I credit my former roommate/life coach Scottie the Genius with introducing me to the idea of heroin as a bucket list item. I don’t recall why this came up in conversation. I do remember he brainstormed this scenario with the “why not” bravado that grips him when he believes in something others (read: me) find ridiculous.
Most people center bucket lists – or things they hope to do before they die – around things they hope to see, do, or experience. Doing heroin before one’s death is an experience, sure, but not one I want to have. I told Scott this as we were drinking on the patio of a neighborhood bar.
“Why?” Scott asked in a startled fashion reminiscent of the way most people would react if I told them I wanted to try heroin. I could tell he was going to prosecute my anti-heroin stance to the fullest. He has not tried heroin, he told me, but is open to the possibility if he knew he did not have long to live.
I answered his question the best way I knew how.
“Because it’s heroin,” I responded.
“You’ve taken morphine,” he noted, likening it to synthetic heroin.
That was true. I took morphine while in the hospital for mono last February. Take enough morphine and you feel like you have crawled back into your mother’s womb. It is miraculous. It is also dangerous for precisely that reason. It feels so good that becoming addicted to it does not seem like a troubling proposition. (I haven’t taken morphine since my hospital visit.)
I imagine heroin works the same way. Albeit I imagine it coming with track marks, blackened teeth, and terrible skin splotches, none of which are appealing. (Granted, these negative side effects would not happen after the initial use, I don’t think.)
Why spend one of your final days drooling on yourself with a needle in your arm in a seedy location, I asked Scott. He took the opposite intellectual approach. The prospect of death for him, theoretically, would be freeing enough that he would be willing to try something he would otherwise not. I had never thought of it that way. Maybe that’s why my dad, upon meeting Scott, labeled him a genius.
Still, you won’t find heroin on my bucket list. I would first have to compile a bucket list.
So, what’s on your bucket list? What’s the shadiest thing on your bucket list? The thing you would otherwise not do unless you knew you were a goner?