Dream of:04 January 1999 (2) "Heroin"
Two black fellows (probably in their late 20s) were chatting with me about old times, when I used to know them. I barely remembered them from my teenage years when we had attended the same high school. Although I had never known them well, I was now interested to know what they had done with their lives. I was surprised to learn that one of the fellows had become a fairly well known musician, famous for his song writing. However, even though the musician had been successful, he was almost penniless, and seemed to want to borrow some money from the other black fellow or me. His poverty was particularly puzzling to me because he had four songs which were current hits. I was handed a list of the songs (one of which was a love song which I had heard) and marveled that this fellow's songs were doing so well. As I recalled him from high school, I had always imagined that he would be a complete failure.
I figured I knew what had happened to his money. Not being well educated, he had probably signed away most of his royalty rights. As a consequence, he probably was receiving very little income from his songs. I thought about giving him a hand, but I didn't want to lend him any money without some kind of security. It might be possible that he still had some interest in his songs which he could use as security for a loan; but it seemed doubtful. I really didn't want to get involved.
Fortunately I was spared the decision. The musician soon abandoned us, and the first black fellow and I were joined by a third black fellow. The three of us began walking through the streets of a dilapidated residential area of town. I had an idea what was going on, and it came as no shock to me when we finally stopped in a secluded area and the first black fellow pulled out some small pieces of a choclately brown substance. He gingerly placed a chunk on a piece of metal which he was also holding, and lit a match to the substance. Both black fellows dipped their nostrils into the ghostly white smoke and took profound breaths. I didn't hesitate, and when my turn came, I also lowered my head over the rising smoke and took a mighty snort.
Almost immediately I began to feel the effects of the drug. At first I had been unsure whether the substance was crack or heroin. But as the drug began to flow through me, I knew I had gotten my wish, and for the first time I was experiencing heroin. I had long wanted to experiment with heroin and now I finally had my chance.
Even though I had snorted very little, I felt an intense feeling of well-being. Suddenly I had no worries or anxieties. I tried to think back on some matters which had been bothering me, and I could remember three distinct problems which had been plaguing me. Every time in the past that I would think about these subjects, I had experienced anguish. But now, remarkably, I could view these problems with complete tranquility and ease. The transformation was remarkable. I had heard that heroin had this kind of effect on people, but now that I was experiencing it first hand, I couldn't help but be amazed. I could clearly see how someone could become addicted to this feeling being completely free of pain definitely had its allure. I could get used to this.
However, I wondered if the absence of anxiety might cause me to stop worrying about my problems or solutions for them. I could see how tempting it could become to simply take heroin every time I wanted to avoid the problems. But I didn't think that would happen to me. I thought if I used heroin, I would simply continue to work on my problems, but from a more detached and serene standpoint. I wouldn't become so caught up in the heroin that I would completely forget my problems. I would simply stop worrying about them as I sought to solve them.
But I was quickly seeing a couple other difficulties with the heroin. First, the heroin was already starting to wear off and I realized I would need some more if I wanted to continue in my angst-free state. Second, I knew heroin was expensive, and I could foresee becoming so involved with it that I could quickly deplete my resources.
As the effects of the small amount of heroin I had ingested began to completely disappear, and I began again to recall where I was, I realized I was carrying a rather large wad of money in my pocket, and that I was in a bad area of town, especially since I was white. I pulled the money out of my pocket, divided it into two parts, and stuck a part in each of my socks. The other two black fellows saw what I was doing, and I hoped I could trust them. Now all I wanted to do was leave.
The three of us began walking and only traveled a short distance before arriving at the home of the fellow who had supplied us with the heroin. We entered a large elegant well-furnished house. I was particularly interested in the brightly colored rugs which adorned the floors. Clearly this fellow wasn't living in poverty, even though he was an obvious heroin user. Admittedly the home was a bit disorderly and could probably use some repair. But overall the house was proof that a person could use heroin and still function well.
Nevertheless, doubts lingered about the benefits of heroin and the plastic serenity it induced. I wasn't sorry I had tried it and now knew what it was like. But I was uncertain I would ever do it again.
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