I spent a few weeks out on the streets finding random places to not only shoot up but to sleep. It made no real difference to me at the time as long as I had my dope I was good regardless of what else was happening.

A short time after the big shit show that lost me my place to stay I stumbled upon another place. An old co-worker of mine ran into me at a gas station and we talked a bit about how life had been since that last time we saw one another. I left out the drug use of course and just said I had fallen into some rough patch and was between houses at the moment.

The sound of that was unsettling to him enough to offer me a place to stay. I gladly accepted as he worked nights and then would sleep most of the day so I didn’t really have to see him and or worry about my secret habits being found out.

I told him I would get my shit together and be out of his place asap. I knew inside I had no real plan to make any of that happen but he didn’t and well that’s all that mattered at the time. He told me to take my time and just do what I could as I could. I also made it very clear that I was not there to sleep in his bed or to be more than a temporary roommate, he agreed.

My body was the one thing I would never trade for anything. Not drugs, not money not a place to sleep. It just wasn’t something I would do. I had girlfriends that did that for everything they needed and as an addict seeing that outcome is tempting. I could just never bring myself to allow it. Never once did I trade my body and I wasn’t about to start now.

For a few months, this arrangement worked just fine. While he was asleep I would clean the house and I had a”job” cleaning this old woman’s house so I would head out to do so and by the time I would return to the apartment he was gone and I was free to do my thing. I never got caught with my drugs in or out of his house and I kept the place clean and gave him what money I could to help out.

Eventually, things changed. He started making comments about us being good together and maybe we could hang out more and get to know each other better. We took a random night drive to PA just to get away from the norm and hang out. By the time we got back to the house I was in need of a fix and bad and it was just my luck that a friend of mine was walking up the driveway as we got out of the car so off I went.

The next day we were out doing laundry at his parents’ house (they were out of town) and he started to complain about how I just left after we got back and he really thought that we could take this someplace, and then he pinned me to the washer and went in for a kiss. I wasn’t high so my reaction time was good as I ducked out of the way and told him very sternly that we had talked about this and it was not going to happen. He got really upset but very quite.

When we returned to the house I started to pack my things. He screamed at me about how if I just gave him a chance I wouldn’t have to leave. I left without hesitation and didn’t look back as he stood there yelling at me to come back and talk to him. I headed to the closest dope spot I could get to and let all of that shit go as I pushed the needle in.

“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.”  -Alice Miller