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Lily white

Unremitting By Doug Livingston


ooking back at the photographs of her youth, Sara Martin recalls always having a broom in her hand. Her little fingers fervently strummed the bristles, anticipating the coarse twang of a bronze guitar string. She got her first acoustic, a mere toy she remembers, when she was 7 years old. “It’s just something I’ve always been good at. The first time I picked up a guitar, I figured out how to play a few chords, and I was just infatuated with it,” she said. She’s owned a dozen guitars in her life yet none remain. Martin wrote bad checks to purchase them from independent music shops. She sold them to anyone she could, pawn shops if she had to. She needed the money to buy wax paper dime bags filled with heroin. “The more I got high, the less involved in music I became,” she said. Heroin use started around 15 years old. It came as natural as playing guitar; it’s something she will always be good at. Martin, 24, has been addicted to heroin since 2004. The drug is part of her now. “Me being high is normalcy,” she said. “I had to do it just to get through my day. It wasn’t really about being sick either. To talk to people, I had to do heroin. To go to work, I had to do heroin. To have sex, to eat, to take a shower, to brush my teeth, to go to bed, I had to do it. That was the only way that I knew that was normal.” Normal … A brunette, a brown-eyed girl, a high school cheerleader, a daughter, a sister, a heroin addict … normal. 4

Fall 2010