The “High-Rizes”

1995-  Apt. #1106 of Landsdown High Rises in East St. Louis. You see the very top floor of this building? That was my floor’s balcony. It was pretty nice for a studio. I needed something to call my own and  I was happy to call this as such. I was grown and I was doing me for a change.

On my job, I’d met a guy that I’d fallen in lust with- Eric. He was always calm…very, and I never knew why. When we were just friends, we would go to the empty floors and talk. Our talking led to freaking. Freaking led to him letting me in on what kept him copacetic: Marijuana a.k.a. “Mary Jane” a.k.a.”The Chronic”. Scared, I never smoked it but when he uttered the words, “You’re my shorty,” he had me smoking like a car that failed the Emissions Test! LOL It made me goofier and I had no choice but to relax! It was alright tho’ because I knew he would let no harm come to me so I did whatever he wanted.

Friday night- Eric and his friend Royce came over to eat tacos. I was in the middle of chopping everything up at the same time as I was browning the meat. I looked over at them with these extremely happy looks on their faces. Why? Because “Mary Jane” showed up, too. I glanced at them from time to time and before I knew it, they rolled the weed all up. Royce hit the blunt and then Eric. Eric comes to me while I’m stirring the meat and says, “Here. Hit this.” I did with no hesitation. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. My lips went completely numb. I told him and he laughed and said, “You’re O.K. Here…hit it again.” Why the hell did I do that?

Numb! My entire body went numb! I was in the middle of cooking and couldn’t tell that I was stirring the meat. My hands seemed separated from my body when I looked at them. I finally told him that something was really wrong but he just looked at me. That numb sensation: I would name it “Death’s Blanket” because it covered me with fear, torment, hallucinations, and paranoia except I wasn’t at liberty to control its use.

The series of events that took place next were pretty lengthy so I’ll shorten them. Ready?    Assuming I went through the wall, I ran to the bathroom in lightning speed to see if I could still see myself alive and to douse myself with water. Offered food, I couldn’t eat because I was afraid to swallow and die from choking. The knife I used to cut the vegetables, I used to cut myself to see if I’d feel it but I only bled. I never knew the last verse of Bone Thugs N Harmony’s song, “Cross Roads” because it was so fast, but that day…I heard it word for word. I looked at the sky and literally saw it open with things shooting across it then turned around and saw myself lying on the floor in fetal position. I saw shadowy dark images in and out my lapses. I believed I was dying so I called my mom and told her that I was, and was sorry for not being a good daughter, that I failed and loved her, then hung up. I stripped naked, ran into the hall, and screamed to the top of my lungs. I looked at Eric, lunged at him and said, “You killed me so now I am going to kill you!”

I needed help and the person I knew would let no harm come to me allowed harm. He laughed at me…hysterically. That’s all he did!

Unable to think clearly, the clearest thought surfaced: “I could just jump! I know that will knock the feeling back!”I started running towards the  balcony that I described at the opening of my story. For some reason, I was extremely strong…so strong that I pulled, 200 something pounds, Eric clean out of my house and climbed over the ledge. I stood there…crying, praying, and trying to contemplate where to jump for the safest landing. When I tried to let go, I couldn’t do it! I can’t remember why. I don’t know what kept me because Eric couldn’t even hold me. How I got down, I can’t tell you but I made it to my bed somehow with Eric lying on one side and Royce on the other. I allowed them to do what they  wished but can’t remember them doing much because I had no control. My high had gotten worse and worse. I recall begging him not to let me fall asleep because I knew I would enter eternal rest from the torment. From that, I started wishing to die.

Saturday came and went. I remember nothing because I slept right through it.

Sunday. I awake to Royce being M.I.A. and Eric trying to sneak out. The horrific sensation was still on me. I figured I was on my last stages of life because my speech was slurred. I asked him to help me get dressed and get to my mom’s but he was against it. Maybe he figured I was dying, too. He helped me but walked me to the bus stop…and left me there…to die…all by myself. I never saw him again. The bus finally pulled up and  I tried to board but couldn’t. It was as if I’d never walked before. The driver, confused, asked if I needed help but I said no, knowing I needed to make it to the hospital. As soon as I got on, I sat directly behind her, holding her shoulders around the glass. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to mind and nobody boarded the bus the entire route, so the only witness to my paranoia was the driver. Upon making it to the bus station, I needed to switch, and till this day, I still can’t tell you how I made it on to another AND magically wind up at my mom’s in Brooklyn.

I walked to the front for my fam to ask me what was I doing because I’d been walking around the house for some time like I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t, but I played it off, forcing myself to try and remain calm with the “Death Blanket” covering me relentlessly. I made small talk but my mom interrupted asking about my strange phone call. I thought I told her that I was dying, I was a bad daughter, and I loved her but she heard nothing but quiet mumbling and then silence. She said she tried to call back but I didn’t answer. Avoiding dealing with her questions, I asked for a cup of coffee. She heated the water in the microwave and fixed it up the way that I liked it. When she gave it to me, I drank it straight…scalding freaking hot! They looked at me and started crying, shaking me, asking what was wrong. I started screaming and crying telling them that I was high and dying, pleading with them not to let me fall asleep. They took me to the hospital but I went blank.

I was released to my mom and slept the rest of the day. When I woke Monday, she told me the hospital tests showed that I had marijuana and embalming fluid in my system. PCP was the actual drug found. I had no clue what I had gotten myself into nor how close to death I had become. I couldn’t understand why I suffered the effects that I had and my boyfriend and his friend were alright. They had to have been doing this all the time and grew a tolerance or something. I know that what I felt, I wished on no one. I can’t fathom why people even take drugs and enjoy it or “need” them. I just can’t.

What I can’t understand even more is the fact that the one person I counted on, the one I gave my all to, left me to die. Why would he do that? He built me up in no way. I got nothing from this man. I gave him permission to kill me way before I was ever high as I did things that young ladies shouldn’t do. I barely knew him to be calling him my man, nor did I ask for a commitment… something you need if you want to go further in any relationship. I didn’t know the Lord back then so I didn’t think to pray about being with him nor what it would cost to be with him. I wasted my time and then almost lost everything else.

So… ladies and gentlemen, when I look back over these events, it just strengthens my decision’s foundation to wait on the Lord for my man. Look at how this one treated me. Count the costs of being engulfed with someone you call your significant other. Seek the Lord on them and make sure you wait because giving your all to a man or woman ultimately, who you ain’t supposed to be with anyway, can suck all the sexual, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual life out of you. Mines was gone within seconds, but God granted me a second chance. I thank Him because many people don’t make it alive out of a high or at least come out the same. Learn from my mistakes. I’ve already made this one for you so don’t repeat! LOL  I pray the peace and love of Jesus over all of you.

Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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