Memoir for the Masses.
.. here we go..
The Ex and I lived in fleabag motels once we became blacklisted from rental accomodation. The standard of living was atrociously poor. We had carelessly burned a lot of bridges so now our families seemed as helpless as we were. My parents had given up, as I would always go back to him. I would always go back to the needle. I would always say yes..I could never say no.
Craving for pleasure on the back of an opiate realm. I was floating and falling at the same time.
The motels were dingy, grimy and stained with human malaise and despair. The neon vacancy sign our noble saviour. So many different "homes". It was ok, as long as we were together. Even though we were killing each other. He wanted me well. To him, he was already dead.
I told him No. I wouldn't give him up. I couldn't give him up. Not yet. He was all I had, and he knew it, and sometimes he used it against me. In hindsight, I guess he did it often.
As my closet began to fill with syringes and our hearts with resignation, I started to use more than I had ever before. Our habit ballooned out of control. I had to see more clients.
I had to do more and be more - than ever before. Hundreds of dollars a day, wasted.
So, I Sacrificed - everything. I shot up watered down hope into my tired old veins and sweat it out later, then do it all again for another day. Die some. Steal Some. Lose Some. I paid for the room daily and worked from it as well. I hated the fact that I had to sleep with my boyfriend in the same bed I worked in. The cleaner only let us change the sheets once a week. Between the sex smells and the sweat and taint of being a malnourished addict, the atmosphere in which we lived and toiled, soon filled with rank and ruin. But we were better off than mostof the other junkies. We did not sleep on the street - yet. I did not work the highway - yet. The Ex would wait in the garden, for hours on end. Reading. Watching over. I had a few girls working for me as well, and I blew the profits, you know how.
Once we had 'money for the morning', only then could I call it a day.
Then it was our time. Then, it wasn't "so bad". Sometimes, I even miss it. Maybe?
We would have makeshift picnics on the bed. Tiny trails of crumbs make little paths of delight on the duvet. Munchie food bought at midnight from the petrol station on the corner. Overpriced 'food' that normally you wouldn't buy or even eat -but hey it's late and you're hungry.
Then after The feast would come The Shot. There is no sense in delaying anymore. I want it in me and I want to get wasted. He shoots me up in the darkness, my clouded face bathed in the blue blink of the televison set. Yet, my head clears of the static. Then an ambrosial moment under the fan, the milks of our eyes quivering as the heroin rushed me over , all hot and heavy. A few minutes of lost time. The dark would sink then spin. Then, it cleared. Time to light a cigarette. Time to share a deep and passionate kiss. For a moment, it was bliss.
We would make each other coffee milks and watch Letterman. Smoke a joint to relax and soon the rough edges of the day would form fuzz and fray from the mind. Then how I could laugh. Peels of laughter echoing into the night from behind the cheap and thin walls. The magical moment when your laugh becomes a cackle. Outside the city snarls in it's sleep. As the light of dawn would enfringe upon our reality, I would turn the sheets over, find the fresher side and turn the other cheek to the grime of the day, and let the sleep find me there.
On one occasion it had been all day since I had eaten last. I remember asking the friendly, middle-aged client I was entertaining at the time , if he could kindly drop me to at the local supermarket at conclusion. He was a kind man, married and had teenage children. His eyes seemed to crinkle with kindness. I think I reminded him of his own daughter, even though this thought is disgusting in itself. Regardless of this, I pleased him well - even though I was inside I was reeling from starvation and weak in so many ways. I was a professional pleaser and so that is what I had to do. They don't care about me personally. No matter.
The room was still and hot and all I heard was his noises. Then the job was over. Thank god.
My eyes had formed tears, but only from the sickness. He dropped me at the supermarket and wished me well. I bounded inside, the past forgotten and my underwear fresh. Red rings around wrists, the only clue remains.
Inside the store, I was spellbound by the aisles of heavenly food. Bright pillars of smiling faces and lurid logo. I filled my small basket with food cautiously , only the bare essentials for The Ex and myself. Fresh stone-fruit , sweets, cakes and canned goods and a iceberg lettuce. I gingerly placed a magazine on the top, even though I knew this to be extravagant but I craved to read and use my brain and escape if not just for a moment.
I got to the cashier and emptied my bounty onto the conveyor belt.
The teenage checkout operator was painted with heavy makeup, her disposition - pissed off.
I smiled at her, even though she could only return a stare.
I touched my matted hair self conciously and licked my blue lips.
It came to twenty dollars. Money. Money.
Oh my god.
You forgot to get the money from the client.
I am going to kill you. No wait, the landlord will.
You have really done it this time.
I am thinking No , No No and before I realise it I am breathless and shouting this out .
" No ! No ! No! Please No! " I beg to myself and perhaps to anyone still listening.Tears.
This is just not possible ! I am white with shock and rummaging through my beaten handbag looking for the money, even though my banging heart is screaming. My mind is screaming. I already know. I forgot to get the money. Two hundred dollars. I purely forgot. I was too hungry. Everyone is staring. I am hysterical - how could she ever understand. A deep hue of burn flourishes across my face. I have no other money. That was the rent, the food - the everything.
Then I just looked at the salesgirl. I saw them all before me -a million mocking men whom I knew only too well that if you let your guard slip for one moment - they will capitalize.
As much as he said he would return, as much as he said he would be a regular.
I knew I was never going to see him again. Like the money, he was long gone.
The Client. As he drove me to the store, he was quiet. He knew. As I babbled on about what I was making for dinner and how I could pay the rent - He Knew.
As he drove off, with unusual speed, He Knew.
The salesgirl softened as she saw a glimpse of me, that maybe I was good. But she wasn't sure - like most people and decided that she could do nothing anyways. Granted.
I started to sob , right there in front of everyone. I was pulling at my clothes, mascara streaking my desperate face. I was losing the plot. In Woolworths.
No one helped me. They just watched me and waited for the tears to stop. People stepped gingerly over me and the world kept going for them. But not for me. I had just slept with that man, who pretended to listen to my dreams and hopes, for nothing. I gave him so much.
I was a stupid fool. Too whacked out nowdays, to even remember to get the money. I relied on whoring to survive and I needed to know that this could never , ever happen again. I needed to know why this mattered today, right here in front of all these people who didn't even know me.
The sales girl stepped over me, and took away my groceries.
She put back the cake and she returned the magazine to the shelf.
She turned to say "I'm Sorry"
But I had already gone
Only leaving shocked stares to exchange.