(OT) Re:ibo/cold turkey

Preston Peet ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Sun Jan 30 16:57:32 EST 2005

Hi Donna,
    You wrote,

>meth several times but just abused it<

I was lucky with methadone, as it did exactly what I wanted it to-gave me a 
break from the streets, enabled me to not be sick and to have pain relief 
(although that was not my intention when I began using it, not figuring out 
how effective it was for pain relief until I was getting off it), and to 
begin my writing and publishing work, not to mention begin and maintain a 
long term relationship which I'm now 8 years and 3 months into with no end 
in sight (KNOCK LOUDLY ON WOOD PLEASE). But when I decided I'd had enough, I 
got off of the stuff. I am fully supportive of methadone as yet one more 
tool to assist addicts to have somewhat of a semblence of life without 
stress and pain and bother. In my ideal world methadone wouldn't be needed 
because people would be allowed to use heroin/opium/opiates, and more, 
without having to worry about getting off or else. But it's not my ideal 
world, so until it is I am supportive of anything that reduces the harms 
that can and do accrue from some drug ABuse.

>and the last time was the subutex, which worked but had so many emotioal 
>problems i went  back to using.<

I've not had to go this route (again KNOCK LOUDLY ON WOOD PLEASE), thanks to 
the powers that be.

>I came to this list in desparation to get off heroin I have tried cold 
>turkey 3 times,<

It's hard. Very, very hard. Cold turkey especially is tough. Getting off 
heroin is one of the very hardest things I've ever done (with the exception 
of tobacco). But I'm not off opiates personally, just not doing heroin. I 
wish you the very best in your endevours and travails, and hope you find a 
way to get yourself to a better, more peaceful place without too much 
turmoil and pain.
    As it's a sunny but extremely cold Sunday afternoon, perhaps some of you 
have a few minutes with nothing to do, so here's a story about kicking cold 
turkey (a fairly long one actually), a chapter from my book Something in the 
Way, still unpublished but going through a major rewrite in hopes it does 
eventually get published by someone somewhere.
So please do enjoy. (My apologies if I've already posted this here before, 
but it's not online with the other stories I have up at DrugWar.com from the 
book, and I can't remember if I ever did send it to this list. If I did, 
again, please excuse my repeat posting- if not, enjoy the desperate 

Chapter 6-

The Return

I am not feeling well. As a matter of fact, having been in the air for just 
over nine hours now, it's been more than twelve since I did my last shot, so 
I'm getting incredibly sick. I'm still able to operate and appear outwardly 
normal, but I can tell already that this time the withdrawals are going to 
be unlike any I've gone through yet in my career as a strung-out junky and 
hard core drug abuser.

I'd finished the last of my dope on the tube out to Heathrow airport in 
London, confident that I'd be able to handle the sickness I knew would be 
arriving sooner than later. When making my decision to return to the US to 
be with my girlfiend, I'd promised her I'd forgo the drugs, the shooting and 
smoking of hard narcotics. My journey was going to end I was not sure where 
yet, because the night before on the phone, my girlfiend had mentioned going 
back to school and having to find a place on campus to live, miles away from 
NYC itself. Not the easiest place to score those drugs I prefer, she's made 
sure to tell me, so I've been figuring this will only make it easier for me 
to kick. I'd made to sure to get ahold of at least a score of Valium 10s, 
which I'm hoping will help soothe the pains of miseries of dope sickness, 
and perhaps ease the worst of the withdrawals.

Now the plane has landed in Newark, New Jersey, back in my own country after 
a two year hiatus. I get off the plane and collect my bags. In my shoulder 
bag, I'm carrying a cassette tape inside of which I've filled with hashish, 
good, black soft hash. I'd unscrewed the two halves of the cassette, placed 
the hash inside, then screwing it shut, gluing a piece of the cassette tape 
across the bottom of the cassette to make it appear to be a whole, complete 
tape. I've used this method for carrying hashish across many borders over 
the years, and this time is yet another successful smuggling attempt. I'm 
glad too, as I'm going to need the hash in addition to the Valiums, to 
medicate myself.

As I pick up my bags, I see a cop come around the corner leading a drug dog, 
a small beagle, which completely ignores me and my bag. At the Customs desk 
itself, I breeze right through into the land of my birth, receiving nothing 
but friendly greetings and welcomes from the Customs officials. This is a 
first for me, more used to getting at least a once over search if not the 
complete "strip naked while we throw out all your luggage onto the counter" 
type searches.

I pass into the main hall of the airport, searching everywhere for my 
girlfiend, eventually spotting her braids bobbing along at most people's 
waist level. At four feet, eleven inches tall, she is a tiny but fiery 
woman, with long brown curly hair she wears in dread-like braids. We hug and 
kiss hello, but something is off. I'm not sure what it is, but there's a 
feeling, an energy or vibe coming off her that has me feeling nervous. 
Rapidly descending into the blackness and depression of full-on dope 
withdrawals, I decide this is what I'm feeling and this alone, so try to put 
it out of my mind.

Taking the smaller of my two bags, she leads me through the crowded airport 
to catch a bus into the city. I take a deep breath.

"Holy shit, it's cold!" Beginning of February, the North East US is 
experiencing the coldest Winter in something like 90 years, and I've landed 
right smack dab in the middle of it, without any much needed heroin. I dig 
another sweater out of a bag.

We take the bus to Grand Central Station in the middle of Manhattan. I'm 
beginning to have trouble even moving, the withdrawals leaving me feeling 
drained, weak, and particularly susceptible to the cold. I get shivers and 
chills if dope sick even in front of a fireplace, so now I'm feeling the 
cold down to my bones, and I'm growing ever more miserable. My girlfiend 
leads me into a diner next door to the station.

"Wait here, I'm going to make a phone call, check the schedule and buy us 
tickets," she says, then runs off, leaving me there with just enough cash 
for a cup of coffee, which I don't really want. I wait there for nearly an 
hour, a foreshadowing of things to come. I get worried eventually, having 
heard so many stories about how dangerous and violent NYC is, about all the 
freaks and madmen who make the city their home, who'd all love to get their 
hands on such a petite beauty as my girlfiend. She finally makes a 

"I got our tickets, but before we get on the train to White Plains, we gotta 
talk," she tells me.

"Train tickets? You mean we gotta take another train?"

"And a bus," she tells me. "Are you listening to me? This is important. I 
need to say something to you."

"Oh great, fucking perfect, here it comes, whatever it is," I think to 
myself, trying to brace for whatever bad news is coming.

"I have gone ahead and reenrolled in school, so I won't be going with you to 
San Francisco," she says, very business like and cold. "I want you to go on 
without me. I need to concentrate on my studies and just can't handle you 
being around to distract me." She looks away for a moment, then continues. 
"I almost did a 'runner' on you just now, when I went to get the tickets, 
but decided I do still want to spend some time with you, at least a week or 
so, before you take off."

I sit there starting at her without comment for a good few minutes. I do not 
want to risk opening my mouth and letting her have it right there in the 
diner. I feel like I might explode and want to keep control, give myself a 
little time to think and catch my breath before responding. She'd mentioned 
the reenrolling thing on the phone, but that I should still come back to the 
US and NY, that she missed me and couldn't wait to see me. Now, a little 
less than 24 hours later, me sick and only wanting to lie down and sleep, or 
better yet get straight, this is not the best time or place to tell me these 
details. I feel like she could have said something before I boarded a flight 
and left my entire life for the previous year behind. At least in London I'd 
been making decent money, had a fantastic heroin connection, and a roof over 
my head. Now I have nothing and am utterly dependent on this woman for now 
as I have nothing and have nowhere to get out of the cold but with her.

Suddenly it seems as though she take note for the first time that I am not 
feeling so well, and jumps to her feet.

"Come on, let's go catch the train. We've got a ways to go yet before we 
reach the campus." She snatches up the little bag again and leads the way to 
the train which will take us to White Plains, where we will catch yet 
another bus for another 45 minutes ride to Purchase. I'm having trouble 
focusing on anything, much less sitting upright and being civil. I surprise 
myself by resisting mentioning my desire in the diner, my absolute need to 
cop a bag while we were still in the city, and once again, as with my 
decision not to ask Paul before leaving London, I soon regret my decision to 
skip the attempt at getting more dope in me. I've completely uprooted myself 
from familiar surroundings, flung myself into a massive change, determined 
to make it as difficult as possible for myself it seems.

Outside the train, signs of how cold it is are everywhere. Huge chunks of 
ice float in the Hudson river, just visible in the moonlight as the train 
thunders over a bridge, and snow is piled in towering drifts in all 
directions. It was cold in London, but nothing like this. This has to be the 
coldest I've ever been in my entire short life. I'm sitting inside a warm 
train, bundled into almost every bit of extra clothing I can pull out of my 
bags, but each time the doors open at a stop, an Arctic blast of freezing 
cold air hits me in my seat. Gazing out the window, all I can make out is 
white, broken occasionally by glittering, pointy ice sickles hanging from 
every tree, reflecting the lights from the train in prismatic, chaotic 
colors as the train speeds past.

Pulling into White Plains forty minutes later, I'm seriously ailing. I'm not 
getting sick anymore, I am sick. My girlfiend leads the way to the bus stop, 
to undertake the forty-five minute bus ride out to SUNY Purchase campus. I'm 
huddled into myself, trying to no avail to get warm. I'm freezing inside my 
bones, and can't ever remember not being cold. At the same time I'm 
freezing, I'm sweating profusely, which is freezing to my skin underneath my 
layered clothing, further torturing me. The bus finally arrives and I climb 
aboard, thankful to finally be out of the wind.

Shaking hard but doing a fair job of hiding it in the dark of the bus, I 
shiver under my large wool military coat. I've already eaten four of the 12 
or so Valium I have, the ones that are supposed to help me get through the 
worst of the withdrawals. At the rate I'm going through them, I'm not going 
to have any left by the time I reach the worst of it, if I'm not already 
there, which I sadly, and correctly it later turns out, suspect is the case. 
The bus ride feeling twice as long as it really is, we eventually reach the 
campus. I can't see much except trees, and a whole lot of snow when we 
disembark, but my girlfiend leads the way into the dark and I follow meekly 
behind. Slipping and sliding along the ice-coated walkway, I can barely keep 
my feet I'm shaking so hard on the icy surface. I just keeping repeating, 
mantra-like, "I can make it, I can make it," to myself as we creep along.

The pathway winds out of the trees into a complex of apartment buildings. My 
girlfiend turns right at the third building and we climb the stairs up to 
the second floor, where she knocks on one of the two upper floor apartments' 
doors, then enters with me close behind, anxious to get in out of the cold.

While on the bus, she had explained to me that she has yet to find campus 
housing, as she'd enrolled after the semester had already begun, almost two 
weeks late. She'd had to ask a couple of old acquaintances from her first 
couple of years at Purchase if she and I may crash for a few days, until we 
find more permanent housing. The longest resident of the apartment, a big 
guy named Bob, studying criminal justice and aspiring to be a cop, gave his 
ok until something else comes up. Not having met me when he made this 
decision, it's obvious he's having immediate second thoughts when laying 
eyes upon me.

I'm emmatiatedly thin, my face gaunt and drawn from my hard living and my 
withdrawals. I've been living less than a step off the streets, my clothes 
are a uniform color of gray, and I no doubt stand out in this brightly lit, 
student-filled apartment. There're a couple of young guys sitting at a table 
on the far side of the small room, and another couple of guys sprawled on 
the sofa watching tv. Everyone there except me is clean, fresh faced and 
healthy. I'm introduced to everyone and miss most of the names, then we sit 
next to the front door on the end of the sofa, so again, as on the train I'm 
hit with a blast of freezing Winter air each time the door to the apartment 
next to me opens and some student comes in or out. Now I'm not wearing my 
coat though, making it even worse.

By now I am utterly miserable, yet unable to give in and drop to the floor 
in a heap of quivering shaking flesh. I must grin and bear it for now, 
though I am sure my misery is blatantly obvious to everyone present. I make 
an attempt to hang out to relax, to ignore the nausea and shakes. The two 
guys sitting next to me make banal small talk that I'm totally uninterested 
in hearing. Bored and sick out of my mind, I pull out the hash-filled 
cassette and ask Bob if he's got a screwdriver.

I figure there's no better way to break the ice with college students than 
by breaking out and smoking hashish with them. All are appreciative and 
impressed by the taste of, and high from, the hash. After a couple of 
joints, rolled the European way, mixing hash with tobacco, everyone relaxes, 
except me. Even Bob begins to thaw a bit towards me, but I can see in his 
eyes and demeanor he still has reservations about me.

It's not much longer before I cannot take anymore socializing. "I've got to 
lay down Bob. Where are we sleeping, please?"

"Hey, no problem," Bob says as he climbs to his feet. "Help me pull this." 
He takes hold of one end of the sofa, chasing those sitting there off for a 
moment, and he and I pull it away from the wall a few feet. He grabs a 
mattress leaning against the wall and drops it to the floor behind the sofa, 
right there in the living room where everyone is still making no signs to 
leave. "I hope you don't mind the lights on," says Bob with an evil little 
He has no idea that this is still luxury living to me.

Unfortunately, there is steady traffic in and out of the apartment for 
hours, which keeps the Arctic air on me. I'm so sick now that each move I 
make makes me want to throw up. My skin is alternately on fire and freezing 
cold, and I can't stop sweating, soaking the sheet beneath me. The Valiums I've 
so far taken aren't helping me sleep at all. I can hear snatches of 
conversations as I drift in and out of lucidity, both from the students and 
from Oliver Stone's film, "The Doors," now playing on the tv. I distinctly 
hear Jim Morrison tell Pamela to get out and to not forget her heroin. "I 
won't" I mumble in my delirium, right there in the film with the characters 
and their drugs.

I lie there for I don't know how many hours, drifting in my state of hell. 
Then I'm jerked to full awareness by my girlfiend shaking me.

"Come on, get up, we gotta get out of here," she says. "Bob needs the 
apartment, 'cause a bunch of people are coming over to study and he can't 
have someone tossing and turning and mumbling the whole time behind his 
sofa. It's distracting."

So the room's been privy to my suffering. I don't care. I'm feeling like 
shit, and don't care less what Bob nor his friends think of me now. But I've 
no choice in the matter, I have to go with her out of the apartment. Before 
we leave, I have to race to the toilet because my bowels are loose and I 
have the runs, one of the worst parts of kicking heroin for me.

My girlfiend leads the way through the night, across campus over an unending 
sheet of ice and snow. I just want to lie down, right here in the snow and 
go nowhere, but I manage to keep to my feet, trudging grudgingly along 
behind her. It's snowing hard, making the going a total Eskimo Hell even 
more slippery than it was earlier, but we eventually arrive at a garage-like 
building, climbing up a narrow metal staircase and entering through what 
looks like the back door.

We're now in the cafeteria building, which at night houses the student bar, 
where my girlfiend introduces me to the red haired, heavily tattooed 
bartender, Mike. I proceed to ask Mike for a pitcher, for myself. I take it 
to a table where I sit by myself the rest of the long evening, popping one 
Valium after another until they are all gone, drinking them down with 
pitcher after pitcher, finishing off four of them almost entirely by myself 
in the three hours we are there at the bar. I'm trying desperately to escape 
the withdrawals, but it's no good. I cannot get away from myself, so now I'm 
blind drunk and still completely sick too. We finally leave, thinking it 
must be late enough that the study session has ended.

Outside on the ice again I fall repeatedly, my girlfiend bitching and 
snapping at me the entire way. I haven't stopping thinking all night what an 
incredibly stupid idea this was, to come back here to the US. My girlfiend 
is acting like a total stranger, completely different from the girl I'd 
known in London. There she'd been a friendly, compassionate young woman, not 
this evil troll she's been since my return. She knows what I'm going through 
right now, that I'm kicking a very serious, over-a-gram-a-day-of-good-heroin 
habit, because she'd been with me the previous six months and gone right 
through it with me, though not doing nearly the amounts I've been doing. She 
hadn't done enough for long enough to catch more than a mild chippy, but she's 
lived close enough to not only me but many other addicts as well, close 
enough to know what withdrawals are and how bad they can be. She's even seen 
me go through it before in London, though I had a bottle of methadone there 
to help me get through the bad parts. Now she's acting like she had no idea 
that was part of the bargain, that by my coming here I was definitely 
putting myself knowingly into a situation where I was without question 
having to go through kicking a heavy dope habit and it was to be with her I 
was doing it.

Back at Bob's I drop to the mattress, grateful for the respite from the 
troll. Sleep will be a blessed relief. With all the Valiums and the beer, I 
expect to fall asleep no matter how sick I am. For normal people this would 
be the case, but I'm far from normal when it comes to drugs and tolerances 
to those drugs. All I seem to have accomplished with all the pills and 
alcohol is to remove my ability to focus my eyes and to give myself the 
spins, on top of being in withdrawals. When I finally do pass out, it's 
lightly, fitfully, and nowhere near as deep a sleep as I need.

I go in and out of dreams, strange and terrible dreams, vision of shooting 
up, or trying to shoot up but not finding my vein no matter how many time I 
stick myself, missing the vein when I finally give up and push in the 
plunger. In one I've got the money but can't find the dealer, then I'm 
running from the person I robbed for the money. Then I'm dreaming I'm in 
London, back in the squat. In my dream I get up to relieve myself, using one 
of the old glass milk bottles I keep by the door for just this purpose, so I 
don't have to go downstairs through the cold building to the only toilet a 
floor below. There's something distinctly wrong, but peeing is such a relief 
I don't think about it, I just go.

"Hey man, Yo! Get the Fuck Up!"

I bolt upright out of sleep and into a real nightmare. My body feels like it's 
going haywire, my muscles jumping and twitching, on fire and hurting. To top 
if off I'm soaking wet with sweat, and my girlfiend is shrieking at me.

"You tried to piss in a coke bottle and peed all over the living room carpet 
by the front door, you ass!" She's beside herself with anger, because Bob 
had come back to one of the back rooms to tell her what was happening. 
Apparently, I'd suddenly risen to my knees behind the sofa and, paying no 
attention to Bob and the other people still awake and studying in the room, 
had grabbed a bottle and begun to pee, all over the floor, my hands and the 
wall and door. Then I'd laid back down behind the sofa.

I'd thought that dream was a little too real. Now I'm embarrassed on top of 
everything else. So much for worrying about my reputation. I don't know what 
to do, so I just stand there, until my girlfiend pushes me to the restroom 
and throws some clothes at me.

"Get changed, and I'll clean up," she tell me as she slams the door in my 
face. After I change, I go back out to the living room where Bob and my 
girlfiend are now the only ones in the room.

"I'm sorry, jetlag you know," I try to explain, but Bob just waves me off.

"Don't worry about it," he grunts at me.

I lay back down on the now clean mattress, and with my legs and arms pulled 
up under my body to keep the muscles from kicking, I finally fall back into 
a restless sleep. In the morning no one says anything to me so I stay under 
the blankets, shivering and shaking and trying not to moan out loud, 
delirious but in enough control to manage remaining quiet while feeling like 
hell. The day slowly turns into night then back into day. As soon as it is 
light out, I wake my girlfiend and tell her to give me the 50 pound note I'd 
given her in London to bring with her to the States for me. She doesn't want 
to, arguing with me for a while but I prevail, telling her I'm only going to 
go to White Plains and exchange it into dollars. After she leaves for the 
first class of the day, I ask around the apartment for directions, asking 
where to go in NYC to buy weed.

"I can get you excellent pot here," Bob tells me. "Why go all the way to the 
city when you can get it here?" He's giving me a funny look.

"I've never been to NYC before," I tell him. "I want to do this for the 
adventure." It sounds kind of lame when I say it, but do I really care what 
this fat cop-wannabe thinks? No, I don't. The real reason I want to know 
where to buy pot is because I think the people selling pot on the streets 
more likely than not know where I can score some heroin. One of the benefits 
of prohibition is the mingling of drugs, harmless pot sold alongside 
hardcore powders.

"Washington Square Park is where the pot is. Go there and ask around, 
someone will know someone who has it. You'll know who to ask, you'll see."

"Thanks," I say as I go out the door. I catch the bus to White Plains and 
exchange the money, then take a train to Manhattan. At Grand Central Station 
I ask how to get downtown to somewhere near Washington Square, and end up 
exiting the subway at Astor Place. I ask for directions, then head towards 
the park, until I spot an older black guy, sitting in the garden of an 
apartment building smoking what looks exactly like a joint.

"Hey, excuse me." I walk right up to the guy. "I'm not a cop. I am really 
dope sick. I just got here from London and need to buy some heroin. Where do 
I get it? Washington Square?" I figure if anyone knows it's going to be this 
obviously homeless guy, sitting here smoking pot with a bunch of bags strewn 
around him.

"No way man, avoid that park like the plague," he barks. "Those boys will 
rip you off in a second. Head over to Alphabet City man, Aves. C and D, and 
Fourth Street. Not this neighborhood. Head East," The old man points, "into 
the Lower East Side."

Thanking him I head the direction he pointed, taking Broadway to Fourth 
Street, then take a left towards the East Side. It's one of the coldest 
Winters NYC had experienced in a hundred years. I've heard students at 
Purchase say this more than once and believe it. The sidewalks are almost 
completely iced over. There are snow banks along each side of Fourth St., 
under which I can just make out the occasional tire or bumper. I hold my 
coat closed with my arms folded across my chest, my eyes looking down as I 
slither my way East. Each block seems a mile long, the ice and continuing 
withdrawals sapping what little strength I have left. I force myself to go 
on. Reaching Ave B. I turn right, and begin spotting signs that lead me to 
think I must be getting close. Dilapidated buildings and shady characters 
began to take precedence, no more nice, well kept buildings and sidewalks 
here. At the Corner of Second St and Ave. B I spot two guys across the 
street, leaning against the wall drinking beer, one black guy and a Hispanic 
cat. Taking a deep breath, I cross over.

"Hey, excuse me," I start again. "I'm not a cop, but I am really very dope 
sick. I just got here from London and need to cop a bag of gear. Do you know 
anywhere? Someone else directed me this far, but now I need a little help. I 
know this is forward, but I don't know anyone so I have to ask."

The Hispanic guy looks at me like I'm crazy then turns and walks away 
without a word. The black guy stays.

"How 'about some Silver Bullet?" he asks.

"What?" I think it's some kind of threat at first, some kind of NYC slang I've 
never heard before.

"Dope m'man, it's a brand name. Come on. This way."

I follow him further south along Ave. B, then Clinton, what Ave. B becomes 
after crossing south of Houston. Almost everyone passing on the walk is 
speaking Spanish. We walk another three blocks, until my guide points up a 
single flight of stairs to a landing where stands a young man wearing a ski 
mask and bulky jacket. I check out the mask, then turn back to my guide, but 
the guy is already walking away, not waiting for a thank you or a goodbye. I 
turn back to the figure at the top of the step.

"How many?" the kid asks.

"Just one," I tell him, holding out my only $10 bill. Taking the plastic 
rectangle offered, I have no way of knowing if this is real or not. I have 
to trust that it is, that I haven't been ripped off. Now to find a needle. I 
only have a few more dollars and my return ticket to Purchase. Fifty pound 
didn't convert to that many dollars, just enough to get me to the city and 
back and to buy one $10 bag. I walk back over to Houston St., searching for 
anyone who might know where I can buy a rig. The first person I ask laughs 
at me.

"Why would you buy one when you can go around the corner to the Exchange and 
get one for free?" he asks. "Ave C. and 4th St." he tells me, pointing up 
the street behind me. I'm feeling like I've already walked miles, much 
further than I ever would while feeling healthy, much less while as sick as 
I am now. There's no alternative but to continue on, so I do, slogging 
through the cold and wind. I reach Ave. C and turn left, heading North 
again, looking for a place that looks like a needle exchange. Back in 
Amsterdam the Exchange I'd used was mainly a hole in a door through which I'd 
hand my used sets and receive new ones. In Atlanta, where I was living 
before heading to the Nederlands, I'd simply walk into a particular pharmacy 
and buy a 10-pack of 1cc Insulin syringes. I didn't know needle exchanges 
even existed in the US. I eventually see a spot, a storefront from which 
issue a steady stream of lowlife types, so I figure, correctly as it turns 
out, that it must be the place.

Just inside the door to the left is a table under which sits a huge tub, 
into which clients drop their used rigs before claiming new ones from the 
volunteer behind the tub. Further down the line sit plastic baggies filled 
with all the accoutrements need to prepare a shot-plastic bags with cookers, 
cotton, alcohol and bleach-as well as literature about how to protect 
oneself from disease and bad drugs.

"Ever been here before?" A voice stops me as I make a move towards the 
table. "You gotta sign in first." All I want to do it get my needle and go 
get straight, but I keep my cool. It can't take that long. "It'll only take 
a moment to register," says the man speaking to me from behind another table 
to the right of entering the door.

"Let's get it over with. I'm sick as a dog and have to get straight as soon 
as I can," I tell the guy. My stomach is churning. This is often the very 
worst time for any heroin addict, the time between scoring and actually 
getting my drugs inside me, especially since I shoot most of my drugs, I 
rarely smoke or sniff them any more. I'm hunched over, clutching my abdomen 
tightly, trying to get warm and not shit my pants. The guy takes my details, 
prints and laminates an Exchange card that is supposed to protect me from 
arrest for possession of a hypodermic instrument. I ask him about the local 
dope, whether I need lemon juice or not to melt down my heroin.

"No, no lemon juice, but listen, be extra careful pushing the shot in, 
because some of the dope around here is very strong," he tells me as he 
hands me my brand new needle exchange card.

"Thank God," I think to myself. "I hope to hell the dope's incredibly 
fucking strong, you moron." I leave the Exchange, skating West, sliding 
along the icy sidewalk as fast as I can go, looking for a bar or restaurant, 
anywhere I can go to get in out of the public eye and finally get straight. 
I still haven't found a good place when I reach Ave. A. There I spot a 
likely looking little bar called Psycho Mongo, a veritable hole in the wall. 
Going in I order a soda and ask where the toilet is. I have just enough cash 
for a drink, then go to the restroom.

Closing the door, I find the toilet is lit with a black light, something I 
discover later a lot of the bars do to discourage just this sort of 
activity. It doesn't stop or even slow me down. I tear open the plastic 
packet, pulling out the wax envelope inside, which I in turn tear open as 
well. I'm shaking so hard I almost spill it everywhere when trying to pour 
out the contents into my cooker, but luckily manage ok. I look at the heroin 
in the bottom of the cooker, but in this light I can't make out what color 
it is, or even how much there is. It sure doesn't look like much. I'm used 
to doing quarter gram shots at a time, and this is definitely a lot less 
than that, not more than a tenth of a gram at most. I don't care, so long as 
it's real. I dab my finger at the edge of the small pile of drugs, putting 
it to the tip of my tongue to taste. The bitter taste tells me right away 
that it is real, though how cut with filler I can't tell from just tasting. 
It doesn't matter at this point. I quickly mix in the water and heat it with 
my lighter. One thing that makes this easier than in London is that I don't 
need lemon juice, the dope melts into the water without it, just like the 
guy back at the Exchange explained it to me. I drop a small piece of rolled 
up cotton into the mixture, draw it up into my rig, then take my left arm 
out of my jacket and sweater sleeves. Using the now empty sweater sleeve to 
tie off just above my elbow, I feel for the vein in the dark, placing the 
tip of the needle to the place I can feel with my fingertip. A quick jab, a 
slight pull on the plunger to get blood into the rig, to be sure I've hit 
ok, then I shove it in as fast as I can push. Loosening the sweater quickly, 
to avoid blowing my vein, I sit down on the toilet and heave a sigh of 

I can feel it coursing through my body, the heroin unclenching and 
untwisting the knots in my muscles. The rush stops short of what I'd really 
like, but that's to be expected. My drugs are seldom as strong as I really 
would like them to be. I rarely get what I want out of my drugs, just like 
out of the rest of my life. If I put as much energy into living as I do into 
my drugging, I could probably accomplish something.

I shake of these melancholy feelings, happy to finally be straight. I don't 
think about later, because that'll just depress me again. I'm not as fucked 
up as I'd like, but I'm no longer feeling sick, at least until tomorrow but 
that's just some other time, to quote Lou Reed.

When I return to Purchase, I still feeling good. I hope my pupils aren't too 
noticeably pinned. I know my eyes are a dead giveaway to anyone who knows me 
or about dope at all, so therefore try to avoid eye contact for the rest of 
the evening. I hang out making small talk with various students in the 
living room, until it's just me, Bob and my girlfiend left. Bob keeps 
watching me with a glint in his eye, obviously wondering about something. 
While discussing my adventures that day in the city, I mention having seen 
some really far out sculptures while walking up Ave B. in Alphabet City, Bob's 
face registers a thought that he doesn't express aloud. He just nods to 
himself as though I've confirmed something to him. I'm not even really sure 
I see the nod it passes so fast.

Before retiring for the night, I grab the paper bag in which I'm carrying 
all my rigs and equipment, going into the bathroom to finish the tiny amount 
of dope I have left in the bag. Then I go to bed.

The next day I go back into White Plains with my girlfiend, who is mad that 
I went into the city and bought dope, more mad that I didn't share any with 
her. I'll never please this woman I think. I'm able to move around today 
without wanting to throw up the whole time, but I'm still quite ill. Still 
unable to get any sleep at night, I toss and turn, the kicking feeling worst 
when lying down. The girlfiend has taken to kicking and hitting me 
throughout the night, telling me to "keep the fuck still" and other loving 
niceties. I'm tired and cranky and would rather remained lying on the floor 
at least one more day on campus before venturing out on another adventure.

We aimlessly wander around downtown White Plains for a while, making a 
half-hearted attempt to find some dope to no avail. Giving up finally, we 
board the bus back to Purchase. We get in to Bob's right away, just beating 
a new snow storm.

A few minutes after entering, Bob comes out of his bedroom and asks the 
girlfiend to come talk with him in his room, alone, right away. I sit down 
on the mattress behind the sofa as she walks off with Bob to the back of the 
apartment. Lifting my duffle bag, I notice it's open, and I could swear I'd 
closed it before we left, sure of it because the paper bag containing my 
rigs is in there. I'm suddenly sure what Bob is talking to the girlfiend 
about. I don't want to believe it, but my stomach immediately drops. I know 
exactly what Bob thinks of heroin and those who use it, particularly 
"shooters" as Bob had referred to another old acquaintance of his and my 
girlfiend. If this is what the problem is though, why is Bob discussing it 
with my girlfiend and not me?

"This is not good," I think as I change my clothes. The minutes drag by and 
still no girlfiend. I am about to go knock on the door and ask what's up 
when she finally appears, her face drawn and tight, red with anger.

"Come on, we've gotta go talk somewhere," she barks as she grabs her own 
jacket and heads out the door. "Grab your fucking jacket and let's go!"

Embarrassed now, and still not entirely sure of what's happening, I do as 
she says, following her out into the snow storm currently dropping another 
foot of snow on the campus.

"Bob doesn't want you staying in the apartment any more," she tells me as we 
work out way through the wind. "He says that if I want to I can stay, but 
you have to go, now, tonight." She's angry, and I'm glad to see she angrier 
at Bob than at me. "I told him you were kicking, and had come here expressly 
to do so, but he doesn't care. He says that when moving our stuff around 
while cleaning up the apartment today, that paper bag with you rigs fell out 
on the floor. So they took a look inside it, and now he wants you gone. He 
doesn't care that you're quitting and doesn't believe it anyway. He says he 
saw you going into the bathroom with the bag last night. Why, if you're 
quitting, did you do that, he asked me. So you have to go tonight."

The wind is brutal, blowing the snow directly at them from all directions, 
making us both extremely uncomfortable and very aware of the immediate 
problem at hand. Where am I going to sleep tonight? And the next night, and 
the night after? I don't know anyone on campus except my girlfiend, other 
than for those I've met at Bob's. I have already garnered that reputation I've 
been so concerned about up to now.

"Let's go to the library," she says, grabbing my hand. She leads and I 
follow, lost in thought, once more trying to not panic and get angry at 
things I cannot control, nor change now.

This wasn't how I'd envisioned my return to the US. I'd more imagined that I'd 
meet up with my girlfiend, stay wherever it was that she'd have found for us 
in the four days she'd had prior to my own return, and that I'd lay up in 
bed kicking in peace and quiet before having to tackle any of life's other 
complications. But my best laid plans are often for naught. Somehow I'm now 
facing sleeping out in the cold and snow, only my third night back in the 
States. I have no money, no friends, no place to crash. "What in the hell am 
I doing back here?" I wonder silently. It's difficult not to give in to 
major regrets. If I could turn around and go back to London I'd do it in a 
heartbeat. I'd tuck my tail between my legs and take off running, admitting 
defeat. I've got nowhere to run though, nowhere to go to get away from my 
troubles, to escape, so I have to tough it out. I feel damned.

We continue toward the library, walking into the wind the entire way, my 
tears of frustration mingling with those torn from my eyes by the wind. We 
find the library open and almost deserted. Who would bother heading out in 
this weather anyway? We make our way downstairs, to a long row of 
closet-like cubicles, where we can find a bit of privacy. My girlfiend steps 
into one, throws all her stuff on the floor within, then tells me to wait 
there for a minute. I ease myself onto the floor and cover up with my 
jacket. I can't believe this is happening to me.

I'm almost asleep when she returns, carrying an armload of oversized 
atlases, encyclopedias, and other large books, which she stacks up in front 
of the cubicle window.

"I used to come sleep in here my first year at Purchase," she tells me, "to 
get away from everyone, to kind of hide out and get my bearings. We should 
be ok here until closing time at least."

"Great. Then what?" I wonder to myself, but don't voice my concerns. There's 
no reason to piss her off at this point. But am I supposed to live in the 
library? "Phantom of the Library" passes through my mind, and I giggle out 
loud. I picture myself lurking about the library shelves, hiding from staff 
and students, stealing bag lunches and such, and really start to laugh out 
loud. She turns to me with a "shh" but I can't help myself and keep 
laughing. The ridiculousness of my situation has me in hysterics. She starts 
to laugh along with me, not knowing what she's laughing about but enjoying 
the release of tension none the less. We sit there on the floor, laughing 
together until we're almost weeping.

Once we regain control, we curl up together in the corner under the desk 
inside the cubicle, trying to be as quiet as possible, although that's 
probably useless considering the laughter we've been doing the past few 
minutes. As I try to lie still, my muscles once again begin to kick, and I 
start rolling around, unable to keep still for more than a couple of 
seconds. This drives my girlfiend crazy, right back into her "ultra bitch" 

"Keep the fuck still!" She orders, punching me a couple of times to let me 
know she means it. I loose my temper in return, telling her to "leave off 
and shut the fuck up." Pissed off and hateful, we both eventually pass out.

Hours later, she shakes me awake. "Get your stuff, we gotta get out of 
 here." There's no one else in the library now other than the librarian at 
the front desk, who gives us the eye as we exit the building. She walks us 
over to the computer building, where we find an open classroom. She tells me 
to sleep in here for the rest of the night, and tomorrow we'll come up with 
something else.

"Wait a minute," I say. "Why am I putting myself through this? This is 
crazy. I'm out of here tomorrow."

"What do you mean, you're 'outta here'?" she asks, suddenly quiet.

"I mean, I'm out of here. We were supposed to be going to California 
together, remember? Well, I'm sick of this shit here. I'm going, first thing 
tomorrow." I'm adamant. I don't care if it is the middle of Winter, I can't 
take this hell I've landed in. I've been told many time by many different 
folk that San Francisco is my Mecca, that I'd thoroughly enjoy that city and 
would fit right in.

"Are you nuts?" She asks. "How are you going to get there?"

"I'll hitchhike. What do you care anyway?" I glare at her. She's the reason 
I'm here having all these problems, I think to myself, conveniently 
forgetting it was my decision to come back to the States, that no one, not 
even my girlfiend, put a gun to my head and forced me to undertake this 

"It's the middle of Winter and you're sick," she says. "Besides, I don't 
want you to leave yet, I love you. Wait until Spring at least, when the 
weather is nicer. Then go."

I can't believe I've just heard this correctly. I stand there speechless for 
a minute or two, staring at her with my mouth ajar. Then I let my shoulders 
slump and shake my head.

"Get out of here," I tell her. "I'll see you in the morning, right?"

"Yeah, sure. Don't do anything stupid, like leave campus without telling me, 

"Sure," I answer. I turn my back as she leaves, then lie down on the floor 
under yet another desk, hopefully out of view of anyone or any guards 
passing in the hallway outside the classroom. There's an entire security 
force of guards that patrol the campus, but if any pass that night I'm 
totally unaware of them.

I wake early the next morning when the lights suddenly go on. Someone enters 
the room with a cacophony of clattering and clanking. Rolling over, I climb 
to my feet to confront a wide-eyed and very surprised janitor.

"Hi there and good morning," I tell him before bending back down to grab my 
stuff, then head out the door.

The dope sickness still has not passed, though I am getting stronger and a 
wee bit better. Still, I'm miserable and depressed. There has to be some way 
to get some relief. My mind is focused entirely on this thought. My 
girlfiend has some class very early this morning, so I won't see her for a 
couple more hours. I don't know why she didn't wake me before going to 
class. Even with all the anger and the hitting, she's the only friend I have 
right now. We've been in a relationship for just over six months at this 
point. To my perspective, we've got some history to our relationship, so I'm 
loath to give up just like that.

I'm not stopping to wonder about it. I have come up with a plan, and I'm 
glad she is in class because I don't think she'd like this one. I walk to 
the campus store. It's mostly empty of students, and the clerk is busy 
reading a magazine when I enter. She says, "Good morning" when I enter and 
then ignores me, burying her face back in the glossy pages of the fashion 
rag she's reading. I'm not sure if they're going to have what I'm looking 
for, but sure enough, at the very back of the store, in one of the only 
places out of the clerk's line of sight, there sits all the cold medicines. 
Without checking to be sure no one is watching, I reach out, grab a box of 
Nyquil Cold Medicine capsules, put it in my jacket pocket, then go to the 
counter and order a cup of coffee. I can afford that, even if I have to 
steal the cold medicine.

Nyquil has something or other in it that helps people sleep, so I figure 
that perhaps it'll help me my body's muscles settle down somewhat. I go back 
to the still deserted library to find a quiet spot to carry out my plan. 
Going downstairs, I enter the bathroom and lock myself into a stall. I take 
out my paper bag containing all my works and equipment, then open up the box 
of Nyquil. Laying everything out on the lid of the toilet, I then open the 
box, ripping a couple of the green gel caps inside from their wrapping. They 
feel so soft and fragile when I squeeze them between thumb and forefinger, 
but when I try to break one open, the outer shell doesn't do anything other 
than bend inwards without breaking. "Great, now what?" I think to myself in 
frustration. I've got my mind set on doing this and am not about to just 
give up. I root around in my duffle bag for a moment until I find a razor 
blade. Holding one of the gel caps steady between my fingers on the toilet 
seat lid and proceed to try and cut it open. It seems for a moment this too 
won't work, but then it gives. The blade cuts almost all the way through the 
gel cap, causing me to almost loose the contents all over the lid of the 
toilet, but I save it. Picking up both halves, I pour the contents into my 
cooker, the repeat the process with a couple more gel caps. I then add about 
ten mils of water to the goo in my cooker. Then I heat it, stirring with the 
back of my rig, heating and reheating and adding teeny amounts of water, 
trying to dilute the gook in the cooker. I finally decide it's as ready as 
it's ever going to be, then drop a small piece of cotton into the mix. 
Taking a set, I draw the pink, gooey muck up into my rig. It takes a long 
time, and I look at the end results a bit dubiously. It resembles nothing so 
much as hair gel now, and I hesitate.

"What the hell, it's already in my set." I think to myself, then tie off. I 
find the vein quickly and boot it in. After untying and sitting back, my 
ears begin to ring a bit and my chest has a localized ache right about where 
I figure my heart must be, dead center of my chest. I don't feel much of 
anything beyond this slight discomfort. This isn't working as I'd hoped, so 
I forego a second try. I eat two of the gel caps instead of banging them, 
thinking that since I have them I may as well, that perhaps they'll work 
better orally as they're meant to be taken. I start to get jittery, then 
realize way too late that the Nyquil has pseudoephedrine in it, which is 
only increasing the sensations of kicking instead of muting them. Shit, yet 
another mistake on my part.

I walk out of the library into a crisp, bright Winter morning and sit on a 
bench in the cold, holding my head in my gloved hands, hoping the cold air 
will nullify my discomfort but it's no good. I spend the morning in and out 
of the restroom throwing up, generally miserable and hating myself and my 

That evening the girlfiend introduces me to some more friends of hers, 
room-mates of Mike the bartender I'd met the first night here. They have a 
bed in their living room and are ok with my sleeping there, so long as I 
promise to never, ever shoot up in their apartment. I readily agree. I'm 
sick to death of being cold and look forward to lying down in peaceful 

It takes another week for me to actually get a real night's sleep, but the 
withdrawals do finally end. There are times when I suspect they won't ever 
pass, but as with all bad times they do pass. I land a couple of jobs 
waiting tables in White Plains Mall for the rest of the semester, neither of 
which allow me to wear my facial jewelry and which both require ties, so I 
hate them both but they earn me some much needed cash. I spend the semester 
working and squatting on rent-free on the Purchase campus. I eventually meet 
a few other dopers on campus, who hook me up with the occasional ride into 
the city to score heroin, so I'm not by any stretch of the imagination 
clean, but I'm not strung out and it makes quite a bit of difference. But it 
doesn't last long. When the semester eventually ends, we head into the city, 
she to an apartment and I to live on the streets of another big city, adrift 

Peace and love,
Preston Peet

"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment is often 
mistaken for madness"
Richard Davenport-Hines

ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Editor http://www.drugwar.com
Editor "Under the Influence- the Disinformation Guide to Drugs"
Editor "Mysterious Roots- The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, 
Explorations and Enigmas" (due out Sept. 2005)
Cont. High Times mag/.com
Cont. Editor http://www.disinfo.com
Columnist New York Waste

----- Original Message ----- 
From: AbbotAngel at aol.com
To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 3:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Ibogaine] (OT) Re: [Ibogaine]

Hi preston

Yes there are a few palm trees along the seafront in brighton, I came to 
this list in desparation to get off heroin I have tried cold turkey 3 times, 
meth several times but just abused it and the last time was the subutex, 
which worked but had so many emotioal problems i went  back to using.

Love donna 

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