Hopping the Wagon: Day 1

The morning has just ticked past five. I feel like shit. Like I am going to survive my own death.

My legs hurt, and both sides of my body - from the hip bone and running up under each arm - are bruised and swollen. For the past three days, with needles so blunt you couldn't pierce an ear with them, I've been injecting in the long veins that run up along the torso. I've hit nerves, tender muscle, cartilidge and bone. I feel down and beaten and I haven't even turned the light on yet.

Except from the glow of my laptop and a muted Harry Potter film (which has been looping away in the background for two days now) the room is dark. I can just see shapes - a tap, a fan, a doorhandle. There are things on the floor, probably clothes, probably shot through with blood. In my bed there are cigarette ends and ash and tobacco. The ashtray is piled high like some weird game of Jenga. (A moth has just flown by - it'll be dead soon. The heat of summer is already on the turn.)

There is also a smell. It smells like sickness - like everything does when one is down with the flu. It seems to be coming from my fingers, my hair, my nose, my skin. Cold water seems like the worst thing in the world. I am ill. I know it, but cannot feel it. If it wasn't for the methadone I would not even be writing. Sometimes I want to die - just for ten minutes, until the world rearranges itself into a better looking shit.

Cigarettes taste like death too. I've just lit one. Now I want a coffee. A coffee would be great. But the energy used in getting that coffee would take the pleasure away of having it. I would only suffer more. Also, I'd have to turn the light on and then I'd see the mess: needles and cups and blood and half eaten things and bread in the sink and rancid bowls of cereal and me...


When I am better I am going to enjoy life. I'm going to go to the park and watch things and feel all the little pulls and annoyances of nature on my skin. If it's cold, good! I need it. I want to smell and breathe and get exhausted and have some natural kind of calmants. To sleep because the day was so long and the ride home so hypnotic, like that day trip I once had to Brighton, where the motorway lights sent me to sleep on the coach. I want that and the sea and the world and the stars. But more, more than anything else, at 5.44am on Tuesday 31st August 2010, I want a clean bed. Light fresh sheets, proper pillows and a soft crumpled blanket that is cold at first and then warm and then unimaginably comfortable. To wake up in a new world where all those old songs no longer exist...

Won't you help to sing
This songs of freedom-
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Redemption songs....

 Tomorrow I am going on a three month break from this/heroin. That's my intention, anyhow. I will document each of those days in little posts. Whether it lasts one, two or ten, who can tell??? Going by previous records and my lack of resolve, I'll give myself three days before I'm back here again. Back fearing the morning light, cursing the first metro and dreading the sound of the bin men. Those who want to suffer or laugh along, feel free to pull up a chair....

(Posts will be written instantaneously. There will be no redrafting or spelling or comma checks. All faults are mine. Shane. X)


Unknown said...

Hi there Shane you beautiful man.

Hope you're doing fine. Thanks again for sharing your experiences in such an incredible way.



Longy said...

Hi Shane. Hang on in there mate and good luck! Sounds like you're going to need it. Take care buddy.

Anonymous said...

hell-o darling, in the same subway, 3 days into the unholy storm, two days of sweat, sticky sheets, bright lights through the curtains, pain, porous skin, shivers and shudderings, nerves, anxious, grumpy, should i pawn my laptop for a hit? why aren't the subs working? day 3 or is it 4, good whisky for breakfast, no sleep, but beer and another 8mg finally did the trick..i'm in south africa but did the london junket for a while, here the stuff is cheap is incredibly eary to procure too easy if you have money, and if you don't the dude iwll normally give you a gap of a day or two to pay back...he knows you're not going anywhere. also stuck...have to move out of this place tomorrow with no where to go...should i pawn my laptop for a bag or two? damn, these reckless thoughts...the sun shines and my words are caught somehwere below the breast bone....fear not...i understand..

if you have the inclination or incandescence

Wildernesschic said...

God Shane, I dont know what to say.. yes for once LOL
I really am feeling for you, your writing as always is amazing I can almost smell your room...mm..well trying not to.
The thoughts of what you want to do when you get better keep you going I am sure, we say this every night before I pour the Vodka...when we get through this load of stress we will get back on our bikes and get healthy...manana manana.. But, it is good to live in the moment and as they say one day at a time. I will keep you company and refrain from a drink for as long as you can, our poison.
Lots of love Ruthxx

Wildernesschic said...

...your poison .. I should really proof read what I write x

Anonymous said...

redemtion indeed, shane you hit more nerves with what you just wrote than i ever have or could with a works..

mtyler77 said...

Shane, it's been a while since I dropped by but I read every one of your posts because I subscribe.

I send you my purest, cleanest, healing energy. If you get three months clean from heroin, you will start to see the beauty that exists in the world. I know for me, heroin took away the pain--but it also took away the beauty of the world. Regaining that was most awesome, my friend.

Take care,


JoeM said...

I so hope it works.

Even one week to start with would be a good goal.

Then two etc.

I've often wondered what is the worst addiction. I think being hugely obese must be terrible - you know that even if you are mentally cured you still have years of dieting, then trying to eat normally, since you can't just give up food like all the other drugs.

But heroin,particularly injecting, must be up there too. Healing from the physical effects must take ages. And there's having to score illegal substances and all that that entails.

So: I hope it works.

Anonymous said...

Where are you going, and what is your motivation for your actions..Is someone going with you, I truly hope you succeed..But...and be honest now....do you really want to stop or do you feel you need to stop...I,d love to know

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I am thinking of you. I hope it goes as well as it possibly can, though I know that's probably a
very long shot.



The Total Impostor said...

And this hole in your spirit which you fill with the effects of opiates, heroin's sublime sublimation of love - what will you fill it with now Shane? Hope? Holes hurt, they scream their emptiness at you; and hope is a delusion. I'd rather have drugs in my holes, and I wonder how many days it will take you to change your mind? I won't say good luck or god bless or any such superstitious shit - because there's no luck, no karma, no god, just chaos and this shithole world. You know it. You are on your own and you ain't got a chance. Honesty is better than hope, holes are better when filled. Well, at least you get a holiday in hell.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Yes, I'm bearing up good thank you.

Love returned, Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


i see a new avatar!!! You muyst have won something, haha.

Oh, it won't be too bad. I do this every two days, just this time I'll try and make it last a little longer.

Hope you're really well, Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


The junket's more or less the same anywhere, I guess? London, New York, Lyon, Durban, Adelaide... heroin is heroin and the face is always the same. Sometimes the dealers change, sometimes the venue changes, but that feel... that junked up mentality never changes. Heroin is an internal thing, I suppose that's why it's so great.

And it is great.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Ruth, if your liver starts kicking too hard soothe it down with these words:

Shane has only once gone more than 2 weeks without a relapse. Usually he doesn't get past the fourth day.

Positive thinking always helps... this feels like some kind of a joke.

Love across the web, Shane. XXX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


I'm gonna mail you. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi Joe,

I think any addiction is as bad or as good as the other. It's the suffering (if you suffer for it) that is relative. I think there are as many suicides or attempted suicides amongst obese people as there are amongst addicts. It's the misery that is compelling them to do that stuff.

Err, actually, now thinking of it, you question is quite a huge one. I'm gonna pass going into just now (only because of time) and what I wrote above can probably be scrapped.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


A lon long long shot... so long that no one will evber know if it hoops or not.

Hope you're well... and <will give alonger response to your other comments.

Love as always, Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Heftman, hope you're doing well?

It's complicated. I mean, I'm not quitting, just trying to stick to my script for a while.

The hole in the spirit thing... I don't see it like that. when I first started heroin it was that, for sure, but now no. The pain I initially used to cover is long gone, my addiction is now into another stage, one that is not easy to define or explain. So I don't think there will be a hole in my spirit (not that I believe in spirits). I think there will be a hole in my day, what to do when not cooking up fixes, searching for veins and rocking away in a world that seems for me. But that will be filled with creativity. My urge as an artist is as great as my urge as a junkie. If junk was all someone was, then it'd be pretty sad. So I think there is life and there is hope. But not hope for a better life or any of that nonsense, pêrsonal hope, the kind of thing that makes life worth carrying on with... the kind of thing that makes you get out of bed. heroin is hope. I've never gotten out of bed so easily as when i had a fix to cook up. But other things can also have that passion, we must just find them. Life goes on and death only gets nearer, if one is not motivated to do something else by that thought, then I think a swan dive from a tall building is the answer.

But you're right, it's useless and doomùed for failure, though only if failure is not part of the plan. I rely on failure, so when it comes I will have succeeded. It's postponing it for as long as I can.

As I say, I doubt I'll get pâssed 3 days, but that's still three days of writing (or writhing). But seriously, quitting and staying clean is an unrealistic hope, but having a timed break is not. It's not easy, but if the right passion motivates it, it's not impossible either.

I'm not sure what, if any, sense any of that makes. i wrote on auto and can't be arsed proof reading it.

I see there's other comments of yours, so we'll speak again very soon...

All My Thoughts, Shane. x

Syd said...

I hope that you do kick it. You deserve a lot more than this half-life.

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