It's so dark.
And I don't know what's going on.
I can't feel a thing.
No wait…I think….I can feel something now, on my skin, all over my body.
It's so cold. I can feel the air tearing at my sweat-soaked skin. It makes me shiver.
OH! OH GOD! It hurts so much! Each shiver sends spikes of pain through me. Every nerve in every muscle seems to be screaming. Then I'm the one screaming.
Why isn't anybody coming? Can't they hear me?!
I scream out again, but realize that all that is coming out of my mouth is a strangled moan, barely audible.
Why can't I make a sound?! Oh god am I paralyzed?!
I try to roll my tongue around in my mouth, but it's hard. It's swollen and catches on the insides of my mouth.
Everything's stiff and dry. My tongue touches the roof of my mouth and I cringe.
I taste the bitter salt of sweat, the metal of blood, the thick taste of smoke, the stink of other people, and the sweet flavor of alcohol and pills.
All of these flavors remind me of where I am and I get nauseous. Somehow I'm able to roll over just enough to not vomit all over myself.
It's in my hair and on my face, but at least I'm not choking.
I try to pry my eyes open again. It's hard and the lashes stick together, but I manage it.
I rip them open and everything's blurry. I wait for some time, letting things come slowly into focus.
I see carpet and I see a wall.
And I see someone's foot, right by my face. But it's not moving.
I start to shiver violently. It's so cold.
I'm going to sit up now, I think.
So I brace myself with my hands and push with all my might.
I can feel popping and stretching, but I grind my teeth together and bare the pain. I finally manage to prop myself against the wall and let out a long sigh.
My face itches terribly, but it's too much work to try and pull the strands of hair off my sticky, sweat-covered skin.
My thighs stick together too, with what I don't know. Maybe sweat. Maybe drugs. Maybe someone else.
That's when I look around and see the other people, passed out on the floor among the bottles and boxes and pipes and needles. I wretch again, coughing into my lap.
I wipe my hand across my mouth half-heartedly. It flops down to my side.
I look up again and I can see them breathing. I can hear my own breathing now. Coming in and out in ragged gasps.
I see some pills too.
My skin crawls widely at the sight and my hand twitches nervously. I feel electric shivers in my body that I can't ignore.
I don't know what time it is anymore, but I don't care. I have to have some more.
So I grab a fistful of pills and stuff them in my mouth. My throat's dry and I almost choke them up.
And now I can remember the night before so clearly. So clearly.
I remember all those people smiling and greeting one another.
I remember how they joked and laughed to be together. Not with each other, but with the goods.
I remember how excited they were, the look in their eyes when the lights went down and they could feed.
I remember the look of true bliss, of peaceful release when they satisfied themselves.
I remember how they smiled, like children at play. Like kings of their casltes. Like gods on the 7th day.
I remember how they danced together, one big mob of joy.
I remember how as the night went on they got hungrier and hungrier and kept going back for more.
I remember how they started to sway, how the light went out of their eyes. How they let themselves be taken.
I remember how in the end they weren't there anymore. They were just shadows, moving to some unknowable beat.
I remember how they fell down one by one. Each succumbing to his demon.
I remember knowing that many of them would never get up again.
But mostly I remember that I was one of them.
Correction, that I AM one of them.
And now I hate myself. Like every morning after. Like every morning after to come.
I hate how I was, but mostly I hate how I am. How I still need it to take me away.
How I can't stand to be alone without it.
So I climb up the wall, leaning against it for support. I'm so dizzy, but I've got to get out of this evil heaven.
I stumble across the room, stepping on glass and needles, but not really feeling anything.
I reach the door but trip on a bottle and land on my face.
And I'm looking directly at a needle full of what I need.
And suddenly I need it more than I need to escape. I need it more than anything in the world.
I reach out with a trembling hand, wanting it so badly. But something in me snaps and cries out a warning.
I try to listen, try to understand what it's saying, but the pills seem to muffle the sounds in my head so its hard.
It seems to be telling me to remember. To remember what I saw, how they who were there weren't there.
It tells me that I can be more, that I can leave it all behind and start over. I can become myself again. All I need is to wash away the demons.
Tears poor down my face now, wetting my lips with salt, making them sting. Because I know the voice is wrong.
It says that I can wash them away and be me, but it doesn't know. Doesn't know that I lost long ago and let them in.
I don't exist anymore, not without them. I am nothing but an empty husk. There's no way to start over. I can't give them up, no matter how much I hate them. They are me, they define me, these demons.
I said that I saw the light leave their eyes, but I know that the demons brought them the brightest light they could ever hope for. I know it's a false light, but I'm so tired of this very real darkness.
So with a trembling hand I pierce my skin and let the fire in.
It floods my veins, filling me with electric life.
It feels so good. I could never explain it to you. My body relaxes, seems to puddle away.
Ah, so good…so peaceful. Maybe I'll just close my eyes for a bit. I'm pretty tired anyway.
So I shut them and drift off into a dreamless and eternal sleep.