About A Girl
So it was 1997. I’d been on a dope run, going hard at it and I figured it was time to relax.
I’d originally gotten into heroin back when I was 16 and living near Seattle. Back then it just, you know, seemed like the punk rock thing to do. I fucked with that shit heavy for some years out there, then moved back out to the East coast with at least a perfunctory idea of getting my shit together. It worked, for a little while. A couple of years I guess. But not enough truly bad shit had happened to me to make me consider the error of my ways, so to speak.
I mean, bad shit happened out there, don’t get it fucked up. I wound up on the streets of Seattle and all that came with it. But it was never really all that bad since at the time I had money to fall back on.
Well, anyway I moved out here and I was cool for awhile but then I got back into the shit. Got back into it hard. Started going to Philly on dope runs and all that shit. The heroin on the east coast was a bit more brutal than the black tar I’d been accustomed to in the NW, and I caught a habit pretty quick. Or rather a series of habits. I’d always put it in my mind to kick, and I’d lock myself away in my apartment and deal with withdrawals and then I’d be done. Until I got it in my mind that I wanted to get high again. And then it would start all over.
Well, at some point someone hipped me to the idea of detox. I knew about that shit, it just never seemed like an option. I mean, it was too close to rehab, and rehab was for quitters after all. But somehow it was instilled in my head that maybe a trip to detox wasn’t a bad deal. I heard you just sat around all piped up on benzodiazepnes and eating sangwiches and drinking free Gatorade for a week. Seemed like a regular vacation from the grind of scamming and jamming. I could “get away from it all” for a week or whatever.
So I went to detox. And that’s where I met her. And that’s where my whole life changed.
In there, in an unnamed local hospital, you just basically sat and talked to other junkies about the best cop spots. While eating sangwiches and drinking Gatorade. They gave you all variety of pills. Cadipress and Valium and this and that. Shit to calm a motherfucker. To take away the kicks and all that unpleasant shit that goes with coming off junk. I met some interesting people. Junkies always meet interesting people.
But there she was. Sitting there in the tv room. Sort of like a frightened doe. I suppose there’s things like love at first sight, I dunno. All it took was one glance from her, one brief moment of eye contact across the room…and I was done. And I mean Done. Fifteen years later and I cant explain it any other way. She looked at me and my life was changed irrevocably.
We talked. Turned out she hadn’t been at it long. We talked some more. We talked a lot. That became the whole center of every fucking thing for me. I got to go and talk with her.
At some point after a time I went into her room with her. This was after days. We sat on her hospital bed and looked out the window together at the city and talked. Being a young man, I of course tried to get frisky. She politely fended me off and we gently resumed urgent conversation. A nurse came in and kicked me out. I was bummed. After all, at this point I was in love. In love like I’d never even dreamed possible. I was full on nose split wide open fucking sprung over this young woman.
And like look, ok, I’m a pussy and all when it all comes down to it but I’ve left more than my fair share of chicks in the dust. Certainly somewhere inside I ascribed to the fairy tale ideal of True Love. However, I’d never encountered it or maybe I’d been busted up inside by some girl in high School or whatever and had just relegated it to Shit That Just Wasn’t Important. But this was different. This was all consuming. The type of shit motherfuckers write pop songs about. I was done. Hook, line and fucking sinker gone. Never happened to me before. Not like this. Not even close.
They all knew, our overseers. I’m sure they noticed that my feet weren’t touching the floor when I came to get my med cup. I guess they could tell or some shit. At any rate they scheduled our release for the same afternoon.
I ditched my ride back to Scranton and instead went with her.
Like I said, that was fifteen years ago.
A lot has happened since then. We ran together, never giving up getting high entirely after we got out. We had a place together in Scranton. I nearly beat a dude to death with a table leg for making eyes at her back then. I was a little severe. She was everything precious to me. Still is.
She had a daughter, just a baby then. Now she’s sixteen and works with me at this joint in town below where I write this.
I did some time, eight years upstate on robbery and assault charges. I got out in ’06. We’d lost touch after a few years, me and my love. I suffered. But she found me.
Way back when before I went to the joint I’d asked her to marry me. She accepted, but then the State had other ideas and I wound up in a cage for some years. After she found me we did get married. Turned out she had given birth to a son while I was away. It didn’t matter. I love him the same.
That was five years ago this April we were married and I’ve never stopped loving her wholly and with every ounce of my being since I laid eyes on her.
Things haven’t always been easy, you know, as things seldom are. But all the moments in my life over the past fifteen years when I’ve really felt Alive have been moments shared with her and our kids. And I have no problem saying our kids because straight up fuck all that “oh you’re just a step dick” bullshit. It’s us against the world, me and my family. Feels weird being able to say that, but it’s true as fuck.
Nothing else matters. Nothing. Not my punk ass job, not “punk” and certainly not this bullshit blog or my being some kind of “published writer” or ‘zinester or whatever mongy nonsense.
No, really. Love. That’s what matters. That’s what it all comes down to for me. I’d kill or die for my family. Aint nothing else on Earth going to inspire me so.
And on the days, you know, I’m working my balls off at an unspectacular job under the bootheel of an exploitive capitalist economic system and I have to wonder what keeps me from going back to the 2800 block of Mutter street in North Philly to get a bundle of blotto…
It’s all because of love. That shit can change a motherfuckers whole life, and it can change the world.