|Left turn? Right turn? NO, go STRAIGHT. Shit, which way do I go? This is Dave's car dumbass, remember Dave? What are you doing? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!? Now what? Shit. SHIT!!! Okay okay, calm down; gotta get my bearings. Heart pumping so FAST! I make a left and the span of time since my last hit widens. My brain begins to function some yet still in hyper-frantic mode. I'm a wreck. T-shirt burned, (how'd that happen?), ashes all over me; pipe in pieces (why?) and I have to urinate. Thirsty. Very thirsty. The fuel light reminds me of how helpless I am. Gotta get gas. Gotta piss. Thirsty, so fucking thirsty. Oh god, what have I done? Dave's car; driving Dave's car and gone about three hours now. FUCKINGDUMBASSPIECEOFSHIT!! I look around the car, what a mess I've made; contents of my work-bag scattered, minute pieces of crack all over the place...my lap, the floor, the seat. Too small to smoke, too big to ignore oh, OH! Gotta get gas, gotta piss, thirsty. Need another hit NOW! Gotta get Dave his car back. A rational thought invades my insane brain; drive up to Dave's house, tell him what happened, that I screwed up. He'll understand; help if I ask. I realize quickly that only I can help myself. STOP! Red light. Oh, OH! Too many cars! Everyone looking at me. They KNOW! They know what I've done and what a piece of shit I am. Oh GOD, need gas,piss,water, another hit! I continue to drive past seven or eight gas stations, too afraid (of what?) to pull in and get out of the car. Can't talk myself out of the fear that envelopes me. Finally the powerful need to do a hit speaks. Tells me that if I don't get gas I'll not make it to score again and I HAVE to score again. HAVE to! GAS! Get gas DUMBASS! And where am I? What road is this? HOW DID I GET HERE!? I pull into a station and there are people standing; waiting (for me?). I motor over to the furthest pump from the door and it seems a mile away as I crack open my door. Twitchy, nervous, STUCK. I struggle to remove myself from the confines of my carriage; legs, arms, torso all feel as if not my own. Eyes wide, body trembling I stare left and right, left and right as I scurry towards the store and enter. He looks right at me. He knows. The cashier knows I'm messed up, knows what I've done. He knows what a pile of stinking bile I am! I pay with a twenty. "Ten bucks please", I croak from a dry throat not my own in a voice even I don't recognize. Cashier takes FOREVER to hand over my change and when he does all I can do is utter an undiscernable grunt and scurry back out the door towards the car in a life and death hurry to get that gas in the car so I can crawl back into the relative safety of Dave's car. Another rational thought. Poor Dave. He doesn't deserve this, noone does but I do it and I do it and I DO IT! I still need to urinate. And what about the drink I was going to buy? And my pipe is all busted. DUMBASS! No way am I getting back out of this car again. Mind racing, racing. Body aching, too long since last hit and my head plays the familiar tape; Dave, friends, family, progress FAILURE. Dave, friends, family progress failure. On and on and...GOTTA GET ANOTHER HIT! A BIG ONE! BIGGER THAN ANY HIT BEFORE! BIG BIG BIG! Oh God, what have I done? Not again; NOT AGAIN! Somwhere behind my eyes I feel like an unwilling passenger in this psycho-machine that only a few hours ago was me. A possession I think. Forced to remain lucid through the whole ordeal; made to watch as my my own hands destroy everything they've built. Forced to watch as they destroy ME. Been doing so well I thought. up until a few hours ago, operating under God's grace I would say. Going to work, becoming more responsible and enjoying real progress. It was like fresh rain. A slew of new friends, a job where I was appreciated; they had just made me employee of the quarter, the very first! So much good stuff and truly enjoying my life and the hopes that I had for my future. How could I have made such a decision to throw it all away? Howgoddamnit, HOW!? Dave's birthday. What better justification to have a beer than a friends' birthday? I took a drink and then the drink took a drink and then the drink took me to the crack-house in Dave's car. I had unleashed the beast and it was BIG and it needed to be FED! But I knew better. Even with the beer in my system I knew better. Always know better. Did it anyway, believing it would somehow turn out different this time (insanity?). Again and again and AGAIN! Okay, got my gas, time to score. Look to the left and to the right, left again, rear-view...uh oh, isw that the cashier coming out to take my plate? I KNEW he knew I was out of my skull on crack. I KNEW IT! SHIT! No matter, gotta get more, gotta score, gotta get Dave his car back. Prisoner in my own body and all it seems I'm capable of is driving to score. Drive and score; get that hit. Get that big HIT! The biggest of all TIME. BIG BIG BIG. Maybe it'll kill me: I don't care. Maybe, maybe maybe it's what I want. what I WANT, crave NEED! OH God; Dave, friends, family job, progress, Dave, friends, family, job progress, FAILURE!. Getting worse now, shaking, sweating hard and I know I need a hit but also that the thought is a lie. It always lies and I ALWAYS listen! Red light! Stop! Left, right, which way? Which goodgoddamn way do I GO!? Okay, okay; left I think, that's the spot. And the comfort begins to spread through me as I realize the hit will come soon. I'll have that hit cause I got MONEY FOR HITS! See a couple of fellas and I cruise up, slow down and roll the window down just enough to croak through it. Fifty, I need a fifty. How much? FIFTY! Pull over. Head bobbing, left to right to left to right . UH OH! A black and white in the rear-view. Not in Mayberry. NOWWHATINHELLAMIGONNADO? He pulls behind me. Haven't been served yet so I pull into a driveway as if I belong and he drives past me. WHEW, that was close! Heart is heaving, pumping; breath shallow and coarse. Black and white goes by and I back out and return to the guys on the corner . Guy comes up and motions for me to open passenger door and I do. "How much", he wants to know and I tell him fifty. He questions the authenticity of my cash and OH SONOFABITCH HE"S TAKING TOO LONG! "Turn the light on so I can see it ", he says. No light to turn on. C'mon dude I GOTTA GO! He drops the stuff in my hand, snatches the cash and slams the door. Off I go. Stop sign, Okay, okay; which way to go? Left? Right? Where's that black and white? Screw it, got the stuff in my hand, everything is going to be okay now. Nothing else matters. I cram one of the pieces I got for my cash into the broken remnants of my pipe and raise my lighter and make a left turn. Stop sign coming up. Lights behind me. LIGHTS BEHIND ME! As I lower the pipe the bar of lights on the black and white go ablaze. Shit. SHIT! I stop; he stops. OHMYGOD! WHATAMIGONNADONOW?! Cars a mess, crack all over the car. Not even my car; Dave's car! Going to jail. GOING TO PRISON! Oh god, what have I done. What HAVE I DONE!? ASSHOLESONOFABITCH WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! My right foot comes slowly off the break eases over to the gas pedal. I begin to move. STOP! WHAT IN HELL DO YOU PLAN TO DO? Why are you running? Gotta get that HIT; waited way too long not to get that hit. Going to jail but I GOT HITS. I got ROCKS and I"M GONNA SMOKE THEM! Make a left. Make a right. With my knee doing the steering I raise the pipe to my mouth; lighter strikes and flames and I inhale long and huge. BAM. OH GOD! EXHALE! and the cloud is so big and thick I can hardly see through it, even as the black and white's lights reflect off it. Everything gets dead quiet. Heart racing, chest heaving. Gotta catch my BREATH! I cram the second piece onto the pipe. So many lights behind me, several black and whites have joined the chase. Beeping, squawking, flashing. What the hell have I done? WHAT AM I GONNA DO! I lift the pipe and the lighter and again I draw deep and exhale hugely. Hit again. Exhale. Hit; Exhale. OH GOD! Feels as if my heart is going to bounce out of chest and into my lap. Spike strip up ahead. What in the hell? He reels it in. Why? WHY? Left turn; right turn. Heart pumping, head racing, chest heacing. I don't want this. Can't do this any more. NO MORE! Hate my life. MY STINKINGFUCKINGCOCAINELIFE! I cram the last piece onto the pipe and again I hit deep. OH NO. I've done it. Can't feel my legs, my feet or my body and BAM I'm out of it; out of my body and somehow drifting above to see the pathetic bastard I've become flailing in the drivers seat of Dave's car. I watch from above as the car meanders towards a ditch and I am somehow unable to reach the wheel to avoid the inevitable. WHAT NOW YOU STUPID SONOFABITCH!? My hands, my feet, legs and arms won't respond. They are no longer mine. Into the ditch I go, hand still pressed around the pipe and the remnants left within. Twitching and convulsing my only thought is that I need another. ANOTHER HIT. Still dreamy, floaty, twitchy. Not in my body at all it seems. Only thoughts. Seat belt, door, CRASH! The driver side door window is smashed and I think I've been shot but can't feel it because I'm (dead?) convulsing violently. They have only smashed the window. OPEN YOUR HAND! DROP IT! But my hand won't release its' possession even as I will it too. Everyone is screaming and it sounds foreign to me. Fingers like a vise still clench the pipe. Try again to will it to open. Want them to see what it is and what I have become. The black tentacles are all over me now, prying, pulling. Through the tentacles comes a squirt of (ink?) liquid that splashes off my glasses. Somehere in the back of my brain I realize that the liquid is fire. Pepper spray. Big deal. I am convulsing and dying and I do not feel it. Trembling, sweating, my feet are curled inside my boots. My whole body turning in on itself and I can still see it from above as if detached and I still won't release the possession of my hand. Another blast and this one gets around my glasses and into my nose, mouth and eyes. HOT! SO HOT! BAM and my breath slams back into my chest in huge whooping gulps. Big heaving gasps now with short panting in between and my mind seems to slam back into my body. Inside again. Not floating above. Now I can feel the heat of the spray and the pressure of so many tentacles on my arm and finally my hand releases its' grip. TAKE IT! GET IT AWAY FROM ME! NO! GIVE IT BACK! The tentacles pull me from the broken window of Dave's car and on the ground I go. Back to reality. PUT YOUR HANDS OUT! Yank, yank; CLICK, CLICK! I'm cuffed and lifted gasping and heaving from the ground. The pepper-spray burns badly but it doesn't worry me like the burn in my chest and the pain in my skull does. Still convulsing and unable to respond to the cops command to MOVE. They think it is my response to the spray. C'MON GUY, MOVE! With my eyes squeezed shut, chest heaving I'm pulled and dragged to a car. I want to cooperate, to make my body do as they say but still I cannot. They help me (kindly?) into the car. ey don't shove or push me and I can sense their compassion for me as a fellow human. I sense that they understand somehow what has happened to me and I am grateful. GRATEFUL! My job, family, friends, progress. This isn't happening. God please tell me that THIS IS NOT HAPPENING! Finally I catch my breath. Sorry officers, for all the problems I have caused you tonight. I just could not stop hitting that damn pipe you see. They take me to an eye wash station gasping, spitting, sobbing and I try to hold my eyes to the water but my head keeps bouncing and bobbing away from the cool stream of comfort. And then it released me. My head stopped bouncing and I began to breath normally. Tried to kill me this time. Almost did it too but I got arrested (rescued?) instead. Alive but still a failure. All the progress I'd made shot to hell in a flash. Never had to happen, I know, but it did and am grateful it ended as it did with me alive for another day, another chance. Rescued once again. Given grace once again. Thank you God, whoever you are, for showing me grace once more.