A Story by Corrupthoughts

An account of the last hour of Layne Staley's (Alice in Chains) life.

   I can not control my bowels. I cough, hack up black mucus, and s**t my pants in the process. I vomit my stomach lining at least twice a day and s**t my pants then, as well. Everything hurts, my liver no longer functions and I've lost half my teeth. Standing in my bathroom, looking at an un-cleaned mirror I am reminded of all of this by my starkly pale face. My 86 pound body, even though I stand 6 foot 1.

   I smile mockingly at myself; my gums are black. Disgusted and tired, I walk back out to my living room. I trip over an empty spray paint can that rattles when I send it skidding across the wooden floor, I fall to my hands and knees and can feel the strain against my wrists. My core cries out and I shudder, turning myself into a ball on my living room floor amongst the cans I had left untouched. Crunched in the fetal position I cry softly. It is the first time in a long time I allowed myself to do this; the convulsion of tears generally creating too much pain to bare. Still, I weep smoothly. I do not know how long I lie in that position, I only know it was long enough for the feeling to come back. Not the yearning, it is past that. Not the desire, for that has turned to despise. The sickness. The cruel, unforgiving, haunting feeling of every part of your being crying for what you know is killing it. The stinging, aching pain that starts from your soul and works its way into your heart, holding on like a vice.

   I can feel the sweat beads forming, the shaking and twisting of my limbs. Oh god, it has only been half a day... half a day and I need it more then ever. I get out of my position slowly and crawl onto the couch. The T.V is already on but I could not tell you what was flickering along its screen. My eyes hit the two crack pipes first, black ends and ghostly interior. I look away. Needles, needles everywhere and my shaking fingers manage to clasp the closest one. I open my cigar box that has long since been devoid of cigars and skim through its contents. A bag of cocaine. I consider snorting it before I shoot up. No. That would hardly do. Hardly suffice. I put the bag back down with the needle and continue to weep.

   I am so alone. So very lonely. But I dug my own grave. Mike calls me three times a week, I ignore him. Jerry has tried to visit, has even successfully gotten into the building but I pretended not to hear his knocks. Sometimes I really didn't. My mother.... I try not to think about her. She does not deserve to see her child like this. Does not need to know how close I am. For a moment I think back to the last photo I've allowed to be taken of me. A year ago, I was holing my new born nephew, Oscar. I didn't look good then either, but she was done with warnings. I remember the concern that filled her eyes when she looked at my sister as I struggled to stand, and suddenly I am flushed with guilt. This isn't how I wanted it.

   Like the flicking of a switch, I am done with mourning. Like the virus that buries its roots in my brain, I suddenly only care for one thing. I gag as I prepare the spoon and have to run into the washroom, hardly making it to the toilet and splashing half my vomit against the tiled floor. Still stained from the last time... last few times. I change my pants in confusion to myself, normally I would sit in it for a full day. What did it matter anymore, anyway?

   Back in the living room I use an old toothpick to swirl the heroin and cocaine mixture. A speedball. I struggle against all odds to keep the spoon steady. God forbid I spilt it, and have to start over. Yet I succeed and get it into the needle within three jerky attempts. I sit back with the syringe resting between my index and middle finger, like a cigarette. For the first time that day my eyes flicker to the T.V that has been on for a week. Should I blame my father? I think to myself, watching a commercial of a young boy and his pops playing ball. It was for arthritis medication, I believe.

   "Just try smack!" I yell at the T.V. I try to laugh at myself and end up hacking violently, spitting it out against my floor it lands with an echoed splat and I care not to even look at the color of this one.

   I'm done. I have decided it. For perhaps the thousandth time, I promise this will be my last hit. I drop my foot onto the coffee table with a struggle and spread my toes apart. The veins in my arms were no good any longer. Even the ones in my c**k were used up now. Pulling my hands through my blonde hair, bringing out oily strands, I prepare myself for what used to be the best feeling in the world, yet has become a cruel necessity. I line the needle up to the tiny line of blue, and release the plunger.

   Relief. Pure relief.

   It hits hard and at first I allow my body to sink into the couch, about to nod off. Then, just as quick, I feel my heart thump like someone was inside of me knocking to get out. Banging to be free of the torment. I try to bring my hand up to clutch at my shirt, but I can not move. My breath, it catches in my lungs and I feel the bile of my decaying stomach climbing my throat. I gag, heave, convulse then relax. Suddenly, I know I am dying. The pain goes away, all of it. My peripheral vision is fading fast, just a white blur now. I can see Mike, Jerry and Sean. My mother... my sister. They do not laugh at me, do not shake their heads like I would have expected. They smile. Smile and tell me it is alright, it was not my fault.

   I try to speak to them, to reach out and hug them. And it is then I realize I am not breathing at all. I close my eyes... it feels so nice.

   "Twenty hours wont print my picture milk-carton sized" I hear it. Hear my voice singing it and only now realize the irony.

© 2011 Corrupthoughts

Author's Note

This is a semi-true story. Written in the voice of Layne Staley (former lead singer for Alice in Chains) who died of a speedball overdose April 5th 2002 (approx. and the same day as Kurt Cobain). He was not found until two weeks later and was so badly decomposed could not be recognized.

"Dirt" is a single by them written about heroin addiction and is also a street term for the drug. Also, the last line "Twenty hours wont print my picture milk-carton sized" is from their song "Sludge Factory". I find it slightly ironic.

Jerry, Mike and Sean are the other members of Alice in Chains, who released their first album since Layne's death earlier this year with a brand new lead singer.

Layne had separated himself from the band and his family years before his death. In Layne's last interview, a few months before his death, he explains how he no longer has control of his bowels and how often he is sick. He was found weighing 86 pounds.

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You take a true story that you may not know all the facts of, and fill it in so smoothly. You create the most believable experiences and such a brutally vivid image. Good god. You're writing has amazed me.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on May 31, 2011
Last Updated on June 3, 2011
Tags: heroin, addiction, non-fiction, pain, death



Toronto, Canada

I apparently joined this site four years ago and manged to wander away. I would like to try and reintegrate myself into this community. I am now 27 years old and I am living and teaching in China .. more..