Recollections from a rehab – part eight


Continued from recollections from a rehab – part seven…

Obviously I was still running away from myself; from the pain of losing my parents, both of whom were complex individuals, causing my feelings towards each of them to be deeply ambivalent and the resulting war which raged inside me was both intense and unbearable, the resolution of which seemed way beyond my capabilities at that time, so I just carried on burying them deeper and deeper, hoping beyond hope that they would stay buried, whilst at the same time knowing full well that they wouldn’t and that it was just a matter of time before they came rushing to the surface, staring me in the face, forcing the confrontation.

I had asked a couple of the more approachable lads at the rehab where the best places to score were in Durban and based upon their answers, headed straight for an area known as The Point, which was right on the seafront. I then checked myself into the nearest, half decent-looking hotel I could find and got a room on the tenth floor, overlooking the Indian ocean and the entrance to the port in the distance.

The bell boy at the hotel was an older Indian guy named Sonny and when I’d checked in and we’d been chatting in the bedroom, I’d done a bit of gentle poking about and he dropped the hint that he was the man who can, although I didn’t feel comfortable enough with him yet to ask him for what I needed but time was definitely pressing on because I only had about twenty-four hours after leaving The Cedars before the last of the Suboxone would start leaving my system and then I would be in real trouble.

The only thing for it was to hit the street and see what was going on, so I went for a wander down the street which ran at the back of the hotel, the other side from the seafront, where there were a few possible looking guys on the street but none that I felt right approaching straight off the bat. A bit further down was the entrance to some kind of shopping complex and standing in the doorway was a white guy, who I made eye contact with straight away and then approached, asking him outright if he could get me some heroin, making it clear there was one, of whatever he wanted in it for him, if he could.

His name was Jerad and we took off at a brisk pace, as obviously his need was at least as great as, if not greater, than mine. I’ve been on hundreds of these fast-paced hikes, in many different cities and always, the minute it becomes apparent that it’s game on, the adrenalin kicks in and the senses become immediately heightened, as you straight away have to assess whether the person is one of three things: straight up, the police or whether they’re after mugging you.

Not far down the road we met up with one of Jerad’s mates (Graham) and all three of us then twisted and turned down side streets and back streets until eventually coming to the entrance to a building, out front of which stood a couple of casual looking black guys, who glanced at us for a second but then quickly looked away once they saw it was Jerad and in we went.

I’ve no idea what the ‘official’ function of this place was, as when you walked in off the street all there was was a big empty space with a TV mounted on the back wall, which had the volume turned up as loud as it would go, tuned to a religious station, appealing to everyone present through the distortion, to walk with Jesus into the fire, which I wasn’t quite ready to do; I would, however, smoke some of his heroin and may just be tempted into sampling a bit of his crack too, if the price was right and it looked ok.

Words were had between Jerad and a couple of guys and I was summoned to the rear of the room, out of sight of the street; the point at which all senses then go into overload, for if you’re going to get attacked, that would be the time it would generally happen, but things went smoothly, I got what I was coming for and praying it wasn’t fucking brick dust, left the building with Jerad leading the way and Graham bringing up the rear.

I picked up some tin foil on the way back to my hotel room, a distance we traversed with even greater speed on the way back as the churning stomach of rabid compulsion propelled us and once inside, we went about our individual tasks of getting what I’d bought, from the outside, to the inside, as quickly as was humanly possible.

I had just got mine on the foil and was burning it from underneath, inhaling the first few lungsful when I happened to glance up and then wished I hadn’t, as a flaccid, uncircumcised penis suddenly filled my view.

No, we hadn’t suddenly decided upon a quick game of hide the salami, it was just that Jerad needed to inject himself in the groin. For those unfamiliar with what I’m talking about here, when someone uses needles, over time, they eventually run out of convenient veins in which to inject, causing them to seek out and use the Femoral vein, which is deeper than other veins and also more robust, meaning it can be used continuously.

When in the grips of the compulsion to use, often people can tend to forget any kind of manners they once may have had and it’s not unusual to find yourself in a room in which leg wear is rapidly descending and biiiig loooong needles are being brandished, which can definitely be unnerving at first, but which I’m sorry to say, you quickly get used to, as it becomes just another in a long line of grim and grimy situations you never envisaged yourself being involved in when you were a little boy and people were asking you what you wanted to be when you grew up.

There’s not much more to add here concerning Jerad and Graham, other than they got hammered, we talked for a bit and I learned they were both graduates of The Cedars a couple of years previously, who had stayed clean for a short while and then both relapsed together when the monotony of their drug free lives became too overwhelming for them to deal with anymore, bringing them to the point at which a single, swift and decisive choice was made and here they were two years later, living with the consequences of that choice.

I was also living with the consequences of all the choices I had made in my life up until that point, although to use the word choice is a little too simplistic when discussing addiction as there are many other factors and forces at play, influencing those choices and decisions as they present themselves over the course of a lifetime, with most of those decisions in fact being subconscious, driven by a whole host of emotions, produced by myriad moments and situations one would really rather forget and have the fuckers stay forgot!

For me, as for most people, there are a few of these events I would rather were buried forever but with which I unfortunately must co-exist. As I continue forward on this here little literary journey, I may find the courage to share some of these, for who knows, you may have experienced similar, most likely in fact but as is always the case when opening those particular boxes, they never quite close as quickly, or neatly as I might like.

So, please do forgive my reticence, as I gaze over these boxes of mine, wondering which to show you…ha!…more choices…more decisions…I hope I make the right ones this time.

to be continued…

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4 Responses to “Recollections from a rehab – part eight”

  1. johnmiddle@sbcglobal.net Says:

    from cedar to seedier….

    Looking forward to number 8.

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