I’d like to blame it on the drugs. But I can’t say I wouldn’t have followed the exact same script had I not been full of heroin, Klonopin, and Adderall. I was actually sober when I did the last part, four weeks off Suboxone, my legs still trying to flee my body like a burning house. Nothing much scared me anymore, not really, except going to jail. Jaded at 20, where to go from there?

They got me at the BP on Duncan. I was only putting eye drops in, the ones I’d pocketed at the Optometrist, the kind that dilates your pupils. F and M were worried I was using again – as usual they were right. Although you didn’t need a pipe and a trenchcoat to deduce such a fact, I was pretty much always using. The only real question left was what? The drops hid the pin pricks of my pupils, although I couldn’t see very well. Reading and driving became difficult, but one has to keep their priorities in order, commit to the lie. “From the feet up”. Or in this case, from the eyes down.

It took me awhile to get the drops in because I kept nodding out, that blissful state between sleep and wake every addict loves. The place anyone would want to to move to permanently once they discovered it existed.

My eyes in order, I throw my car in reverse, back to the safety of the big house on the hill. Someone’s pounding on my window. “Stop Hampton Police”. I’m more confused than scared – I don’t remember seeing any police cars at the gas station. I would have never pulled in.

I pull back into the parking spot and roll my window down. It’s a detective in plain clothes, the one who took Aubrey home on that HBO documentary. They must know my car by now. Even though I’d made a cursory scan for crusiseres, I had gotten careless. There is an overturned pop can in my center console that I’d used to mix heroin. Detective sees it and pulls me out of the car. Unlike my previous encounters with law enforcement, he’s nice and doesn’t handcuff me. He asks me if there’s anything in the car, and I tell him I have bags and needles in the the console. He offers to drive me home, and I cry.

I get my car the next day and after copping with Janelle I drive to the Hampton Police Station and ask for the detective. I’m immune to consequences and would rather not have possession of heroin on my record.

“So can you help me if I help you?”

“Who’ve you got?”

“J. M.?”

“Got him last week”

“Fuck… What about K. N.?”

“Too unreliable”

“OK…what about M. P.?”

“That could work…he draws a lot of attention to himself”

“Yeah.. plus he always overcharges, and still shorts me!”

Detective gives me a look and then a time to meet him next week.

“Is my hair still blonde?”. I’m in a hospital bed, and I can barely move, there are so many tubes and wires. “Why?”Misty asks laughing. “Because of the pink goo” I tell her. “What pink goo?”

Some people see God or their dead relatives when they get put into a coma – I got pink goo. I was cool with it though because the goo was warm, and I felt so so good when I was swimming in it. Must have been the coma drugs.

Over the next week the pieces come together slowly, mostly through other people who were there. I’d been at the Sober Cult Mansion in Virginia for a day when I had a grand mal seizure from the withdrawal, so they put me into a coma for four days. Truthfully, I hadn’t been getting much sleep lately, so a short coma may have been just what I needed. I still feel like shit because the Cult Mansion had confiscated my suboxone. I’d also missed my second appointment with detective.

When I get back to the Cult Mansion I text detective, explain my coma situation, and we set a new date. He asks if if “I’m ok”, which I don’t respond to (obviously not man, I’m in rehab in another state and I’m texting a cop, things have taken another unexpected turn).

Sawyer comes to Pittsburgh with me, even though he has these weird moral objections to what I am doing there. This is during his one and only 12-step Nazi phase, so he can be insufferable sometimes, but I need an accountabilibuddy and I love the kid despite the apparent brainwashing. I am still fighting suboxone and heroin withdrawal, but Sawyer doesn’t have a license, so I’m forced to drive. When we get to Pittsburgh we pick up an Xterra at my parents house, and we eat at Max and Irmas before I drive to the police station.

They make me sit in a back room for hours while they “prepare everything”. There is a game on though, and I can hear them cheering in the adjacent room. They have me call M.P. and set up a deal while they record the conversation. He wants to meet me at his house, but detective says his driveway is too steep. I call M.P. back and he agrees to meet me at the Giant Eagle, the one bowgirl works at. I guess he’s watching the game too because he tells me 10pm. I get a microphone taped to my chest and they hide one in my truck in case he gets inside. Six cops follow me to the Giant Eagle in two unmarked cars. I’m surprisingly calm and weirdly excited. I call M.P. when I pull into the parking lot, and he tells me to meet him inside. Jesus, he’s an idiot, doesn’t he realize that there are 100s of cameras inside? If I didn’t have six cops waiting for him in the parking lot, I would be inclined to give him some unsolicited advice.

As I’m walking through the doors, I pass a curly haired kid I played lacrosse with in middle school. “Oh, hey man!” I say and keep it moving. I meet M.P. in the dairy section, and he’s with his girlfriend. Fuck, oh well, collateral damage, can’t be helped. I hand him the cash the cops gave me for the buy, and he hands me a bundle of ten stamp bags. His girlfriend picks up a coconut cream pie, and they are standing in line to pay when I exit. I take off my white tar heals hat, the signal that I have the drugs. They’ve instructed me to wait in my car until they take M.P. down, so I get back in the Xterra. There’s a rubber band around the ten stamp bags, and I slowly slide it off. Just one, they won’t miss just one. I did say that he usually shorted me. I look out the passenger window and M.P. and his girlfriend have left the grocery store and are halfway to his car.

“Police! Get on the ground!”

All six officers come running out screaming, pointing guns. M.P. lays on the ground like he’s been through this before, and his girlfriend drops the pie and gets on her knees. I watch as the police pull them to their feet and start searching their pockets. I put the rubber band back around the packets of heroin. It’s not that I’m afraid I’ll ever be in the dealers shoes (North Carolina was a one time thing), I just don’t want to start the whole withdrawal process over again. I consider calling Misty, but detective is knocking on my window. “Good job buddy, just sit tight” he tells me. I hand him the bundle of drugs, and light a Marlboro, the only chemical I’m still allowed to have.

Back at the station they strip search me (good thing I didn’t keep a bag), and they ask me to write a statement. I request extra paper so I can really set the scene properly, but detective tells me one should be enough.

On the way back to my parents, Sawyer tells me that he saw my dealer when they brought him into the station.

“Did he look mad?”

“No, he just looked like he was going to be sick”

“Well he does have a dealer’s habit”

“Don’t you feel bad?”

“Not really… I’m sure he’ll just flip on his dealer… There’s no real loyalty in this thing”

I light another cigarette while Sawyers looks at me sceptically.

“besides…he was always ripping me off”.

There’s a moral in there somewhere, but according to Sawyer I’m bad at those, so I’ll let you figure out what it was.