PUNK: Lonesome American Memoirs

22: Overdose

Toward the end of my life there were a couple of warning signs. I remember feeling like something was really wrong after shooting a dime of each. I just stood there at the top of the stairs of the weekly rate hotel with my arm up over my head. The world had gone grey, but it wasn’t a good kind of grey.

“Wait a minute,” I said to my two friends. “Something’s wrong.”

They paused a couple of steps down and looked at me.


“I don’t know.” I scratched my nose, and pulled up my pants. “I don’t think it’s supposed to be like this.”

“Come on.”

“No, hang out.”

They left.

The other was when I got so sick I couldn’t get up. Only no one would cop for me because I didn’t have any money, nothing left to trade, nothing to promise anyone. I was promised out.

Eventually I got myself together enough to go down the hall to Eddie. Eddie was a shit bag. I was a scumbag, but Eddie was a shit bag. He scared me. I didn’t talk to him or anything. I knocked on the door.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me.”

“Well come on in…”

He unbolted the door and opened it wide. That was a good sign. He was flush, and probably high. I walked into the room, sweating and cold. He was nude, and there was a an older woman on the bed.

“This is Katie.”

“Hi!” she smiled.


“You wanna get high?” He asked us both.

“Yes.” we agreed.

Tony liked to mix things a little bit, but Eddie was crazy. He would cut shit with Ajax if that’s all there was. And he liked to hold the rig. It was his way, or no dope. So I tied off my leg and Eddie said “You ready?”

“I guess.”

“You guess? Baby I said are you ready?


He came staggering toward me, his big dope dick flapping against his thigh. As he poked the needle into my leg, I saw the woman on the bed was already flat tied, and ready for hers. I felt a little more comfortable. But Eddie didn’t register. He would just stick the needing into you, close his eyes and inject it. There was nothing careful about Eddie.

“Ahhh… ” Growled Eddie. “I bet that’s nice isn’t it babe?”

It burned a little bit, but it was all right with me.

The woman got her’s, and Eddie tried some more. When I got myself together again Eddie and Katie were humping on the little bed right in front of me. Eddie was shouting, and Katie was fucked up. I was fucked up. But I didn’t want to watch them screw, so I got my shit together and split.

“See ya soon” Eddie called after me.

And he did see me soon. Eddie and I got to be very good friends. We made an arrangement. I would unload some speed that he didn’t need, and in return he’d make sure I was regular. I did my best, and so did he.

One night he was very excited about some new cut he’d been mixing up. There was some good dope and it needed to be thinned out. No one could be there while he was working, not even Katie. It was Katie’s room, and sometimes they fought about it. I would leave when they fought no matter what was up with me. I hated to watch junkies fight. It was lame. Throwing shit and yelling, then one of them would storm out swearing they weren’t going back. Then they’d come back, everyone would cry and pet each other. And if you’d stayed that long, they would throw you out at that point anyway. So when they started fighting about whose house it was, I would just split.

There are two things I remember about the night I died. The first is how there a lot of people around. Eddie was talking up this new stuff. I didn’t know who most of them were, and I was afraid that they might be cops. Everyone I didn’t know might have been a cop. I didn’t trust anyone. We were cooking and opening up the rigs when this guy in a sharkskin jacket lit up a bowl.

Eddie shouted “Hey!” like something was fucking up.

Everyone in the room froze. The guy who’d just taken a big hit of pot was still holding it in.

Eddie pointed the needle at him, narrowed his eyes and said “Don’t you know that shit is gonna lead to harder drugs?”

It took a minute to figure out that he was making a joke about smoking weed in his room without asking. He exhaled in a few laughing bursts of smoke. Everyone laughed. Eddie was not funny. Eddie was scary. But whatever he said, we laughed if it was supposed to be funny. The rest of the time we kept our eye on the rig, our vein, or the floor.

The only other thing I remember is the needle registering. Eddie never registered the needle. I almost said “Wait” or something like that. But it was in me, it was already too late.

I was dead before Eddie pulled the needle out.

Table of contents
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24
Musicology, Errata