I am delighted to have the talented & lovely author Marni Mann as my guest host today. She has just released Scars from a Memoir, her second book, a sequel to the highly regarded Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction. Enjoy...
I was 16-years-old when I saw you, addiction, for the first time. I had heard your name whispered at school and around town, but we had never formally met. Your presence lingered in the air long before my eyes found you. Your strength startled me speechless, and my body shook with fear as we were introduced. Not your typical introduction, I would imagine, but nothing about you was typical. I was on the outside, you see, watching your side effects, how my best friend changed when she was with you, and when she fell for you. You showed her the darkness. You made her…addicted.
When I was in fifth grade, a cop came into our classroom. We were all wearing our black T-shirts with D.A.R.E across the front. We stared at the cop while he paced in front of the chalkboard, showing us poster-sized pictures of different kinds of drugs. When he got to heroin, he said it was like a terrorist. I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew it was something bad.
She drank eighteen beers, then stuck her finger down her throat so she would be sober enough to drive home. She said she had a chronic sinus infection to justify her constant sniffing and runny nose. The scabs on her arms were mosquito bites that had gotten infected. There were more excuses, but I stopped listening.
Five wax-paper packets with their stamped emblems—a skull and crossbones—were lined up on the table. I opened each one slowly and dumped the powder onto a spoon. I took the orange cap off the rig and filled the syringe. The head of the needle pricked my skin. When I pulled back on the plunger, my blood came through the chamber like a head of broccoli before mixing with the clear liquid.
You caused her expression to turn hunger-like. Your acceleration was faster than an eight-cylinder. Hands clenched from need, lips dampened, nostrils flared. I tried to stop you or, at the very least, slow you down. But you blew right through me. Once you took her over, she no longer saw me. She didn’t hear me. She didn’t feel the love of our friendship. She lied and stole; she fought with words. And fists. Then she overdosed.
The rush was like an orgasm. The dreams were like an acid trip. Bright colors swirled together and formed scenes like in action movies. I was jumping over rooftops and parasailing over the Atlantic. The warmth that spread over my body was like the sun beating down, inches above my skin. It was magic.
At sixteen, I didn’t understand the damage you could cause. The pain you would leave in your wake. I learned quickly, though, when I stared into her open casket. They airbrushed her face; a cheek I had kissed when a hug good-bye just wasn’t enough. They folded her hands across her chest; hands that had wiped my tears, patted my back, clung to my fingers when I needed someone to hold onto.
Heroin was my air. It had a hold of me like we were chained together and those shackles weren’t just around my wrists, they were tied around my brain too. My name is Nicole Brown, and my story is Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales and, it’s sequel, Scars from a Memoir.
Fifteen years have passed and I’ve lost more friends to addiction. Some have achieved sobriety and have stayed clean, others are using as much as they were when we were sixteen, and the rest have turned into memories. My skin prickles every time my phone rings past midnight. The feeling of loss is sharp and painful and it never gets any easier. Pain is what inspired my first two novels. And as for She, I miss you, my friend.
A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann, now a Floridian is inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of Sarasota. A writer of literary fiction, she taps a mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark, harrowing, and gritty journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children. Scars from a Memoir is her second book, a sequel to the highly regarded Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: A Story of Addiction, my review here.
Thank you so much for sharing, Marni. It's always a pleasure to have you, please come again : ))
Here's all of Marni's contact information and links to her gripping books:
Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memoirs-arent-fairytales-marni-mann/1108043373?ean=2940013856202&itm=1&usri=marni+mann
Scars from a Memoir
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scars-from-a-memoir-marni-mann/1112297819?ean=2940015027068