I had a using dream last night. They come and they go. But not as frequently as they used to. It’s been a few years, at least, since I have used.
I imagine the dream was triggered by the reading of my own writing. Going through pages of journals, poems, one-liners scribbled here and there in different notebooks. Trying to make sense of it all.
The feeling of waking up in the morning and remembering vividly the inhaling and exhaling of the thing you used to live for and should have died over is not the best way to wake up. It’s so real. Breathing in. Breathing out.
I left the house this morning with a broader agenda than usual.
On my way into the Seattle, where 99% of the bullshit in my life occurred, every turn of my head along with every turn of the steering wheel brought a bad memory.
An old, wrinkled snapshot in time.
A picture forever implanted in my afflicted mind.
I drove down Pacific Highway searching for a route to I-5 North. I couldn’t go all the way to Tukwila on this dilapidated stretch of road. Too many thoughts.
Shady motels, pawn shops, dealers and prostitutes. I can’t help but stereotype the people I see standing at bus stops, corners and walking the street.
I feel I have the right to judge because I know the type all too well. I know I really don’t have the right. But it is what it is. At least I can admit it. I walked with them. I stood with them. I drove with them. I talked with them. I sold to them. I bought from them. I slept with them. I deceived them. As they did me.
I found a sign to I-5 North. Curving around the on-ramp , I looked at the overgrown brush. In my head was the distinct picture of myself aggressively throwing my paraphernalia out of the window in a place similar to this. Jesus, I thought, I can’t fucking escape it. When the thoughts come, they come with a vengeance.
Ducking down in the car to take a hit hoping a cop doesn’t see the illumination from the lighter. While at the same time not caring because I needed it that bad.
Pupils black. Irises no longer visible.
Rear view mirror.
There isn’t an alley, a street, a street corner, a neighborhood I can pass or go through without having a stabbing memory of the past.
I am glad I moved 30 miles away for this reason: I don’t have to live where I was tortured. I don’t have to walk into all the businesses I took advantage of to support my habit anymore. I don’t have to drive by every alley and remember parking there getting high. I don’t have to drive by the houses I used in. I don’t have to drive down the streets I parked on and slept with my dealer in exchange for a one hour high.
After throwing out as many terrorizing images as I could, just like I threw out that paraphernalia, I finally reached my destination this morning. As I walked across the parking lot, on the pavement I see the insides of a discarded pen. To the normal person, this is nothing. I wouldn’t know what it looked like to them, or if they would even notice. What I see is a drug addict, scoring their dope, preparing to get their fix. The ritual I would go through getting my hit ready. There are few feelings that compare to that moment of sweet anticipation. And then you taste it. Feel it. You know, they compare that feeling to an orgasm, I can’t say I object.
My head seemed to clear after that. I distracted myself. It’s what I do to get by.
However, after this, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had another using dream tonight.