The television is on standby. I know this, not because I am looking at a black screen but because I am lying in my bed with my eyes closed listening to the gentle hum. Or is it something else? A streetlight maybe? Or maybe the water boiler. Did I forget to turn off the heating again?
I can usually hear the distant rumble of the motorway leading in and out of the city but not tonight. Tonight there is a motorway diversion. A diversion that happens to go straight past my house. I don't need to count sheep tonight because I'm counting lorries. Lots of lorries. Are they all lost or something? Is it the same lorry driving round and round just to keep me awake and annoy me tonight?
Rumble rumble, hummmm rumble rumble.
I wish I never said yes when my friends cat had kittens. I picked the one that had come straight up to me and played with my laces. Then I thought it would be a shame just to take one lonely kitten back to my house so I chose another. Pretty little thing hiding under the chair with big blue eyes. They settled in quite nicely with the cat I had already. Within months the female that had played with my laces grew up and got fat. Then got even fatter. Before I knew it I was up every two hours hand rearing the runt of the first litter and had become so attached to the cute little furry thing I couldn't let him go. Then a freaky long haired cat came out of the third litter making my life complete with five. The other kittens all went to good homes, thankfully not mine.
They aren't so cute and furry now though. One asleep at the end of my bed, one asleep on my pillow (I contemplated fighting for my pillow once) and another quietly cleaning itself ontop of my dressing gown that I had thrown on the floor earlier before getting into bed.
Slurp slurp lick. Slurp lick lick slurp. Hummm rumble rumble slurp lick slurp hummmm
"Oh for fucks sake!" I murmur sitting bolt upright in bed.
"Babe... You awake?" hummm rumble slurp slurp.
"Babe?" nudge "are you still awake??" nothing.
"BABE? You awake?!!" A gentle shove proves he's awake and he grumbles.
"Can I have a subbie please? These fucking legs won't keep still and I feel so irritated it's doing my nut in!!"
Beta blockers, anti-depressants, sleeping pills and Horlicks just don't work with heroin withdrawals. It's Wednesday and I had relapsed over the weekend and bought 3 baggies for fifty quid. I was, or rather we were, doing so well having gone 4 weeks clean. Money had run out and I refused to sell any more of my stuff to feed a never ending habit. Some days I wish I was on a script of methadone or suboxone so that I never had to go through withdrawals but they eventually catch up with you at some point and you need to face up to them and just suffer.
I couldn't stand it any longer, breaking my partners 8mg tablet into smaller pieces and swallowing about 2 mg.
Skin irritation is unbearable, I couldn't sit, lie or even stand still for longer than a few seconds before I had to move myself into another position. My skin felt so irritable all I wanted to do was to rip my skin apart and let my bones run free, but I knew that wouldn't even work because I was irritated to the core and the only thing that was going to cure it was either more heroin, a nasty blow to the head, an overdose of sleeping pills or.. Suboxone.
As I sit downstairs and wait for the irritation to subside I realise that there is no easy route with heroin. I know I was hooked short term and in that respect was lucky, but heroin is not a drug you can just pick up when you fancy it and then leave it be. You're either on it or not there's no grey areas with this drug, it's not like any other drug I have tried.*
It takes a hold of you, settles you down on a warm fluffy cloud where nothing stresses or worries you. It cuddles you and makes everything better. Then drops you from a great height. It's like no other come down I have had, it knows you want more, it knows how you are feeling and it waits patiently like a cop car on a motorway slip road, waiting silently out of sight because sooner or later, and you know this is true, you will be off the diversion and re-joining the motorway. Speeding on the heroin highway, reaching your destination, the end of your life, in the quickest way possible.
I hope I'm allowed to live my life again after I die, because next time I'll be avoiding motorways all together and will try to find the damn scenic route....