First you will need to know I was a heroin junkie. I was a liar. A cheat. A thief. A manipulative person. And I didn’t care. I loved my addiction as much as I hated it—and that was a lot.
I was the person I wasn’t. My life consisted of masks I’d plaster upon my face. I had three sets of friends: those who thought I just smoked weed, those who knew I shot heroin, and those who loved me regardless of the pain I caused them. It was easier that way, but it always left me wondering who I really am.
Toward the middle of my addiction, I decided to move out of the small shed I was living in and into an apartment with three women. They all knew I was a heroin addict—part of them, I think, had pity on me. So I bargained a deal. A very conniving deal that I would quit using if they let me move in. (Yea fucking right!) They thought it over and came to the agreement that I could sleep in the living room with Yin.
Yin was a gorgeous Asian gal who would wake up in the middle of the night with me and smoke cigs. We would sit on the balcony and bitch about life, together. Now I think back, it comforted me knowing that she hated life, too, even though she wasn’t strung out on hard drugs. It was kind of like a way for me to justify not quitting—she’s not happy, so why would I be… And what’s more, she supported my efforts. (Wait, Jake, what efforts.) Oh, yea, ok, so I didn’t quit using (I wasn’t even trying), but I was fucking her and it was good. I think deep down she knew I had never quit. But we were close friends (with benefits) and she loved my company.
My routine stayed the same: I’d wake up, shoot up, throw up, smoke cigs, drink slurpies, shoot up, throw up, smoke cigs, hustle up money, shoot up, throw up…and it was never ending. “I swear, ladies, I quit that stuff.”
I think what my roommates hated the most was not necessarily that I was using, but the lifestyle that went along with it. I was constantly lying, throwing up over the balcony, didn’t have a real job, et cetera. But those were just underlying actions. Just evidence I was still using—they never could pin me for it, though.
And still, nothing changed.
Three months later, Monica, the overweight roommate, had a gecko that was very ill. She took the gecko to the vet and came home later that day. At this point, I was on the back porch nodding out and smoking a cig. In the other room, she had the gecko lying on a brownie pan—a syringe in her hand. I could hear her from the balcony, crying and whining.
God, she is totally killing my high. Why can’t she just quit bitching? I thought to myself.
I walked in to the kitchen. “Dude, what is your deal,” I said.
“I can’t figure out how to inject him with his medicine!”
“Dammit, give me that,” I said, grabbing the rig from her hand.
There is no way the doctor would have told her to mainline the medicine, I mean, how the hell would you hit an ity bity gecko vein—the veins have got to be the size of a strand of hair. He had to have told her to muscle it. “Look, this is how you do it, ok…now quit whining,” I said.
I stuck the needle into its thigh (err…well, what I thought was its thigh) and injected the medicine. “There, that’s how it’s done.”
The gecko died; I got kicked out. And I was left with Yin’s famous last words, “Jake, the sex was great, but you’re just too much of a liability to have a round. I mean, what about the gecko?”