I may be skipping around a bit here but that’s okay – getting into the story a bit more requires that. I’ve talked about the vampires, the junkies, the strippers waking up on the ballroom floor, the Chimney sweep who wouldn’t pay me, and my crew I used to roam the streets of the city with late at night. But what about the women?
There always has to be a love story in these things, but at that age, for me, I was still falling in love instead of being in love and there is a real difference between the two – for me there was anyway.
We were interviewing roommates on the quick, but each time they got a load of the Goat Faced boy or one of the vampires, well, they’d just haul ass down the stairs and be on their way, leaving us with an empty room and more rent to pay than we already weren’t able to afford. Things were getting desperate.
Now that they had told me they were all junkies, there was no need to hide their addiction or their habits. I’d be looking for work at the kitchen table while they were cooking up. I remember this only now that if you went to use a spoon in the house, the bottom of it would always be black. Even today, so many years later, I don’t use spoons anymore.
Things were becoming too normal too fast. I think this is how mass genocide happens. A large group just gets used to how things are going and once that happens there is no stopping it. Oh, your neighbor was woken up late at night and killed in the middle of the street? 300 people were gassed in a shower? Sure. That’s what happens there. Here. Wherever the story on the news takes you. You hear it once and your shocked. The next time those numbers come across the screen they are less shocking. Then it all becomes a topic you shake your head at when the discussion comes up. Then it just it.
That’s how the heroin became in the house. It just was. They offered me plenty of times but I was never tempted. That’s not to say that I was an angel when it came to drugs. It’s all personal preference really when it comes that that type of thing.
Florence has nodding right next to me when Carolina walked in trying to cap off is fix, which broke Florence out of her state.
“I shoot in my ass these days because it’s not too great to have tracks on your arms,” she said. “When you’re dancing, they don’t like to see what keeps you up on stage. Hell, if I was sober, you think I could stand looking into those eyes sitting there wanting to reach through me? They never want to think about that. This just keeps me going. It actually go with my lifestyle in someway. The whole vampire thing – it’s a reach for immortality – whatever that means. It preserves you inside. Everyone thinks that it’s the heroin that kills you but that’s not what does it. It’s the not having it. It’s the fall to sobriety. Your body needing and not getting everything that it wants. Everything that it deserves. I see all these people walking in and out of my life with their wives and kids at home, with their jobs and security in the bank, with….with everything. And you know what? It’s never enough. For me, for us, heroin is actually enough. Who can say they have enough in their lives?
“Me and this guy over here, though he’s not as much here at this moment as you can see, we’re good. I make enough dancing every night to fill out habit. That’s the thing, right? I make around 300 each night, plus all the stuff we do on the side, we can support what we do. I bring in the money and this guy over here, he pulls his weight in a different way. Those two in that room on the side, they are scraping by. They won’t last another 2 years. Not too long from now, one of them is going to come out and ask for a bit of what we have left. That’s living off the droppings of others and counting on something beyond your control. You do that, you do that, and your at the risk of what other people do. I won’t be like that. Ever.”
Carolina stood up from his nod.
“Let’s go upstairs and take some pictures,” he said. “I’m in the mood to be creative.”
The two of the grabbed hands and walked up the stairs and into the next minute of their lives.
The bedroom door opened next to the kitchen the Goat Face boy walked in, hunched over, looking around until he found the spoon that Florence had just used. He grabbed it and disappeared back from where he came.
He looked like a ghost already to me.