I appreciate the warmth

I was laying bed last night reflecting on the past few days. I decided I would focus on how different my life is from when I was using drugs. My son is sitting here cuddling with me. He likes to get up in the morning and put his little hands against my face. He has on his Christmas pajamas, the kind with the feet. They are brown with smiling animals like foxes, deer, raccoons, and beaver. I am not sure what these cute, but generally nuisance type animals have to do with Christmas but my son loves them. Some happiness is appreciating things the way they are in the moment. I have been typing this same paragraph for ten minutes because I am holding my son with one arm. He still has his hand on my face.

It has been cold in my house so I have been sleeping with my hoodie on at night. Have you ever slept outside? Have you ever slept in an alley, a car, or a park? Even if you are high or drunk, it pretty much sucks to sleep outdoors. If it is cold, you wake up and your hands are like swollen rocks. The concrete sucks the heat out of you. Your eyes sometimes start to swell shut from the elements. Your face looks puffy within a few days. If it is hot outside, your mouth gets so incredibly dry. You can look ten years older in ten days from constant exposure to the sun. In rainy season, the homeless fight over dry areas to sleep at night. storefronts turn into encampments that must be dismantled at dawn. There are mice, lice, rapists, and thieves to contend with on a daily basis. Most shelters are scary and require residents to be in at 7pm and out at the crack of dawn. If you are young, you are a target therefore most avoid the shelter system.

I have been bitching about my life. Not out loud, mostly to myself. This thanksgiving, I did not sell my box from the food pantry for $10. I suspect I won't sell my shoes that I got from the outreach place for dope. I am not getting kicked out of a parking garage in the rain. I am not lancing my abscesses on a street corner only to have some steal my saline and my gauze from behind my head while I am asleep in an alley. Who does that anyway? If you are reading this gauze thief- that was some low bottom addict stuff right there.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that I have come a long way from my using days. I know it is easy to point the finger at me and say "I will never be like that." However, you may not ever fully experience that same joy I have knowing I am NOT in the place anymore. My son just crawled off my lap to get his blanket. He likes to cuddle with me for hours and I need to appreciate the warmth while I have it.


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