A Neighbor’s Dying

I have a special place inside my heart for fellow addicts. Those without the ability to get clean, without a relationship with God, without a friend in the world. Carrying the weight of the huge monkey on his back.

I talked to him from time to time, tried to impart some nugget of wisdom, a ray of hope. He would say, “I wish a train would hit me”.

I remember that level of despair. That loathing for anything good in my life, because I did not deserve it. Hating my very being, a degraded piece of trash, discarded by society. Abandoning all hope, embracing the darkness.

The pain is excruciating. It is no wonder he wished for death.

I live across the street from his Grandma’s, where he would stay, in her laundry shed-shooting heroin. I saw him go from a funny, kind of hillbilly guy to a wretch with bloody scabs oozing down his arms. The last time I saw him he said he was really sick this time, he thought he had Covid. Well, it wasn’t Covid. First time the ambulance came, he had OD’d. They brought him back.

This time, though, it isn’t the dope… They took him to hospital with pneumonia and a Blood infection, his very sad Grandma told me. He won’t be coming home, barring a miracle.

I just hope they have made him comfortable…and that he doesn’t suffer for long. Poor, poor, Chris… I guess maybe your train finally came. I have said prayers for him and his family, and for everyone sick and dying…

I will dream tonight of my Monarchs. I saw a caterpillar tonight who had just connected himself to the bottom of my wheelbarrow. He has probably changed into a chrysalis now. Soon he will totally disappear into a liquid, before miraculously turning into a beautiful Monarch, breaking out of the chrysalis and flying free!

I hope you fly free too , my friend. I will see you again, one day soon.

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