"Just drive", she said.

I've been driving since she said that, as straight a line as I can follow, forced by geography or development on occasion to curve left or right, but never full circle.

That was the last word she uttered, and it's been seven hours now. A despairing kind of darkness fills my vista. I've mastered the art of looking in the rear view mirror and only seeing the road behind, not seeing her. Selective afocus.

There's a point in every overdose, well every overdose after about your tenth one. The first ten, well, you go all Doogie Howser on them, I did anyway, buzzing around, looking for pulses, helping them to stumbling feet, walking them around bare apartments, crashing them into the little cheap furniture that they have.

You try to fill them with coffee, try to engage them in nonsensical conversations that somehow leave you laughing in the midst of this overwhelming terror, coz they say something just SO funny, so inappropriate, that all the tension of the moment floods out of the room in an instant and you're there, holding a sagging soft body, racked with laughter.

This keeps up for somewhere between six and sixteen overdoses. I guess for some people it never lets up. That's the nature of statistics though. To have an meaningful average, you need a diverse set of numbers.

For me it was about ten. And then, at your eleventh overdose, you start to think - "They'll either make it or not. All my slapping and talking and coffee-forcing probably doesn't do that much good really.".

So you sit back, you start making the coffee for yourself, you do the absolute minimum to keep them ticking over - roll a head back that's just lolled into choking position.

You find yourself telling other friends what a drag overdoses are. How annoying, how inconvenient they are. And you're no longer talking about it from the OD's POV. They're inconvenient to you. They're selfishly killing your high, your dearly bought moment of relaxation.

In short, they're wasting your money. And by now, ten overdoses or so later, you've come to see money as a prime mover in life. Those with families and incentives like children and love can all go fish. It's all just window dressing. Everything is really about the actions taken to secure more opiates.

You realise this is selfish, but you've accepted the Darwinian notion, you believe in the selfish gene, and you've taken it to a new level. Life is no longer about passing on your genes. All is about expressing everything this gene set can perform to access opiates.

A sharp corner, you hear the soft of body against door, and no respondent oof from her.

There's a moment in every overdose where it can either express its full potential, blossom into death, or whimper out into just another mewling puking worn off stone. You read once that every bomb is just potential, nothing more than an explosion in precursor. Every bomb wants only to happen, to explode.

Every overdose is a death trying to break through. You can fight that or you can roll with it, watching, sipping coffee from the other couch. Performing the actions requisite to maintain your rating as a basic human - if you see something physical that is causing them to die, and you can amend it, you do so. But no more than that.

The rest is an eternal drama being played out in your living room, in a McDonalds toilet, in the back seat of your beat up Camry. The scenery is not important. The becoming of potential is all there is. Times click through your head - 0-10 minutes - greatest risk of the OD after IV injection. 30-60 minutes. Greatest risk of OD after oral consumption. Three hours. Danger passed. If they're not dead then, they're not going to die, well, not of an OD.

Those handy little brackets of times tell me that the story in the back seat has finished. Like an unread book, there's a complete drama there if I cared to turn my head. But looking straight ahead there are possibilities still. I'm either a boyfriend driving a sleepy girlfriend to nowhere, or I'm a felon transporting a corpse in vehicular transportation. By virtue of my judicious use of the rear view mirror, I am both these potentials - lover and criminal, helper and abandoner.

The roads are stuttered with alcohol joints in this part of town. Cheap booze, the idiot's alternative to gear, is always and abundantly available. I thank myself that alcohol is not my chosen poison. What chance at abstinence would I have, given the great lengths I have gone to to procure even just traces of this poison? Even when droughts burned across the streets, I found myself driving out of town to a carpark that I abandoned a quarter weight in once when cops chased me. I found it, months later, milky and thick when water was added. But the active ingredient lived up to its adjective.

I had no memory of stashing that gear then until it was needed. Memory rose to the surface unbidden from a dream to remind me in my moment of need. A very selfish memory it is, storing every particulate of opiate related information. How Burroughs washed out the lint in his pockets when he was hanging to get gear from the filters stashed there. My friend Dave washing out all the bags he'd ever bought. How many hours it takes for a condom of gear to traverse the oral-anal pass during a flight from BKK.

Memory's my bitch.

i remember this girl, another girl , every girl, in the back seat of this car, another car, every car, contributing to my first ten overdoses. Halfway down a little hill in suburban Red Hill. Me, her and her boyfriend, Chris, had a shot. She dropped pretty quick. bf was woozy too, not a lot of use. I remembered there was a surgery up the road. I hammered the Datsun 120 up the hill and onto the footpath. carried her into the surgery and left here there with the bf. I was carrying the ounce just scored so I scooted off. Abandoner.

I guess. memory only holds the pertinent facts in this case. she dropped. you delivered. she lived.

The road's straightened out for a while now. There's been no sound from the back except for the squeak of vinyl under her body. I don't use the rear view any more. I'll keep driving until the sun comes up.