Vein, Ghost, Decoration

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

She tapped at median cubital vein, slapped at it. The skin turned red and eventually the vein bulged. Squeezing her wrist, she pushed the tiniest drop from her syringe. The blood she drew into the syringe, wrapped itself into the hero, grabbing it’s hands and pulling him into her body.

The sensation was of wallflowers. Becoming a part of the scenery, the background, a decoration that’s been hanging for so long it’s lost all meaning. A ghost viewing life but not able to live. She leaned back, her mouth open, her eyes only slits. The needle stayed in her vein.

This was what life was supposed to be like, this feeling. The feeling that kids have when their minds are not filled with worry. When everything is a surprise and the smallest pain feels the worst because there are no other comparisons. Their minds aren’t in control, only their hearts.

These were the sorts of Hallmark card thoughts that passed through her mind. The price of this feeling of what life should be like was to miss out on the life she otherwise knew. Her addiction was a dance with what ought to be and the ache of ruining what was.

Addictions, once progressing, have a limited shelf life. They lead always to change. Only to change. The battle is between who and what will be in control of that change. The what has the advantage because the who needs light to make moves and there is mostly darkness in a battle with addiction.

Once down and clear and back in the life she knew, that familiar ache rocked her back to a sitting position. She couldn’t know it now, but that ache was really feeling. Pain of losing a bit of life and feeling that loss immediately after each tiny death. Pain is what separates the decorations from main attractions, the ghosts from the living.

She remembered something, maybe from a tv show or movie, “to feel pain is to know you are alive.” So she pulled out the needle, tears in her eyes and gritting her teeth, knowing that she was still alive.

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