By Soumya Bisht, Batch of 2018
A sheen of delirium clouds cloud my senses. With no perception of my location and absolutely no zeal to reach my destination, I let my thoughts drift to the better days – far away from the darkness I lie in.
I’d like to think that years ago, before baggies and syringes happened, before meetings with strangers with scruffy beards and full sleeves that hid escapades of nights that passed by, everything was just fine. But on some days, like today, if I think just hard enough, I remember the dull pain of dejection and despair that had always haunted me. I remember the urge to escape reality for a second and be the fittest misfit in an alternate reality.
Back then, the glossy movie screens with vivid colours always provided me the portal to my escape. Movies that spoke of glorious rebels who sorted their lives out over a puff of smoke, a snort of cocaine and the pierce of a needle. The rush of ecstasy that I’d witness on my hero’s flushed face lured me. And when I turned sixteen, I set out to explore the elixir of euphoria myself.
An insignificant lie was spoken to my mother’s vexed face and I sat with four people whose faces shall forever be etched onto my memory. I remember myself laughing a lot – shrill and afraid. Very afraid. I wasn’t excited-afraid, the kind we are before a roller coaster dip. I was nervous-afraid, the kind you are when you know that deep down, your entire being is against what you are about to do.
But the lighter had been flicked open and as the heroin bubbled on a spoon above it, I realised the permanence of my decision. That there is no way back now. I didn’t go first. Neither did I go last. I was the kid that was too afraid to lead but even more frightened about being the ‘loser’ that always went last. The rubber pipe was tied hard on my arm. A piercing pain and then nothing. I’d like to imagine my blood fuse with the white liquid like they show in movies. But boy, oh boy, movies are false!
I was a hero for the hours the ‘high’ lasted. I’d joke about finally finding my ‘heroin’. ‘The first and the last time’, I told myself. My girlfriend broke up with me two days later. Heroin was the siren that called out to me and I gladly accepted its embrace.
The amount I’d inject seemed lesser and more insignificant as time passed. I decided the number of injection scars weren’t high enough. A fear of being caught latched onto me like a shadow.
Chemistry labs were the worst. “Pass the white powder” and I’d be reduced to a cowering mess. Hunched shoulders, a shifty stance, and blood-red eyes defined me, physically. Mentally, I was a wreck. My days and my nights revolved around a single thought. I’d usually spend hours thinking about my dose of heroin and once that happened, I’d wait for my next dose. Academics plummeted and the only friends I had were my vagabond drug dealers.
Three days ago, I watched Requiem for a Dream. A movie that was like watching myself in a mirror but worse. For the first time in many years, I saw my gaunt face, my puffy eyes, my anxious rubbing of nose, my attempt at hiding injection scars and the farce that my existence had become.
I saw where my life was headed and the enormity hit me. It is funny how my appeal for drugs that started with movies faded away after watching another movie. My temporary and faulty castle of delusions shattered. I, a nineteen year old addict, finally decided to call it quits.
I attempted suicide last night. Piercing my veins with a syringe, hoping that it would still contain remnants of heroin. I haven’t slept for the past three days, been traumatised by visuals that don’t exist and ran for kilometers away from walls that I thought were closing in on me.
I smile cynically. My life, for the past few years, unfolded like the adventurous movies with the glamourous drug addicts that I admired. But no movie reel ever did roll this far. It always ended before the hero fumbled and before his delirious dream stumbled down to bits. I, now, find myself alone with no movie precedence to guide me, whatsoever. The way my life unfolds now, is my own script to write. And just this once, I hope my movie doesn’t end too early.