Note: this story was first posted on Jack Be Quick on November 26, 2004.

Hi. My name is… John. I’ve been using, well, forever, really. Ever since I can remember.

My parents are users, too. In fact, they even used while I was in the womb. What kind of bastards would do that to their own kids?

Anyway, I’m a chemist. I know what this stuff does to you; to me. I know it’s poison. I know how it slowly consumes us from the inside out. I know all about the industry that’s sprung up offering all sorts of drugs to help us; antioxidants and all that. They won’t work.

Look, it’s one of the physical laws of the universe how this goes. Just like how water flows downhill, once you start using, you’re dead.

But I love it. I wouldn’t think of not using. I love the burn, the literal slow burn. Sometimes, if I’m in the right mood, I can almost see cool blue flames licking at my fingertips. When I work out, if I push it too hard, I’ll be gasping, sweating, unable to wait for my next fix.

My parents, my friends, they all use. In fact, they told me I was out of my mind to come here, that there’s no way you could help me. They said everyone does it, that I just have to accept it and really live to the fullest in the time I have left.

But that’s not good enough for me. I want to stop. I don’t want to die. Not like this.

Fucking oxygen.

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Poetry, photos, musing

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