“Are you going to say grace?”

“Me? I’m not even religious. Can you pass the Chef Boyardee?”

“Actually, this can isn’t name-brand. I found it in the trash. And I can’t pass it to you, I have no arm. Afghanistan, remember?”

I watched the discussion from across the table. I watched as some of them took a bite of their turkey, a spoonful of their mashed potatoes, and then their shaky fingers wrapped around the needle. I don’t blame any of them. It’s easy to fall into meth’s trap. Speed. Benny. Ice. Glass. Crank. Whatever you want to call it.

First they give it to you for free. To get a lifelong customer. What business do you know that gives you a product for free? Little do you know that you’ll eventually pay with your life.

It’s more insidious than alcohol, too, more gradual. First it was just a monthly thing, then a weekly thing. Before I knew it, I needed it just to function. Just to vacuum the carpet, just to carry on with my day. One night of being vulnerable put me in this position.

“Where did Don go? He said he was going to the bathroom two hours ago. Is he constipated or something?”

“Probably shooting up some more. It won’t take long until his heart stops.”

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards fixing it. It’s not about the feeling I get from meth, it’s the feeling I got from the first time. Magical. Euphoric. It was a sense of safety, alertness, happiness. All of my problems seemed insignificant. Suddenly, I was more productive, and awake – it was like the fog had been cleared from my head. It was like receiving a new pair of glasses. No, more than that, it was like opening my eyes after twenty-five years of them being glued shut. I saw the world in a different light. I saw the world in a different dimensions. It was like the sun had finally risen, and the rain had finally stopped, and I could breathe without any care in the world. God knows I’ll stop at nothing to recreate that feeling of bliss.

“Aren’t you going to take a hit?” This time, the comment was directed at me. A hand stretched out and gave me the needle.

I took a deep breath. “What have I got to lose?”