Finally, we found ourselves standing outside of her place, which was a
decrepit building in an industrial slum section of the downtown. There was
probably about ten people who lived there, and it showed. There was graffiti
everywhere, and the place stank from urine and sweat. For a moment I thought
back to my parents' house with it's nice carpets and warm beds. But then I
thought about how I felt living there and how I felt living here, and I
followed Shell to her room.
I'm not one to kiss and tell, but Shell was really weird about sex. It's
not like she was some strange bondage freak or whatever, but she really got
right into it. I kept thinking that the people in the other rooms were going
to get mad at us, but nobody said anything about it and I guess it just didn't
bother anyone. Actually, it sort of freaked me out because one minute she was
just totally enraptured and screwing me for all she was worth, and then when
we were done she just started crying. I didn't know what to do, so I just lay
there. I could feel myself slowly getting soft again inside her, and I felt
every sob and hitched breath. Finally, I could feel the sweat cooling on us
and I decided I had to move because I was starting to get awfully cold. I got
up, grabbed what had once been a beautifully thick white duvet, and lay down
with her again. She was smiling this time. "I've got something to show you."
All the best things are rituals in themselves. Most of those are so subtle
that you never really think about it, like the ritual behind lighting a smoke.
You open the pack and you're greeted with that smell of the tobacco. Then
there's that sound which only ever happens when you pull out a smoke. Then you
put it in your mouth, and put it to the flame, puffing gently. It's a rather
weak ritual, but ritual it is.
Heroin is a very strong ritual, and it is obvious from the very first. I
can't say that I really wanted to shoot up. I wasn't scared of needles or
anything, but I sure as shit didn't enjoy them. She told me that she was going
to take all of that pain of mine from today and just sort of ripple it out
over the night and out of our souls.
I'd like to say that she wasn't making any sense, or that I didn't feel
right about things, but that's really not true. The only excuse I have is one
that really only applies if you've ever turned your life upside down. It had
been in the area of two weeks since I was living in a comfortable house with a
warm bed and weekend access to the family car. Two very small weeks later I
was sitting in a derelict building watching the woman I had just screwed stab
a needle in her veins. All around me were layers of graffiti and filth that
told the stories of literally thousands of people just like me. The world was
different than it had been, and I was different in it. Maybe that's why I let
her put the needle in me.
You're standing in the mountains looking out. There are no people, no
roads, and no high rises. There is only the mountains, the sky, the sun, the
grass, the rocks, the underbrush, the trees, and this incredible sensation
like you know you're right in God's line of sight. Take that one moment and
stretch it until you think your heart is going to explode. I sat there on a
dirty mattress surrounded by these walls of filth, and I knew what God felt
like on a good day. How do you not get addicted to that?
Addiction is a funny thing. It didn't take long before I realized that I
was living in the teeth of the dragon, but that was fine by me. If you think
about it, addiction is a small price to pay for living in divinity, isn't it?
The thing that I never figured out was that divinity wouldn't ask you to sink
so low to get so high.
I started having to devote everything I could get from panhandling to
heroin, but the more heroin you do the less you can handle sitting and waiting
for someone to drop a coin or two in your hand. A lot of people at that point
turn to hooking themselves, but I just couldn't do it. I have this thing about
faggots. No high is worth putting some twisted little fairy's cock in my
I don't remember anything happening that precluded my decision to start
robbing people. Shell and I didn't talk about it or anything, we just sort of
went out to this parking lot where a lot of people park their cars when they
are going to one of those expensive clubs and waited. We didn't talk much,
just sat and smoked cigarettes and waited. Eventually, some guy comes along
and goes to get into his car. I felt his spine just sort of stiffen as I put
the knife to his throat. It was funny because we didn't say a word and neither
did he. He just reached back slowly and pulled out this billfold that was
stuffed with money. We took it and just slid back into the night to find our
next fix. I wonder sometimes about that guy, the way it was almost like he
knew we would be there or something. That kind of thing does weird things to
I developed a pretty strange view of the world. When I stuck a knife to
someone's throat, it was all just a part of the ritual. They weren't people,
because I just couldn't bring myself to hurt people. Instead, they were sort
of like a bank machine that involved a little more than typing in your
four-digit code. Every night you needed money, so every night you found
yourself a quiet corner and waited for the right person to come walking along.
They were just like the syringe, the spoon, or the flame, a part of the