Simply Life

Before I die, I will visit Paris and Rome and the other fine places of Europe. I will tell that one, special woman I love her. I will caress the soft air with my thoughtful attention. And I will open my heart to the gates of truth and kindness. But I may never witness a man, so distraught in his own thinking, that he decides to thread a noose upon the barren branches of an oak and say, “Life is messy.”

What is it about the moments in life that always seem to shroud me with the darkest of veils? That always seems to give way to perception woven with the fabric of both baptismal garments and mortuary linens? I do not know. But I do know that when a man whispers into your ear “Life is messy” there isn’t much you can do to change his mind. All you can do is watch him dangle and die.

I often ask myself, “What about my parents?” What could they have done other than watch me dangle and die? They provided all the help in the world. They tried everything to get me off of drugs, yet, they were helpless. I had already made the decision. I had already imposed that suicide upon myself, rendering me helpless by nature.

So I pose the question: What about life? Yes, the aforementioned are a few of the things I would most enjoy before I die, but there has got to be more. More than being just an aborted baby drowning in the embryonic fluids of life.

For me, it was finding Christ. After all, what is the point in living a sober life just so I can go to my own funeral and say, “I had 20 years clean, but I didn’t have eternal life.”

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Life Amidst

How often I see not
Through this peculiar
Prism of colors
Distilled through glass,
But instead
Into the eyes that ferment
Darkness
And streak this heart with
Acidic tears
Of sorrow.
It is the perception
that makes the difference
That sounds the notes
Of heartfelt desire.

Sleeping Soul

This soul
Lies awake
Trembling.

This soul
Lies sleeping
Awake and trembling.

He sees into his mind’s eye
The eclipse of his shadow
Passing in front of his scarlet hands.

He is
Just a thought
Escaping the clutches
Of reality.

Rebirth

Who are we really? Are we humans, or are we just mice scurrying around the city? Do we have little brains, or big ones? Do we see in colors, or do the colors see us? Sometimes I wonder how we can go about these lives we live and still neglect the world around: the world that continues to smile at us.

I know, a lot of the time, I make little difference in nature as a whole. I try, but somehow still fail. I think we all face this dilemma from time to time. And yet, there still remains a scintilla of love within us all. Yes, many would beg to differ, but what about the ass hole that makes the effort to remove the spider from his or her house instead of killing it? Or the ass hole who opens the door for the old lady? Perhaps there is some good in us all.

So I pose this: what if we dare to bring just one color to someone’s life—as a whole, we bring a rainbow of hope and promises kept.

Love is simply one moment of thoughtful attention toward someone or something. Love is the seed of all hope

Dear You

To the addict who still suffers,

Places in the realm of existence equal only part of an experience. The other part is how we respond to these places—emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

I have been to Utah, California, and Canada. I have been to funerals, weddings, and dark cities. I have been to many places, but none quite like the realm of addiction. None where I was so sure it would be my resting place. The place I would die. The place where my last breath would dissipate with my last heartbeat and my eye lids would close forever. This was the portrait of my life.

I was nineteen and lost in a drug infused ball of excited brain cells. My average day looked like this:

6, 7, or 8 am rolled around. My eyes opened. My whole body jolted as though I was waking from a nightmare; instead, I was waking to a nightmare: cold sweats, shivering, restless legs, nausea. My every morning wakeup call was in the mouth of heroin withdrawals.

So I got out of bed, stumbled over to my stash, pulled the garbage can next to me, and cooked up a shot of dope while simultaneously puking. My body was weak and frail; it resembled a strawberry patch—lined with track marks.

1 p.m.

I chewed up a bar and did a shot of heroin. I slumped over on my bed and sat there, nodded out. Those were the times. Yes, the insidious days and nights during my heroin addiction when I enjoyed nothing more than to sit, nodded out, on the edge of life and death. It was at that place where I didn’t have to deal with life. I didn’t have to deal with the snowball of guilt and shame that kept growing larger with momentum drawn from my life as a drug addict.

5:30 p.m.

I sat in my room cooking up a shot of dope when I heard a knock on the door. “Hold on, I’m changing!” Fuck! I thought to myself. I shoved everything under my bed and answered the door.

“Hey, dinner is ready.”

“Ok, I’ll be there in a sec.”

I shut the door, ran over to my bed, grabbed the rig, and hit up. 1, 2, 3 seconds. Bam! The rush hit me as a train of euphoria crashing into my body.

After that, I staggered upstairs and ate dinner with the family

10 p.m.

“Mom, I’ll be back in a little bit, k?”

“k, just make sure you lock the door.”

“Awight.”

God, I’m almost late. Fuck me! I thought.

I pulled up to the spot, climbed into his car, got my stuff, and left.

When I got home, I went straight to my room, shot up, and went to sleep:

Jesus I pray that you will help me to be able to hustle up enough money tomorrow to stay well. In your name I pray, Amen.

 

My addiction was the lowest time of my life: I went from being awarded my Eagle Scout badge, to smoking pot, to smoking meth, and finally, to slamming heroin. Seven years I led that life—getting high on anything and everything I could. And for what? So that I wouldn’t have to face reality. So that I wouldn’t have to face the anxiety and depression.

Life is nothing more than a series of experiences. How we respond to these experiences dictates our destiny. It’s painful, living the waking hours in theatrical scenes of my transgressions. Seeing, hearing, and feeling the sorrow I reaped upon myself and others.

I can remember being in a meeting once, some years ago, and some old man told me, “It’s not too late.” But there was a time when I thought it was. When I thought that suicide was the only way out of my heroin addiction. I didn’t ask for help, not verbally, at least. But Christ knew I wanted out; He was faithful. He pulled me out and allowed me to experience the life I dint deserve: the life of sobriety.

Today, I have 17 months clean and sober. And today, I pray not that I will have a prosperous day getting money for dope, but instead, that Christ will help you from the place I once was.

With Love,

Jake