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...