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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Bedroom Days

If I stare into the white ceiling it becomes a vaporous swirl.  Peering into my bedroom ceiling is like peering into my soul.  An illusion that is barely interesting and quite possibly a product of too many psychedelics.  Fuck.  How long have we been in bed?  As if hearing my thoughts, Kym props herself up and looks down on my face.  My eyes take in her blue-eyed stare and folds it into the miasma of my soul.

"I had this dream..." says Kym sniffling as she moves a lock of faded purple hair out of her face, "that this little cat was talking to me.  But I knew it wasn't like a real cat you know?  It was like, one of my ancestor's a cat body.  Like my little sister from a thousand years ago."


I fill up the needle as Kym talks.  My arm is covered in tracks.  Angry holes form deadly constellations that map up and down my limbs.  Dark stars for dark days.  My two favorite spots to hit inside my arm look like demented infant eyes that weep blood and an unknown fluid.  I make a mental note to find the alcohol wipes.  I tie off, find a spot and flex until the needle moles its way into a depleted vein.  I slam the hydromorphone into my bloodstream and shudder with ecstasy as I plummet.  The real is gone and I am falling.  My ghost pulls me deeper towards the cold earth.  I sigh loudly as I drop because breathing feels so fucking good as I tumble through the Darkness.  

" cat sister told me like all the pills and the heroin and morphine and shit like this bottle will replace me.  Yeah.  And she's just like this tiny kitten from the desert..." grimaces Kym through clenched teeth as she digs into her vein.  

Kym sits cross legged above me and I realize I must have nodded out listening to her.  She winces and wiggles the needle in her flesh.  I watch her work a bruised hole on her arm.  When Kym hits the vein and registers blood, her face lights up like she sees an old friend.  She yanks the needle out and licks the wound like an animal.  I fade away.  I can see Kym's Rancid poster on the wall through my hand as I dissipate.   

"And like, each pill replaces a part of me.  And at first I don't even notice it's happening..." breathes Kym as her voice sinks softer and softer.  

And she is gone.  In mid-sentence, Kym slips into the other world.  The ghost world.  I light a cigarette and smoke it slowly while studying the vial.  I want another shot but she watches the line like a hawk.  I look at Kym and her eyes are partly open but whatever she is pondering is in another dimension.  I fix a shot and look at my arm again.  It does not look good.

And I come back to Kym sitting above me in her Johnny Thunders t-shirt with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth as she pulls her hair in a ponytail.  How many days has she worn that t-shirt?  She exhales a plume of smoke and looks at me expectantly.


"I said, don't you feel that way too?" asks Kym.

"Yeah.  Totally" I sit up and look around the room.  Has anything changed?  I can't tell if I've been here for days, weeks or forever.

"Yeah me too.  And like the cat said it starts at your toes.  Fills them up with pills and shots and lines.  Fills up your feet and legs, drags you down slowly but you don't notice.  It switches your meat with drugs and the drugs keeps piling up.  All the way to your neck" says Kym stabbing out her smoke.  She smiles as she straddles me and slides her hands around my throat.

I look at her and raise one eyebrow.

"Oh you like that babe?" she smiles mischievously.  "So yeah when it gets to your throat you drown says my sister.  I mean the cat." 

I laugh and roll her off but she grabs me and drags me on top of her.

"I can't remember the last time we fucked.  Can you?" asks Kym lifting up her shirt so I can see her breasts.

I stare at her perfection and shake my head.  No.

"Do you want to?"

And I don't know what to say because...well, I don't.  Sounds terrible to say this to Kym of all people.  She is the most beautiful woman I have ever known.  Usually I am consumed by thoughts of her.  When she is gone, I jack off thinking about her and when she comes home from work I fuck her enthusiastically but right now...

"Let's just do another shot first" I say pushing myself up and pretending I don't see her frown.

She is silent as I prep her shot.  But when I hand her the needle she sits up and inspects her arm.  She chooses her right arm because her left arm is roped with bruised veins.  I help her tie off but as usual, she insists she shoots herself.  When she finishes, Kym curls into me and lights another cigarette with the one she was smoking.  Now it is my turn.  When I am done, the shame is gone.  To not fuck Kym is a terrible thing yet it slips away like a dead leaf caught on the wind.



"Can you hold me then?  Please?"

I get my arm around her as my blood sings with the chorus of angels.  We dissolve into the futon.  And I think about another shot.  Jesus we gotta get something that lasts longer.  This stuff punches too many holes in our skin.  We need to get back to smoking heroin.  Yeah that will help.  Kym is watching me because I think I was talking to her but faded out.  So I look at her.

"Kym.  How long have we been in here?"

"Jesus fucking Christ!" she exclaims sitting up,  "Babe!  We've been in here all day!  Yesterday too!"

I look at her skeptically.  Huge swaths of my memory are gone.

"Wait"  I say sitting up.  "What?  That can't be right.  When did Jason get this stuff?"

In my head I already know I need more but I need to be wiser and get some heroin too.  Kym looks mildly disgusted.

"Jason?  Jason went to LA with Autumn!  We drove them to the airport!  We got the vials from Melo yesterday in the fucking park!"

The park?  Oh yeah.


Like a comet piercing the atmosphere, the silver needle punched through skin.  With machine-like concentration, Kym finds the center of the blood blossom.  The boot lace uncoiled from her bicep like an angry snake as she injected.  Then an exploding star.  Radiance spreads through her amazement.

"Oooh....there it is" she sighed.  

The hydromorphone swirled through her circulating lifeblood like love wept from the tears of a god.  Euphoria SCREAMED louder and louder with each beat of her heart.  Her eyes recognized me for one wild moment and then...the switch was cut.  Her blue eyes focused on something a galaxy away and went blank.  The nerve network in her spine failed.  I guided her falling body into my arms.

Medical grade dope.  

Melo had a tiny bottle.  Give him $5 and you're floored...the rush is insane.  First shot he gave me was small.  HUGE rush but no nod.  So next round was bigger.  And I vanished.  Bye-bye.  When I returned to my body, there was a moment when all I knew was the flower god.  Everything else was gone.  The cycle continued but I kept forgetting to ask Melo where he scored this?  Melo and Dev are on another tier way above my level on this ziggurat.  They are batshit insane, peppered with holes, high as fuck.  And $40 later...Kym and I are deep in the Dream.

Kym likes to fix her own shots.  Says she gets off on sticking it in...I love my crazy girl.  But I let Melo administrate.  He's better than the nurses at the hospital.  He angles the stinger through my skin and into the crux of the vein perfectly and painlessly each time.  And injection...
FUUUUUCCCCKK.  Hits so hard!  This stuff smashes you through the troposphere and past all things earthly straight into another world.  A place is not meant for us.  I feel my eyes roll upwards towards the Light as it slowly narrows into a Door.  Just a few more steps down the hallway...

"No that's too much.  Go easy..." warned Melo.  

Dev grumbles as Melo adjusted her dose.  My rush was gone but I was still really, really high.  Dev winked at me and then her head snapped up as Melo pushed pharmaceutical dope into her arm.

"Mmmm..." Dev moaned.

My girlfriend was still slumped against me.  For a moment I freaked out.  Kym was so fucking still.  Like stone.  The shot got her so high she left her body behind.  And she's wearing her fucking Johnny Thunders t-shirt...the dead rock star felt like a warning as I traced my hands across the soft skin of her cheek.  Staring vacantly through heavily painted Egyptian eyeliner, Kym's blue irises clouded over with starlight and tears.  The transition to the next world was unnatural and wrong.

"You ok?" I asked uselessly through the dream.  

My words are a sigh in her purple hair.  I smelled wildflowers, coffee and myrrh.  The rush was already dissolving and my voice echoed softly like whispers lost in a cloud.  And Kym returned with a shudder and a shake.  She popped out of my embrace, looked around and smiled sheepishly.   

"Better than heroin you guys think?" Kym asked in a far away voice.  "Makes you so high, so fast but then it's gone...More!  Give me another hit before this fades."

Melo looked at me as Kym elbows me hard in the ribs to show she is fully cognizant.  So he took our needle and fixed her another shot as I paid Dev.  Kym used same hole.  No pause.  Just stab, dig for the blood flower, untie and puuuush.  Kym pushed fast for the rush.  I removed the needle as she sighed.  The little priestess sitting on sleeping bags across the tent slowly lifted her head and trapped my eyes in her stare as I dabbed up Kym's blood with Taco Bell napkins.  I fell into Dev's trance. Frumpy little Dev scrunched up holding a cigarette with a two inch long ash.  

"Good shit huh?" said Dev.  

Their tent is blue and filled with layers of cigarette smoke.  Filtered sunlight shining through the fabric makes this space dreamy and dotted with stars where the material is worn.  Kym looked awake in the sparkling light but whatever she was pondering was definitely not in the tent.  I held her hand and was grateful for the warmth.  Kym's hand gently squeezed my hand three times.  Like a message from a traveler far, far away.  Three squeezes from Kym means I- LOVE- YOU.  I get it every time I hold her hand sober, drunk, wasted or high.  I LOVE YOU.  The lifeline to pull yourself back home.  

"Kym is where we go when we are dying Lover" said Dev.

"Honey please..." said 
Melo quietly as he measured another shot.  "Please don't start this now."

Dev rolled her eyes and grinned.  I watched Melo tie himself off with the boot lace.  He squeezed his fist a couple times and studied the map of veins on his arm.  I watched him slide the needle just above his tattoo.  Words from a past life when Melo was a soldier.  The black letters proclaim: I am The Darkness.  Melo pulled out the needle and cleaned his blood off with one of the alcohol wipes he got from the needle exchange van.

"Why?  We all love this space.  It's natural.  The door is through our mortal flesh.  You like it don't you Lover?  I know you can feel it all the time just like me..." says Dev in her monotone little girl voice that seems unnaturally loud in the stillness of the tent.  "People like us have to be extra careful."

I smile in agreement.  Yeah I know what she meant.  

"Just one world over Lover...So perfect.  A dreamer's paradise.  But it's also a stepping stone to the next life.  We shouldn't play here too long" she winked as she took one last drag from her smoke and dropped it into a Gatorade bottle.

Kym stirs against me and gasped as she popped back into the tent from her journey.  Happy to see her safe, I stroked her high cheek bones and think about her desert ancestors she claims walk side by side with her in this life.  She sleepy smiled at me through stringy, dyed purple hair as I leaned in and kissed her.  Melo nods forward but his spine remains rigid like he was meditating.  He stared vacantly into the gloom.  Gone.  

"Dev.  Can I buy the rest of that bottle?" I asked.

"And do you have anymore?  Like unopened ones?" asked Kym who was counting a fistful of cash.


"Don't you want more?  More than this shit?" demands Kym pointing at the overflowing ashtray in the bed and the litter of fast food wrappers, soda cans and empty plastic bags that surround our futon.

"Don't worry Kym" I say soothingly.  I feel nothing but love for her and the opiates in my blood sing this to me.  I smile convincingly and hold her hand.  "After this semester, things will be better.  Just relax and let's have this conversation later.  Ok?"

Kym's lips move like she is trying to come up with something to say and finally she shrieks and grabs her purple hair.  

"What the FUCK are you talking about?!  You dropped out of school!" she shouts at me.  "Oh my God you're so fucked up!"


"You dropped out of school you asshole!" screams Kym rising out of bed.

"Well yeah I know that" I say as my mind scrambles over lost days and promises uttered just so I could be high in peace.  Fuck.  I forgot about that.  I named it my 'academic sabbatical' but I dropped out because I was too high to deal with my morning labs.

"Fucking shit!  I can't do this anymore!  I can't be like this!" screams Kym as she picks up the full ashtray and throws it against the wall.

It explodes in a cloud of ash, cigarette butts and glass.  Panting like a trapped animal her blue eyes lock onto me defiantly.  But I don't challenge her.  She threw the ashtray and not the drugs.  As I sit up, I look around the room and for the first time I see all the blood.  Fuck.  Blood sprayed from squeezed off arteries on the wall.  Blood dripping from unhealed wounds and smeared across the sheets.  Streaming down our arms and mingling with Kym's tears.  

"This is like living in a nightmare" pants Kym who looks feral and ready to kill.  She sits up and below her breasts are starved ribs straining through a bruised, pale torso.  She takes her shirt from the bed and looks at me sadly.  "Someday babe, we have to wake up."

As the Johnny Thunders t-shirt slides over her gaunt body, I stare at my girlfriend.  She usually crushes me in moments of resolve but I sit up and grab the belt we use to tie off, the vial and the dull needle we have been sharing.  

"Everything will be ok..." but my voice is so far away that I wonder, Who said that?

"This is wrong!  Look at our fucking arms!  We can't live in a dream!  We have to wake up!" screams Kym.  "WAKE UP MOTHERFUCKER!"

Her voice clears away the fog for a moment.  But the cold fingers of the corpse god squeeze me.  They crush hope and sanity.  Kym can break free but I stare at her like a demon as I hold up the needle understanding all too well why she watches.  The ice above us is cracking and letting in shafts of sunlight.  I know one day we will need to smash through or we shall drown down here in the Darkness.  But today?  No.  Not today.  Maybe tomorrow.

"So..." I say as I pull another shot of hydromorphone.  "You're done?  Ok, it's the only choice and I am with you Kym.  I agree 100%.  But not just yet..."

Kym stares at my hands as I hold up the rig and marvel at it.  Bliss is such a small measure of liquid.  I know at this point of my binge I am insane because I don't care if Kym stays or goes.  The important part is in my hand.  

And somewhere far away I can hear Kym crying as the Darkness comes.


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