I've always felt safe in my heroin's arms. Laying in comfort with zero control.

I think my addiction is minor at most. More routine than addiction.

I work behind a counter, ringing up peoples useless shit in an off-brand store.

I do it for what comes after everyday in my overpriced bachelor apartment, just a single room and a washroom. I live for the rush of the contents of my wicker box beneath my bed.

A pack of needles (running low), a silver spoon (bronzed and burned), a rubber band (I ripped from a sling shot), a bag of cotton balls, one of those lighters that never work right and of course the key; my bittersweet, vinegar-scented, brown and beautiful friend, heroin.

Like clockwork I returned from work. It's 11 PM and sleep is not on my mind. I place my bag down then take off my shined work shoes and white starched shirt, fold it neatly and place on the end table at the head of my bed. I lock my door and close the curtains. Down on the floor I'm on my stomach beside the bed reaching for my wicker box.

Time for my bliss, the feeling I miss. The bitter but sweet. My missus, heroin, and her date with my vein.

I find the box and bring it up on my bed opening it gives a rush to my head.

Before I begin I walk across my room and open my only cupboard to grab my only cup, I turn the tap to the right and let the only pure thing in my life pour in. I turn the handle back to the left and then head back to my bed.

Back to the back board and legs ahead, box on my lap now a reach for the lamp. I need to see well to be sure not to spill. Now time for my thrill. I open the box with a deep inhale. First thing I grab is my tarnished silver spoon, and into my glass I dip it to get a nice little puddle atop the metal plate. Open the bag of my bitter-sweet brown and a tingle of vinegar brushes my nose. I sprinkle some on and now the lighter for heat, a quick little boil doesn't take long to achieve, cotton ball to filter it out and the needle inhales the brown chunk-less liquid. I place the needle, full down gently on the end table.

Time to stretch the elastic tight on my bicep and look for the flow of blue on my wrist I avoid older holes and slide my friend in deep. A long full inhale and I push the hydro logical stem down.

Needle back on the end table and head to the pillow remove the band and back in the box.

The drugs shoot like pins into my system down through my heart and up to my brain in seconds my skin morphs to heroin's arms and my room disappears. The last thing I see before my eyelids turn to lead is two long thin legs at the end of my bed.

I wake up and its 3 PM. Two hours until work. First thing I do is turn off my lamp. Then neatly pack my wicker box away. No need to make my bed, I never messed it up. I drink the rest of my water and throw away the used needle and now-brown cotton ball neatly wrapped in paper towel. I bend down to my mini fridge and pull out a TV dinner to throw into the microwave as I change my pants into a mirrored black pair and pull on my shirt after an inspection for creases. I brush my teeth and as I go to head out of my bathroom, a bit of my high comes back to say hello just for a moment.

No more than a second I see a featureless face outside my second story window.

I blinked. It was gone. I felt noxious and collapsed.

Now 4:45 PM, I awoke again. Shit! Work in 15 minutes. Shoes on and out the door. Another lame day of work. Worth it to get home to my pillowy throne.

Home again another day worth of minimum wage, and back to the same routine. 11 PM - door locked - curtain closed – cup filled – wicker box out – spoon dipped – open bag “mmmm sweet bitter vinegar” - sprinkle – heat - filter – fill – tie – find – inject – release – embrace.

As I was about to drift off I saw a thin, tall, suited man standing at my door, his faceless head touched the ceiling. Three voices filled my head speaking in perfect synchronization. One of an elder man, one of a young boy, and the last was mine.

“I've watched you through the nights, as you slowly kill yourself. Your utter disrespect for the life given to you disgusts me. You have no interest in social interaction, even your family you have rejected. The only reason you work is to pay for your abuse. Your time shall come now at my hands.”

The face man reached his arm out towards me and it seemed to grow. It circled around my neck as I sat there unable to fight it in the slightest, though, I think even if I had the control, it would be futile to try. The faceless man seemed to smile without a mouth as his arm... No, his tentacle, tightened to a squeeze.

The police found a circle with an X through the middle drawn on the outside of my locked door. And within, me, strangled to death with heroin in my system.

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