Citation: Atomic77. "Arrested: An Experience with Heroin (exp102730)". Erowid.org. Aug 30, 2019. erowid.org/exp/102730
It’s the smell that does it every time.
Usually urine and stale body odour. The hot desert air making the stuffy interior feel smaller, constrictive, squeezing my wracked lungs into a panic of suffocation. Another day. I want to roll over and forget it is happening. The burn of too many cigarettes, the familiar cramp of bone empty stomach, irritated by the onslaught of narcotic drugs. This is how it is here. It starts again every day, the desperate scourge for escape.
There is a young woman next to me, her hair smells like a dusty corner in my old primary school class. The panic causes bile to rise in my throat and I sit up with a jolt to prevent it spilling out over her hair. Standing up and stumbling over the snoring bodies on the ground, I grope through the dirty linen curtain rag to find the pack of cigarettes and whatever else there might be to kill the ills. There are some tablets on the table which I swig down with the dregs of a tequila bottle, the burning explosion of it erupting in my empty stomach, immediately snuffed out by the rush of nicotine. With head swimming, I look out over the street. Where am I? The narrow streets are bustling with societal traffic already. What day is it? I scratch a sore on my head that won’t heal, fingers return with blood under my nails.
What day is it? I scratch a sore on my head that won’t heal, fingers return with blood under my nails.
It is getting worse. My whiney better judgement plagues me again, you need to see a doctor, you need to clean up your act, you are sick, you are useless, you have no prospects, no friends, a back pack of belongings which you lost on the bus, you stupid useless invalid…maybe I should just head into the desert….live in a cave, hide away…until the drugs run out.
“Hey man” Amed has arrived, still wearing his robes that stink like urine. At some point in his grandiose high he must have pissed himself. I inhale cigarette smoke to try to block it out.
“What happened to those paracetamols?” he asks, ruffling through the crap on the table, empty bottles, cigarette boxes, needles and spoons, little plastic packets. I shrug and lean back to stare out the window. Clearly upset, he lights up a pipe and sucks heavily on the burnt dregs.
“Its your round today man.” he croaks, a thick wad of smoke streaming out his lungs.
“Yeah…that’s if the entire product wasn’t smoked again.”
“I kept some. I am the only one with fucking brains around here. Who are all these creeps? Why do they want to latch onto me all the time?”
Clearly Amed has forgotten that he invited them all in. I shrug again, not wanting to further aggravate his already paranoid state. Then he turns his attention to me and barks, “What are you still doing here? Go and get out there, we gotta score!”
I stub out the cigarette and stand up. The paracetamol has done me a bit of good, I can at least walk. Ahmed slaps 5 bankies into my sling bag. I light up another cigarette and move out, letting the creaky door slam behind me. The outside air is putrid with the smell of rotting offal, I guess the time to be about 10am. The streets are busy. Heading over to a community water fountain, I splash my face. The water is thick and warm, like washing with soup. I don’t dare drink it. I better find something to eat as my stomach has really started protesting and I can’t remember when last I ate. There are some coins in my pocket, enough for a small bread stick which I buy from a local bread mongerer. Then I head off to my corner to sell my goods to any willing customer.
I am grateful for the shade cast by the old stone building I am sitting against. Its getting hotter but I don’t feel it, the only way I know is by seeing the sweat roll off the customers faces, watching it slide past their noses and pool in the crest of their lips. Feeling my body starting to revolt into severe cravings, going into an almost automatic existence, like a robot. Hand over the dope, take in the cash over and over, watching the customers guiltily scanning the street, pushing bankies into their pockets, while the burn gets worse and worse. As I am slipping in and out of heat and pain-addled consciousness, a commotion of flashing lights and sirens arrives. My brain screams at my body to respond and after a few moments of comprehension of the burly man in uniform stepping out the car, it dawns on me that the law is here to arrest me. So I will my rubbery legs to run but I can’t go very far because my body really is quite weak and it’s no match for the strapping strength of the officer as he shackles my hands and rips off the sling bag and takes a look inside. With a shake of the head, he yanks me off towards the squad car, its flashing lights revolving like a very bad trip
he yanks me off towards the squad car, its flashing lights revolving like a very bad trip
. Surprisingly gently, he places me in the back of the car and I mold into the comfortable seat, drifting in and out of consciousness, the current reality of the situation an urchin of pain in my head. All I want is something to numb it out.
At the station, it is stiflingly hot. Dirty fans do little but circulate the heat and the screaming phones sound like howls of tortured animals. My head is swimming, I fight to stay awake, look vaguely conscious, while my entire body screams for the numbness of narcotics. Still shackled I am placed in front of another blubbery looking man with a shirt stained under the arms from excessive perspiration. His English has the distinctly slurry Isreali accent that all government officials seem to have. He looks at me with a look of distaste and pity and I vaguely register that I must look quite terrible. Like a real soulless junkie, like the ones you see on trainspotting. My whole body is starting to itch. It feel like a million ants are crawling on me but I am too exhausted to move, to even scratch. He looks through his grubbly low slung reading glasses and asks me whether I know what day it is and my name. I have no idea what day it is but I know my first name, I can’t think of my surname, which is weird, who am I then? Then he asks me if I know where I am and what the charges are and what the punishment for such charges is. His voice is echoing away. But I do understand this very bad situation I have gotten myself into. The even more frightening thing is, I don’t care, I just want another hit. Eventually, I am escorted to a cell. In the corner is a small bed, I move towards it and lie down in a fetal position, images of the inside of my mother’s womb come to mind. A safe, warm place, suspended in silence. I can feel the sweat on my face, the burn of my stomach, the crushing weakness in my limbs and the itching, that terrible itching and twitching.
I have no idea how long I lay there like that, eventually I must have gone to sleep. But it is even worse when I wake up. I feel the sweat drenching my shirt at the back, and I have developed a tremble. The headache is overpowering and I vomit bile off the side of the bed. Staring at the flickering bulb on the ceiling, the stifling heat suffocating me. Not even a cigarette! “No smoking in the cells”. My eyes roll back into my head and I can feel a convulsion coming on, but it passes. I truly want to die I feel so wretched. And then the sound of a key in the lock and footsteps, someone strong hauling me up to my feet, a splash of smelly water down my body, the sudden shock waking me up a bit. More handcuffs, being pushed out the cell, into another hot car with the radio wailing out religious songs. And I realize I am going to prison. My God I am going to prison. Just pray.
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