Thursday, August 6, 2015

When All the Tears Are On The Inside

I hear the cat pacing on the hardwood floor in the next room. He walks slowly, deliberately over to my bed as he leaps near my toes. As I glance at him, I see the piles of dirty clothes that have accumulated around the door way. I see the layers of dust mingled with ancient cobwebs along the crown molding. I see the objects of my previous life: some faded pictures of me smiling, a crumpled ticket from a baseball game, an empty box of perfume I thought I would save for my treasures, and a plastic heart that one held flowers.

The waves of depression roll over me. They cover my body like the tide, they are synced to the many cycles of my moons. The depression goes and and out of my lungs. It feels like my breathing. It is as shallow as my desires. I haven't washed these blankets in six months? Eight months? I change the sheets to pretend that I am not dirty. I carefully select the outfits with the least stains. No one sees me. No one knows me. I spend my life in this room. All I can hear is the clicking of the keys on my computer as I stare at the screen with my pirate eye. All I can hear is the ringing in my ears. The ocean rolls over me again.

Ever since I was a child, I have had a dream. In the dream, I am lying somewhere. I can't tell where I am. The things I see in my peripheral  vision are obscured by darkness. I am surrounded on all sides by an all encompassing darkness. I see a light above me. Then, slowly, I see the faces. I see the faces of people. They are concerned faces. They are all looking down at me. One by one, they file past me, a few feet above where the darkness ends. One by one, they release the hand fulls of soil. They drop in the soil until I can no longer see and the light goes dim. I remember that one face. That look of concern. I hear a sound, like a marching. I hear the sound of marching in my ears.

I wake up, I am in my bed. The bed were I slept when I was a child. There is purple comforter with lace trim my mother placed with a sewing machine. My bed is broken in my middle from me jumping on it. I broke the frame with my youthful exuberance. I am in my Snoopy nightgown, cuddling my stuffed Panda. I suppose I am too old for stuffed animals. I sleep with my tube socks pulled to the top. The kind with the three red lines. It never gets hot or cold in my room. The windows are sealed in double pane perfection to keep out the sound of the angry Cicadas and the frost that warps the sticker on my window "IN CASE OF FIRE CHILD INSIDE". They gave it to us at the school assembly with the firefighters. I see the pile of Highlights magazines in the corner. I see the flashlight that I used to read my books when I was supposed to be asleep.

All of that is gone now. All of that is history. I move the posters aside to hide my weed. I stick my syringes deep under the music box with the ballerina that doesn't turn anymore.

Some people will ask what happened to me. WHAT happened to your little girl Bob? What happened to the youngest, the one in glasses Kathy? What happened to the girl we knew who wandered off at picnics to play with tadpoles at the creek? They will say I went to college. Or on a trip somewhere. Or moved. I am doing fine, they will say. What else would they tell them. My child is a heroin addict? No. Then it might be true. They can't even say the words HEROIN.

As I pull the tourniquet off my arm, I fall back against my crusty bed. I can hear the sound of the ocean in my ears again. I reach over and draw up the water into my syringe and squirt it in my mouth. There might be one more drop in there. I can't waste it. I cap the rig and throw it into the pile. The waves of depression will start again soon. I close my eyes to wait to see if I this is the one that finally kills me. I will wake up disappointed, yet again.

People ask me where I live now. I live down the hill from here. This is a picture taken at the top of my street. The blue in the horizon is the ocean. The water is cold and the days are generally foggy. I love it here. 


  1. Hey there, I really enjoyed reading some of your new and previous stories about addiction. I feel for the addicts in San Fran. you guys had it tough, I really appreciate your judgment of addicts, it seems like a lot of ex addicts or even society itself views them as "not worthy of living". I am also proud that you are selling cds for harm reduction purposes that truly is good work. Hope your life continues to fulfilling see ya around.