The name of the town was Deposit. I remember the name well because to me, the name was almost repulsive. Who the hell would ever want to live in a town called Deposit?
I never heard of this place before. Then again, I never heard about most of the towns in this area. There were like tiny little compartments of different places that were left behind in a time warp. I saw them as little mountain towns, like something from a Norman Rockwell painting with farms and barns and fields with cows.
The fashions up there were different to me, which is not to say that I was fashionable by any means. But still, everything about the little towns seemed behind.
Besides, I was used to New York City and the Five Boroughs. I was brought up in a crazy Long Island town but at least there was action. At least I was close to what I thought was the pulse of life. I went from this to institutional life. Then I eventually moved to farm life for a long-term stay.
The town I lived in was called Hancock. This was also a small town. Everyone knew each other by first name. However, my interactions with the town folks was limited to rare and never at all. There wasn’t much to see and there wasn’t much to do. There was only work and chores. None of us ever ventured from the property. There were the occasional doctor visits. I had to receive stitches at one of the hospitals after nearly losing my right index finger to one of the mowers to cut hay. I swear, we were in the middle of nowhere. I was lost up there. Of course, there were some that made a run for it. Most were caught. Besides, where could they go? The woods?
And then there was Deposit. I would have never known this place existed if it hadn’t been for the farm. Perhaps this is the case with most of those unknown towns. Deposit was small. Things appeared outdated to say the least. In any case, the powers that be saw to it that I was there for a weekly meeting. The meeting was in the evenings and involved a few of the local moms and some of their troubled kids.
I never thought about towns like this. Suffice to say, I assumed the only real drugs anyone could score in places like this was drain cleaner. Or maybe they huffed from the cans of whipped cream at the local supermarket.
But who knew?
The truth is drugs are everywhere. Alcohol is easily and readily available. And hell, even though I had access to anything I wanted, even I used to huff gas fumes to get a quick buzz.
The point is where there’s a will there’s a way. And more to the point, the truth is dysfunction happens everywhere. This was the lesson I learned here.
Teenage life was not only limited to me and my score of knucklehead friends. The need to be crazy or fit in; and the desire to be anything but that random, faceless kid in the hallways at school was not limited to me or my special neighborhood.
No, this has nothing to do with location. How bad could any of these Deposit kids be anyway?
In fairness, these kids could hold their own. Like me, they were looking to perfect their craft.
We weren’t talking about cow tipping or anything like that. I was blindsided by our similarities. In fact, the meetings were eye-opening to me.
The kids were doing the same things. Perhaps the choice of chemicals might have been different but the need and the desires were the same.
They felt the same as me. They had the same scars. They had the police at their house and their family names were shamed throughout the community.
These kids had their foot pressed down on the gas pedal, that’s for sure. They were willing to do it all and earn their stripes and make their bones, Make no mistake of it.
In fact, maybe they were more willing than some of the inner-city youths. But yet, I digress in the meaningless and perhaps now would be a good time to change direction.
I was young, about 17 years-old at the time. I was on the farm for a few months. I knew there was damage done. I knew that I had trouble reading because my mind would play tricks on me. Sentences would run on and I could never make sense of anything I read.
I was thinking that perhaps I fried myself. It was as though I was back in grade school and trying to learn again. I couldn’t think clearly. The past months were like a blur to me, which is how I often explain the insanity of drug binges. It’s a blur. You keep going until there is absolutely nothing left. And even then, you keep on going.
I compare this to sharks in a feeding frenzy. I was mindless and feeding from the poisoned meat of a deadly lifestyle, which, by the way, everyone warned me about this.
The Old Man used to tell me that I was frying my brain. He told me he could see this. He used to tell me that he could see me progressively becoming worse and ask, “Can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?”
The truth is I couldn’t see much of anything. I was locked in and going along for the ride. I had no idea what I was doing to myself. I certainly had no idea what I was doing to anyone else.
Again, I was in the midst of a feeding frenzy. I was mindless to say the least but fortunately, the clean time was helpful. The separation between me and the chemicals was a benefit. And had i not been taken away, perhaps I would have never made it out alive.
I began to see more of the effects of what I had done to myself. I couldn’t think very clearly. I couldn’t remember anything. I was in a fog but at least I was improving. At least I was somewhere that could help me.
I continued those weekly meetings in the town of Deposit for a while. And they were sad. Most times, it was only the mothers in attendance. Most times, the meetings consisted of them talking to us about their sons. They wept. They literally wept in ways like nothing I had ever seen before. I saw how weak they became and how heartbroken they were. I never made these connections before about my life. I never thought about my actions or what they did to my family.
I can say there was a day when I pulled a knife on my Mother. I remember , , ,
I did this because she wouldn’t let me leave the house. I can say that there were nights when I came home in the worst of shape. And I remember the helpless look on my Mother’s face. She would try though.
They brought me to a treatment facility when I was 15 but I lit a fire in the hallway, which meant that I could not stay at this facility. According to the rules, fire was something they couldn’t have at their place. Apparently fire was against their company policy. Perhaps they shouldn’t have told me this when I was being interviewed.
I never thought much about the shame this brought to my family. I only thought about me and my survival. I thought about the feeding frenzy. I wanted to bleed and let the blade slice through my skin. I wanted to run as fast as I could until my heart couldn’t take it anymore. I never felt the pain my Mother or Father felt. i never believed this hurt them. then again,. i never believed anything hurt anyone as much as life hurt me.
I never assumed that far from where I lived and far from the places I’d go in East New York Brooklyn. Harlem, Rockaway, the Bronx or Alphabet City —there was a town up in the middle of nowhere; and there were kids like me, just like me. They had a similar drive to literally wipe away their life in some mindless game.
In the end, this would do nothing else but leave behind a young corpse and a grieving family.
Sometimes I can see the room we used to sit in. Ah, Deposit. I can see the old wood paneled walls. I can envision the chairs that were put in a circle. I can see the look in the Mom’s eyes. I can see the heartbreak. I can see the sadness. And I can remember the realization that holy shit, maybe there’s more to the world than just me and my crazy little sickness.
Sometimes I speak with Moms that lost their children to an overdose. I can see the same look in their eyes. I can see the heartbreak. I can see the loss. And man, this hurts.
The one thing I’ve learned after all these years is that the game has not changed. The players might be a little different. The styles have changed and so have the supplies. But the game is still the same.
In the end, you lose to it like water to a drain. In the end, the feeding frenzy goes on.
You run until the heart can’t take it anymore. I get that.
I only know why I did what I did. I can’t speak for anyone else. I was looking for a missing answer. I was looking to find that “One” thing that could help me stay afloat. I was looking for a remedy to help keep me sane —even if it made me insane, which was fine. So be it if this meant a moment of relief.
I never thought about curing the problem.
I only thought about solving the symptoms.
Then again, I never realized that if I got to the root of the problem, I wouldn’t have any more symptoms. Apparently this notion is skipped over all too often.
There is a part of me that wants to take a trip up to Deposit. I wonder what the town looks like now. Who knows? Maybe I’d walk into one of their supermarkets and see a familiar face, which would be cool because I could say thanks for opening my eyes.
God, that was so long ago.