I took the last money I had and got a hotel room at the Sands. $15 a night. I had four days to kick heroin. I didn’t tell anybody where I was so I wouldn’t have the temptation of having my dealer call or come by with a bag to make me instantly well. I had my laptop and my speakers with me. It was the second day of withdrawal. I was in agony. I could no longer spend a minute lying down and watching TV. My legs were sore. My nose was running. I felt sick. My ass was practically dripping with diarrhea and I’d almost gone through two rolls of toilet paper in the first 36 hours. I filled the bathtub and then sat in the warm water listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on repeat. It was the first time of many that I’d kick heroin long enough to relapse and I’d check into that damn motel dozens of times after that. It was more comfortable to kick in a hotel. There was a Coke machine down the hall for $1.25. I drank Cokes and set the empty bottles up behind the mirror. That song gave me hope. If I don’t get it over with now, it’s okay.

Hallelujah.

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