Conversation with a heroin addict 1 | Buzz Blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

Conversation with a heroin addict 1

Posted By on September 21, 2009, 11:27 AM

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I bought breakfast for a drug addict Saturday morning in Denver.---

I was walking through downtown in search of a store called Independent Records to buy vinyl while visiting the city for the weekend. A tall, gaunt youth in T-shirt, jeans and flip-flops asked for money for breakfast. His voice was so sad, it was hard not to feel for him.

We went into McDonalds, got him some food and sat outside in the morning sunlight. Denver was starting to wake up.

He said his name was Casey. Our 15 minute conversation was the kind you have with a stranger where you share your life, knowing you won’t see him again. At the end he showed me his arms, touching main veins he said were blown, then pointing to the two inch-long fresh scars of recent tracks on the inside of both arms.

Casey hailed from Wichita, Kansas. Four years ago, wanting to be a musician, he moved to Denver’s bright lights. Back in Wichita fun was dragging a gay man behind his car for a beating. The drug world taught him tolerance, he says. A drag queen introduced him to E. Another wannabe musician introduced him to heroin. Someone told him the drug would inspire his art.

“It must be working,” he says. “I’ve got two albums of material.” He keeps his material in his knapsack, which he calls his home. He lives with a street family in a tent by a bridge.

Several years ago Casey went to jail for drug possession. He says a cop threw away his ID, making it impossible for him to get into a methadone clinic. The judge who sent him to jail also terminated his parental rights to his children aged 3 and 5. "I didn't see either of them after they were born," he says.

Continued in Conversation with a heroin addict 2

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