“It was during this period — early in April 1951 — that I started using the hard stuff.
I was in pain most of the time, and I wasn’t getting enough relief from marijuana.
A friend told me he had a heroin contact. One night, the contact came around to
the club we were playing — and he sold me two caps for $10.
That night, I went back to my hotel room and locked the door. I took a small
mirror from my purse and placed it on top of the dresser. I opened the
capsule and poured the heroin onto the mirror.
Using a razor blade, I chopped the gritty heroin into a fine powder; then, I
divided the powder into two tiny mounds and reached for a paper straw.
Placing the straw in my left nostril, I bent over one of the tiny mounds of heroin
on the mirror and inhaled deeply. Next, I switched the straw to my right nostril
and sniffed up the remaining heroin.
The first sensation was an immediate sharp burning in the nose and throat.
This passed quickly. Then, as the particles began to dissolve, I experienced for
the first time the incredibly bitter taste of heroin-induced saliva. Gradually,
the heroin particles were absorbed into the blood through the mucous
membranes in my nose and throat. In about 20 minutes, I felt the full effect
of the drug. At the time it seemed wonderful. I felt no pain — only an infinitely
greater relaxation that I’d ever gotten from marijuana.”