This post is part of a collaborative narrative series composed of my writing and Chris Arnade's photos exploring issues of addiction, poverty and prostitution in Hunts Point, Bronx. For more on the series, look here.


Shooting up, Hunts Point, Bronx. Courtesy of Chris Arnade.

Measure out a hit of heroin. That's to kill the withdrawal. To stop the shakes and the nausea you feel every day. So you can move again. So your head loses its hammers. The opiate's absence is enough to make you cry and move from corner to corner with $10 worth of $1 bills and small change, even with police out. Take to the powder with metal and a flame.

Parcel out the same amount of crack. Cut with citrus. No lumps. Lumps are a vein's enemy, the heart's too. Mix with what you cooked. Tremble in anticipation. Don't miss a vein. Find a good juicy one high up the body, one that hasn't folded away. Don't you dare waste by missing. What if they're crap drugs? Inject.

Doctor your formula over time. Keep life in balance.

Think back to the days when heroin brought pleasure, when it wasn't your shackle. To feel, combine it with the upper. Tell your brain to rocket up and down at the same time. Tell your heart.

Aim for three minutes of tethered bliss, all you can make happen. Forget your scars for a moment, concepts of family and rent and sexuality and religion.

Feel the loss of the crack. Un-spin. Mourn.

Wait for a few hours, for the heroin to wear off and for immobility and rabid need to creep back again. Think how to game your system. Sleep to stave it off.

---- For Millie, Michael, Egypt, Takeesha, those seeking to feel



Leri, Franceso, Stewart, Jane, and Bruneau, Julie. "Understanding polydrug use: review of heroin and cocaine co-use." Addiction. 98 (2003): 7-22.


More Hunts Point Addiction Writing

Writing Beyond Addiction in Hunts Point

Chris Arnade's Photos and his Facebook feed