The Taste of Cigarettes: A Memoir of a Heroin Addict pg’s 98-99

The entire process takes one hour.

They give us five and a half grand for Zooey’s 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We go straight to the bank so Zooey can open an account—she does, and one thousand is available right away, the rest in a day or two, plenty of cash to blow and ruin our lives with. On the way to a motel in Long Beach, we pass at least three Coppertone billboards that all make me not only cry but sob over my girls. It has now been an entire year, and I don’t even know where they live. I know we need to see the doctor, get another prescription for Suboxone. No more H. If I ever want to see them again I have to get straight. But first I call a taxi and we head to Long Beach, where we pay three-hundred bucks for one week at El Don’s Motel, right on the corner of PCH and 7th.

After seven days of oblivion—and two very near fatal overdoses—I convince Zooey to fill her script, which again gets us ninety Subs, more than enough to lay low for a few weeks,
clean ourselves up and get some rest. So for the next two weeks we take the Subs and stay off the H, the coke, anything awful, and for two-hundred bucks a week, relax at our favourite motel, the 777 Motel in Sunset Beach.

Every morning we each take sixteen milligrams of Suboxone, then crawl back into the solace of our Pendleton sheets. In the middle of the night I wake and listen to the croon of the boats that leave Huntington Harbour, stare out the window of the third floor until I am ten years old again, and on the deck of our forty foot Silverton—a yacht, because of its size, and Momma, Pops, Sis, myself would all be on our way to Catalina Island, just twenty-six miles across the channel to the city of Avalon. We took the boat to Catalina two to three times a year and stayed for weeks at a time. I promised my kids I’d get them a boat even bigger than the one we had. But now, I only watch those same yachts sail into the morning fog and out to sea, while I recover from a nasty divorce, the loss of my sweet little girls, and an even nastier heroin addiction.

Eventually, I shut the blinds and go to sleep.

The two of us wake around noon and smoke a joint. After I find coffee we go for a walk. We cross Coast Highway—cut through the classic surfer’s neighborhood, Surfside, which is literally on the sand—and take a long walk on the beach and enjoy its whispering shore break. After our walk, we go back to our room and sleep some more, then wake up for happy hour tacos and beer at Taco Surf—dollar tacos and dollar beers. And we have most of our money left.

Another goddamn miracle.

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