Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another year.

For the faint hearted, intellectually aloof or easily bored a typical end of year spew starts now:

And just like a Chinese curse, it's been interesting.

Good things and bad things have happened. Friends have been made and some have been lost. Help has come in many different forms and assistance has been given as often as necessary or possible. Sometimes when it hasn't been necessary as well.

Places were visited that I haven't been to in years and may not get to again for that long again. One place had me grinnin' idiotically inside and out like a kid who was on an E ticket ride at Disney World. Hugs, laughs, tears and hopes were shared with as many as who would accept or give them. Turmoil, beyond the tardiness of drug dealers has been absent in many respects. Hope has been rekindled as well.

New things, both positive and negative were learned. To stop learning is to die and I do my best to try to learn at least one new thing every day. Mistakes were also made and some were corrected if possible. The only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing. Mistakes are also a valuable learning tool.

Needless to say, I've done a lot and continue to get quite an education.

So, let's see what next year brings.

At this moment though, the slingers have their pre-check, pre-holiday shit available. Tomorrow they'll switch up to mostly soda. It's all about marketing.

OK..For those of you who have read this, for those of you who know and for those of you I hope never know, have a gloriously Happy Fuckinggggg New Year!



No kiddin'!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yesterday was Christmas.

It was a nice day in many respects for me. Hopefully it was for everyone else as well.

I did drink a few beers, had a little wine and smoked the dregs of my stash of MMJ. Got silly, talked a bit of trash and things with neighbors, friends real and online and family that did call. There have been lonely Christmases where there were no calls or visits, so I consider yesterday a good one in very many respects.

So, despite my best efforts to be the hermit, cracks are developing in that scheme.

I also did do things that helped make my Christmas better. Beyond getting tipsy and beyond getting a little stoned, which suck when you are alone, there was a bit of spirit that was missing from my life. See, there is that thing about giving that helped. Past holidays were in many ways excesses in everything, but not for quite awhile. So, you would be surprised what effect a few cheesy and unexpected gifts have on people who had no expectations.

Especially no expectations from the Erie Crackhead.

If you want to feel better, it takes a little work beyond just getting a buzz and it doesn't take a small fortune in cash. The thing is that it would have been a good day without any buzz at all. That was just the icing.

So far as crack is concerned, none yesterday. A bit on Christmas Eve and as a matter of fact there was a bit every day since last Tuesday. More than usual lately, but my rationalization is that it's the holidays and everyone is getting buzzed from something.

Yeah, a rather weak excuse, but sometimes no excuse is necessary to get things rolling.

The new year is now approaching. No resolutions will be made to quit this or to stop that behavior. Just time to look over the where I've been, where do I want to go and tightening up of my plan. Adjusting my perspective is part of that as well. To look at things a bit differently to see what's missing or can be done better, because at times it seems I'm chasing my tail and my focus is lost.

There have been successes though, so...

Better is better.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

People and other things.

Right off the get go though, that refund the bank so graciously refunded me is all puffed up.

Unexpected money that wasn't planned for doesn't get the same attention as regular funds. Regular in that those moneys are earmarked for food, rent, light, internet access and squirreled away for emergencies and other practical uses.

A bit of those reserves are diverted for recreational purposes, but that is a given. Regularly scheduled screw ups are spaced and kept to a minimum. Screw ups may be a bit strong, but that's the view through others eyes. For the moment, the Crackhead just looks at it like another buzz.

Which gets me to people.

I belong to some social networking sites and have been, well Erie Cracker there. A cartoon cutout personality that makes smart ass remarks, manages to get few people to a least laugh a little or scratch their heads. I would like to say that is a facet of who I am, but part of me has it as a compartment of me that is opened on occasion.

At times it's like Monty hall asking, "Do you want door #1, door #2 or door #3."

There are a few out there who might get that joke.

The thing is though, there have been a few who, through some way or another cut away some of that mask and have gotten a glimpse of who I am. Not the Cracker, not Erie Crackhead, but who I am. We're not talking about flowery shit or blowing smoke up my ass type of stuff either. Flattery pisses me off anyway and those bullshit artists are given short shrift.

There are some honest observations that are creepily spot in some regard on in a scary sort of way. Scary as in, if you knew me, you really wouldn't like me. Or if you get to know me and get too close, I'm gonna' chase you away. And it isn't because I don't like a people. Way too often the exact opposite is the truth.

On top of that, if not on that social site when some think I should be causes the phone to ring. Part of that makes me feel good to a degree, and another part is frightened and pressured.

But there are hazards in getting too close.

For them and me.

So, there are comforts and safety in solitude at times. And with me, my crack and I, a lack in feeling has comfort as well.

One other thing. Occasionally I check out the stats for this blog. partly to see if anyone really reads this thing. The other, and this was fascinating, to see where the readers come from. As it turns out a few different places. But one site had a post referring to the blog with the heading, "Who taught crackheads how to blog?"

So hoping to maintain this person's stereotype of crackheads, my response is, "Like all crackheads who blog, I read a book."

Erie Crackhead isn't upset by that question, but he did find it amusing. Be happy I'm blogging and not practicing medicine, like a couple of crackheads I've met.

I'm still working on articulate though...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Comes in many different forms.

To start with, last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday had me smoking a bit of crack. The amazing thing, but in a sense it's not all that amazing, it was on someone else's dime. The end result was introducing this generous friend to another friend who... I'm not going to paint the whole picture here for you, but you get my drift.

This friend is now able to handle things on their own.

There is part of the whole thing that had my conscience twanging a bit, especially with my "Do no harm to others" position, but this person knows the consequences. Perhaps as well as I do and maybe even better. When a crackhead has a mission in mind, there is little that will turn them away, so this crackhead went with the flow. It is not a good thing and it is not a bad thing.

It's a crackhead thing.

Another part of my plan, which is too discourage smokers from using my home to smoke in was violated to a degree as well. This smoker isn't a hard core street person, has a home, a job and some standing in their community. So I think this will be a rare occurrence. And they didn't drag along other smokers along. The other thing is that their smoking here was a better option as far as their safety was concerned.

I guess that can be looked at as keeping the crackhead and others in their life out of harms way.

Help came in a different vein as well.

An online friend who is very involved in Harm Reduction steered me to an email list for Crack Harm Reduction. This was a blessing tome, as the Erie Crackhead thought he was alone in the wilderness in trying to put together a plan. While the list is not really active in regards to traffic, there is a gold mine of files regarding HR techniques.

The files are reports and studies written by professionals as well as those in my shoes. There is , from all appearances, everything from making a safe homemade pipe to disease avoidance and prevention. This will take some time to get through and may require trips to the library to get it all downloaded into my home computer. Many files are pdf files that tend to make my machine vomit.

I was told that was because of too many visits to porno sites.

Yeah, whatever.

Things that are general public safe may be disseminated here, with permission of course. As mentioned in the past, I am not going to share the mechanics of using in this blog. But I will talk about some things of a social or health nature that might help those with a real interest in helping themselves or others.

Nuts and bolts will be shared privately with online friends in the same position as I.

Lastly, help came from a totally unexpected source. That would be my bank who refunded, what they considered to be excessive overdraft fees. It's not an insignificant amount and it has me working overtime on what should be done with that money.

Do I take the cash and have a pre-check party? Do I squirrel it away for a higher purpose? I kind of think there will be some kind of compromise on the horizon.

Chances are good there will be a bit of a buzz in the next few days. Chances are also good that some jaw harps, kazoos, yo-yos and balsa wood planes will be in some stockings as well. Silly stuff like that sometimes last longer in someone's mind than the latest high tech gadget costing tons more.

One other thing. Don is alive and still has a roof over his head. he managed to get through his own detox without dying. Saturday he said he was going to go to AA. Sunday he was drunk again. He doesn't have enough money to fall too far down the hole again, but we are all keeping our fingers crossed that things are going in the right direction for him.

Be assured though, should he stay sober and try some 12 step shit around here, I'm gonna' kick his ass out the door.

Some behaviors will not be tolerated in this house.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well, this blows.

Crackheads, junkies and even speed freaks are given a bad rep. Mostly because the drugs they and I use are illegal. That in and of itself creates a shadowy and scary stigma about them and their using. The realities of their existences are really no where as bleak as many would like to believe.

Friggin' drunks are another story entirely.

I've known more people who have died from alcohol than all the other substances I have dabbled in over the years. I can't be judgemental, as I have been donkey faced, blacked out, how the fuck did I end up here drunk on more than one occasion. The aversion to that is a small part of what has had me hitting a pipe instead of falling into a bottle. An occasional beer buzz is about my limit in that regard. Well, mostly an occasional beer buzz as out and out blitzed has only happen a couple of times in the past few months.

I've got a preference, you know.

But I am totally mystified why someone would want to be drunk 24/7. If you're never sober, how can you appreciate being tipsy anymore?

Now though memories of a dear friend are coming back up to the surface. We meet in St. Paul MN at a Hazelden halfway house. It was kind of weird but this woman and I struck up a friendship that lasted until she died about a year after we went our separate ways. Just friends who some reason connected because of similarities in our backgrounds, if not our drugs of choice.

She stayed in St. Paul and I went, well everywhere via see America the Rehab Way.

We would talk on the phone often. Usually when she was drunk or getting ready to get drunk. I usually called in a depressed state when I was out of crack and out of money. She even tracked my ass down in the Ramsey County Rubber Room after an unusually crazy run on my part. For my part I 911ed her ass when she threatened to jump out of a window of the St. Paul's Hotel. She escaped to call me, mother fucking me ten different ways, from a dive bar on West 7th. Street.

I can only imagine the looks on that bars patrons as this Martha Freakin' Stewart perfect woman tore me a new asshole from their payphone.

Some of you might have had similar relationships with rehab friends or using buddies. As time went by her calls were less frequent and when they did come they were less coherent.

One day her boyfriend called to tell me he found her dead on the couch. An empty bottle of vodka lay next to her. He called because he knew what kind of friends we were to each other. She left behind two beautiful daughters and a broken hearted ex-husband who followed the Hazelden suggestion of just letting her go.


Why am I bringing all this shit up now?

Because this time I'm getting a front row seat to another drunk trying to drink themselves to death. Yeah, Don is getting way out of control. The problem is that he is a likable guy. Engaging and interesting when he's sober. Stories to tell, experiences I've never had that he relayed to me and was not bad company on more than one occasion.

For the past two weeks he's been too drunk even to come over for coffee in the morning.

Now he's out of money, no hidden stashes of booze that I'm aware of and a landlord who wants to put him on the street. Erie streets are not particularly pretty right now with about a foot or so of snow on the ground and more is falling.

The last couple of days he's been too debilitated to even get out of his bed. Usually when I knock on his door, he's up and greeting me in some fashion. The past couple of days he just hollers for me to come in from his bed. He probably hasn't dressed or showered in over a week.

So as mentioned before, no money, no booze and shortly the shakes are going to overcome him. At the advice of a friend in the D&A business the landlord and I are going to try to get him to a detox. But he still isn't ready yet. Tomorrow or the day after he should be sufficiently shaky to make that decision on his own.

But if he still refuses, there are options.

I hope it doesn't come to that but that option will be used if necessary. The thing is that I really don't want to walk up there some morning and find him dead. Maybe that's selfish on my part, but there has to be a more dignified way to check out of here.

And yes, it's that bad.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Seven Days

Not a hit in a week and that's not bad.

Over that time there was a couple of beer buzzes and a bit of weed was smoked. That helped cravings a little and preserved the little cash I still have on hand. A couple of evenings had some people over for awhile as well.

Company here is almost always welcome. Almost is key here but it was nice to put a real face on someone who I knew only as pixels on a screen. Another person annoyed me a bit with their insistence that I pull up photos of long dead movie starlets, but I'll recover.

I think.

Which brings me to the realization that this place really needs to be cleaned up a bit. Dancing with broom, mop and vacuum cleaner would go a long ways towards making this place a bit more people friendly. So would a bit of dusting and throwing out some miscellaneous crap that tends to accumulate in my small world.

Nothing too toxic, just clutter.

The biggest offender is the laundry, both dirty and clean. With a little effort, I might well have some places for people to sit without having to shift piles of clothes from here to there to over there. Then if more than two people show up, they won't have to stand or sit on the floor.

Hey, the holidays are near so it could happen. Maybe.

The thing is that not hitting the pipe has an effect on my being more aware of my surroundings. A certain amount of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs exists. At least from a house keeping point of view and how I present myself to the rest of the human race. While no Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bouquet by Hyacinth), it's time to get cleaning and get away from this machine for awhile.

It would be nice though if Heloise and Betty Crocker showed up.

And Better is Better, even if it exhibits itself out in fairly mundane ways.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Because if you don't your gonna' cry.

I don't watch a whole lot of TV. Partly because I don't have cable and reception for free TV is sketchy at times. Partly, and this is the main reason, it's a total waste of time. Even with the amount of time I have you won't often catch me vombiefied staring at the tube.

Well, unless I'm high as hell.

The other night I did catch a bit of an episode of House. There was a character in it who had some deadly almost incurable disease that had his outward expression totally reversed from what he was feeling inside. When given bad or sad news, he would grin like a freakin' idiot.

I've done that many times.

Part may well be that I'm playing poker in a sense. Not wanting to tip my hand or show my cards so that I'm not placed at some sort of disadvantage. Partly a "Keep smiling so they won't know what you're up to," type of ploy to keep people off balance. It's also another part act ignorant and people will scratch their heads and go away type of thing as well.

That part is down pat.

There are those times when acting the fool or making someone else laugh works to get me through my particular funk. It helps for awhile anyway. Getting a buzz from a little weed also helps that mood as well. It often takes the level of discourse right down to the gutter as well.

As I haven't been arrested or shot yet, it's seems to be all good.

The thing is though, not everyone smiling or laughing is truly happy and may well be depressed. At the same time there are those who are crying who really are happy as hell. Sometimes it's easy to get confused. Incongruent reactions keep people off balance.

That's my job and it appears I do it well.

Right now though the Erie Crackhead is neutral so far as happy or sad. Partly because nothing has happened good or bad to anyone I care about. For that matter there are no real issues of major concern are on the horizon either. Not having hit a pipe in four days may well be part of reason.

Four days is no cause to throw a celebratory party, but considering the crack that has been ingested over the past few weeks, this is certainly a good thing. The only person that might be upset by this fact would be my Dude. But he won't be too upset because he knows sooner or later he'll get a call.

Smug mother fucker that he is.

So for awhile it'll be a few beers, maybe a little wine and a bit of smoke. Self medication to improve my attitude and keep the rest of you wondering what is really up.

When I finally figure what is really up myself, you all will be close to the first know.

As if...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What is Harm Reduction

The following is from the Harm Reduction Network gives an overview of Harm Reduction. While there isn't a Harm Reduction Plan for crack cocaine as such, these are some of the tools that are the basis of my efforts.


Harm reduction is about reducing the health, social, and economic harms to individuals, communities, and society of high risk behaviors such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, etc.

Harm Reduction Is Pragmatic:
Harm reduction addresses alcohol use and alcohol intoxication with realistic, commonsense strategies that have been proven to work. Harm reduction emphasizes practical solutions that can be implemented in real life over idealistic impossibilities. Harm reduction recognizes that perfectionism is often the enemy of the good. Harm reduction recognizes that people choose to drink alcohol or to become intoxicated because they perceive certain benefits which accompany the risks of drinking alcohol. Harm reduction focuses on minimizing alcohol related harms rather than attempting to eliminate alcohol use or alcohol intoxication altogether. Harm reduction recognizes that it is possible to have a far greater positive impact by getting a large number of people to make small changes than by getting only a few people to make large changes.

Harm Reduction Respects Individuality:
Harm reduction recognizes that there are an infinite number of differences between individuals in terms of their personal values systems, their experiences, their environments, and even their physiologies. Harm reduction "meets people where they are at" with their alcohol consumption and recognizes that each individual needs to choose for him or herself what sorts of changes he or she wishes to make in his or her alcohol use--if any. Harm reduction affirms the idea of "different strokes for different folks" and supports any positive change. Harm reduction recognizes that only the individual can decide if his or her best goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting altogether. Not only is the individual best qualified, it is an inherent human right of the individual to make this choice for him or herself. Harm reduction is compassionate and humanistic. Harm reduction is nonjudgmental and always respects the rights and choices of the individual.

Harm Reduction Focuses On Risks And Prioritizes Goals:
Harm reduction recognizes that some alcohol related risks are worse than others and seeks to help individuals to prioritize risks and find strategies to avoid them. Harm reduction seeks to encourage people to follow goals which are achievable rather than to demand an impossible level of perfection. Harm reduction seeks to help people recognize and prioritize the reduction of the highest risk behaviors first.

Harm Reduction Recognizes That Alcohol Consumption Exists On A Continuum:
Harm reduction recognizes that there are a wide range of drinking behaviors which range from severe abuse to total abstinence. Harm reduction acknowledges that some ways of using alcohol are clearly safer than others. Harm reduction recognizes that the distinction between an "alcoholic" and a "non-alcoholic" is a false dichotomy for behaviors which lie on a continuum.

Harm Reduction Is Tolerant And Accepting:
Harm reduction recognizes that prohibitionist strategies can often backfire and increase harm rather than reducing it, therefore harm reduction concentrates on reducing or eliminating harms rather than on prohibiting behaviors. Harm reduction recognizes that successful abstinence is a great way to eliminate harm, but that coerced abstinence often backfires and results in worsened behaviors and increased harm. Harm reduction offers realistic options for those who are unable or unwilling to quit alcohol altogether. Harm reduction let's people forgive themselves and move on with life rather than beat themselves up with guilt and shame.

Harm Reduction Is About Empowerment
Harm reduction recognizes that the individual drinker is the primary agent of positive change. Harm reduction groups seek to empower the individual to improve his or her life and do not seek to empower the group at the expense of the individual. Research shows that people who believe that they are capable of making changes are the most successful at doing so. This is referred to as self-efficacy. Harm reduction empowers people to make changes which they choose for themselves.

Harm Reduction Is Not The Opposite Of Quitting
Harm reduction is supportive of individual choice. Harm reduction recognizes that some people find that their best option is to quit alcohol altogether and harm reduction is 100% supportive of the choice to abstain." Copyright 2010 The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.

With all that said, it should be noted that harder work in some areas are required by me. But like also mentioned, it is like golf. Adjustments to the plan, or reinforcing some things is always required.

At least by me...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's been a little while.

Part of the reason is that I am clueless as to what to say at times. Then there are other times that I just don't want to spill my guts here, or anywhere else for that matter. Holding stuff in is not healthy. In many respects there is a black plague of poison inside of me.

Bottled up and waiting to explode.

This place has provided, to some degree, a safety valve for that pressure. A place to vent without drawing anyone else into the drama I invent for myself. It's also a place to talk about progress or setbacks that have occurred.

Not much progress has been made over the past week.

Starting last Tuesday and through Saturday had me hitting the pipe. Not a good thing in many respects, but there are worse things that could have happened. There could have been serious repercussions to my behavior as well. Drugs and and other factors are a mother fucker when it comes to my personal behavior.

I tend to put the bar way low on those occasions.

Playing games are fine for kids. I am no longer a kid. Not by any one's stretch of imagination. Some of those games are putting me in a light that does not really portray who I would like to think I am. Shit, it's starting to creep me out in a way that is not easy to explain. To put it all in a nutshell, my drug addled mind has no business screwing with people online or over the phone.

So, with all that said changes are in the wind. So far as my using, well that is back burner for awhile. My budget for crack has dwindled, even though my spending for it is down, I have managed to stretch things out a bit further.

Smaller but more frequent purchases has saved me money, but the outcome is more days a little screwed up mentally. Wiring is getting scrambled a bit more and some reason in some sensible things is starting to get fuzzy. So a break is past due.

Time to reread things already written, reconsider my actions and attitudes and to make adjustments.

Anyway, it's almost a sure thing that I hit some more down the road. What needs to be addressed is the way I have to act. It's part of that doing no harm to others thing as well.

That part is perhaps the most important part of this all...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sometimes I wonder...

The following short essay by Steve Goodier touches me in a particularly ominous way.

I try to do things to improve my life and reduce harm to myself and to others. Sometimes there is success and other times has me wondering where the hell this is all going.

To hell in a hand basket?

A stressful weekend was endured and true to character, after it was all over getting high was the escape I chose. Getting to a point of being straight for a week before was an non-issue. Keeping myself broke helped a great deal. Having a goal in mind and in sight was also helpful as well.

To say that the efforts in keeping a clear mind in advance of this event were without merit is not accurate. To say that a magnifying glass on my mistakes caused me to pick up a pipe would also be incorrect as well.

But mistakes were made and wear on me a bit more than those things probably should. So my refuge is that period of temporary insanity that is part of my make up. A way to obscure what is really going on perhaps. A method to run away while standing perfectly still.

Shit is still there and my actions and behaviors haven't done one wit to make things better. It should also be noted that lately posting here, censoring what really is going on, is a result of revealing this blog to some people. Trying to be honest with myself is harder when trying to hide things from others.

This blog has helped me. Talking to myself about what is happening and how it affects things on a daily basis has had benefits. To that end, this is what this blog is about. Making this private may be an option because playing to an audience, small as it may be, has shaded what and how often posting here has occurred. To a degree playing to an audience is something I have been guilty of committing.

More stuff to chew on. What direction to go and who knows about it is another consideration. Some folks say this blog has been helpful to them. That was a secondary purpose here, but if it is becoming just another venue for bullshit then keeping that to myself might be best for everyone.

Putting myself at the top of that list is imperative.

So for now, I'll leave you with this:


Comedian Groucho Marx quipped, "Those are my principles. If you
don't like them, I have others."

I have principles. And sometimes I follow them. Well, usually.

I also have opinions. I have opinions about politics, yard sales,
health food and fortune cookies. (Actually, more about the fortunes
than the cookies.) But they're opinions. I COULD be wrong about some of those things.

And I have opinions about four-year-olds. Like the one who came
screaming out of the bathroom to tell his mother that he dropped his
toothbrush in the toilet. He watched her fish it out and toss it
into the garbage.

That is when something occurred to him, something about when a
toothbrush ought to be discarded. He ran to the other bathroom and
came out with his mother's toothbrush. Holding it up, he announced,
"We better throw this one out too then . . . it fell in the toilet a
few days ago."

That confirms at least one of my opinions about four-year-olds.

But it also points to something more than an opinion - a principle.
In this case, the principle is about the importance of trying to do
the right thing, even if you're a few days late in doing it. Martin
Luther King, Jr. put it well: "The time is always right to do what
is right."

And one like it is this: doing the right thing, even in little
things, is never a little thing. And that's not just an opinion. It's
a principle that works."

-- Steve Goodier

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wasting time and getting wasted.

Both are a waste but it helps to pass the time.

Seemingly having a lot of time on one's hands is an illusion. Things still need to be accomplished. Errands to be run, cleaning to do and laundry that is sitting in the corner are all hollering at me. Do this, do that and get it done so you can do something else.

Yesterday was a complete waste to add to all of this situation. Don was called to have a cup of coffee and he showed up at a little past 9 A.M. with his plastic bottle of liquid stupidity. I was going to not have any at that early hour, but eventually caved in to a few sips.

A few sips turned into a few gulps and a few gulps were enough to get me donkey faced drunk.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Twelve steppers, drug and alcohol professionals and a few self righteous folks will have a field day on the fact that I got stewed in an unplanned fashion. The fact is that while there were other plans for the day, nothing important was really missed. A few things were just put on the back burner for awhile.


It's not all bleak or dark or depressing. Some good things did happened, or perhaps more correctly, nothing really bad happened. As in Don didn't give me any money. Actually, no money was taken from Don even though an offer was made. More vodka was also put in reserve for the day when Don is shaking just a bit too much.

That does not make me any kind of hero.

I have said no or ignored his offers in the past. The fact is that there is always a price to be paid when taking his money beyond the simple fact that he needs to be repaid. Those costs range from the temporary insanity that goes hand in hand with smoking crack to the depression that always seems to follow using that stuff.

So, mood is better, resolve is being strengthened and maybe today will result in some accomplishments that will make life a bit more comfortable.

Sitting here is not getting anything done, though..

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Time for a Change.

Many people who have successfully quit smoking rocks for extended periods of time have one thing in common in that endeavor. Something happened that helped turn their backs to taking that next hit. Most didn't go to rehab, almost none of these people have sat in meetings to have God remove the obsession. They just don't anymore. They can explain this fact no better than they could explain the reason why they were hitting the damned pipe in the first place.

What is true is that something or someone entered their lives and made them want to stop chasing the demon.

Now, I've been here before. I've been at a point where the advantages of not buying and smoking crack have been so attractive that short dry spells have been achieved. Every time something happened to make all that resolve disappear. Unexpected windfalls of money or someone coming by with a free one.

You know as well as the Erie Crackhead that there are no free hits or free lunch.

So there is something that is happening in the life of this crack head. In many respects it is not an huge event in respects to other things that have happened in the past. But it is an event that will want me to be on my best behavior and a better frame of mind. This is so what can hopefully takes place will be better appreciated.

What is this great event that has this crack head dropping the pipe?

I really don't want to talk about it in this increasingly public forum. To say more would remove the mask a bit more and people would start doing mental math, putting two plus two together. Those folks may well come up with 42, but that would be the wrong answer for the wrong question.

But this non-event in many respects has a lot of power and has me wanting to be on my best. To be available mentally and emotionally for someone who just might need me. Someone who has been too absent from the Crackhead's life and that has finally sunk in for me.

There have been precautions taken already to make this work. I don't have crackheads streaming in and out of the place, so no "free" hits will be staring me in the face. My dealer has informed me that home delivery will be spotty in the future as well. Transportation problems of an unspecified sort will curtail the same door to door service enjoyed in the past.

Anyway, this is where I am today. No expectations of being forever crack free are clouding my mind. If there is more crack in my future, we'll know when that happens. No promises are being made to anyone, including myself. It's just that I will be more careful in some choices.

The fact is that that shit is screaming at me right now. It's basically saying, "Are you fuckin' kiddin' me? You'll be geekin' to the max the next time Don waves a twenty in your face!"

That may well be so, but there are defenses in place for the short term. A little weed and a few beers have staved off making a call in the past. It'll work in the future as well, as long as I don't drink too much of that nasty ass vodka.

Not exactly the Hazelden model, but iHazeleden has about the same success rate as what I will be trying to accomplish. Sheesh, I should know, I've been through the freakin' place twice not counting their Fellowship Clubs.

If a hit does get taken, this much is also certain. It will be a setback. But it will not mean defeat, as long as I'm breathing after it's all gone. It's a setback and they provide opportunities all of their own. This is not a qualifier. This is a fact.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's been a mixed bag.

Tuesday and Thursday had me taking a few hits and drinking a few beers and doing a few tokes. Monday and Wednesday just had me taking a few tokes of medicine.

Both days when some crack was in the picture, as for the most days when I do that, were unplanned. Some money was had from Don and some was cash tucked away for a rainy day.

It was raining yesterday.

That's not entirely correct. I'm talking about the planned use, not the rain. When check time comes, I have planned what will be spent and how I'll spread that using out over several days. I have found that calling the Dude just once daily has facilitated getting a buzz over more days. This is in contrast to calling many times a day and being without in a very short period of time.

That is an improvement in regards to what might be called wasting it all at once. Budgeting and those lists have helped in that regard. It might also be pointed out that smoking weed afterwards has helped to lower the amount smoked in one particular day. I am disinclined to make that second call when stoned on weed and makes coming down a bit less frantic.

Less frantic in that the cravings for more are considerably lessened by the weed.

When one considers that I would smoke in one day what now is my monthly consumption, it is a big deal. It is to me anyway and that's what is most important.

Now I have to talk about Don.

To blame Don for my unplanned using is wrong. But I have ceased encouraging him to lend me money. When he has an excess of cash on hand though, invariably he will make an offer to slide a few bucks my way. Especially if he is under the influence. That condition is almost constant now, as his financial picture is improving, even though his health is rapidly going down the toilet.

He hasn't been here as often as he has in the past. In part this might be his discovery of my pouring off some of his vodka to reserve for him later. Like to stave off full blown DTs or at least to keep him from shaking himself out of a chair. The other factor is that he has increasingly been less capable of even getting out of his bed.

Tuesday had him calling early in the evening. I thought he might be calling to see what was cooking for dinner. He eats here occasionally, and as mentioned before is welcome company at times. This call was straight to the point though. He asks if I need a couple of bucks "to do your thing." He was already three sheets to the wind.

Did I say no?

Of course I said OK! At the same time I did one thing never done in the past. I asked if he could bring it by here. I thought he sounded incapable of getting out of his door, so if he did show up at all it would be several hours later or even a few days later. Contrary to what should have happened though, he agreed to stop by and said he would be here in 5 minutes. One hope in that was when really drunk five minutes has turned into 2 days.

My other hope was that he say if you want some cash you have to come get it yourself. There were a handful of excuses at hand that could have been used to keep me from tromping to his door. While the excuses were handy, it must be noted that the twisting of my stomach may well have taken me right to his door.

As a matter of fact, I would put money on my traveling for that money.

Five minutes later though, the doorbell rings and there he was. A little unstable on his feet, but standing there all the same. After being invited in, we shot the shit for a bit about things other than his temporary abundance in cash. After a bit though, he digs into his pocket and pulls out a wad of cash. He peels off what he thought was the agreed to amount and lays it on the table.

I didn't take it, but let the money sit on the table.

That was a good move on my part,because as it turns out there was more money there than he wanted to loan. There was also more money there than I wanted to have to repay. After a few minutes he does flip through the cash and discovers his mistake. Happily he puts the excess money back in his pocket.

Happily because he took that burden off of my shoulders. While I would have and will happily pay him what was agreed to, I am not sure that he would have been repaid what was originally laid out on my table. While thinking that all of his money would have been repaid, regardless of the amount, part of me doubts that fact. Just being honest about how a crackhead mind works.

And just pointing out the various ways we lose the word no from our vocabulary.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

A new day in a new month. We are still 2 months from the New Year, but it and Christmas are creeping up on us. The weekend was mostly uneventful

Friday night had me taking a few hits, after a bit of cash was discovered. I had some weed to come down and things went OK. So far as OK with a little pile of crack can go anyway. Saturday was laid back as was Sunday.

Saturday, because it was Saturday night was given to a few beers and a bit of weed. Nothing extraordinary took place beyond making a few silly posts to Facebook. A few people laughed and that's OK. They were friends who know if I was hanging around on the computer also knew I wasn't frying my brains with rocks.

Sunday was also a laid back day. Listening to the radio, then watching a bit of TV, anticipating watching the Steelers play NO in the evening. There was only one problem with that though. When the kids are back from school, the parking lot behind my place is full of cars. Sometimes those cars are left running. When that happens I can't tune into the NBC affiliate, Channel 12.

I also can't do this while my computer is running either.

Getting cable service for my TV is a possibility, but who wants to pay those outrageous fees for a few hours of entertainment a week? Paying to watch the Steelers lose isn't really my idea of a good time. Some television watching did take place though, the news and news programs were checked out. The new Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery was also checked out as well.

While the first program in that series was great, the second show was a bit of a letdown. Show three promises to be a gasper, but all I can say is that the program Sherlock is by and large a HOOT!

With all that, nothing of any significance happened and the world is still spinning.

Don has had enough money to keep himself properly donkey faced for the whole weekend. He isn't coming by. I think after learning about my tucking away some vodka for emergencies he doesn't want to share. The plus side to that is not having to worry about his returning safely to his place. Not having to disturb our neighbors to carry him back is a plus as well.

They do have better things to do than worry about Don or I.

So after a by and large, boring weekend on can say there have been better and there have also been much, much worse periods in my life.

Better is well, better.

Oh! Tomorrow is election day. The Erie Crackhead votes and if anything that should be good cause for you to vote as well.

Friday, October 29, 2010


And things are looking up.

Yes, bills were paid.

Yes, groceries were bought.

Yes, money has been socked away.

Yes, crack was also bought and smoked. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday had me hitting the pipe. Not as much as past months, but enough to get me watchin' for the IBI and other such nonsense. Enough to screw with my mind another time and come out the other side mostly OK.

Mostly OK is sort of key here.

Mostly OK in that I am certain a little bit of something gets lost during these episodes of self administered insanity. Let me rephrase that statement. It is a certainty that a little something gets lost with each hit done. A little gray matter and white matter for that matter goes POOF! The remaining brain cells stop talking to each other and start a fist fight. A tiny bit of reason and logic disappear.

The other side of the coin is that some things haven't gone POOF! Like a bit of self respect when trying to get credit from a dealer. I just don't go there anymore. Like allowing a bunch of smokers and a slinger to turn my home into a crack house for the few free hits I could get out of the deal. I avoid that like the plague.

While I smoke that shit essentially alone, there are times some company would be nice. But there are costs in that scenario. Inviting someone to get high with me is breaking my own rules to "Do no harm to others." I came damned close to doing that. Fortunately my communications skills are down the toilet when I'm high.

While at times, loneliness is a mutha', guilt is even greater at kickin' ones ass. Harm Reduction to me has started to resemble golf. One little mistake can throw the whole game off. So one learns to adjust and improvise. Always keeping an eye on mistakes and learn from them.

That includes the Big Mistake that starts this whole thing spinning when I melt that rock.

So, even by accident, "Better is Better."

Monday, October 25, 2010

You have to have a plan.

Yeah, it's that time again. Time to plan, make lists of what is needed and what should get paid.

What should get paid?

Well, everything that will ensure that my roof is over my head for another month for starters. Making sure that there are lights in my home is another. Also paying medical bills so the Docs, techs and others will be willing to do what needs to be done.

Also Don needs to be repaid. That's important for more than selfish reasons as this guy does watch my back as I watch out for him. It's a two way street, but that is not to say I'm not getting the better part of the deal. This also is to make sure when he is in one of those moods things will go my way.

Hey, I'm a crackhead, remember?

An inventory of the pantry as well as the refrigerator needs to be done. Grocery shopping is now a twice monthly chore. While I have enough canned foods of various types, some fresh meat and veggies is always a welcome addition to my diet. One cannot live on Spam alone.

Chore is too cold of a word to use for those excursions to the market or WallyWorld. It is a welcome experience from being cooped up in this place. Seeing and being around nearly normal people gives me some perspective of what life might be like without a pipe in my mouth. I also get a glimpse of what I don't want to be as well.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, go to one of many sites dedicated to photos of typical, or not so typical WalMart shoppers. I don't think I fit that mold, but that is a judgement best left to others.

Oh! Those of you who might have an opinion on that can keep it to yourself.

Anyway, with enough money set aside and out of reach, getting enough food so leaning to much on the food banks is a possibility. No, actually it is a reality. So is the promise of reintroducing some material comforts and items back into my life. Besides, money spent there is not getting smoked up.

Now, I had better get my ass in gear. Sitting here, banging on the keyboard is not getting it done. Planning needs to be finished and even more importantly it needs to be executed. Just talking about it just doesn't cut the mustard.

If I don't follow through even I don't want to see that train wreck.

Oh, hell no!

Friday, October 22, 2010

This is from a private list...

Hopefully it may benefit someone who reads this blog. It is also an outline of what I would term "Harm Reduction" for a crackhead. The identifiers including the list's origin have been omitted to protect everyones identity. The following is a portion of an inquiry made by someone who has discovered a crackhead in their life:

Anyway, now I have a VERY close friend whom I love very much and would like to continue to live with but whom is a "intermittent" crack user. Since I have not been in the immediate area of the abuse of crack before (although the majority of the people I know use it - just not around me) I would like to learn how to deal with this situation and possibly encourage my friend to "decrease their use to a bare minimum so to speak".

This is the response:

I truly wish there was something encouraging to say to you on this subject. My best is to say be careful and not to feed your friend's habit. That poison has for me ruined relationships and facilitated the loss of most of my things.

Things can be replaced, but people lost is another matter entirely.

I have known a lot of crack smokers through the years. There hasn't been a single one who is happy with their situation. There is a only a tiny minority of those folks who have successfully quit.

Controlled use is what I am trying to accomplish and have had small successes. While it's Harm Reduction in my eyes, there may be others who disagree. There is not a whole lot published about Harm Reduction for crack users but I'll give you an outline of my strategy. It might help you and your friend, and maybe not...

In regards to Harm Reduction to others:
1. I don't use around others who do not smoke crack.
2. I would never "turn on" someone to this poison. That includes showing someone how to convert cocaine to crack or any other "technical" aspects.
3. I avoid borrowing money from friends that cannot be paid back promptly or within the agreed to terms. (This is an area I need to work harder on myself.)
4. I hold my own shit. Crack is not weed and no one will get a nod and a wink from the cops if it's in their possession. That means you car or house. If the house or apartment are in your name, YOU take the fall. Trust me on that one.
5. I don't steal from my friends. I've never done this, but there have been times the thought has crossed my mind.
There is a qualifier to this:
I have stolen crack from other crack smokers and crack dealers. There are dangers in that of itself, but such is the life and culture of a crackhead.

Harm Reduction in regards to myself:
1. I have a trusted friend hold my money. Calls for a few dollars are done only in case of a non-crack emergency or a regularly scheduled setting to limit my use.
2. I make sure all financial responsibilities are covered and paid before I buy any drugs. Once I'm high all common sense and logic in regards to those life necessities goes out of the window. Actually money is a big trigger and it does take much self discipline to get those things paid before buying my crack at check time.
3. I don't do credit with the crack dealer.
4. I avoid if at all possible having other crack smokers in my home. Many of them are thieves and will steal your stuff then help you look for it...

I live alone now and the world is a happier place because of that fact. Being a crackhead and developing skills as a master of manipulation has led to my wives, and room mates either leaving or eventually kicking my sorry ass out. The amazing part is that I've found myself working someone to feed my habit and I wasn't even aware of it until it was too late. Manipulation is like breathing for a crackhead.

I now keep people at a distance. The long term outcome is better for them and me as well. Loneliness and boredom are triggers for me, but fucking up someones life would cause them as well as myself much grief.

With all that said, I can only hope you do some Harm Reduction for your protection. First and foremost is to not be enticed in any measures to use with your friend. The results would be disastrous for both of you.

Trust me on that.

If money and property disappear or strange people start showing up at your home, I would probably encourage you to either leave or have your friend move out.

I hope this helps.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I've been frustrated and disappointed

But I did go more than one day without a hit.

Well, actually five days is even better than none. Better is better and all that stuff, but I have to work on improving that. Tuesday and Wednesday had me with a pipe in my mouth. So I have to stay on course and avoid distractions. Getting myself focused on doing things that have been beneficial in the past. Working on things that distract me from using and taking care of me.

One of the ways I have improved upon that of course is pouring out what is going on with me onto this blog. Not entertaining people, who I suspect may well be a crazy as me. Seriously.

The thing is that people like me, or them or a lot of us must have this radar or magnet that draws us to each other in some fashion. The other option is that some of these well meaning but crazy people think they have some mystical power to cure my crazy ass. One more reason I am happy to keep people at arms length or further. They're safe and I can be a semi-hermit. The world will be a happier place.

Maybe it's because I just don't like people. Actually keeping people away may well be because I like them too much. Like W.C. Fields liked children, "medium rare."

There is only one person who can achieve whatever these people think can be done. That is the responsibility of the Erie Crackhead. Well meaning people who act that way frankly piss me off. They, for some reason think they possess more wisdom, power and the ability to persuade than the thousands upon thousands of dollar spent on therapists, shirks and counselors of many stripes.

The other thing I've been seeing lately is people inquiring about the recipe for insanity. The question is usually phrased along the lines of "how do you make cocaine smokeable" or just simply "How do you make crack." Why would someone who doesn't have an interest in smoking crack ask this question?

Curiosity killed the cat, smoking crack only made him deader. To the world, to his interests, to his friends, to his family and eventually to himself. If you've never smoked the shit don't start. It always begins as a case of wanting to know how it feels. That's where I started.

Just to see what it feels like.

It took a year, but in that time it went from 6 months, to 3 months, to once a week to almost daily to doing it places and at times I promised myself I would never smoke that shit. All in an effort to replicate that feeling of that very first hit. I'm not alone in that experience of sliding down into the depths of this particular version of hell. But there are people who think they are too smart, too cool, too strong or just plain too old to get addicted to that poison.

Fuck that shit!

And yes, that started back when you had to cook up your own shit to smoke. So chemistry lessons, taught to me by a crackhead with an 8th grade education, are not going to be passed on to anyone. Don't ask because I ain't telling.

I have had conversations with more than one other user. Basically, with a few exceptions, to turn someone on to this poison is the equivalent of spiritual murder. That is the only way I know how to phrase it. Not an option for me to do that to someone.

One other thing. There are people who haven't had a hit in years and the shit is still hollering at them. Not a gentle whisper in their ear, but an out and out screaming that's saying "Come out and play, motherfucker! We're gonna have a good time!" I can make no judgement about someone who has smoked starting up again. They know the risks, what they can lose and where crack can take them.

Their brain, like mine has a few short circuits. For some reason our brains shuts down when it comes to considering the downside of hitting a pipe.

For me, it scares me. It points out the statistics of success and failure. It shows me what my chances are of accumulating time away from my last hit. It also makes me practice with more vigor the part of my "Harm Reduction" plan to do no harm to others.

So for those of you who read this blog because you find entertaining, witty or humorous, go find a humor site, where someone is truly trying to lighten your spirits.

This place is for serious shit to make in some measure my life a bit better and not to fuck up someone else's existence.

Better is Better.

And if I have offended someone, maybe they needed to be offended.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One day of doing the right thing.

Well mostly the right thing.

It's just that I had the opportunity to ease more cash from my neighbor. He came by for coffee yesterday. He actually came to retrieve his bottle and then started on that as well as some coffee. He needed to get some supplies, so the help of another neighbor was enlisted.

We have a neighborhood in a sense and we do look out for each other in a manner. Don and me both have some disabilities. His afflictions come and go with the amount of vodka in his system, but I try not to be to judgemental. What sense would it make. He is doing what he wants to do and maybe someday he'll say,"This is enough of this shit."

But there are a couple of neighbors that look out for us, especially Don, to make sure he doesn't fall and get hurt. Occasionally errands to the store or running something up or down some stairs. These are things that they can do in the time it takes Don or I to think about what needs to be done.

For that we are both thankful for their help. We'll share some beer, vodka, smokes, food or whatever with them in appreciation.

Anyway, when our neighbor comes over to grab the money to make his purchases, it turns out he has a fifty in his pocket. My freakin' stomach went into a twist. He's drinking and starting to get pretty donkey faced by the time our friend returned. I wanted to say, "Hey, can you spare a few dollars for a little while again.?" I bit my lip, so to speak and kept my mouth shut.

I also got him out the door before he made the suggestion himself.

This does not mean that I will be canonized for sainthood. I just did something I should have done a long time ago. Didn't play him and got him out of the place before he was drunk enough to start throwing money at me.

So, if I can do that once, just maybe I'll be able to do that again.

Again it must be mentioned that I am no saint. As he did have cash for enough booze to keep him through the beginning of the week, I drank the vodka that was being kept in reserve in case of an emergency. It's not too bad if you cut it with cranberry drink. Chances are pretty good he'll be by today or tomorrow, so I can rebuild that stash to stave off his DTs.

There is no perfection in this strategy, but "Better is Better."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I need to make some changes

Trying to practice Harm Reduction is a bitch at times.

My neighbor stops by with a plastic 1/2 gallon of swill. He's already half in the bag, as he's been sippin' from the liquor store on his way back home. He calls from a store, asking if I still needed some batteries, and I did, so he picks them up for me. A buck for a pack of four double As. Can't beat that with a stick. OK, pick 'em up for me.

I didn't think he was already screwed up, as he sounded OK on the phone. I did know he was going for more booze, but thought he would wait until he at least got here before starting to sip.


He comes to the door and looks OK, but then sets the bottle down on the table and says, "Take a little slurp." I did, a little bit. But not much. What wasn't drunk was put away, so when he's out of booze and broke, at least there be a pint or so here to keep him from going over the edge.

Ain't I a freakin' saint?

No, not really.

So he's drinking that shit like it's water and gets to the point where I need help to make sure he gets inside his place without falling and getting hurt. My next door neighbor, once again has to be enlisted for that duty. He is also nice about it all, but I'm certain it gets on his nerves as much as I feel shitty about having to ask for his help.

Being the crackhead I also borrowed a few bucks from him. Well, when drunk he almost throws money at me. Is that an excuse for taking money from him. No, not really, especially considering that I owe him already for money advanced over the past couple of weeks. Also when he hands me that cash, as soon as he leaves, the call to the Dude is made.

It's going to get to the point where my monthly funds may end up going to him to repay his cash advances if I'm not careful. That's not good. I've been there in different ways in the past and it has always come back to bite me in the ass. That could well put me into the same position I was in a year ago when this blog was started.

So some changes are in order. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but it may well mean that I will have to be unavailable when Don wants to come over and drink.

Yeah, it's nice to have a little company once in a while. The problem is the costs of that company are starting to mount up. To be honest, when he is drunk he's not all that much good company anyway. Something needs to be done or there could be trouble in the future. For both my neighbor and myself.

Neither of us is in a position to get too deeply into a hole.

So, some changes have to be made and that means a plan needs to be in place. It might mean following the theme of an old tune, "It's Cruel to Be Kind." It has served it's purpose in the past, and some people don't like me much because of that strategy, but it has worked in the past.

Sadly, it does indeed work.

Until something better comes to mind, being a somewhat of a prick is going to have to do the job.

The thing is if you don't have a plan, you don't have shit.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's been a little different around here.

Not in a bad way, but then again not in an entirely good way either.

Perhaps the the changing of the seasons. Weather is, as usual for this time of the year, going downhill. Not that I'm expecting a major snow storm, but weirder weather events have happened. I was living in Buffalo and on October 12, 2006. That was a nightmare!

The pictures here look very much like the neighborhood where my house was located.

Anyway, the fallout of that storm for me was an excuse to go on about a 5 day crack run. That had me in a psych ward for three days. It wasn't as bad as all that, so far as the hospital stay was concerned. My ticket in was the hallucinating I was doing. It may have been more from a lack of sleep rather than the actual ill effects of the cocaine.

I think.

Today things are much, much better and soon I'll have my neighbor over for some coffee. No vodka, thank you very much! Then again it might even be too early in the day for him to be drinking. All things considered though, I'm happy to have a bit of company and if he's sober, which was the impression I got from his phone call, he'll be fairly decent company for a short while.

So, today is better and "Better is Better!"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Sunday.

It's also a beautiful day out there, but I haven't stepped outside yet. And considering the time it's getting to be, it doesn't look like I'll make it out today.

Yesterday was a great day on many levels. One thing is that I got out and was taken for a ride to enjoy the day. We rode out Rt. 5 east from Erie to Buffalo. For those of you unfamiliar with this part of the world, there are miles of vineyards between here and there. At this time of the year the air smells of Concord grapes as well.

As a bonus, it seems the leaves are starting to turn out that way and there are also spectacular views of lake Erie along the road. We made it all the way to the Reservation and picked up enough smokes to keep me coughing until November.

Then some groceries were bought and I settled in for a quiet Saturday night, watching old British comedies on the local PBS station. Got a dose of Red Green as well. If I get enough money to buy a case of Duct Tape, I am going to raise handyman hell.

I am proud of myself on one front. I picked up some stuff for my neighbor Don, who as I had mentioned earlier, I owed money. So a 1/2 gallon of his favorite plastic bottled poison and a couple of grocery items and he was happy. He said hang onto the other $20 I had for him, so I did.

I also made a call, but hey I'm a crackhead.

So I smoked what turned out to be pretty shitty crack and also smoked a little weed. But no vodka in the mix and that was a good thing. Trust me, vodka added to all that other shit and I do become an instant asshole.

I recently read that the addition of alcohol is more of an excuse and not the reason to turn into an asshole. While written in that scholarly style that researchers and reporters for various technical and trade magazines, the article basically says if you an asshole drunk, you may well be one sober as well.

There are people who will vote yes in regards to me on that proposition.

And no, I really don't need an online poll on that subject.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm sitting in the library.

And the change of scenery is wonderful. Sitting in my apartment is depressing at times, even with all the distractions which I have to occupy myself.

Yesterday my neighbor came by with his bottle and a few bucks. He asks me if I want to borrow some money so I can get some crack. I do what all crackheads do when faced with that offer. I took his money.

Now, let's get one thing completely straight here. I am going to pay my friend back every nickle. Besides he has a mind for money, how much he's owed, how much he owes and everyone involved in those transactions. That ability has proven itself regardless of how fucked up drunk he is. I mean the guy has handed me $20.00 then immediately passed out on my kitchen floor, and pisses his pants, wakes up after I've smoked all my crack and stagger to his apartment.

He'll ask a few days later if I was paying him back that twenty on Saturday or Monday. Money is coming Saturday, Don. Not that I would cheat him for the few dollars he lends. It just isn't enough to create problems over.

On the other hand I know crackheads that would beat you for your last 5 bucks if they could. That's how stupid their mind gets when things get rolling and they are crazy craving just one more hit. Then that one more hit turns into another just one more hit and that shit can last for days.

It's amazing how far a crackhead can go with little resources and a jones to keep them running. Many years ago, when I was in Florida to "recover" I went out with $47.00 and managed to stay high for 3 days. I had help with that, a vehicle to get around in and other crackheads who knew people who knew people who...

And the most I'm going to say about that is at least one crack dealer got beat for more than a few bucks worth of shit.

But today is the first nice, sunny, almost warm day we have had in Erie for it seems nearly a week. I'm out amongst people, getting some fresh air and not really caring a wit at the moment for a hit.

Things change, but at the moment things are good...

Or as my friend says, Better is Better. And it certainly is today!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I have a cold.

I can hear the "Oh, you poor thing," all the way over here.

Well, maybe not.

But the thing is that I am feeling like crap and don't have my heart in writing in this blog. I have also discovered that blogging my experiences, both good and bad, has been falling behind in some respects. Part of it is having my attention diverted from what really is the most important aspect of my life.

That would be what I am or am not doing in regard to crack, how much I'm consuming and things I have been doing to continually limit that intake.

I did get gifted with a few hits last Friday. Not a lot and it may have been a mistake inviting that crackhead into my home. Time will tell, but in the future I will be a bit more cautious about who gets in or who doesn't. It may have been a ploy by that smoker to start a fire so I might buy more to feed him later. Too bad for him that I was broke.

Anyway, I'm not feeling all that well, so I think I'll just leave what has been written so far be just that.

Better is better...even with my nose running like a leaky facet.

Drip, drip, drip...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I am getting a little nervous

The reason is that as time goes by who I really am is becoming less of a mystery to those who read this blog. The sanctity of what I first found here with my anonymity is slowly eroding. More people are finding out who I am in real life.

That frightens me for a lot of reasons.

Like walking down the street someday and having someone holler out, "Hey! Crackhead, what's up." When I would drive through the crack neighborhoods looking to score, somebody would yell out my real name. That bothered me, but now it's seems I've become a little more sensitive about blowing my cover.

The thing is that almost everyone who knows who I am also knows what I am.

But another part of it all is letting anyone get too close to me. The fear in that is that I have this feeling that letting anyone too close to me is putting those folks in some jeopardy. So I keep to myself or just do things that will keep people at a safe distance. Weirdness or rudeness can be an effective tool at times.

It's just that so many people have been hurt and I really don't want that on my conscience. Sadly, there are those who truly believe I have no conscience at all.

I think I do, but I'm a poor judge of my own character.

Also, this has not been a great weekend for me. I did smoke up what was left of my on hand cash Friday night. I was down on Saturday and asked my friend who keeps my money to pick up my scripts for me. I was that nervous about blowing more money, so I actually asked for help.

Trust me on this much, that's a biggie for me.

I would like to think of myself as an independent person. In many cases that is far from the truth. I depend on a few people for help with various odds and ends required to live a comfortable life. Not in a financial sense, but in getting to places for supplies to get me through the month. Or in having some services put in their name instead of mine.

Well, I'm a crackhead with a credit score in negative numbers but I am paying my own way.

So, I knew it would be a matter of time before people starting putting things together. Many of those who know the real me found out about this blog from me and others have been pretty good at adding 2+2. Despite that this is an effort to let people know that a crackhead's life isn't all that rosey. Even with my seriously reduced consumption of crack, it's still a dismal existence, thankfully there are a few bright spots. I'll take all of those that come my way.

But if you see me on the street someday, a simple "HI!" would work just fine. Maybe then both of our days might be brightened for a little while.

Because...Better is Better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A year ago today.

Yep. It's been a year to the day that I returned to Erie, PA.

In a sense that return was a bit with my tale between my legs. The other part was that I probably was homesick for my hometown. Yeah, that is a big part of that decision to return here.

The fact that I ran up a big bill with a few of crack dealers just greased the rails.

A lot.

After blowing what money I did have over the course of a few days, I got a bed at the City Mission. A roof over my head for at least 45 days if no rules were broken. Breakfast in the morning and the day to myself to do what I want to do.

Going to the library became a nearly daily activity.

After being here for about 3 weeks, this blog was started. Without going over all the details, I'll just say it's been an interesting year. Certainly there have been some improvements in my life since arriving back in Erie a year ago. No major set backs have occurred, although I am still hitting the pipe.

Which I did yesterday and the day before.

None today, but maybe tomorrow.

And maybe not.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

No computer

At the moment my computer is indeed in the shop.

So knowing the resources available to me, I'm back at the library. No surprise really, as this is exactly where I was located when the idea of blogging came to me. Not an original idea to be sure, but it's seems to have worked for me to some measure.

Damned - Always with the qualifiers.

The computer, with a hopeful upgrade in RAM, as well as having the hard drive scrubbed, sanitized and all that good stuff is probably going to cost $100.00. That will be $100.00 that the Dude doesn't get, and that is a measure to some of my success.

Not too very long ago, I may well have said "FUCK IT" as this would have deprived me of some crack. A small victory of sorts, but a victory nonetheless.

That laptop, in many respects has kept me sane. I has also kept me from using to a degree. Not complete abstinence, but it has helped to slow the pace. So that is indeed part of the "Better is Better" scheme of things.

As I am now at the library, there is a small benefit from the fact that the computer isn't in my house. I'm outside dammit! That may be the biggest drawback for having it all to available. But from my point a view, my apparent isolation is indeed a problem of prosperity. When I was on the edge of homeless, living in the shelter, I was a regular here.

When I come in here now, a lot of the faces have changed. I really don't have to retrain the staff, but there was a moment when I wanted to point out the rules to a library patron about the use of cell phones in the computer lab. When I gave them the "look" they looked at me like I was the crazy one here.

Shit, don't they know who I think I am?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I really want to get toasted.


I did smoke crack on Friday and on Saturday as well. And the stuff is now out of my system so far as the actual drug and related metabolites that have been swimming around in my blood stream. The let down from using has passed and I am not all that depressed at the moment.

Well, certainly not as depressed as I felt Sunday and Monday.

The way I felt those two days was the "I really don't even want to get out of bed" type of depressed feeling. I also did drink some of my neighbors vodka on those two occasions that crack was being ingested as well. That only seems to compound the problem, so no more of that shit.

We'll see if that sticks.

A little weed on Saturday, essentially roaches and a few small buds I found after doing a bit of cleaning up around here helped a little. But over those two days little gave me joy of any sort.

Even the Steelers overtime win didn't do much for my disposition.

That's scary.

Some online conversations with online friends did lighten my mood to a certain degree, but my tolerance for online conversations tends to be short at times. Especially when I'm not in a proper frame to enjoy the jokes and witticisms that fly back and forth.

To those who endured my bad puns, silly jokes and at times outright obnoxiousness,

But at this moment, and actually for the past two days I have wanted to get high. Not smoking weed, but taking some big hits on a crack pipe. And as I have mentioned in the past, these cravings don't pass in a half hour as some experts would like you to believe.

They wax and wane, the cravings that is, but never really go away. Always a bit of tugging and twisting in my gut, at the back of my mind, always talking to me, tapping me on the shoulder, whispering in my ear. Nudging, cajoling, helping me figure out that if I did this and then that happened I might have enough cash on hand for a twenty or so.

But right now, I ain't using. Right now my resolve not to make a call to get a couple of bucks from my "banker" is stronger than the fucking crack whispering to me. Next week it'll be a whole new story with the cravings there as well, but next week things will be too easy to keep me from making the call.

So, now the usual process of preparing is starting. You know, lists and other things that will ensure at least my roof, my food and other basic requirements are met. I have to get my house in order so that I can't tear it down, as has happened in the past. In reality I am more nervous of possible outcomes than I am after the shit has hit the fan.

But today I'm really glad in a way that I haven't sufficient cash on hand to get a rock. The reason I'm glad is quite simple. I really want to get toasted.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A typical crackless day.

As a matter of fact most days are without crack. Not that the thought of doing a hit is ever far away, but that's part of the deal.


After a night of frequently interrupted sleep, which has much to do with my physical condition and age, I reluctantly roll my butt out of bed. Caffeine, another of my drugs of choice, is a necessity along with enough nicotine to get the motor started. The coffee is usually strong enough to allow a spoon to stand up in it.

Today they say that caffeine is good, but that could change tomorrow. I have yet to see any positive reports for nicotine though. Of the 64 ounces that the pot will hold, I will probably drink at least half of that amount. My neighbor Don will sometimes come by and have a cup. He has never gone beyond that one cup, as he says that my brew is strong stuff and any more than a cup gives him the jitters.

I really don't buy that crap that the coffee is making him shaky, but that's on him. It would be nice if his sense of self control could be transferred to the amount of vodka he drank, but that ain't gonna' happen. When he comes over and isn't jittery is because he's already had an eye opener.

He does make good company when he's not totally shit faced.

I turn on this computer and see if there are any interesting emails, posts or news of importance that has taken place. I check out the social networks and check for information on my concerns, which of late have centered around MM. I check this blog for comments and reply if the feedback warrants a response.

Quiet often the comments do provide me with insights others have of my situation and suggestions to consider. There are times that more effort is put into responding to the comments as is put into writing a new post. Some posts are in response to a comment.

I have this strange quirk about censorship and I don't think I have deleted a comment yet. Even a spammer's comment, posting a link to some vacation site stayed. I did gently explain that the Erie Crackhead had no funds to travel to those places, so maybe that internet hustler got the message.

If something is bugging me or I just need to vent, I post an entry here as well.

As much as I try, spending less than 4 or 5 hours on the computer doesn't happen too often. Besides, other than returning books to the library or the occasional trip to the food banks, there isn't a whole lot to pull me away from doing what I do on the internet. It's also a damned sight more productive than staring at the TV like a zombie.

Besides, who wants to watch the likes of Mike Wilcos destroy what's left of the little self respect his guests have on national TV?

So after I've sated my computer jones, I try to get out for a bit, which seems to be less and less lately. Reading a book, which I am falling behind on my reading, might occupy some time as well. The other thing is that I might take a nap. Sleepless nights make that activity a necessity at times. Troubling are the days that naps are taken to just make the time pass by.

Troubling even more are the days I'll go to bed very early at night just to end a day quicker.

Later in the day, I figure out what sounds good to eat and end up having what's easiest to prepare. Cooking is something I have to be in a mood for, and sometimes cooking for one is a pain in the ass. There are those times when I do invite my neighbors over for a meal. Partly because I've made enough food to feed an army and partly for a bit of company to help me pass the time.

My neighbors are not your typical mainstream folks. They, by and large, live on the fringes of our society. That does not mean they are outlaws or misfits, but they do have interesting viewpoints and opinions on what goes on around us. Conversations with my neighbors are enlightening at times, when those conversations are not fueled by too much booze or smoke.

I don't know if they have learned anything from me, but I have certainly learned much from them.

I am also grateful that none of my neighbors are crack smokers. One crackhead in this building is more than enough, thank you.

Most days are without much company and then I will turn on the television. Watching the news. Local news, then the network news. After that the News Hour on PBS. If something else is interesting to me, I may watch. More often or not though, the TV is just making background noise while I either read or sit in front of the computer once more.

There are those evenings when friends made on FaceBook or another networking site I visit will exchange banter back and forth. A chance to be funny, witty or maybe just talk about the weather in many ways brightens what is usually a dull and boring day. There are also folks who are in many ways, just like me. We talk about what going on good in our lives. We talk about what is not going good in our lives. We also exchange our own little brand of gallows humor.

My wish is that they have enjoyed talking with me as much as I have enjoyed talking with them. It's also my hope that their lives are more fulfilling than mine seems to me at times.

Then it's time to close the doors, turn off this machine and the TV. I turn out the lights and settle in for a hopefully good night sleep.

Makes ya' wanna' run right out and look for a crack dealer, doesn't it?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Some people get it...

Yes, there are people who do get it, and get what I am trying to do with this blog.

When you click on the title, you'll see why in many respects I am surprised at some comments and reactions I have gotten because of this blog. It's that stigma thing that junkies, crack heads and your down and dirty drunks have to carry around with themselves. It's theirs as well as my cross to bear.

Let me start out by saying that whatever it is that I may be or have or whatever the correct or fashionable thing to say is, I am not contagious. You will not be doomed to a life of hustling, conniving, deceiving or stealing to keep the flow of crack coming your way. Exchanging emails, IMs, phone calls or even hanging out with me will not put you in any sort of jeopardy to smoke crack or do anything that one really wouldn't want to do.

It is also understood that I won't even consider turning someone onto that poison. It wouldn't matter how much money you brought with you or how much you insist that it would not effect you negatively. It would in some measure fuck up your life, trust me on that one.

Most crack smokers look at that the same as I.

This blog though has helped to some degree in weakening that stigma associated with crackheads. At least it seems that way to this crackhead. This is not a one man crusade to redeem all crackheads everywhere. This is not even a crusade for redemption of this crackhead.

It is though a means of letting people know what life is like for someone with apparently deep seeded dependency issues when it comes to this drug. Erie Crackhead is also trying to do this as honestly as he knows. No glamorization, no details on how to score, no war stories that at times make me want to go out and get a rock. Actually, war stories are one of the reasons I no longer attend 12 step meetings.

If there has been any dishonesty in this blog, it's been more of the lies through omission sort of thing. Part of that is for the readers protection and to be perfectly honest, part is for my protection. Also putting too much out there may be harmful to some who have never, and may never read this blog.

But the nicest things experienced from this undertaking and the modest way that this blog has been "promoted" has been from the people who have taken the time to see who it is that is really peeking out from behind the curtain. The kindness, the caring, the encouragement and the humor folks have brought to me have been more helpful than many of the hours spent with most therapists.

I am grateful for those who have been able to look beyond the label and to see the person.

Now about this honesty stuff. I haven't taken a hit since last Thursday. Before you start patting me on the back, it should also be mentioned that I did get ripped off yesterday trying to get a small package. So, it is more by accident than by design that I did not get high yesterday.

That's sometimes how it goes when you're a crackhead.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It could have been better.

But it can always get worse.

Yesterday and the day before caught me with a crack pipe in my mouth. This is just another proof that excess money in my hands will disappear before it even has time to find it's way into my pocket. Or for that matter money that could be used for something besides crack.

Which brings me to a question asked by a commenter on Friday, August 27th blog entry. The anonymous commenter asked:

"Just wondering, what is the most amount of sober days have you been able to string together?"

To be completely honest, I'm not entirely certain of the correct answer. I guess as a generalization it might be correct to say about six or seven days in a row is probably my best. There may have been a time or two when a couple of weeks or more may have passed. Mostly those longer stretches were because no immediate money was at hand and no other resources to trade were available to buy any crack.

I know there have been times, while in rehab or otherwise restricted that close to 90 days had elapsed before using. It should also be noted that there were also long stretches where I used some almost every day. The thing is though, over the past 6 months or so, I have used many less days than I have used. Many less days have found me doing a hit and that is something that makes me happy.

And thankful.

Because in many respects I would like to take sole credit for those straight days, but I had help. Did I fall down on my knees and ask God to remove this obsession? Naw, besides God did not put a crack pipe in my hand the first time I took a hit, so why ask Him to take it away? It's not His fault or problem.

Besides, I went down that road before, and faith healing don't work.

The successes I have gained have been from the help of real breathing live people, who for whatever reason have decided to lend a hand. It has also been due to the help of people who have corresponded with me through email lists and social networks that the Erie Crackhead has gotten involved with.

Harm Reduction techniques have also minimized complications that could drag me deeper down the rabbit hole. With that in mind, yes things could be much worse.

Yes, Better is Better...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nothing of any note occurred.

So far as it goes it has been nearly normal in may regards.

Did I smoke crack? Yes, I did. Did I get money put away? Yes to that as well. As a matter of fact, bit more was put away this month than in previous months. $100.00 more is $100.00 not spent with the Crack Man.

The usual challenges that face me on a daily basis are still there to be dealt with. Cleaning, laundry, getting groceries from the market as well as from the food pantries still need to done. Getting to the library, which I used to do on almost a daily basis, is now a once a week trip.

This virus ridden computer is part of what keeps me in to a certain degree, but other issues have kept me from traveling outside as much as before. Both matters concerning physical health as well as moderate depression keep me from reaching for the door as often as before.

In many respects things are getting better and with that I'm pleased.

Because "Better is Better."