Live No More Read Count : 5

Category : Books-Non-Fiction

Sub Category : Biography

(From Memoir)


November 2009



    Refresh

    I click the circular arrow after waiting ten seconds from when I finished typing a Facebook message I had been working on for an hour and hit ‘Send.’ It took an hour to type this message of not even a hundred words. A sappy rant sent to my friend, Evers, staying how much of a piece of shit I am, how drugs had turned me into a monster, how sorry I am for what happened. 

     Refresh

     He hasn’t talked spoken to me since that fateful day. Many people haven’t. But Evers and I had been drumming friends. Brothers, practically. We both played drums and would switch off jamming with other musician friends in the house's garage while I was staying at the Zoo. I figure if anyone were to speak to me, even if it were to yell, it would be him. But he still hasn’t opened it. 

     Refresh

     Nothing. 

     I click Refresh again for the thousandth time, waiting for a response I’ll never get from a friend I’ll never see again. Another bridge engulfed in flames from yet another fire set by my past actions. 

     I bring the screen down and let out a deep sigh as the laptop clicks shut. Instead of placing it on the floor, I leave it laying on top of me. It acts as a heating pad and feels good on my stomach as I lie on my mom's couch. 

       A sitcom plays on the TV that I have no interest for, but I watch it with hope of it clearing my head. It's one of the many ripoffs of the 50’s show "The Honeymooners." Except, instead of a live studio audience, it uses the lazy laugh track that ultimately killed American sitcoms. I turn it off. 

       Even if I had liked those shows, I still can't watch them. Their loving couples arguing over small and stupid things reminds me of being with her. Fighting over the dumbest things was what Brianna and I did everyday; always in a friendly way, though. 



       I became a child that day.

       A vulnerable boy and a hopeless friend.

       It’s as if your imaginary best friend, who came into this world solely for you, has forever left you.

       I hoped heaven was true, for there she would be waiting. Waiting to hold me in her arms again, telling me everything’s okay.

       I would be with her one last time. But this time, there would be—

       No booze; 

       No drugs; 

       No addiction; 

       No pain.

       My tragic life would be over, at last.

     

       I'm already dead inside. It's hopeless. I'm hopeless. The people of AA were right, Once an addict, always an addict. But I can't go back to working the program. It hadn't worked. I shouldn't even consider myself sober when I was working it. I had wanted to drink almost everyday. If it weren't for being in a halfway house, I would have drank the first day at work, with all the unfinished drinks I had to pour out. While duping each one, the thought of chugging it had always raced through my mind. I'm stuck being a drug addict for the rest of my life. 

      Even if I become and stay sober by some miracle, I'll still be labeled as a druggy by friends and family. I can't live lie that. 

      I turn over to my side facing the back cushion, while covering my face with a pillow. My arm lays on top, weighing it down and making it hard to breathe. 

      I’m not going to be here much longer. My family would be better without having to constantly worry about me. Being alive, I’m just a bother to them. They wouldn’t have to worry about me relapsing anymore. They wouldn’t have to worry about paying for me anymore.

      It would be like when I was in rehab, knowing I am in a safe place. Eventually, they'd stop crying and discover how peaceful it is without me. 


      What are you thinking? Your family would never get over losing you. 

      These were my thoughts, but they came out as if someone else was telling me this. They are right, though. I couldn't kill myself. I'm too weak of a person. 

       Jesus, how did I come to this? Suicide? I'm a selfish prick. This is my punishment. Since my addiction couldn't kill me, it went after my loved ones, leaving me, the asshole who deserves to die, here still alive. It wants me here, forever living in grieving depression; in the never ending regret that clogs my veins. 

       For everything I've done, this is my ultimate punishment:

       …to feel.      
            


       “You okay, son?” asks a familiar voice. 

       It surprises me, making me twitch, like I always do when startled. Ever since I had gotten sober for the first time, someone has cursed me with my body slightly shaking at random. Then when I had gotten off heroin, crack, and Xanax this last time, I’ve been easily excitable. If you touch me anywhere and I’m not paying attention, I’ll jump like a daunted spring. I can’t stand it; it’s always followed by—

       “Woah! I’m sorry!” he or she would say, slowly stepping back with their hands up in the air. 

       I look back at my mom, not trying to make a face. She could see in my eyes I was in horrible pain. 

       “I don’t know what to do. Do you want to go to a meeting?” she asks. 

       I forgot I looked up several meetings for tonight. They were the only things she allowed me to leave the apartment for. Anything would beat being here all night. 

       “Sure.”


       

       It was a typical meeting out in Westeros. They repeated the same things, telling war stories about how awful their life was until they found the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. Then they’d shut up. I would sit, waiting for them to continue, silently asking, “Ok, how did A.A. help you? What did you do?” Not that I truly cared, it drives me crazy how they seldom explain how they recovered. 

       Women are a lot better about this, but tonight they say silent. It didn’t matter, even if someone had said the most eye-opening story of how they recovered, my ears were not open to receive it. I wasn’t in the best state of mind. During the chip-giving, I didn’t get up, nor did I raise my hand when they asked for newcomers to make themselves known. Guilt and remorse had taken the wheel, driving my body around, while I sulked in my pitiful self-hatred. 

       I see my Mom pull up in her shiny black Cadillac CTS. Without saying a word to anyone I pass, I walk with my head down toward her car. 

       The two of us are silent on the way home. No noise, except for the CD playing. It’s a mix I had made her a year back with a bunch of slow, acoustic songs. Most songs are from the soundtrack to the movie Once—a movie I had originally seen with Maisie but now shared with my Mom. The last track from the soundtrack dies down. Next, I can hear the faint guitar riff of a perfect song that says everything I want to say, when I can’t find the right words. It could narrate my entire life on drugs. I sing along to the Azure Ray song in a low whisper…


       “Someone else’s boy, you’ve had it so hard,

       Will you grow up to be you?

       Or a sum of your parts just hanging in the air?

       Someone else’s boy, tell me your convoluted stories through half-rotten mouth

       I will decipher them, to tell the world of your heart

       How beautiful things can come from the dark;


       “Someone else’s boy, I have seen your face

       Light in the stars, it was then I knew

       That your heart was pure, that it had not yet been destroyed


       “Someone else’s boy, I have hope for you

       That you will keep your love for the world

       Even though it beats you down, every day

       For the rest of your stay…


       “...Someone else’s boy, though your life has been short

       You’ve seen more pain than most of us know…”   


       I already felt a gentle tear slide down my cheek at the second stanza, but It’s when she sings this last line, the levee breaks. I explode like a gushing fire hydrant. One that street kids have broken while melting under the summer sun in a drought; spraying everywhere without a single worry of fixing it. 

       My Mom puts her hand on my shoulder and keeps it there for the rest of the ride. 

       I’m lucky I still have her. And my dad. 

       They and my brother are the sole reason I can't and won't ever kill myself. No matter how bad the urge that continues to grow. Though, after glancing at my past, my addiction will kill them before it does me in. 

       When we walk inside the apartment, she lays it on me. 

       “Your father and I have been looking at this place for you to go… it’s up in Washington.”

       I’ve already said yes in my head. I’ll do anything at this point. 

       “But it’s for five months,” she adds.

       That has me hesitating, but only for a second. Before, I can say anything, she continues…

       “I figure we could fly up there,” she speaks slowly. “And check it out and if you don’t think it’ll work, we’ll figure something else out.”


       I am on the phone with the owner within ten minutes of her bringing it up. She also showed me the website and commented about how the kids there had looked like me. Other than the piercings and tattoos, I couldn’t find any similarity. 

       His name is Victor. He speaks with very serious tone while asking me many questions. It reminds me of the first time I went to rehab: I had to call and talk to some lady, answering questions for an hour. He asks if I snowboard or ski, in which I excitedly answer with “snowboard.” 

       Duh. 

       His questions sound like they are coming from a paper he’s reading off of. They’re simple rehab questions, like what I use and how often. But it is one answer I give him — he told me later — that had given me the green light, to go. 

       “What do you want in life?” he asks. 

       I take a moment to think about it. I’m already choked up because of some of his personal questions, making me blubber my answer. 

       “I just want to be happy.”


Comments

  • Jan 23, 2019

  • Beautiful. I don't know if this is fact but just want to say keep moving forward. Don't give up. Each following day will become a little easier than the last. Great writing either way.

    Jan 23, 2019

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