Trudging along the promenade of Manly Beach, I hear a woman say, “This is the life.” We’re in the sun. She’s sitting on a bench, wearing a red bikini, cooking her wrinkles deeper in the rays. I wonder if she’s right. I wonder if there is such a thing as The Life. Is there one for each of us, or are there a few that are right as The Life at different times in our lives?
I’m thinking this because never have I felt that I am where I want to be, doing what I want to do, that what is happening is what I want to happen. My life never feels like The Life. A handful of times, there’ve been moments with my closest friends and my family when, for the shortest of times, I’ve been content, able to forget the past and forget where I’m at in my life in the present. But those times are fleeting. As soon as another circumstance enters my head, the moment is over.
If life is what we make it, how we mould it and how we shape it, then mine is contorted. And though I hate to admit it, I have to confess to being the contortionist. My old tool of escapism is anchored in me deep. It’s rusty in my gut and tethered there. I can’t remove it. And without meaning to, I’ve been bending life into ugly and repulsive conditions. When I was a child, it happened to me, but as an adult, I should have had the choice. Living in the ugliness and repulsion for years, it’s become who I am. I feel it, on the inside, ugly and repulsive.
On the outside, to other people, I know I’m something else, or at least I used to be. In the past, loads of people told me I should have been a model. I had the height, the face and the slim frame. Right now, I’m the slimmest I’ve ever been. But that’s the heroin. It’s not that I’m spending all my money on smack and can’t afford to buy food. I’m just never hungry. I’ve enough money to keep this up for a few more years. But I don’t know how much longer I can go on for. If it was only my appetite heroin took, that would be fine, but it’s taken more. I didn’t feel there was much of my soul left. That’s been stolen piece by piece by the paedophiles and the punters. Heroin’s taken the little they didn’t. I feel more empty than I’ve ever felt.
Although I hate it, it doesn’t even really matter that heroin’s caused abscesses on my arms, killed the life in my eyes, stolen the shine from my long, blonde hair, and dumped the spots of a teenager on my face. And though, at twenty-five, I don’t want these red lumps on my face, it’s not about that. It’s not about any of the outside. It’s about that small piece of my soul that was left. It kept me stronger, kept me wanting life, and now heroin’s stolen that, there’s no light left. Maybe that’s what’s caused my dead eyes.
I’ve not had a hit for a week. I want one, but I don’t want a life with smack. I don’t want a life without smack either. At first, it took me to heaven. It gave me those fleeting moments where I felt I had The Life. Now, it’s left me in a living hell. Maybe it’s time to end this sham. Life’s never going to be good. It never has been. I wish I was dead.