear voices.
It was the voice of a young boy. The words were unclear at first but I was able to make them out.
This was real.
I swore this was real.
I could hear the voice but I wasn’t sure where the boy could be.
Why would a little boy would be hiding near me in a sewer tunnel?
Either way, I heard him.
I heard him loud and clear.
He was young and innocent. The voice was haunting but yet, angelic, like choir boy, a soprano, singing out in a church.
But this was no church.
No, this was the underbelly of a street. Or to me, , this was the underbelly of the world.
I heard him speaking softly and slowly.
“Oh my God . . . .
. . . . I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee . . .”
I heard this as real as I could hear the cold wind howling through the streets above me. I was cold and growing colder. I felt the stir inside me.
The panic became insurmountable. All I could do was curl up in a little ball.
The little boy continued.
“And I detest all my sins . . .
. . . because I dread the loss of Heaven
and the pains of hell . . .
. . . but most of all
because I have offended you . . .
I swore this was real.
It had to be.
Please, I thought to myself.
Please God, help me
I swore to be good.
I promised I would be a good boy from now on.
I heard the little boy finish.
“And I firmly resolve . . .
. . . with the help of Thy Grace
to confess my sins . . .
. . . to do penance
and to amend my life . . .
God, I hate these drug dreams. I wake up scared as ever and wonder what the hell just happened.
I suppose this is the beast in me that comes along to remind me of the debts I owe because I never paid with my life.
I guess this is why I try to pay back now as best as I can
To even the demons and free myself from dreams like this