Pain, a reminder of life
Pain, you’re my constant friend
Pain, you tear out my soul
Pain, you deliver me life

Pain M.S. 1991

I didn’t instantly become a heroine user simply because I let Andrea shoot me up on the morning after my sixteenth birthday, in fact I wasn’t overly impressed with it at the time. Don’t get me wrong the high was amazing, the euphoria fucking phenomenal, but coming back down was the complete opposite.

As I have mentioned before alcohol and smoking seemed to fit me, I know that sounds strange especially to someone who’s never been addicted to something, but they did. In the morning, or more often so, in the afternoon when I woke I occasionally had the hints of a headache, that little twinge of pain in the front of the head just behind the eyes, but that was it, that was my payment for what I did. I might have woken with a dry throat and feeling like an Albanian camel herder had been rinsing his loin cloth out in my throat but I never woke with such a heavy head that functioning was too much to ask. Hair of the dog and another smoke and even those minor problems went away.

But heroine that was different. The high was amazing, I walked into that room tired and under the influence of alcohol, I sat down and presented Andrea with my forearm and the rest as they say is history.

The feeling of that milky liquid entering my arm was strange, you might try to compare it with getting a needle at the doctor, but for me it wasn’t. I watched as the plunger slide down the plastic tube pushing before it the liquid, almost instantly I felt the vein expand and a tingling, an almost burning sensation followed as it did so. Obviously the vein didn’t expand like a rubber balloon but that is what it felt like as Andrea continued to push the plunger downward. It was a measured shot and I was going to take it all no matter what it felt like.

Now one thing you might have to remember here is that I trusted Andrea, I wasn’t sitting back wondering if she was doing things right or wrong, she was the one with experience I was just there for the ride.

As soon as the plunger hit the bottom of the syringe tube Andrea pulled the pressure off the belt around my arm, then slid the needle out. I remember her telling me to lay back on the bed and I remember her taking the bottle of Jack Daniels from my hand, but that is all I remember from that room for several hours.

Whether I fell asleep or lay there staring at the ceiling I do not know, and it’s not really something you ask, but I do know that Andrea was by my side looking after me and making sure I didn’t do something stupid while I was tripping out. It’s funny the camaraderie of drug users and how they might be stone cold out of it but many still protect their friends, anyway I digress just a little.

I may not have fallen asleep but I did enter a dream like state, not one of those states like you see on TV where a drugged person’s vision goes blurry, sounds become funny and things look kind of psychedelic, no I went into total recall. Clear voices and sounds, almost like they were amplified by the same gear I set up every night and clear visions, visions so real I could have been there. But of course there weren’t pleasant images.

It was like the heroine knew of every bad thing that happened in my life and knew exactly how to access that part of my memory. My father yelling me down until I was cowering in a corner feeling the spittle from his angry words hit me in the face. The beatings, every damn beating with every skin tingling moment that his fucking hand struck me. The tears falling from my eyes and leaving burning trails as they traced their way down my cheeks. And the fear, the fear that had me shaking and trembling each and every time. Like I say I don’t know how that effected me in the bedroom of Steve’s place but for every moment while I was riding the beast I was feeling every damn thing.

But the single worst part of that first ride was beyond any of that, the thing that had me wake in a cold sweat trembling and unable to talk while Andrea lay beside me asleep was something I couldn’t possibly know.

As I’m sure you remember I was a witness to the death of my brother, the only person in this world who seemed to care about me, the only person who I can say I truly loved and respected up until that fateful moment he was taken from me. As you will also remember I was standing beside him when that arsehole driver slammed into him stealing him from me. Yet in a heroine daze I suddenly found myself in the driver’s seat of that car.

How is it possible? I cannot tell you. But there I was in the driver’s seat, gripping the steering wheel and watching as my dearest brother Herod was scooped up off his feet, folded over the bonnet and pushed through the fence. I was screaming NO. I was screaming to stop. But in slow motion I watched from only a metre away as Herod’s body was crushed against the brick wall of the house, deforming the house and breaking my brother. Everything was so slow I swear to this day that I saw the very life drain out of his eyes as the trail of blood dribbled out his mouth.

When I woke up there was a pain, not the pain of a hang over, not the pain of a broken bone, the pain of something deep, deep down inside that would not be touched and could not be healed. I reached for the bottle of Jack Daniels trying not to wake Andrea but sleep was long gone from my mind.

My love affair with heroine may not have been instant because of that night, but don’t think for a minute the white bitch didn’t come back.

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