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Getting Over My Drug Addiction Helped Me Stop a Robbery

By Basoodler, Jan 7, 2015 | |
  1. Basoodler

    Two years ago, I found myself locked in a shop with a tiny masseuse, two junkies and two hours until my brothers’ wedding. This was not on the schedule.

    I arrive in the city way ahead of my hair appointment and have time to kill. Spotting a little massage place, I figure I’ll crank up the self-love dial and pop in.

    There’s only one masseuse on duty. I prepay and she locks the front door before leading me to the therapy room. Soon enough I’m off in la-la land, the scent of lavender oil and her rhythmic touch lulling me into a stupor.

    The bell rings. She excuses herself. A gravelly voice says, "This isn’t one of those sex places, is it? My wife wants a massage." Cringe. A minute passes and she’s back, but her movements are rigid. I can feel the stress flowing out of her and can hear it in her breathing. I ask her if she’s okay. "It’s just… difficult. I hate that," she says.

    We finish up and she heads back to the front. I’m one arm in my bra when I hear her shriek, "Give it back!" All of my gooey relaxation evaporates. As I come out of the room I can see her, handbag open in her hands, shaking and looking accusingly at someone I can’t yet see.

    As I reach the end of the hall I’m confronted by the owner of that gravelly voice and a woman -- they’re all weathered and wild eyed sporting unwashed hair and track marks. I’m wondering why they’re still here if they’ve robbed her, wondering if they have a weapon

    The woman lurches toward me and I step back into the wall. She tears up and down the hall trying to unlock doors, pulling displays onto the floor: ‘This b—ch has locked us in!’ she yells to her husband.

    Then it clicks. The therapist had locked the door when I went to get the massage. She must have done the same after admitting them.

    I consider my options. The five-foot-nothing therapist is hysterical and doing herself no favours. Could I grab her and run to a therapy room? Do they lock from the inside?

    I try to calm the tension -- I’m as locked in as they are. Somehow I get the masseuse to shut up. She keeps insisting they return her money. I tell her to take a breath and sit down. She does. I ask them to please do the same. They do. Then I do. And then we’re all sitting there, looking at each other.


    It’s quiet. I breathe in deeply and try to talk slowly, pacing myself, trying to feign calmness. I was a lot of things in that moment -- calm wasn’t one of them.

    I talk about myself. I tell them I had been a drug addict at 17 and stole my way through it. The man looks at me suspiciously from behind a fresh-looking black eye. I feel like he’s searching me to find a lie. As if I, all clean and chipper, couldn’t possibly understand, let alone have been an addict myself.

    I tell them about how scared I was watching my best friend overdose and how it made me realise what I was doing to myself -– but that it didn’t make me stop. There’s just something about the glamour of watching someone almost die in a mall garden that just reels a girl back in, I guess.

    I tell them how I dropped out of school twice and went to rehab. I had pinned my hopes on checking out of life and getting well but I actually ran away two days later, intent that I could do it on my own.

    I stayed clean for two weeks, I explain to them. But then, my boyfriend had his birthday and I figured that just once wouldn’t hurt. I had self-control now, right? After taking a hit that night, I felt like I had climbed out of my body. I watched myself, formerly an intelligent and interesting person, become a gibbering, stoned wreck. I went home and scrubbed at myself in the shower, wishing the dope out of my system and longing to be more, or less, or anyone else but me.



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