My dope dealer Boobie answers first ring, “What’s up champ I’m on Guy Brewer, how much you need?”

I sit and pause for a moment. My nose is running, my stomach is churning, and my bones are aching for a bundle. The question hits me again? How much do I need? Here’s what I need.

I need you to teach me how to love myself. I need you to sell me one bundle of self-esteem. I need to be labeled a chronic relapser constitutionally incapable of being honest with myself.I need ten years of pain. I need to hate my life everyday. I need to dread the sunrise because tomorrow I’ll be forced to do it all over again.

I need a decade worth of getting my mother’s hopes up just to tear them down. I need 3,650 days of being estranged from my family. I need 28 failed treatment attempts. I need homelessness, and dereliction. I need to spend Christmas in a train station. I need 7 overdoses and 7 emergency rooms to walk right out of. I need the stigma to force me into hiding year after year. I need a life riddled with fear in every fiber of my being. Boobie pauses for a second and says, 

“Yeah champ I got that for you, it’s 75 a bundle come through.”

I don’t want to go, but at this point in my addiction I have no choice.

I clear the dope sickness from my throat and say, “I am on my way.”