Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Tuesday night brought two small successes, both of which were unexpected and surprisingly positive. I had a dinner with a dear friend of mine who has been MIA for the past seven months. He was on a heroin binge. However, back in outpatient rehab and doing much better at the moment. He wanted to play pool. I suck at pool (it’s a sport), but said sure. What I didn’t think about was that pool tables are at bars. I don’t go to bars due to the likelihood of HWMNBN’s presence. At first I said absolutely not, but then remembered that the chances, while not non-existent were not huge on a Tuesday. We went to the bar that would be the 2nd most likely one he would go to; much to my delight, they had the pools tables inaccessible for the night, so we ended up going to another one. After staring around for several minutes, making sure he was nowhere to be seen, I began to relax. I lost every game we played, but I had a lot of fun. It was nice to feel mostly normal for a moment. The second thing that happened, during one of the pool games, was Solange’s ‘Sand Castles’ coming on the speakers. I was singing along, enjoying it, when I suddenly I realized what I was doing. This was HWMNBN’s and my grocery shopping song (yes, we had a grocery shopping song—shut the fuck up). The fact that not only had I not realized what I was singing, but that I didn’t break down in tears when I finally did realize felt like huge progress to me. Celebrate where I can, right?
Before pool, my friend and I were catching up over dinner (my addictive personality has been focused on food the past couple weeks—dangerous, can’t fit in my pants, but oh…so good…). We’ve spoken of his drug addictions many, many times. He often has said that he can’t comprehend how I seem to understand his struggle for someone who has never tried drugs at all—that most people who aren’t users just get impatient and tell him to quit, expect it to be that simple, then get fed up with him and give up on the friendship. Part of me wishes I felt that way. Sadly, the things he says he feels, from his uncontrollable urges, moods, pain to going through periods of hiding from others and being lost to his own mind/darkness, I completely understand. While he’s talking about things that are completely foreign to me (thank God!), it is often like he’s describing what goes on inside myself.
In that sense, and that sense alone, I can understand the sadness, frustration, and sense of wastefulness that some friends feel towards me. My friend is a handsome man. He is the best artist I have ever met—hand’s down—if he got the right breaks he would be one of the most famous artists of our time, and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. He is one of the most gentle, sweet, and caring men you could expect to find. We both know that if control is not soon found, he will no longer be here. Everything that is wonderful about him, everything that he has to give and offer the world will be lost and gone. Even while he is here, the state he is in keeps him from living, keeps him from shinning like the sun from every pore of his body. It’s hard to watch.

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