Brain Bugs by Edaurdo Jones

“Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if you could help me out again. I know we never talk, but I’m in way over my head this time, and if you could just please get me out of this, I’ll do anything you want…”

These are basically the same words, a million junkies, whores, thieves, and residents of the gutter, have muttered to their Gods, when they are deep in the shit, and all hope is lost.  None of them ever keep this promise, when all is said and done. We are all god-less until our moment of need.

There are combinations of junkies who should never get high together. My cousin Johnny and I happen to be such a pair. You see we’re extremely competitive types. Especially when it comes to competing with one another, it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. It started out innocently enough with skateboarding. Oh, you just ollied down a flight of 5 stairs, I’m going to do a flight of 10. Then it moved on to break dancing, then to girls, you got 5 girl’s numbers at the beach, I’m getting 15. Once drugs came into the mix, it got really ugly.

A few years back, John had rented this apartment on Seabrook beach, being the way we are with each other; I rented the apartment next door.   John was living with his girlfriend, and running a roofing business. I was living with some whore, who ended up fucking my landlord, or sucking whatever cock, that was in arms reach, every day when I left for work. No big deal.

We’d all moved in around the end of August, so it was nice in the beginning. We’d spend our evenings sipping wine on the coast, enjoying the Indian summer, and autumn months. The tourists had all left, so it was like we had our own private beach.  But soon the winter crept up on us.

Idle hands are the devil’s plaything, as the saying goes. Work had slowed down to a stand still for both of us, and the beach in the winter is a virtual ghost town. You only find junkies on the beach in the winter. The coast is unattended in the winter, and just like the garbage that washes up on the beach, junkies wash in by the droves. Hotels rent rooms by the week for 150 bucks. Beach houses that rent for a grand a week during the summer, you can rent for 600 bucks a month. They’ll rent to anybody with a pulse, just so they can turn a buck and have a body in there, so the pipes don’t freeze.

I tend to be a very opportunistic individual. If I can take advantage of a situation, I will. Everybody on the beach in the winter was hunting for drugs, somebody needed to supply them, why not me? I was friends with this Dominican cat in Haverhill. If you know anything about cocaine, you know the kind of coke Dominicans get, and this guy was the head Dominican in charge. The blow I was getting from him was as pure as the snow blowing in during a Nor’easter. All you had to do was touch it and it turned into oil. It was a crack-head’s dream. You cooked a gram and a gram came back, not one point less. The shit literally sizzled when you tossed it in water.

It took about two weeks for me to be supplying everyone on the beach. If they weren’t getting it from me directly they were getting it from someone who got it from me, and so on and so on. I had more cash than I knew what to do with.

I’d gotten rid of the whore that was living with me. She could suck dick like Michael Phelps can swim, but was way too much of headache. I’d already picked up a nasty heroin habit from hanging out with her. So I sent her on her way. Johnny had picked up a habit just as big, and his girlfriend had her fill, and she too vanished from our lives.

Now that Johnny didn’t have to hide how high we were getting, shit got real deep. “Oh, you’re going to smoke a whole gram of coke to your head? I’m smoking two and shooting a bundle of dope!” This went on for weeks. Then it was just what the fuck can we break down in water and pump into our veins. We were shooting up nearly as much coke as I was selling. But with the prices I was getting for this shit, it didn’t matter I still had cash to burn. I could sell this shit for three times the price I was paying. I’d get an ounce for a grand, bag out a half ounce make 2 grand off of that, and Johnny and I would do the other half. We were averaging about a 2 ounce a week coke habit a piece, on top of monster opiate habits. Methadone, heroin, fentanyl, Oxycontin, morphine, roxies, it didn’t matter what it was, we were doing whatever we could get our hands on.

I can remember nights we’d be smoking crack, and the smoke was so thick in the air you could see a space, knee high off the ground, that was clear.  The rest of the air was a thick solid cloud of smoke. You could actually see it hanging there in the air.  One of the things that comes along with selling and doing large amounts of drugs, is whores. You know the type of chicks that hang around all night getting high for free then when the crowd clears out, they pay up in ass. They’d come over in pairs and packs. Johnny and I lived next door to each other, so we’d just split them right down the middle. I’d take half of them to my house, and he’d keep the other half at his. We’d have girls over wacked out of their gourds, cleaning our houses in their panties, going down on each other, all kinds of shit. Moral fiber goes straight out the window, when female dope fiends start fiending for that next hit. I’d bought a camcorder and at one point had quite the impressive collection of amateur porn, I produced, directed, and starred in. This video camera was put to use for other things as well. Which brings us to the real story here… Egomaniacal delusions of grandeur go hand in hand, with serious drug abuse. Johnny and I decided we needed to document everything we did with this camera. Most often it was filming ourselves freestyle rapping about how coked out of our minds we were, on a microphone hooked up to a serious set of speakers, at maximum decibels. Looking back at this, I know why my landlord and neighbors always gave us dirty looks.

Another favorite activity we loved to film was us shooting up large amounts of cocaine, and filming the seizures that ensued from cocaine overdoses. Why on earth would we do this? It’s that competition thing I was talking about. “Oh, you just shot up a half a gram of uncut coke and seized out like a fish flopping around on the shore line for 20 seconds. I’m shooting up a gram and doing the cocaine shuffle for a minute straight!”  The camera was there to prove who fished out for the longest.

It was if we were racing to death’s embrace, first one to die wins. One night we decided we were going to shoot an entire ounce of cocaine up in 12 hours. If you’ve never shot up cocaine, let me enlighten you to the high. About 2 seconds after you inject it, you get this wave of static that starts at the base of your skull and then rushes up the back of your cranium straight into your eyeballs. It sounds like a freight train is rushing through your head, blowing its whistle the whole way. You literally hear the air horn and the rumble of the engine. BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Then if you don’t just drop to the floor and have a seizure you’re frozen in place for what feels like an eternity. It’s the most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced. But the high you get from cheating death, makes you want to do it immediately again. It’s like riding a rollercoaster, you’re shitting your pants the whole ride, but once you get off, you run right back to jump on again.

We’re about a half ounce in, when psychosis wraps us tightly in its tentacles. When you shoot up large amounts of cocaine, you tend to miss a ton. Every time you miss, you’re on the verge of tears. You want it in that bad. But you’re shaking so badly, and your veins are Swiss cheese anyways, you get to a point where it’s just impossible to hit yourself. We’d both reached this point, and our arms and legs, yes even our legs, were covered in abscesses, from missing.

Once I start inspecting these horrid lumps, and bruises covering my arms and legs, I see a tiny bug crawling into my skin, then another, and another. Fear wraps around me like a well knit blanket. I begin trying to snatch them off my skin and pull them out of me. They’re quick little fuckers and every time their heads poke out from under my skin, and I try to grab them, they disappear back into my body.

It doesn’t take long for Johnny to notice something’s wrong with me. “Yo, kid! What the fuck are you doing?”

“There’s fucking bugs all over me crawling in my skin, look!”

He rushes over to see what the hell I’m flipping out about. Johnny sees the bugs! It doesn’t take long for them to be crawling in and out of him either.

“We got to get these things out of us! Look at the lumps, they’re laying eggs in our veins! They’re going to travel up into our brains!” I start screaming.

I run into the bathroom and start dousing myself in hydrogen peroxide, I grab a pair of tweezers and start digging them deep into my skin trying to pull the insects from my skin, and bubble them out with the peroxide. Johnny is soon grabbing the bottle and doing the same.

“JESUS, WE NEED TO STOP THEM FROM TRAVELING TO OUR BRAINS! GO FIND US SOMETHING TO TIE OUR VEINS OFF AND BLOCK THEM!” I’m screaming at Johnny, as I dig the tweezers so deep in my arm I’m gushing blood, and pulling chunks of flesh out of my arm.

Johnny rushes out into the living room and grabs an armful of electrical cords, and clothing. We begin feverishly tearing the clothes to shreds and cutting the cords, I’m biting some of them in half with my teeth. We then begin tying the cords and clothing shreds around our arms and legs as tight as we can. The bugs are everywhere, scurrying on the walls and floors climbing all over us!


We burst out the front door screaming, diving on the ground rolling around trying to crush these parasites. It’s early in the morning and the sun is blinding. God only knows what the neighbors are thinking. It’s soon decided to save our lives we need to get to the hospital.

We jump in my car and peel off towards the hospital at 100mph. I’m all over the road swerving and careening down the road towards the highway. Clawing at my skin and praying to God these eggs don’t travel to my brain. Johnny is digging in his skin and smashing the dashboard trying to crush the ones who’ve leaped off of us.  How we made it to the hospital without crashing or running into a cop is beyond me. But we’re there. I make the turn into the hospital at about 40 mph. The car is sliding sideways and the sound of rubber screeching across asphalt is earth shattering.

We both leap from the car and run towards the emergency room entrance, screaming about brain bugs. The look of shock and horror on everybody in the waiting room and the triage nurse is indescribable. Two lunatics had just burst in, with electrical cords and rags tied around their arms, legs, and necks, screaming about brain bugs!

We’re quickly rushed into separate rooms away from the eyes of the other patients. A nurse comes in to talk to me and I’m screaming about how they need to help me now, these bugs have laid eggs in my veins and they are going to travel up into my brain if she unties any of the cords or rags. She looks at me and says…

“There are no bugs look, no bugs.”

I look down at my arms, she’s right, no bugs. Where the hell did they go? I’m shocked, they were there, I know they were there. Johnny saw them too. How are they gone?

The next question the nurse asked was what drugs I’d been doing? I told her cocaine, but what the hell did that have to do with my bugs? The bugs were real; how the hell did two people have the same hallucination? That baffled the entire hospital staff as well. No one had ever heard of two people sharing a hallucination down to a tee. I mean we were in separate examination rooms, the whole time, and gave the doctors and nurses the exact same story, down to what these bugs looked like. I suppose some people just share such a strong connection that they can project their thoughts into each other’s minds.

The doctor was disgusted with us, I think if it was up to him, he would have had us both locked up. We ended up being kept in the examining rooms for a couple hours until we came down enough to be released. Then they set us free, and told us to lay off shooting up coke. We both left more than embarrassed by the whole situation. We did have a good laugh about it the whole ride home.

Once we got back to Johnny’s we popped a handful of Xanax a piece, and decided we’d had our fill of shooting cocaine for a while. So we smoked the other half ounce of coke over the next day.  Like I said we were racing to death, and neither one of us one was going to let the other one die before him…

Published by peace is illegal

I am a writer of pornography, of politics and murder.

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