Ad(am) Infinitum

By a_richer 03/07/19
rain, dream, dope, using drugs dream

ad infinitum - latin phrase meaning forevermore, without end



Waiting, cold and alone in the pouring rain, I struggle to stay patient. He said he was on his way. Knowing him, this could be a while.

I'm not even sure how long it has been, but one thing is for sure, I'm fucking soaked. Just then, my phone rings, I answer it quickly, but nobody responds. Something isn't right.

The confusion rattles my mind, just enough to kickstart my slow journey from one nightmare to the next. How could it have been a dream? Shifting in my bed and rolling from one side to the next, it would only make sense that I was outside in the rain seeing as I’m still absolutely drenched. My hoodie, pillow, bed sheets, and comforter are soaked, "...maybe there's a leak somewhere" I think to myself as I try to drift off into delirium once again.

As hard as I try, it's a fruitless effort and I know it, there's no going back to the blissfully ignorant state I was in just moments ago. The layers of warm clothing and blankets I cocooned myself in last night betrayed my then freezing fever-ridden body. I wish it only felt like I was in the rain, but it feels like my entire mattress was left, with me on it, in a downpour overnight.

The smell is overwhelming, the pungent smell of vinegar and death. Opening my eyes, I groaned loudly as the sun has not even begun to appear through the edges of the makeshift blind of sheets and pillowcases I hung over the window. The anguish starts in small waves. Ripples of deep, traumatic levelflowing from my feet, through my legs, and to my head. The tide slows, pulls back, and a tsunami of nausea prompts me out of my bed and to the all too familiar spot next to the toilet seat.

Lumbering to the bathroom, sopping wet clothes bouncing off my emaciated body almost making it to the toilet before my diaphragm contracts and tries to push the poison out. My immune system is in a state of panic, it knows just as well as I do that I am dying. The difference being is my body wants to do something about it.

I already know how to remedy this illness killing me from the inside. My mind races from one thought to the next but they all revolve around what gives me a purpose in life, the one true motivating factor. A motivation so strong I will die or go to prison before I go without it.


As the successive pangs of withdrawal wash over me, the compulsive desire to remedy my illness pulls me under like a riptide. Its no longer a want to get high, I NEED IT TO SURVIVE. Nothing about this has been fun for a long time now. My conscience offers half-hearted resistance, knowing full well my completely addicted mind is in control but still the shame of going back and this cycle all over again digs at my soul, but not for long.

How could I have been so naive? Three days ago I promised those closest to me and myself that I was done, but what did that me know, he didn't even think about the hell that was coming, all he thought about was getting everyone to stop worrying about him. Pledges be damned.


I muster the energy to pick myself up off the floor, narrowly avoiding having to look myself in the mirror as I walk back into the room, my mind now set on what needs to be done. Passing through the threshold separating the bathroom from the bedroom I feel a pain in my foot, pulling the used needle out and pitching it across the room, skipping over stains of blood and burnt spoons, finally coming to its resting place in "the pile" beside my mattress on the floor.

As I make my way to the cell phone, nestled between the mattress and the wall, I'm mindful of where I step this time.


 “Please pick up”

Trembling violently, my hands cradling my cracked, barely functioning phone, I call the number that still to this day is burned into my memory. He’s probably wondering where I’ve been, two times a day like clockwork I've made the 45-minute drive to one of the worst neighborhoods in Fort Worth to buy his heroin. Had I not called, he would have called me, knowing the text would start the insatiable cravings all over again.

But he isn’t answering. Every successive ring sends panic down my spine, my anxiety rises and, as the phone goes to voicemail, turns to anger. “He better fucking answer this time.” An empty threat to an empty room, from an empty man.

He picks up on the second ring, relief washing over me, but anxiety quickly refocused to the task at hand. “Damn bro its late as fuck... what’s good...” He says, the groggy, scratchy voice of a man not happy to be woken in the middle of the night.

“Hey...” the quivering voice of a broken man, groveling to his master, begging for mercy “look man I've got 10, can you do me a 20 and front me 10" I barely manage to squeeze out the words, there's a pause over the phone, sensing the hesitation I play the one card I have left. "I'm really sick man, could you help me out... Please?" He sighs, relenting, knowing that I'm never going to pay him back but not willing to lose a good customer.

I change quickly. Throwing on another, dryer pair of bloodstained clothes and run to the car, my mouth watering at the prospect. 





























I'm a 24 year old university student from Montreal, Canada. After finally wrestling my life from the clutches of a decade of drug addiction I've been able to put one foot in front of the other and keep using the same fight that didn't let anything get in my way during addiction, and applied it to life. I'm 15 months sober from heroin and 5 months from all othe substances.


©Adam Richer 2019


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