A Tale; Working as a Possibility of using Opium and Opium-derivatives in Recreational Settings
"And what'll the punishment be, Sire?"
Well, after the first couple of times we were pretty sure how it is that we needed to get the business going. The level of stress significantly went down since the last two times and by now we were rolling professionals (as much as you can be a professional while chasing heroin). We didn't have a lot of the powder left, and I guess both Djoe and I knew that there wasn't much of a high we would be chasing (no pun intended) that night, still it was a time we both looked forward to. It would be after the rest of the house fell asleep. It was at Djoe's place, and there were the 'rents to think of, as well as extended family. As the night got darker, and the sound of sleep overcame the household, we put on the last track we would listen to sober (for non-factually accurate reasons (hey this is fiction, after all) let's say the last track was Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz (it wasn't)).
It isn't impossible to use opium and it's derivatives in a recreational setting. From risky research I have been pointed out and found that though alcohol keeps pushing you to become somebody outside of yourself, bolstered by a false sense of the ego, the alternative brings you closer within yourself, and, whether used alone or in an intimate setting, if the amount being used can be controlled and there isn't a compulsive need to hit the smoke everyday, it provides a just-fine way to engage in a heart-felt session. There isn't much of the going-crazy-doings that alcohol brings along with it, neither is there the obsessive need to hit more of the substance after a comfortable peak is reached, which is rarely the case in a bout with alcohol, where more leads to more till one either passes out or vomits most of the night, along with the express need to blurt out most the mind's content. Here, a particular note is worthy of being brought out- I contend that it is not all true, the content that comes out of drunken lips; it is the alcohol itself that speaks through the person. Furthermore, whereas alcohol is more about being falsely expressive, heroin is about being truely intimate: closed eyes, soft, kind words and a lot of the heart finding space to communicate with another. However, set and setting probably do matter here, as with any other worthy substance, and here the two can gain particular notoriety namely because, I believe, the atmosphere around the substance defines much of it's addictive properties.
The house asleep, the doors locked and now we could almost taste the heroin in our mouths (it's a metallic bitter taste, probably why the puking whilst chasing). The taste clear and lucid, we were glad there wasn't a lot to be had. We were both looking at each other and grimacing at the prospect of having to endure so much of the taste of heroin, even though, we both knew, there really wasn't a lot left. The previous session saw us having the highest doses, with me going a wee above what Djoe had signed on for, but that was fine: my bulky body might have needed a bit more to reach that state of heedless, bliss-ic flow.
Djoe went into the kitchen and got out the iconic foil. From there it was merely a chore to get out the rest- the vape, the small vial containing the heroin, the note through which to chase, a lighter for, well, y'know, and a rubber band to clasp down the note in place. We decided we were going to make an entire night out of it, and take in small, wee doses and slowly see how the night progresses. Djoe and I were giggling the whole way through, the possibility of being caught and the ecstasy of the intoxication got us caught up and we were just making jokes that would make a bystander think we were in a sitcom. To be fair, it was a situation, and again, it was pretty comedic. Considering we doing Heroin (What, I had to!).
The tradition of passing the smoke after the perfunctory toke persists, and after I had had my first I passed on the foil, and the rest of the decorations to Djoe. It takes a while for the effects to seep in and I sat deeply into the chair. The vape came to be of good use, substituting cigarettes with harmless vapor made it easier to get high inside Djoe's room easily. I slid the volume dial down just enough for the tunes to be naught but a mellow reminder of the passage of time. We were talking the whole time. Mostly about life, about feeling like outcasts in a system that glorifies productivity and a set-definition of success. Most times we get high, we talk about our dreams and our hopes. We make promises to each other, and let it be known that we would try our darned-est to stick by each other, along with a few wisps of the times that have slipped silently passed us by.
I start talking about the recipe to living a good life. The two of us were working on an equation to living not a good, nor rich, nor famous life, simply a Happy one. Honest bread was one of the variables and the other was the "Love of My Life". The former was posited by yours truly and the latter by my compadre. Passing the foil around, we started talking about ways to get Honest Bread: slight words about the hustle of going through online courses to "upskill" (they're mostly shams, someone screams across the room) and what we want to do with the rest of the year. I carefully measure out a tiny portion of the powder and light the fuse. Breathing in deeply and following it up with a toke of the vape and then slowly closing my eyes and asking Djoe if he has thought about the idea of starting something on our own.
The more sensible of the two of us, especially when he's tight, he solemnly reminds me that we need to have something in our pockets first. He has plans of his own, and as with any man hooked on to a bad habit, he has his own points to prove. Yet perfectly, only to himself. He closes his eyes too and we allow a still breath.
About the possibility of using the substance whilst pushing needles, I wouldn't be too sure. I suspect the high would be too in-your-face to allow for much else but pure dropping away into exquisite numbness. Having said that, I neither know the method, nor the amount of morphine used daily by the "father of modern surgery". Beyond this, chasing is a slower and more time-taking event and allows for time, both for the high to kick in and for words to exchange ears.
I am specifically referring to the effects that heroin allows with expressing one's vulnerabilities to those they choose, the ability to recollect all such conversations and the sleep you get after a session, when I speak of the recreational possibilities. Lest it be said, driving, whether on alcohol or any other substance should not be risked.
The itching feels pretty gosh-darn neat too, over the nose, over the body and the rest of your body (I shan't go into specifics, but, if you know, you know).
"Djoe, who are you?"
"What d'you mean Raghav?"
"I mean who is it that you see when you see yourself? I know you from the lens through which I know you, but who are you to you?"
"I am this."
The war on Drugs has taken too many lives and we demonize the wounded victims of trauma-struck lives. Individuals who fall into the trap of addiction all lead the hardest lives they know, simply because it is the only life they know. If you're unsure whom to do heroin with, staying away from it might not be a bad piece of advice. If you find yourself stuck in a group with which you only share the habit, you could rethink hitting the foil. If you find your life falling apart, and the pain you feel is not something you have known before and you face bleak prospects of the future, heroin will give you a heaven where all the pain is taken away. But, especially in these times, be brave. Sit with the pain and find out why it is there and think of any one thing that you can count on, and please, count on it.
It is truly a pitisome fact that those most innocent, most wounded amongst us fall into the labyrinthian world of substances. Drug abuse is not a cause for menace- it is a symptom of something that is wrong with the larger environment. The illegality of heroin leaves red-lighters with only drug buddies to turn to for help; people needing help getting up themselves.
We decide to hit Djoe's terrace to smoke an actual cigarette and take a break from the vape. It's late-o-clock and we quietly head upstairs. I notice that the more relaxed the surrounding atmosphere of the sessions are, the less prone Djoe is to hurl. Amazingly, I do not hurl while chasing, neither do I find the bitter tasting saliva left behind after the powder, to be so revolting as to spit it out (Don't you dare make a "Raghav swallows" joke here!).
The moon still out, yet a half-crazed rooster begins to roost and we simply laugh at this amazing specimen of the world, as I light the cigarette. Though he didn't particularly feel it, being precautious, Djoe went ahead and gagged himself to a vomit. I tell him to be quiet, hoping he had a switch within himself that would make him a quiet puker. Suffice it to say, he did not.
I look out and gaze at the moon, something I enjoy regardless of where on the spectrum of sobriety I find myself in. I ask my friend to join me and we talk about something.
I could feel a deep bond of love and respect for my friend and the heroin amplified my ability to point out all the ways in which he is a marvelous human being. We speak about John Frusciante and Scratches and I tell him that I admire Djoe's own style of fingering the strings. Melodically Melancholic.
Once, or twice a year. I would cap it at that, especially if you already have other addictions in the boot, to boot. If you're buying a vial, I wouldn't go for consecutive days. Actually that was a friend's advice. Give it a gap of at least two days.
To end this, "Instant Asshole : Add Alcohol". Yep.
We cozy up on our beds and turn the music down low. The sun was beginning to rise. Djoe shows me some social media gunk and we talk a bit about that. Although neither of us said it, we both knew how intent we were on sleeping and the blessing of sleeping whilst high on heroin. Itching our bodies like we had ants all over us, we hunker down under our blankets and finally Djoe says let's hit the hay.
And in both our minds came a ringing. Three words, so simple, so easy to say, yet, never said enough. Each of our last thoughts before the paddle ride to lullaby-land. "I love you."
I Am *Thinking of a Place* : The War on Drugs