The trance that has kept her captive, like a madman in a straight jacket for hours on end has temporarily been broken, and beneath the black velvet night she remembers where she is and why she is there.
Another crack house, another pipe and rock, another wasted night in Alice's Wonderland...
Turning in slow motion, her glassy eyes meet the canary diamond smile of the Cheshire cat. His white-powdered nose matched the jagged-nailed finger that had been dipped daintily into the cocaine that was then run across his gums.
To the immediate left of her tiny thigh, caressed softly by varicose veins, lay the Mad Hatter who had gone entirely mad years ago from the vast array of glittering bottles of Vodka he had consumed. The thick syrupy liquid that sloshed around in the half empty bottle in his hand, matched perfectly, the clear dreamy liquid in the tiny little syringe that protruded from his arm.
Moving slowly with the thick, grey smoke clouds that hung in the air, she made her way to the balcony to sit for a breath of fresh air. The cold, bashing her senses at first, grew tolerable after a moment. Tiny tendrils of white breath escaped willfully from her red-stained lips that parted ever so slightly. No one would ever know that just behind the doors of the motel room from which she had just emerged, would be creatures of the dark, of the violent, of the addicted - having just one more night of empty fun.
Years ago, many long years ago, she had been a queen in this world she now hated. They had all been such different people. Not so tainted, so hard, so brash....so miserable. They had been young and beautiful and summer burst through the spring in hot, thick, sticky breaths. Long days and even longer nights spent driving across the sizzling hot blacktop that ran through every town within 100 miles. The bottles of cheap beer, the weed, the laying on cars at 1am talking about life, about having a life at all...it was just dust now. Dust that blew away with the first exhale of a crack rock.
Of course it hadn't always been crack - It all started with the cocaine. The beautiful, white powder that had caused her eyes to grow wide with wonder. Snorting the first line was like electrifying one's blood. The jolt of lightning that seared like a hot skillet through her mind, that had kept her up for days - was the beginning of the love affair gone wrong. The economy had gone bad, therefore the cocaine sold less and less. When the money ran out, the cocaine ran out. Leaving her with a hungry wolf that lived in her brain and beneath her veins. Something had to stop the madness...so there was crack. $20 a rock was better than $50 a gram. She could make a rock last hours and hours but after time she realized, that first rock had ended up lasting years and years. She had slipped beneath the surface of society one night and never come up for another breath since then.
They had all been sober for the first time in 5 minute, 10 years, 15 lifetimes - not too long ago. Sitting around before heading back out to buy more narcotics and alcohol they spoke of how life had become such an ugly thing, about how they had become such ugly things. How their souls had become hard and gummy like tar that hadn't quite set up yet. They all mused at how the cocaine and Brandy days had given way to this ugly crack, heroine, acid, vodka nightmare that drug them across life in such an ugly way. What had they become....?
They had all agreed to go to rehab when the sun came up, this last night being their big hurrah. However, as she stared through the grimy, yellowed window of the hotel room, she saw what was left of them and herself. On the other side of the reflection laid her friends, withered and worn, skin ragged and cratered from too many drugs, and yellowed from the jaundice of a bad liver. The Mad Hatter would never regain his sanity, Cheshire cat would never regain his smile, and the March Hare wouldn't live long enough to see next March even if he tried...there was no escape.
But in the reflection of the mirrored glass, she saw herself, too. Dry, brittle hair that hung limp and twisted over her face. Teeth gone from too much meth when the crack wasn't available. Her eyebrows were burned almost entirely off from the crack pipe & her skin was ashen and grey from never sleeping and smoking too much. She once was beautiful. She once had a glow about her. Was told she would go far in life. Was told she would marry and have children. Oh and she had children from selling herself to too many people. But CPS had taken them away years ago and she didn't even know where they went.
The last breath she exhaled from her crack pipe twisted from her like the last bits of her soul trying to escape from the shell that abused it so. So she decided to set it free once and for all. In the other room she bummed the Mad Hatter's syringe out of his arm. He likely wouldn't need it since he had passed out with it in his skin, still. It stuck out like an ugly extension of himself. Twisted and ugly and not where it belonged. But then, did any of them belong here? No. They never had. They belonged in homes with their families that they never had bothered to have.
She emptied the needle and went into the bedroom to lay down. The room was black and silent, shadows dancing on the ceiling and walls from the night life out beyond the window. The needle glimmered so beautifully in the dark. "Just a little shot of air," she thought to herself while spurting out the rest of the heroine and pulling on the needle's handle. When it was halfway filled with oxygen, she rammed it into her Antecubital vein and sat for a moment. She never knew how her life ended up like this. How everything had become so grimy and filthy. How she had become so jagged inside...& she then pushed the air into her veins.