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I wasn’t afraid of death.
How could I be? I lived under death’s shadow every day. When you swallow eighty Vicodin, twenty sleeping pills, drink a bottle of vodka, and still survive, a certain sense of invulnerability stays with you. When you continually use drugs with the kind of reckless determination that I did, the limit to how much heroin or crack you can ingest is not defined in dollar amounts, but in the amounts your body can withstand without experiencing a seizure or respiratory failure. Yet at the end of every binge, every night of lining up six, seven, eight crack pipes and hitting them one after the other bam! bam! bam! every night of smoking and snorting bag after bag of heroin . . . after all of that, when you still wake up to see the same dirty sky over you as the night before, you start to think that instead of dying, maybe your punishment is to live---to be stuck in this purgatory of self-abuse and misery for an eternity. Sometimes you start to think that death would come as a blessed relief.
Toward the end, I found myself contemplating death again. Only this time I wasn’t going to leave it to chance. I was going to buy a gun, load the thing, place the barrel in my mouth, and blow my fucking brains out.
I sat on my parents’ sofa as I pondered this. All I needed was a gun.
And then all--
of my problems--
would be solved.