Jack was one of Luke’s friends, who came around during the Luke and Harper phase. He used to party with us all every night. He fell in love with me long before I fell in love back.
We were good friends, though. I remember the first night I met him – he was sitting on Harper’s steps telling me all about his mom. I told him “I’m sorry, but I don’t give a fuck about your mommy issues” and walked away. We later found him passed out upside down.
Our group of friends was weird with Jack. Someone always loved him, while another someone always hated him. I’m still not sure why that was. He was overbearing and tried too hard to impress all of us, and some of us took advantage of his kindness while others were put off by it. Nate never liked him. Luke originally did, and I originally didn’t, and then we switched.
Luke and I started dating when I was twenty and moved into a house in Ocean City together. Jack was always there. He was my new best friend, and Luke didn’t like that much. But, we were all too high on Roxys (an opiate much like Percocet) to really care about much of anything.
One particular night, Luke was being weird. I had decided to stop doing roxys because I found one in my purse, and I figured if I lost a $25 pill and didn’t even miss it I must have had a problem. But, on this night I decided I wanted some again, and Luke said he was getting some, so I asked him to get me one as well. Only he said he couldn’t; he said the guy only had one left. He was acting weird and I could tell, so I went through his phone.
Turned out he was actually getting heroin. I confronted him about it and he said “I won’t stop,” so I told him I wasn’t asking him to but that I did want the truth. A few hours later he came to me and said he was getting some, and asked if I wanted some, too.
By then I had been addicted to cocaine, cutting, and Roxys. Even given my previous history with heroin, I said yes.
And from there I didn’t stop.
Sometimes you just get lost. You don’t realize the world around you. You can’t smell the animal shit, the rotten food, the mold. It all blends together.
There’s no turning back at a time like this. It’s all or nothing.
I still remember that very first time. When he came home and lied to my face, took my money and left. When he didn’t deny it after I asked him, but simply said, “I won’t stop, do you want some?” I still wonder if that was the beginning, or the end. Maybe a little bit of both. I can see it now. His eyes so sunken, his skin so taught. But then it was just fun and games.
Sometimes you think you’ve found solace. Sometimes it comes in a powder form. Of course it makes everything better.
How could it possibly make anything worse?
That sting on my septum, that taste in my throat. It’s things like that I’ll never forgot. How my eyes rolled back and my skin got itchy; how every little touch felt euphoric. How could any of those things possibly be bad? I had seen friends die from overdose. I had seen relatives go to prison. But that wouldn’t happen to me. I just wanted to feel good.
Sometimes, reality hits you. But all it takes is another hit to make it all go away.
I remember doing dishes. A lot of dishes. Why didn’t any of our roommates ever clean their own? I remember him laying in our king-sized bed with pizza hanging out of his thin lips, and I laughed. I fed him like a baby, falling in and out of consciousness. We chain-smoked, even though we weren’t allowed to inside. The smoke made symbols and pictures of happiness.