by Robert Crisman

     Popular wisdom would have it that heroin addicts are some kind of cross between vampire menace and low-rent cartoon. Quiet as it's kept, though, they're people--with hopes, dreams, and fears, just like you. With addicts, however, the fear takes them over, leeching the hopes and the dreams til they're dust.
     Addicts are slaves to the popular wisdom. They want to hide and can't stand the light, so they head for the shadows. They cut themselves off from the world. Cut off and alone, they are totally creatures of need. They are hungry with bottomless hunger. Nothing can rightfully be said to be their so they steal. And just as they sell what they've stolen for nickels, they sell themselves equally cheaply. They steal, they turn tricks, and get packed off to jail, over and over and over and over... And then, down the line, much sooner than later, they die.