Another Series of unfortunate events. These series continuously happen in a person's life. Intercepted by an independently wonderful delight. Like a diamond in the ruff.
On a hot July day, I was walking down a busy street in Boston. There were many people on Washington street that day. The cars swooshed by at a backed-up mediocre speed. The sun was beating down reflecting off the treeless pavement the heat was almost unbearable. I could see the tall buildings of Boston but be uninterested in that at the moment. My thoughts were about forty dollars in my pocket and where I could get a fix. I was a homeless junkie and needed water and a fix. There was no way I was spending my money on water. That could wait.
I am not proud to say I look the part. I had ragged clothes on. Cutoffs and a tee shirt with the sleeves cut off. The tee shirt was black of course. My hair was curly and big. My green eyes are desperate with years of pain in them. Straining to see the light in front of my face. My teeth looked like I had a mouth full of Oreos. I was in pain. That pain in my eyes, the pain in my heart was my last thought. There is some business to attend to Now! I was tired but walking at a good clip. A never-ending walk that reminds me of Lamb Chop’s ditty. “ This is the song that never ends”.
Every day I would vow that tomorrow would be different and every day I was wrong. I would scream and nothing would come out. I would cry and there was no shoulder to lay my head-on. I have dreams. I am human. Can’t I just live? IT wouldn't give me even a minute breather. I was screaming to get it. I was thinking about it. I was getting it. I was using it. I was dying.
I made it to my destination with quickness. I remember thinking this is a Junkie's paradise. Methadone Mile. It was part Tijuana part poor Americana. It consisted of The Opiates, The Crackers, The Meth Heads, and the Pill Pushers. Many landed somewhere in the middle doing a myriad of different substances. The police watched. Watched people shoot up, smoke crack, fight...etc. They just watched until someone died or almost died. I got my crack and it was uneventful I stood on Southampton street and smoked. Then I felt remorse, then I used it again.
So you're probably asking yourself one of two questions or maybe both. The first is did I ever get water and the other is where’s the diamond in the ruff. Shall I explain…
As for the water, I drank some because I am still here. I had to beg for it, but I got it. The diamond in the ruff is a little different. When you are so low Hell looks like a good place. When you can’t breathe because the pain and remorse are too much. When the panic is so intense that you can’t run fast enough to catch up with yourself. It's hard to see the forest beyond the trees. Then I realized something the diamond is me. The diamond is you. The diamond is the other drug user down Southhampton street. I realized that although my past was rough, although my life was long, even though it's been a long battle, that I can surrender. I can raise my white flag. I don't have to seek out the lowest of the lows to make myself feel better but that I AM better. I am O.K. I am alive.
I sat in the intense New England summer heat and took it all in. I told my fears that we can coexist. I had just fought the biggest battle of my life. The one against myself.
I fought the battle alone but the journey must be done together. I can have friends today because I am not in a fight with myself anymore. I value myself and others. "Together we can, alone I can't"