Gary and Gasoline

After I did that shot and smoked that rock, I was right back where I started. It was as if I never detoxed at all, full out fiend. Full blown active addiction. I was now basically homeless- since drug court was no doubt watching my house and hoping I was dumb enough to go there, which I was not. I was unemployed, strung out, on the run, homeless, broke, and completely lost. I knew my friend would spend her every last dollar to keep us going, but she had bills and our son to care for, she was not going to cater to my addiction ahead of her own responsibilities. I was at her mercy when it came to money, seeing that I had no way of earning my own, and no way to get out and hustle, plus the fear of the law had me pretty much pinned down. I did my best to not go insane with craving, I tried to space out the little bits she would give me and hope they would keep me well enough through out the day. They would not. I needed more, all the time. I stayed on edge of pure insanity at her apartment for about three days before we had completely exhausted her money, all the dope, and all of our options. I knew I was in a horrible postion. We were. I was the cause of all this. She always managed her self well, but I was the hard core type that would without fail do all my dope and wake up sick and beg her for some of hers too. Every single day. I was like a virus when I was using, exhausting everything I invaded. A leech. We were busted, broke, strung out, sick, and pathetic. No options, no one to loan us money, no more fronts from the dope man, and no gas in the car to get out and hustle. I had to make a move. Something had to be done. I wasn’t going out like this. If I was gonna go to prison, it wasn’t gonna be on a busted streak of dope sick days. Fuck that. I grabbed her keys, kissed her on the forehead, and told her I would be back in a couple hours, with some dope. Neither of those statements were true.

I stood at the gas station on Burr Street in Gary Indiana and approached person after person asking if I could fill their tank up for 10, or 20 dollars less than the cost it would actually be. After I made my first fifty bucks, I jetted out to East Chicago to get my sick off, I can feel my heart beat increase and my blood pressure go up as I write this and think about this horrible, horrible night.

I did all fifty dollars of the heroin all at once, right after I smoked the 15 dollars worth of free crack my guy had given me. And then I headed back to that gas station. With my sick gone, I now had some spunk, I had some energy and I started doing multiple fill ups at the same time. Hitting every single person in the parking lot without exception. I had made 275$ in about 20 minutes when a very large black man approached me and showed me a badge. ” why don’t we go have a talk inside the store, sir, you can’t be peddling gas out here man.” “Alright man, I’ll just leave sir, I’m just trying to feed my family man, you know how it is.” “Yeah man, I know EXACTLY HOW THIS IS, come on inside.” And he grabbed me by the arm and forced me inside the store, up to a wall and cuffed me. He kicked my legs apart and began his search of my person, my wallet, the keys, my phone, the money. He opens my wallet and finds them, the gas cards. Of course they weren’t mine, had they been, they wouldn’t have been any use to me on this night- they would have been long since exhausted and useless. No they were not mine, and this would be a problem, especially because neither was the van I was driving, or the keys in my pocket. This just got super fucked up. I am definitely going to prison, but first I’m going to Gary city jail, lake county jail, and porter county jail. Shit. The cop forced me down to a sitting position and got on his phone- talking to someone, probably the precinct. He ran my info and went back and forth with the person on the other end. After a lot of “correct”s and “uh-huh”s he hung up the phone and placed the keys and the gas cards in his pocket. He walked over to me and began his lecture, and through out the whole shpeel I could tell something was up. “I’m not going to file any charges on you here,man, but you have got to stop fucking with that dope man, that shits gonna kill you dude. I’m going to issue you a trespassing warning for this gas station, you cannot ever come back here again, if you do, you will be arrested. But Valparaiso has a warrant out for you, so you will not be going home tonight, or doing anymore dope tonight either.”” I’m gonna have to take you to GPD and you’ll be taken to lake county in a few days, then porter county will be to get ya.” I’m not exactly sure what’s gonna come of all this, but we ain’t pressin no charges on you, sounds like you’ve got enough to deal with over there.” c’mon, let’s go” he shoved me into the back of his cruiser and away we went. I’ve been to a lot of nasty places before in my life, but Gary city jail is one of the nastiest. In about 8 hours I was about to be horribly sick, sleeping on a piece of solid iron, waiting to go to lake county and then prison, in a cell with no running water, roaches and mice every where, and a bunch of screaming lunatics next door. This was as close as someone can get to actually losing their mind. This time, there was no relief, there was only shear dread, fear, brokenness, and self hatred. I had actually ruined my own life. I was to blame for all this. I was done for. For sure. I finally dozed off after about 4 or 5 hours of laying on iron as single tears trickled from the corners of my eyes and I watched everyone I loved leaving my life. Everything I knew about the world would soon be a distant memory. My son would be almost 20 when I got out. And I gave it all up for a needle and some dope. I woke up at what I would guess to be around 4 in the morning, so malnourished and dehydrated I could barely walk or speak. I hadn’t  eaten a meal in over a week, the only liquid going into my body was the water I cooked my dope with. I was famished. “Excuse me officer? The water doesn’t work in here, could I please get a cup of water?” “Fuck you, junkie ass white boy, drink that water out the toilet.” Holy shit. This was crazy. But I HAD to have water. I walked over and looked at the stainless steel toilet- thick copper looking strands of God knows what ran down the bowl and into the hole, green looking splotches covered the rim and the parts of the bowl the water didn’t touch. A black fuzz was growing from under the seat. “FUCK THAT.” I said out loud, loud enough for the man to hear me. “Fuck YOU.” He said in return. And I cracked a little. A broken sob quickly slipped out, I was so sick, lost, alone, and dying. I had lost all sense of humanity- there was no love in this room, no family, and no hope. And I was to blame. Pretty soon, I would be serving 20 years. What the fuck did I care?  I flushed the toilet, I knelt down on my hands and knees, made a bowl with my hands and scooped up some of the putrid water and took a nauseating gulp, and then did it again three more times. This was hell, and I had just gotten there….

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