Monday, April 26, 2010
The Hardest Part
You can tell when he's under the influence. His eyes shine from liquor. They crack red from smoke. They water uncontrollably, unnoticed by him, as he sniffles. When you tell him so he gets testy and defensive, argues himself in circles.
"Crackhead logic," a friend joked. Thank God it's not. But legally and socially legit drugs are just as debilitating.
You know when it's habitual. He thins out. His face dries, pales, and pulls at his cheekbones. The skin under his eyes swell red at first, then fall flat and dark. His underlids look like charred chimneys, bruised like a boxer's. If he'd learn to fight his demons instead of run, he'd never feel so cornered in the first place. Of course his habits put him in a place where he never has to.
It's drama when he'll do anything for it. He can't leave bed to find work or school, but will walk a mile in the rain to find a store or his "friend." He never stays employed for too long. A good job usually is the beginning of his downfall. Fat pockets, spare change, or last dimes always go to self-medication. He'll risk the roof over his head for the stuff. Who knows where he'll be next week.
No matter where he ends up, he'll do anything to legitimize his position. He's defiant until desperation forces him to fess up. He finds just enough support to step on, hopping from talking head to talking head until he can reclaim his high. Then the responsibility, the blame, is someone else's again.
Not that he listens when you tell him. He's too depressed and moody to do anything but drown in himself. The "meds" make him feel above worldly concerns. In reality he sinks deeper, farther, faster. He spirals down. It's dark down there. Every so often, the friend I knew completely disappears. Sometimes I fear I'll lose him forever.
Labels: 1st Person