Ozzie Ausband

January rain.

Winter 2002. Revolving lights of red & blue pierced the fog of my overdose; shining through the haze of Percocet & vodka. The shimmering lights of the police & paramedics were lighting up my narrowly-escaped demise. I heard the beep, beep, beep, of the EKG machine & the hiss of oxygen, as muffled voices came to me like a distant dream.

I tried to focus my eyes & saw the rainy street; its greasy asphalt reflecting all the attention back onto me. I saw concern, disgust & frenzy on the faces of those nearest. I had become truly lost. I hated waking up … and hated them, hating me. “Ugh! Not again”, I moaned to myself. I was living in a broken dream. I hadn’t become a tenth of what was expected. You see, I know about the ‘element’ that is everything.

I’ve known its intimacy for so long, I hardly know anything else. I loved it, as it pissed its -fake -comfort down my spinal cord. I -forever- needed its soothing cloak of security, it blanketed me with. It left me dying on oily asphalt & in pathogenic basements…my life, a cracked mirror. It boiled my blood –thrumming & blurry– while its nails punctured my skin. It filled me with throbbing hunger. There is little on this earth that compares to the hell of opiate withdrawal.

It called to me daily. It whispered lies & showed me a thousand magic lanterns. It was Himalayan in its heights.  Once awakened from a peaceful stupor, I noticed my guts  in a knotted mass. I felt shattered glass under my skin;  sweat-soaked desperation. I lay writhing, hair matted, skin crawling, hands clenched in horrible  longing. It made my blood shriek & hammer, insatiably. I loved & hated its purring chemical voice. I was a favorite slave.

Thankfully, those days are long past. I no longer feel the need to numb myself to my existence. If you feel the urge to escape, remember that it can become a crutch. I know. It becomes everything to you. Then, your blood wakes you up; darkly calling . You too, can become ‘truly lost.’  There will be no comfort in skating, no comfort in love or family, no sexual urge, no comfort in God. There will only be the  sordid existence of the pipe, the bottle or the needle. I am neither preaching nor ‘grandstanding’. I have lived in an ugly place…but no longer. I am sharing-only-my experience. If it helps to be self-disclosing & brutally truthful….possibly it can help one other person. I can only hope. Put the crutch away, get help…and go skate. Thank you MRZ for the image. -Ozzie