Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Friend in Dallas

I have mentioned her from time to time because she keeps me awake periodically.

Calls from her come at the weirdest hours. Well, weird from most people's point of view. The calls will normally come in around 2 to 5 A.M. She is either drunk or high. Sometimes she is looking for a dealer's number or other times she just wants to talk for awhile.

She is, like anyone who uses crack including myself, not to be trusted. Again, I fall into that category myself. It must also be mentioned that not all crackheads are thieving, cheating and lying bastards. Actually, when crack is removed from the equation, most smokers are basically decent people.

Like me.

Getting back to my Dallas friend, there are times when I truly fear for this poor person's sanity. I'm happy I don't get high in her apartment anymore. The array of cutlery though out the place was unnerving. She did that to be able to defend herself from the IBI or any other imaginary or real agency that might come crashing through her ceiling. She may have had those knives out to use on whoever was getting high with her as well.

When she calls I ask how many knives she has hidden around the apartment. Her reply is invariably, "Fuck you."

I must have touched a nerve.

The calls many times involve trying to score crack from some extremely dubious characters. So, to feel a bit safer, she puts her phone on speaker while the deal is getting done. Her hope is that if anything bad happens, she'll at least have someone to call 911 or something to rescue her.

I'm live approximately 1400 miles from her home. I hope it never comes to her having to depend on my call to save her life. On the other hand, while this isn't much of a safety net, it's better than nothing at all. To a degree, she must have some trust in me.

Happily, I'm not that crazy yet.

But wait...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don't Trust!

I know it's been mentioned here before and will likely be mentioned again. This is the first rule, as in RULE #1 if you are going to be involved with crack in any way.

If someone smokes crack, don't trust them.

If someone sells crack, don't trust them.

I left Dallas, Texas about 6 months ago. I had a conversation with a crackhead friend on the phone last night. They were upset that I hadn't told them I was leaving. My reply was that no one I knew could be trusted. I stated that in a way that made it clear that I didn't even trust my friend in that regard.

I owed too many crack dealers money and those same dealers did business with my friend. To have revealed my plans to my fellow crackhead may have jeopardized my position. Perhaps jeopardized my position to the point of getting me shot.

I really didn't nor do I want to get shot.

So whether you smoke crack, sell crack or know someone who is in anyway engaged in some sort of activity involving crack, do not trust any of the above.

For real!

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Monday

And yes, that is just another day.

After going through too much money for drugs late last week, I chose to not do much over the weekend. Partly because I was depressed and partly because the weather sucked. I'm not going to whine about pain issues, as that is an issue everyday.

I just work my way through it.

I got some awakenings about why my relation with some family members is the way that it is. It's just not about drugs. It's just not about being absent from their lives. It isn't just about getting remarried or other bad choices I've made in life.

It's basically ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

I have some work to do.

There is no better time than the present.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh Well...

I'll be starting the next month in the hole again.

My neighbor stopped by last night. He brought his bottle of vodka. He wanted to buy a few cans of soda. In Erie we call it POP. Oddly enough the only other place I've heard soda called pop is in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN.

Anyway, I gave him 4 cans. I wouldn't think of charging him for that soda. The reason is that there may be a need for a few smokes between now and when my check comes in. Also I have more financial resources than he does and he does need a little assistance from time to time. I try to help when possible.

At the moment he is flush with cash. Well he was flush with cash, as he squirreled away $50.00 for a rainy day or something along that line. Apparently he thought it was a rainy day for me.

He was so grateful for my giving him the pop that he asked if I needed to borrow any money. He has that fifty put away but if I want he'll lend it to me until my money comes.

I really gotta' talk to that guy when he's sober. You never ask a crackhead if he needs to borrow a few bucks. We always need a few bucks and it's never for food, gas or rent. It's always for crack.

So, he gives me the fifty as he doesn't have anything smaller. Just a damned fifty dollar bill. So I call my guy to bring by a fifty piece.

After two hours of waiting for that fool to show up, I change tactics and try alternate sources. First it's to a competitor who's shit is garbage, but he says he's not doing anything. Then it's a walk down the street to a known user who I've used to get crack for me in the past.

I ring the guys door bell. The answer I get is that they are asleep. So now I'm scrambling to find out how to get something to smoke.

I have a number for a friend of a friend who has scored for me in the past. It's always a bad experience working with this dude. Invariably he'll chip off almost half for himself before he gets back and then acts like he deserves a hit when he brings the drugs.

So, true to his style he returns with a few measly crumbs for that fifty bucks. To add insult to injury he says it's straight drop, but it's so loaded with cut that it clogs my pipe.

So, now I'm into my neighbor for a total of $90.00 this month. He will be paid in full, as I am very sensitive about owing money. Except when the money is owed to a bank or some shyster finance company.

And now I'll be starting the month in the hole.

Something new for me.

Yeah, right.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


One of my favorite authors is Terry Pratchett. As is my usual practice, when there is a writer I like, I tear though all of their works as quickly as I can. Mr. Pratchett is fairly prolific, so far it's been about a 10 year journey. It may well be another 10 years before I accomplish this task.

I could have read everything he's written easily in that period of time. The fact of the matter though is that at times I've been otherwise occupied. You know, vision, thought, time, monetary resources and judgement blurred by my drug of choice.

A person isn't really comfortable with a book when their main thought is when the IBI will come crashing through the window, door or ceiling. If you've forgotten who the IBI is, then you'll have to go back through past posts for that explanation.

I also have found other writers who have taken their turn in regards to my attention. Variety is the spice of life and regretfully tunnel vision on my part is limited only to crack.

Anyway, today I have decided that Mr. Pratchett may also be the greatest philosopher of our time. The reason for that is found in his book, "Thief of Time." This is not going to be a direct quote from the book, but you should get the gist of what the writer is trying to convey.

Basically it boils down to the fact that the answer as to why things happen is "Because."

Now it appears that my father, so many years ago, was much wiser than I gave him credit. His answer to those impossible questions posed to him by me was almost always, "Because." While this did cause a bit of frustration to my small inquiring mind, today it all seems to fit.

Think about it. Why does the sun rise every morning. Astronomers, physicists and various other 'experts' will give you highly technical reasons why that occurrence does indeed take place. But consider this, even after they have taken the problem and explaination to it's greatest degree of minutia, it still boils down to:


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Neighbor Lent Me 20 Bucks

He stopped by after getting his script and picking up a bottle of vodka. So after drinking a few shots and eating a few percodan he asks me if I want to borrow 20 bucks.

I didn't say, "No!"

And you don't need a crystal ball or be a psychic to figure out what I did with that money.

I got hold of my regular guy and his shit was 1/2 way decent. Sometimes that's the way it works out. And sleep wasn't elusive either. The pills helped that cause.

Anyway, today is a bright sunny day. I owe my neighbor $40.00 now. I hate getting behind before my check is here, but that seems to be a talent of mine.

I wonder if he'll go for another twenty...

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's been awhile...

The weather hasn't been all that great over the weekend. So instead of getting wet and cold, I stayed warm and dry.

Trolley service is also nonexistent on Sundays. Walking to the library is kind of tough, so no bus kept me away yesterday.

No NASCAR over the weekend was a bummer, but two good books helped me pass the time. There are only a few things better than something good to read to fire up ones imagination.

I did have a doc appoint on Thursday. Learning that I could just have them bill me the co-pay allowed me to get a bit of a buzz later in the day. My regular guy was playing some sort of game so I didn't buy from him.

I have an alternate number that I used. What a mistake. There was so much cut and other crap in that shit that my Brillo was clogged with only a small hit. After re-cooking what was left, it appeared as though this stuff might have been 25% crack at best.

Live and learn.

Well, with enough smokes, food and clean clothes to get me to check time things will not be too bad.

I have thoughts of buying a computer. There is a wholesale computer place that will be opening shortly. It's not far from my home and at the very least I can check out laptops that are WiFi enabled. Than I can start checking on free WiFi areas that might be convenient to me.

Let's see how the money works out first though...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If you're smoking...

And you want to stop, this might help.

I have been to more drug & alcohol rehabs than anyone would actually want to admit to. From one of the very best rehabs in the country to one that might be the very worst. All are essentially AA indoctrination centers, but despite any misgivings you may or may not have about the 12 steps consider this fact:

Going into a rehab, regardless of it's ranking or amenities, gives you 28 days of safety from your drug. That's almost a month to clear the cobwebs out, get some healthy food into your system and an opportunity to consider your options. At the very least you are giving yourself a 28 day vacation from hell.

As an added bonus some rehabs actually offer alternatives to AA or NA. SMART Recovery, SOS, Harm Reduction and other groups are now being encouraged to bring meetings into facilities. This is to give those who are new to the idea of stopping their use a chance to see what is available.

I do not recommend any one type of support group. I've been to AA and was told that if I wasn't an alcoholic that I didn't belong at those meetings. This was after attending those meetings for over 5 years and being told that I did belong.

Talk about being rejected.

I went to NA but was nervous about all the drug dealers hanging around outside after the meetings. Added to that was the strict "company line" that NAers adhere to that gave me the willies.

To add to my discomfort was the fact that the religious content of 12 step meetings was troubling to me. I mean, God didn't get me high, why should I expect God to keep me clean, sober and all that stuff. Listening to drug and drunk-a-logs didn't help me keep my mind off using either.

SOS and SMART Recovery meetings did help arm me with tools that seemed more valuable to being sober than hearing war stories. Hearing about what someone did to not use made more sense and was more helpful than hearing about someones last 5 day crack binge.

Unfortunately there are no SOS or SMART meetings in my area.

Harm Reduction has had some value to me. The main thing that helped me was making a plan to facilitate minimizing my usage. Getting bills and obligations out of the way before getting a drug dealer on the phone.

I can hear it already. Why bother calling the Dope Man at all?

Needless to say, you wouldn't be asking that question if you were in my place. To those of you who understand, no explanation is needed. To those of you who don't understand, no amount of words will help you to know what it's like.

But if you're hitting the pipe and you need to take a break, think about it for awhile. No amount of invented bullshit from a drug and alcohol counselor can compare to the crap you get from a drug dealer who won't get off your back or a moocher who thinks you owe them a hit.

28 days of relative peace and quiet.



No kiddin'!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two weeks until...

My check comes.

Cigarettes are running dangerously low but that is my only complaint. The weather is getting warmer with each passing day. The grey piles of snow are slowing dissolving into little streams and puddles. The rain promised for later in the week should finish them off in short order.

Sunshine and moderating temperatures have done much to improve my mood. Not having hit a pipe in a little while doesn't hurt either. Another factor is that the pain I experience is somewhat lessened when my mood is elevated. The lesser the pain, the better my mood and the more ambitious my excursions become.

A friend wrote about my comments on recovery. He mentioned that he was not in recovery in the AA, 12 Step or rehab facility sense of recovery. He preferred using the terms Harm Reduction and abstinence. He has been abstinent for a fairly decent period of time now. I'm not sure exactly how long, but he must be well beyond 30 days.

I'm happy for his success.

I also employ Harm Reduction techniques to keep me abstinent. My major technique is staying broke. And while there may be those who say that my methods are not exactly healthy, it must be noted that in a certain way it works.

The downside to my methods lies in how I go about getting broke. I don't think it would recommend in any Harm Reduction or any other self-help literature that you smoke crack until you're out of money. Improving on that is a goal for me.

With that in mind I keep in mind that it's two weeks until...

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Weekend

The weekend was mostly quite and peaceful. No great drama was being played out in my life, but my neighbor had an unfortunate event to remember.

His minor problems aside though, the weekend proved to be productive. I did some laundry, a bit of house cleaning and also did some cooking. Nothing fancy in the culinary department but it was more flavorful than the usual fare at the Mission.

But the Mission's purpose isn't about getting 4 stars on the Zagot survey. It's about feeding people who need some nutrition in their bodies.

Sunday was a lazy day for me. I spent a day that may have closely resembled a Sunday in my "other life." It started with coffee and cigarettes in front of the TV. CBS's Sunday Morning has always been a favorite of mine. From Charles Kuralt to Charles Osgood it has always been a program that has taken me to places, shown me things or introduced me to people that I never would have experienced otherwise.

After that I putted around the kitchen, cleaning things up in preparation of later cooking adventures. After that it was NASCAR.

Hey! Where is it written that a crackhead can't be a red necked NASCAR fan? My favorite driver didn't get to finish, although my 2nd pick can in 3rd. It was a good way to waste a Sunday afternoon. And a damned sight better than spending the day self-absorbed, delusional or both after hitting a crack pipe.

After cooking spaghetti for dinner I settled in to watch the Academy Awards. I always was a fan of that show. It gave me glimpses of movies I hadn't seen and gave me an idea of what I was missing. Well, I'll start to assemble a new list of must see movies on DVD.


Some films just aren't made for a small screen.

Again, no movie theaters within the city limits of Erie, PA!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Write what you know.

I read a blog about writing that is published in my local newspaper's website. That would be at There has been a lot gained from following the advice of the professional writer who posts that blog. The topic this week was writing about what you know.

Needless to say, my lack of professionalism leaves a bit to be desired in how my thoughts go from my head and onto this blob..I mean blog. It would also be nice if I had a whole lot less knowledge about the subject around here.

It has been my mission though to write about things that I do know about firsthand. Through writing about the horror show existence that results in using and becoming addicted to crack perhaps someone will think twice or even three times before taking that first hit.

I do know that there are a few followers of this blog who have experienced what is being talked about here. Some are successfully recovering and I want to do nothing to trigger a return to the pipe. Even after private conversations with them and being assured they are not being triggered I feel uneasy about posting certain experiences.

I guess that stems from bad rehab experiences. At one place they used to show "trigger films" to see how we would react. These were movies that had a heavy content of drug usage. There were times my stomach was so twisted up that I was on the edge of puking.

I certainly don't want anyone to vomit on their computer monitors.

It should also be noted that I used crack within 24 hours after being discharged from most of the drug and alcohol rehabs I have attended.

Anyway, I write about a subject in the hopes that those who are curious find enough information to satisfy themselves and walk away. There is no need to make that awful journey.

Read my words. After that any person in their right mind would know that there are much more intelligent, profitable and comfortable ways to screw up their life.

As for me, I wish this blog was about fishing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's another day.

And the sun is shining and the temperatures are climbing! It's almost acting Springlike out there today.

My posts from the past few days have been, to say the least, depressing. Part of the reason I think is the fact that this is a bad time of year for me. Anniversaries of different events that have had major influences on my life.

It must be stated that not all of the consequences of these events have been negative. There have been many wonderful things that have occurred because of those events.

Yes, even good things can come out of a car accident.

Physical pain does have an effect on any ones mood. The level of pain I have been experiencing over the past few days has been somewhat heightened. Higher levels of pain tend to lower the level of my mental well being.

The type of pain I have is not treated well with the usual assortment of pain medications. Opiates are for all intent and purpose useless in treating peripheral neuropathy. Certain anti-depressants, anti-convulsants and other designer type medications like Lyrica do have a positive effect on that type of pain.

Unfortunately my insurance does not cover most of these drugs. I'm still trying to work out things with my Doc so that affordable solutions can be found that will give me some level of comfort.

Medical Marijuana has also been found to be somewhat effective in treating peripheral neuropathy. Unfortunately that option is not yet available in Pennsylvania.

Heh heh heh!

So, when has the legality of a particular substance stopped me from partaking?

Now to find someone who has something decent that might do the trick.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3rd

That is an eventful day in my life.

Actually two separate March 3rds. On one March 3rd many, many years ago I was married for the first time. The other eventful March 3rd was just 10 years ago. That's when I was involved in a traffic accident that changed my life almost as much as that marriage.

The failure of the marriage was entirely my fault. My using along with the fact that I was depressed and also kind of depressing took it's toll on that relationship. The trust of my wife and the respect of my children were forever lost.

My children want nothing at all to do with me. That pains me, but who can blame them for those feelings.

My ex-wife stays in contact with me to some degree. She will lend me a few bucks or help me get groceries on occasion. A lot of things run through my head as to what her motivation is for helping me. I might be wrong, and have been many times but pity seems to work from my point of view.

Anyway, the accident is causing some of the problems that make my trips to the library to be infrequent as of late. Walking is hard when the snow is accumulating. It's also painful to get around when the barometer is bouncing from one extreme to the other. That's the way the weather has been around here for the past few days.

When climatic conditions are stable, so is my pain. While it hasn't disappeared, the discomfort is manageable.

The pain I'm experiencing is from peripheral neuropathy. There are few medications that have any effect on that type of pain. Opiates are useless. Some anti-seizure drugs have a slight impact. Certain anti-depressants take a bit of the edge off of the burn. There is nothning though that takes all the hurt away.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for a slowdown in the changeable weather in this part of the world. That expression, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes," is not one of my favorites.

OK! Let's we'll see what happens between now and the next March 3rd.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finally back out.

It has been a few days since I've been outside of my apartment.

Part of that was due to the weather, which as previously mentioned is getting me down. Another part of that was the need to do some housekeeping. Doing chores around the house is not a strong suite of mine. Another part was that I was working on a buzz that kind of made me isolate. Lastly was that getting out of bed was not a day at the beach for me.

Anyway, things are what I would term normal for myself. No money and no needs for the moment. Nothing to get too excited about.

For the moment we're just happy to get out and see some, if not smiling, at least friendly faces.