by Jeffrey Stockbridge
Sarah (talking on my cell phone):
Will you come and get me either way?
Babe, but you don’t ever answer your phone, I mean, how am I gonna know if you’re coming or not?
All right, I’ll call you at ten o’clock tomorrow morning. Will you answer your phone? All right, and if you don’t hear from me it means I don’t have any change. You meet me at Huntingdon and 12th? Well… I mean yes. All right, I’ll call you at ten but if not, if you don’t hear from me pick me up at twelve o’clock at Huntingdon all right? All right, make sure you answer your phone. All right and I’ll see you at twelve. If you don’t hear from me it means I can’t call you and I’ll be waiting for you at twelve at Huntingdon. And I’ll sit there until you get there. I miss you, I want to be able to see you. All right, I’ll see you tomorrow. All right, love you too. Bye.
Jeffrey Stockbridge: Who’s that?
Sarah: Huh, oh my ex. He lets me stay, like I don’t have a place to live. Um, I pay people by the night to stay in their house and I haven’t been able to make any money since yesterday and I do heroin and I’m dope-sick, I’m starving, I don’t have any cigarettes, I don’t have any bus fare to get to Trenton, that’s where he’s at.
I’ve been out here on and off for uh five years, I’ve been using heroin for ten.
JS: What got you started on heroin?
Sarah: Umm, my daughters father left, I went into a major depression stage, and I, I was almost 300 pounds, I started sniffing cocaine, and then um somebody said, here try this and so I started sniffing heroin. I sniffed for a couple years and then my ex shot me up while I was sleeping, so I started shooting up after that. I’ve been shooting ever since.
I, I , I live uh day to day. If I don’t make money to pay somebody to stay in their house I stay in an abandoned house or I just stay up for a couple days, um, I can go a couple days without eating and uh, my family, they love me but, I can’t live with them. I have a ten year old daughter…
That’s my daughter and that’s my niece. And um, these are two of my four sisters. She’s pregnant and uh she’s the one who my parents, my dad just go laid off, so my parents live with her. My daughter lives with her and she’s getting ready to have a baby so there’s no room for me and I don’t really have any other family so I don’t have anywhere to go. Plus, on top of that, the fact that I have an addiction makes everything worse cause who wants to help anybody who has an addiction? I’m not a thief, I don’t rob anybody. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to but I just can’t bring myself to do that, you know what I mean. I’m not out here cause I want to be, and I certainly don’t enjoy it. Matter of fact this is the worst, loneliest existence that there is in the world.
I want to go to Detox but I’ve tried with my insurance and they only give you a certain amount of time and the time it takes you know, the hour or two it takes to come up with a measly ten or twenty bucks, you know, you get what you need to get and you have to do it all over again. I do about twelve bags of heroin a day.
JS: What do you charge your clients?
Sarah: Um, anywhere’s from twenty-five to.. I’ve gotten as much as a hundred bucks but um, I’ve been ripped off, I’ve been robbed, I’ve been raped, I’ve been stuck up, I’ve been gang raped, I’ve had a gun to my head, I’ve had a knife to my neck, I’ve been put out of the car, you know, east bumble fuck, um, I’ve had a lot of stuff happen to me, a lot of bad stuff. It’s by the grace of God I’m still, I don’t have HIV, I get tested every three months, I shoot up obviously but I use brand new needles every time I do, I don’t share needles with anybody, I take precautions, I always use protection, like I don’t, certain kind of guys that I date and certain kind of guys I don’t date. Um, I have cirrhosis of the liver, and so for me heroin is more like not a drug, but kinda makes me move, it makes me able to go, and my body has become so dependent on it that when I tried to Detox cold turkey without having anything my body went, like flip flop so bad that it almost killed me. So, I can’t Detox unless I’m in a hospital somewhere. Um, I would love to be able to be clean. I’ve overdosed nine times, I was actually dead once, they brought me back, I was dead for seven minutes, and they, they brought me back. Sometimes I just wish I could go jump off the bridge, if I had enough nerve I probably would.
There’s nothing more real than this, this situation. Um, standing on the corner selling your ass and everybody knowing what you’re doing is as real as it gets. Um, girls, if you are a woman enough to get in a car with a strange man and not knowing if it’s gonna be the last man that you see, the last person you see in life, and then somebody comes up to you and says, ‘do you shoot up and you look at them and you lie and you say, ‘no I don’t do that.’ I mean, you’re a coward, because you are ballsy enough to do what you’re doing, you’re ballsy enough to give a ten dollar, ten dollar blow job you know because you’re sick, but you’re not ballsy enough to be honest about it, you know. I look at it like this. I’m taking my life in my own hands every time I do what I do. I’m humiliated by doing what I do. You know, but, unfortunately, this is the lifestyle that I chose to lead, you know and until I decide to fix it or actually fight to fix it, I’m gonna be stuck in this, in this hole, you know, and it doesn’t matter how your family loves you, or who loves you, or how many people want you to get clean, if you don’t love yourself, you don’t give a fuck, and that’s where I’m at. I just don’t. I don’t care. I have a beautiful daughter, you know and I have a nice family you know, I wasn’t raised like this, I went to Catholic School my whole life and uh, I was raised with morals and, and values and like this wasn’t one of them.