The back right tire catches some gravel on the shoulder, and starts to slide as I grab the steering wheel and try to pull the car back in line. The car swerves back and forth until finally gaining traction. The blue bandana around my head is drenched in sweat as my teeth clench tightly at the leather belt that is wrapped around my bicep. “Start me up” by The Rolling Stones is blaring out of the speakers and my hearts still racing from the previous coke rush as I jam the needle into my arm once again while simultaneously trying to stay in my lane on I95.
I almost hit the car next to me as I hear a horn blaring, and then swerve back into my lane. The magic potion of cocaine and heroin inside this needle is calling me, but I can’t seem to hit a vein. The needle is too dull from overuse and the veins in my arm are rolling out of the way. I’ll make it work though, I’m on fire, my hearts racing and I feel like a rock and roll legend speeding up that highway. I don’t care about the cars around me, I’m in my own world. I definitely don’t care about the vehicle I’m in either, I just smashed the back end in when I side swiped some cars leaving the city. After copping some heroin, I pulled up on some coke boys on Preston St and snatched their bundle through the car window as I hit the gas. I was so busy watching the rear view for any guns being pulled that I sideswiped a parked car while tearing around the corner.
That didn’t matter though because I was on the highway now and safe from that issue, and now I had a new one. The song has switched up to “Gimme shelter”, Mick Jagger screamed out “Rape, Murder, It’s just a shot away!” as I wiped sweat from my neck with my palm and then holding the steering wheel with my knees poked my head up close to the rear view mirror. Then in full view of the car next to me I slammed the needle into my neck and plunged it, watching myself carefully in the mirror while my car raced up the highway so that I didn’t miss. The cocaine would float me on a cloud of heart slamming euphoria for the next fifteen minutes before finally releasing me into the soft pillow of heroin that would cradle me for several hours.
I looked over at the car riding parallel to me on the highway to see the sheer terror on their faces, and thought to myself that I better get somewhere fast before the cops were called.
Yes, that was me. I own a few businesses now, as well as a nonprofit. I spend my life bettering myself and the world around me. I take care of myself, travel, and love myself and others genuinely.
Before drugs and alcohol I liked birdwatching and writing poems about nature. I collected baseball cards, and flowers from the woods. I would hang dry them and press them in pages of a book for safe keeping. I wanted to be an ecologist. I wanted to play my part in saving Mother Earth. I had dimples and bright blue eyes. I was a grandmothers pride and joy.
Somewhere along the lines as the toughness of the world pressed upon me, I became uncomfortable with my own innocence. I didn’t like this person that God created that was me, I decided that I was going to recreate myself. I was going to mold myself and toughen myself how I wanted me to be. I learned that this wasn’t easy. I was who I was. The only thing that could give me the power to be someone different were these magical chemicals that I ingested. They consumed me and caused myself to spiral into oblivion until I became that man driving up I95 shooting himself in the neck, not caring about himself or the lives of those around him. The only thing that mattered was making it all go away for another day.
I could justify it in my mind, that I was a rockstar and a badass and this is what they do, but deep down inside I hated myself then just like I hated myself before then.
Our biggest enemy is ourselves, we must love ourselves, understand ourselves and accept ourselves. We need to know that we are created perfectly and that it is not us that was created wrong. It is our skewed perception of society and of ourselves. We cannot grow and blossom into the infinite potential of what we are meant to be until we accept that we are perfect just the way we are, and no amount of anything will make us better.