Can We Stop Growing This List?

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I’m so terribly sad now.  Heroin is a nasty drug and its a nasty addiction.  I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to have never tried it.

   I cannot stop crying.  Every time I blink I see his face.  The face of the boy I knew.  His green eyes always twinkling at me from above his chunky cheeks.  We were so innocent together.  He was always happy.  He was the happiest of all of us.  When his parents divorced he was very sad.  He didn’t leave his room.  We were all so young back then.  Little tiny people the adults thought didn’t know what was going on.  But we knew. We knew when his dad died a couple of years later, he died for the same reason his parents divorced.  That reason made his liver sick over time until one day he stopped waking up.  Green eyes promised he wouldn’t be like his dad.

They took his eyes

  When Green Eyes’ dad passed his eyes were almost immediately requested.  Green Eyes was happy about this.  He had his dad’s eyes and loved the idea of someone else having them too.  The rest of us thought it was creepy and talked a lot about it behind his back.  He was happy after that and we were all okay; we could be kids again.  And we were.  And I still remember the way he smelled.  And it breaks my heart.  I’m so fucking sad.

   Dad shot dope since before I was born.  He left after I was born but mom never let us forget him.  She made us aware of him because she was so afraid of him.  All of our schools had his name on file. Police were to be called if he came by.  She told us of the many times he beat her and the arrests and the way the cops knew her name.  We heard of how I was created during rape; how he beat her when I wasn’t the boy the sonograms promised and how he stuck a screwdriver in his neck then tried to bleed out on her back porch while her two babies slept in their cribs upstairs.  She tried to make me afraid of him but he was never a real person to me.  What she did succeed in doing, however, was ensuring I would stay as far away from heroin as possible.  And alcohol; he was also an alcoholic. I guess he volleyed between the two, did it all at the same time– I have no idea.  I was always so afraid that I would be like him.  I am a naturally sad person.  It’s just the way I am.  I’ve always feared drugs and too much alcohol would make me like him because mom always said he was sad.

I’m on the second hand

  Thanks to online social networking, I now know when people I would have forgotten existed die.  This is sad.  I would rather forget they existed than to reconnect and watch them fade out as their spiral swallows them in.  What can I do from here?  I am thousands of miles from these people.  It’s been over a decade and a half since I’ve seen any of them.

   Lucky was an ex that hung himself in a motel room off of what is basically the drug strip of town.  We broke up before my sister’s wedding.  I was 16 or 17, he was 22 or 23.  A few years later I heard he was in rehab for crack addiction.  He had a daughter that stayed with his mom– there’s a whole story there but not meant for now.  When he was released I reached out to him.  I had met Kasper only a few days or weeks before.  I wanted Lucky to know that he had one friend out here that was clean and here to support him.  No one answered the door (this was also right before everyone had cell phones); so I left a note on his front door with my number telling him I was cool to hang out and talk if he was interested.  Then I congratulated him on his daughter.

   A week or two later I found myself standing next to his casket looking down at his hands folded over his chest with a silver ring sitting on top with the word “Daddy” engraved in it. I kept thinking how unkind it was to leave his fingernails so black and dirty not knowing that’s what happens to the body when it’s been deprived of oxygen. They found him alone, hanging in that motel off that strip.

   J.C loved music so much he took off his shirt and moved to California on his thumb.  His jeans were torn and faded. His hair grew long and twisted but his love for beats on the streets kept him moving.  He loved his son thousands of miles away but he loved his needles too.  He’d send me messages late in the night with links to his favorite videos and songs.  Sometimes he sent videos of just him without his shirt and he’d play his guitar.  He went home to see his son and then he said he had to go back.  I had this urge to tell him to stay with his son another week but I didn’t because it would have been weird.  They found him in his apartment. Alone.  With a needle beside him. I was sad for so long.  It was a quiet sad.  I didn’t cry but it was there. This complete sadness that grays everything.

  I hear of them over Facebook, the ones I knew but don’t know enough anymore to feel right about doing anything more than remembering them in my way and then there are people like Green Eyes.  People who are a part of me.

   The finality is so heavy.  It’s silencing, it’s piercing; it’s presence is never-ending and so definite.  He was there for so many firsts; I was there for so many of his.  We were friends, we kissed, we held hands, we played basketball and we made out.  We climbed rocks and hiked, we smoked pot and I listened as he told me he lost his virginity.  He held my hand when I told him Krank Ficken was molesting and raping me and he never stopped being my friend.

  Where do we go?  Why do we disappear?  I am so sad.  I think of the night I convinced him to sneak out with me.  He climbed through his window and we all (5 of us?) sat in the dark, shivering in the autumn night, blending our breaths with the smoke from our joints.  We ran and we yelled and experienced  unforgettable, unrestricted fun before rushing into our friend’s house and laying on her bedroom floor, all of us together and talking.  What did we talk about?  Probably nothing but that group, all of us…together in the light from the lamp without a shade and now…we are lost.  He is now gone.  And I cry selfishly because my list is growing and his has ended.  Why would he do this?

  I think of how alone I know he felt.  He died alone.  My friend with the chunky cheeks and the chipmunk laugh…he died a lonely man. It makes me cry for him. I’ve reached out to our friend, Cricket.  The one that made us a trio.  He came in long after Green Eyes and I had a childhood past together.  He was the “early teen years” edition of us.  We don’t talk and I don’t know why but we were very close.  The kind of friends you know would have eventually turned into something serious if we hadn’t been forced apart.  If anything maybe we could reconnect and reminisce and find closure to a small part of this.  I am tired of losing pieces of history to this.  So many lives are being destroyed.  Whether it’s an accidental overdose, suicide by overdose or choosing to kill yourself before your addiction does, something needs to be done.  I am only 32, I personally have lost 6 people in some connection to addiction and drugs.

Do you know what’s ironic?  I pulled out my old binder full of poems from high school and I was going to see if I could reinvent one or some.  They are all about death, sadness and loss.  I took a break, checked facebook and I saw:

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Death, sadness, loss…he will always be in my thoughts, always in my heart. I will always remember him as the boy with the chubby cheeks, the bright green eyes and the chipmunk laugh.  I will remember him as I always have.

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