Another High

Another High

As life progressed after my rape and the molestation by my brother that followed, I did what many victims do—I turned to sex and drugs. I took all of the trauma I’d endured and placed it in boxes in my mind. I started with alcohol and pot, and soon got into cocaine. It was like a runaway train. I was living life in a way that propelled me forward. The past became one big blur.

One evening, after a particularly long shoot day, I made my way down the boardwalk chain smoking Reds. The day had been exhausting, the scene pushing me close to the brink of things I said I’d never do. Anytime I let my mind wander, I’d find myself back on set, on my hands and knees on a stained couch, my knees weak as fingers were pushed inside me. I stumbled into a bar close to the apartment, ordered beer, after beer, after beer, until a friend wandered in and offered me a few lines in the old, worn-down bathroom. Eventually, I wandered back outside and back to the crumbling building I called home.

 Roxanne was on the couch when I walked into the apartment drunk, high, and still looking for something more. I walked around the couch to see her reclined, her eyes drooping, her head lolling. She was in her signature light pink sweatpants with an oversize tee, her nipples visible beneath the thin fabric. “You didn’t make my bed today,” she slurred. “And there’s a shit ton of laundry to do, and the fucking dishes are all piled up.”

“I know, I’ll get to it tomorrow,” I responded, shifting my weight from foot to foot.

She flipped her hair to one side. “Come sit,” she said, dragging the words out in a way she only did when she’d had too much.

I made my way to the couch, stepping over one of her massive dogs as I dropped onto the sofa. She sat up and picked up a syringe from the table. I chewed at my thumbnail as she placed some powder on a spoon, heated it with a lighter, and maneuvered it so she could suck the melted substance into the syringe. Without a second thought, I extended my arm and she tapped at it before easing the needle into my vein and pushing the plunger.


In what felt like an instant, I awoke in the claw-footed bathtub. Roxanne was hanging pacing on the cracked tile floor. As I came to, she crashed to her knees and screeched, “Oh thank GOD! Thank GOD!”

 My lungs burned, my heart pounded, and I felt a frigid, burning sensation between my legs, inside me. I stared down at my naked body, my hip bones jutting out at the sides, my tanned belly concave. I wiggled and reached down, placing a hand between my legs feeling something slick and freezing; I pushed my fingers inside myself to find that chunks of ice had been shoved into my vagina. Maybe that’s what saved me, or maybe something divine was present, cradling me softly like a child, reborn. Roxanne stood up again as the dogs raddled into the bathroom and she lit a cigarette and rubbed her eyes. As reality set in that I had overdosed and was still somehow here on earth, I didn’t immediately feel relief; I didn’t feel overjoyed to find myself alive and well. Instead, I felt as though I’d missed out. I’d heard so many things about the euphoric high heroin brings—the sensation of warm honey oozing from the top of your head, slowly dripping all the way to your toes. I’d heard about the way it liquifies your bones, providing a beautiful, ethereal release the world had to offer. I wanted that high. I was cheated out of it. But I’d find some way to achieve it. Even if it killed me.

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