The junk raced through my veins, icefire and numbing bliss, and in that moment of clarity I know I have to get out of here. Wild white roses sprinkle my vision, doing their best to block out the raunchy apartment I hid in. I almost smile, the muscles along my jaw clenching against the numbness. But then the roses start to bleed, blackened pus dripping down over their leaves and gathering on the tips of their thorns, falling like huge pearls of rain. Storm clouds fat with the drug billow so close to the ground I can reach out and touch them, feeling their tainted tears slide into the folds of my fingertips.
I bury deeper into the inviting pillow of her lap, letting her hand brush the sweat and hair from my forehead, not entirely sure if she is actually touching me or if she is even here at all. I can hear my teardrops fall into the smooth silk of her lap as though they were the steady drumbeats of a lost and unheard tribe of no-ones and I knew I had to get out of here.
I wasn't going anywhere. I clench the girl tighter and in the back of the fog and mess that covers my mind I wonder if my arm will go numb from forgetting to take the belt off. I wasn't going anywhere because I couldn't go anywhere, I realize; not like this. I stare into a velvet black that is speckled with tiny white explosions erupting at the end-tips of every nerve in my eyes.
Besides, I didn't have anywhere to go.
Jerking awake from the freedom of sleep, my body screamed out in freezing pain. I thought maybe Becca threw a pot of ice and water on me. She's done that, on occasion. To pull me out of a deep black. Or just for fun. I'm not sure which. Sometimes, I'm not real sure if she's on my side or the junk's.
My eyes opened in total darkness. For a moment I panicked. I thought I was blind, I thought that finally I had bought some Poodoo that had really fucked me up, that had wrecked me within an inch of my life and brought me back a broken man. It was a stupid thought, I realized; I never pay for any of it, not even the really good prime junk.
After eternity, after the angels screamed and the heavens fell, after a few moments of complete idiocy, I settled back against the bed and stopped my panic. I stopped the urge to scream at the top of my blackened lungs and I pulled the blanket from over my head. I'm sometimes prone to such neuroticisms, it seems. I don't know it it is the drugs or my fragmented memories or the metal plate I have in my skull from the accident, but the episodes are upon me and gone with their inexplicable shadows haunting me for the rest of the night.
The window was open. Wide open, letting in the gray winter and chilling the sweat my body pushed from every pore until my body hairs were brittle with frost. Did I open the window? Did Becca leave the window open? Probably. She probably thinks I am not doing a good enough job in this destruction of myself.
I rose to shut the window, shuffling from the bed to the window and back to the bed with the quilt pulled against my huddled body and the cold bare floor screaming obscenitites at my feet. My leg muscles were cramped and directionless and I wondered it there was any blood pumping through them at all. I wondered when was the last time I had left the bed on my own.
I laid back into the stiff bed, the blankets twisting around my limbs so that none of my naked flesh was exposed to the pungent apartment air. I could feel the first clouds of self-pity begin to fill with the cold winds of sobreity. My chest heaved to catch its breath and my hands began to shake, just timidly at first though I knew the quivering would grow more violent until I was practically throwing my body around in convulsions and she would have to come in and hold me down and put that first needle in me.
Where the hell was she?
Yeah, so, that's how my days go anymore. Wake up late in the afternoon and wallow until I couldn't stand living anymore, then I would start in on the junk, filling my veins with poison and magic over and over again until I had no choice but to succumb to the mind-numbing void that burns and claims me as its own.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a junkie. I know how it might look, to someone looking in from the outside, as though I have a problem, but I don't. I've seen people that make what I do seem like only a weekend habit. I've seen people sell their bodies and their lives for the fire to burn their veins. I've seen people kill for it and I've seen people killed for it. I've seen people crumble into rambling nothingness as they still clutched the needle in their arm. I'm not a junkie. I'm using the junk. Maybe not as much as the junk's using me, but I'm standing my own ground.
Against the shakes and the tears and the sobbing, I clench my eyes tight until I hear the skin of my face crack beneath the tension, wishing that the black would come and swallow me up and make everything go away. The black is the promised land, whispered about in awe behind the dumpsters below, but you can't just get up and go. It comes for you, devouring you. But the black won't come for me until the junk burns me mercilessly.
I've been doing this for weeks. Months, maybe; I don't know. Memories have become a confusing thing. Dust in the eye that I am continuously trying to work out. It's stained black-and-white photographs that make no sense. Memories don't matter, what happened before doesn't matter. If it ever did.
That's what I keep telling myself.
I've thought about stopping this pursuit, of leaving behind this pilgrimage, of quitting this madness. I've thought about letting go of this sickness, of divorcing myself from the junk, but it would be too painful a separation. The two of us are so in love that to think of spending any time apart rips my heart to pieces. I am in love with the needle, in love with the poison. In love with the pain. Only when you totally love can you at all hate. As much as I despise what the junk does to me and how it tears at my loosening grip, I cannot imagine my life without her. I can no longer remember how I lived before this started. Till death do us part... never in the past have these words held so much strength, so much truth. I chide myself for thoughts of quitting; how could I dare think of leaving my love? Do I think anyone will ever love me again as she loves me?
Becca holds the syringe in her thin fingers, her thumb pressed readily on the piston; the silver needle hangs in the air, catching the last twinge of sunlight that somehow has found its way into the room. The belt is strapped to my arm so tight the skin is pinched red and white. I'm waiting for the cold flood to shake my veins.
"Don't you think you ought to stop?" she says suddenly, her eyes still focused on the needle. She never looks at my face when she's shooting me up.
I turn my head toward her, my eyes sweating with each blink. What kind of question is that? I have no answer for her. I cannot tell her why; I cannot make her understand. There is no understanding. I don't understand myself.
"I don't want to," I simply say, my words slurring together because my tongue is dry and swollen behind my lips.
"You're killing yourself," she tells me, but still she takes my wrist, turning it to expose the inside of my arm. She does good at this sticking, as if maybe, in her previous life, she was trained to save lives instead.
"I know," I whisper, laying back and smiling weakly. "That's what I want."
The needle sets in my arm, its tiny head dug beneath my pale skin. She sits in silence, whether to torture me or in disbelief I do not know. I think of raising my head and catching her eye, but why bother? I know the look on her face; it's the same look she wears when she comes in every evening. Of pity and sorrow. It would get to me, at the beginning, to see her look at me like that, to see her thinking I was throwing away my life. But I am a tolerable man, and she knows she cannot save me. She knows that this pursuit of the black is my only salvation.
I inhale as I feel the drug enter me, my body growing cold with anticipation. I shiver slightly, waiting for the rush to hit me. Sometimes, it takes two minutes for the drug to burn me, sometimes two hours. It all depends. Through my blue lips, I whisper thank you.
I wait and wait....
There is no burning, no flowers swimming to meet my eyes, no black rising to swallow me. I don't feel a thing, not even the numbness. Nothing. It's not to say that the drug is dead, that there is no high-rise ride here, but that I cannot feel any of it. Or I feel so much that my senses are overwhelmed. And I know. This is the ride that crashes. This is when I die. When I die? I suddenly forget why I even wanted to die. I try to say something to her, a cry for help maybe, but my tongue is pressed against the roof of my mouth and refuses me service.
From somewhere, I can feel her laying beside me, pressing her lithe body against me, as if to shield me. She wears an almost non-existent silky thing, as usual. Still trying to tempt me away from this path of self-destruction though she knows I cannot be stirred. Sometimes I wish I could take that road instead, to take her hand and fall into dances of such sweet decadence. If only the decision had been mine to make; her presence at least is my warming comfort. But just as soon as I feel her next to me, it all begins to fade, to turn into something else.
A small pounding opens its way into my ears, sounding like a rushing river making its way over a thousand-foot cliff. The ecstatic feeling of pins being pushed into my every nerve sends a quiver through my body and I become aware of her hand on my bare chest. I feel the sting of sweat roll into my eyes and I taste bile rise against the back of my throat.
"hnuuuh!--" my voice finds its way past my lips, though as nothing more than a whisper, and I dig my fingertips into the bedsheet as my body convulses. Red dots of pain explode in my vision as my neck twists against the pillow. My chest feels as though ready to explode, the blood burning to a boil as it races through those hidden chambers and valves of my darkened heart.
The air presses down on top of me, holding me against the bed. Then it's Becca, her hands clenching my arms, her hips resting over mine as she kneels over me, shouting words that don't make it to my ears, words that are lost beneath the roar and the rush of blood that's filling my head, as though a dam's water tumbles over its keep. I shake my head savagely to quiet the noise.
In the corner nearest me, in those shadows that refuse to go away even in the brightest of daylight, a figure emerges that I see clearly even through the blurry haze that covers my eyes. Death, no doubt, coming forth to accept me into the eternal black. There are no black robes for this Death, no celestial posture, no glaring white grin glowing from beneath the shadows of a hood. No, this Death is familiar, always there when I close my eyes. A young woman standing almost defiantly, her choppily-dyed hair surrounding her pale face almost like a hood itself, her large eyes piercing the air between her and I, and a sigh escapes my heart.
She turns her frowning smile toward me and, though I know why she is here, the air all around her feels electrified, as if radiating pure happiness and sorrow. I stare at her knowingly, tears burning their salt into my cheeks. An image flashes through my mind, of a black river rising up to swallow me, and I push the memory away. I try to say something, anything; I try to say I'm sorry, but the words are lodged somewhere in my chest, echoing in my soundless sobs.
From under everything, I can still dimly feel the warmth of Becca still above me, her hold loosening and her words gentle now, though still silent behind the calamity filling my ears.
I stare towards Death, silently pleading with her, inviting her. Wordless, she remains still, gazing at me with that sorrow in her eyes. Instead of coming to me, instead of wrapping me up in her arms one final time, she moves back, letting the black swallow her until all that is left are the empty shadows.
I reach for her, crying out, partially tearing myself free from underneath Becca, calling out that name which I've tried so hard to bury. I strain for the corner, for the black. My eyes blur with tears and sweat and I cannot see in front of me, but I know she's gone. The ache for her that trembles inside me remains, but she is gone.
My lungs burn, a sweet fire with every breath. Becca's arms wrap tightly around my neck, holding me to her. She's sobbing, crying my name and damning me as teardrops fall onto my skin. I can feel my own tears dry as they slide across my cheeks. And I wonder why. Why I'm still alive. Why I've been left to live.
Is it that I am not ready? That I have not suffered enough? Every day my pain and my guilt swallows me, and I try to drown it all out with the poison, try to escape it. Instead of living and atoning for being left behind while she went ahead into the black, I have only dug into this destruction. I cannot find the forgiveness for her death, not in a needle, not in myself, yet all I have done is run from the chance for redemption.
I turn against Becca, my muscles ripping with the movement. She is still crying, her face buried against my neck. She looks up at me, her eyes red and teary. I brush her hair from her face and I smile, feeling a strength returning to me that I have not felt in too long. A determination that I thought was dead.
"Shh, now," I say, kissing her gently, feeling her tears seep into my lips. "Don't worry, sweet. It's all right.
"The black is gone now." </div>
<div class='signature'><a href='http://z7.invisionfree.com/StarWarsGala ... st=0&#last' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Edward "The Shadow" Aisles-Sith Assassin</a>
<img src='http://jedirend.com/wp-content/uploads/ ... arvest.png' border='0' alt='user posted image'>
There is no shame in going out fighting and getting your ass kicked, but there is no honor in not fighting at all.</div>