Invisible Warrior: A Memoir

By Michele J. Rolle

Biography & memoir, Personal growth

Paperback, eBook

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76
2 mins

 

Mule, an excerpt from Invisible Warrior: A Memoir

MICHELE J. ROLLE

My thin young fingers fumbled with the contents I held in my pocket. When I reached again in the pocket for reassurance of its safekeeping, and could not immediately find it I panicked! For a moment I thought I had lost it and I was relieved to discover it had slipped into the lining of this barely adequate winter coat I was wearing. The small waxed paper envelope, probably the size a little smaller than a stick of Doublemint gum, was neatly bound with a thin rubber band. Other people would come around, and David would casually place his hand in my coat pocket and skillfully retrieve single packages. They would be exchanged for money. He held the money, and the one time I glanced at this ritualistic transaction my eyes could not believe the size of the wad of money he unfolded and added to his spoil. It did not take long for me to realize what was happening and that this was not what I wanted to be a part of. I remember vividly when I began to realize that my being naive about life around me would one day perhaps cost me my life.

Now, I realize that I was a mule … courier, merely the carrier … bypassing normal channels of resistance. Wow! That’s me, “the path of least resistance.” I never profited from this drug life, and I never looked into the eyes of those who perished from this poison. I never felt the pain or heard the wailing mourn of the loved ones left behind. They were all just shadows in the bitterly cold winter nights. Fortunately, I disconnected from this life the night we were sitting on the park bench in the dead of winter. The street corner had been long ago abandoned by our friends and the junkies that hung around hoping their desperate pleading and incessant scratching would yield them a free hit to get through the night. You could hear the wind whistle a haunting melody as it passed through the bare trees and stirred up the dried leaves in a dance. We sat in silence; he seemed more agitated than usual. He removed his jacket and shoved his sweater above his elbow, then he unbuckled his belt on his jeans and with one forceful yank, he pulled it through the loops. With his right arm extended down along his side, he used his left hand to wrap and then pull the belt through the buckle on his belt."

He pulled the belt so tight that he groaned from the squeezing pain and he placed the remaining overlapping part of the belt between his teeth. And as he held what seemed to be a familiar position, with his left hand he reached into his left coat pocket and pulled out a syringe that was already prepared for the trip he was about to take. He used his fingers to slide off the cap, entered the needle in his eagerly awaiting vein. As he gently pulled the plunger back, he showed his teeth more broadly, smiling at his success in hitting the target, slowly injecting the heroin, savoring the promising clear liquid as it entered his bloodstream. The promise of an escape from the battles being fought within, if even for just a moment. He released the belt from his teeth, and as his head fell upon his chest in a slow bob, I remember saying aloud, “I cannot believe what you just did in front of me.” His response was what I needed to hear to break free. “You should be glad I didn’t ask you to hold the belt.” I realized then, that I was more than a mule; I was more than a shoulder or the path of least resistance.

As I sat speechlessly, I knew that this passage of my journey must take a different turn. I walked all the way home alone that night, feeling numb, not from the cold winter night but from the cold bitterness of life. What a waste I thought, so many of my friends were seduced and then raped of what life had to offer."



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