Heroin Be the Death of Me

South Beach nightlife sophisticates know they can handle it. A little puff now and then won't kill you. No big deal.

Drug use, an inseparable part of the club scene, is also not uncommon in the modeling business. "I had the idea that some of them used cocaine to stay thin. It was almost an occupational hazard," says Gary Khurtorsky, an ex-boyfriend who identified Anna's body for the medical examiner.

Anna's death obviously had little effect on David, despite their friendship. He began using cocaine to the point of physical damage, and then turned back to heroin to ease the pain. "Want to see something scary?" he asks as he sprawls out on the floor of his bedroom. "Listen." He wiggles his nose from side to side with his fingers. The bone and cartilage crackle as they rub together. It's early morning. Since his unsuccessful nightclub foray to collect money, he has compulsively been cutting lines of cocaine. When the pain in his nose becomes too great, he takes a tiny puff of heroin.

"You're probably looking at me thinking, 'Why are you doing all this to come down, just to come back up again?' What if I told you it was two different things," he says in a effort to justify his behavior. Then he gives up. "It's no excuse at all. It's really stupid. Do you realize I literally snorted an eight ball [one-eighth an ounce] one hour before? See, I am consciously, purposely letting you see what it's really like." He sniffles loudly, the air reverberating inside his scarred nose like a vacuum cleaner. "This sucks, man. This really sucks."

After this long last night of heavy drug use, David remains remarkably lucid, though his thoughts are scattered. He turns back to the subject of his rehab experience this past December. He most difficult part, he says, was returning to Miami Beach. He was greeted with knowing smiles and insincere comments: "It was like, 'Oh David, I'm so proud of you. You look great. I was so worried about you. I love you.' And a minute later, when they thought I wasn't listening: 'So fucking stupid. Fucking heroin addict. God, the kid's so fucked up. Just comes out of rehab and he's on the shit a day later.' And I wasn't. I was just so tired."

So tired, and in so much pain, and heroin is calling.
At ten o'clock in the morning he tries to sell some of his antique furniture. Sensing desperation, the potential buyer suggests a paltry $300. Furious, David turns him down.

He is determined to find a way to leave Miami.
Only one more day of maintaining, then he'll quit forever.
But four more days will pass before he finally escapes to Europe. Far from the nightlife crowds. Out of range of his dealer's beeper. Somewhere, he hopes, beyond the call of heroin.

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