Florrie Fisher (1920- 1972)

Image: Florrie Fisher in a PSA, retrieved from Nation Master on April 2, 2013.

How do you explain that feeling? It’s nothing like getting tight on liquor. There’s no comparison. I don’t like liquor much, but I’d been high on it in college, and it’s different. Liquor has nothing that grabbed me enough to make me want to get that kind of high.
Grabs you. That’s what it does. You don’t slide into a high like you do on booze. Dope seizes you like the hand of a giant, lifting you higher, higher up to his mouth. But the giant doesn’t eat you. He kisses you and it feels wonderful.
After you shoot, there’s this rush. It lasts about four minutes. You are all pins and needles.
And then, boing, a skyrocket explodes. A lobster couldn’t be that hot. It levels off and you feel good. The giant’s just kissed you and you feel as though the insides have been kicked out of all your problems and everybody else’s. You have a tremendous feeling of climbing up, out of the hold you’ve been in. You’re nodding, out of it. Zonked.
That lasts about four hours. Then the euphoria wears off and you’re normal. You’re fine. But after another two or four hours you begin to feel sick.
The gentle giant isn’t kissing you any longer. He’s about to attack you.
It starts with yawning. You keep yawning and your eyes begin to tear. Your nose starts dripping. The you feel sweaty, an odd kind of sweat, not the kind you get if you’ve been exercising or working hard. It’s a damp, clammy feeling. You start itching all over.
Your head starts thumping, thumping, thumping like you’re inside a bass drum when it’s struck. If you don’t take a fix soon, you’re vomiting. You throw up and throw up, and when there’s nothing left, your guts are still convulsing with the dry heaves.
The giant is squeezing the last drop out of you.
It’s nothing like the way you feel when you’re coming down with the flu. You can always tell when it’s dope sickness.
I never waited for the yawns to start. I’d think, “I’d better take a shot, I was so sick the last time.”And before Id have a chance to stay normal, I’d be zonked again.
Most junkies come off the nod, they come to, and that’s their normal. But they won’t accept that. They think that as soon as they come off the nod, they’ve got to get high again.
That’s why it costs so much, feeding that giant, keeping that big bastard happy and mellow. Most of us got three times the amount we really need physically. You’d think you’d more and more all the time.
Maybe one bag got it for you this month. Well, next month you’re going to need two bags. You start with half a three-dollar bag. Then you got to two five-dollar bags for a shot. Then you start buying a twenty-dollar bag, quarter-ounce. You go up and up.

- pp. 119- 121, Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on The Drug Experience by Cynthia Palmer and Michael Horowitz (2000)

Florrie Fisher