The truth is . . .
No one wants to know. At least, not really. No one wants to lift their heads from their early morning cereal in the kitchen of their homes while reading their early morning newspaper, surrounded by a white picket fence, a two-car garage and their 2.5 kids.
It is a comfortable spot on this side of purgatory.
I’ve been told about this. Or, maybe warned is a better word to use here. But either way, I made a promise.
I made several of them to be exact and whether this coincides with a welcoming view and public acceptance or consumption; and whether people see this as “too raw” or “too real” has nothing to do with me.
“My redemption has nothing to do with your response.”
The truth is we give in to these little deceptions and we fool ourselves. We trick ourselves into ideas that soften our defenses. This way, we can believe the lies, just as easy and we can wave off the news because hey, it’s not in our backyard. Right?
We can soften the truths, just this once or just this one last time. But let’s face it, there are times when we say “just this once” and there are times when we say, “just this one last time,” but it’s never just once and it’s seldom for the last time.
Oh, and as for the mind . . .
The mind shifts for the need to feel pure, like a child, so humble with a tiny voice asking, “Will you play with me?” It’s just an end to justify the means.
At this point, we are aligned by stars and eager to feel the warmth of the heavenly sun without the consequences of being burned. Or, like the wings of Icarus, we flew too high and too close to the sun and the heat melted our wings; therefore, down we went, crashing into the final abyss.
We are yearning to feel the splendid moments that are absent of gravity, weightless and painless. Moreover, we want to be detached from the physical and purely lifted into the lofty expressions of a pill, a pin, a tiny bottle, a flask, a pipe or any vehicle that takes passengers in shuttles of euphoria.
Nothing is addictive because it feels bad.
This is the part no one talks about. No one talks about the warm séances or the slow rush that crawls from within or “The nod” as they call it. No one talks about the feeling of being absent while standing in the present. No pain. Everything is suspended and while yes, I grant that the nods or the lost expressions and the vapidness in the eyes is tough to see. I grant that the lostness of the soul and the distance from personal interaction might seem haunting or sad. However, if the body is a temple; inside the infections are warm and misleading.
No one talks about this. No one talks about the Pandora’s Box in which, now that you know and know that you know how to create the absence of pain; now that you know how to create several degrees of separation, it is literally impossible to forget the grace of light or to un-feel the surge that gently explodes beneath your skin.
This is why the first hit is always free.
The devil knows how to keep you coming back.
The devils know how to influence your thoughts and, by the way, it’s not that the devil says, “Come on in, the water’s fine.”
No, the devil tempts you by saying, “Trust me. You want to stay away from this.”
The devil will tell you all about the warnings and say “this is killing people,” yet, people will line up in droves just to give it a shot.
The greatest tool the devil owns is our crazy curiosities. Remember something, curiosity killed the cat. Or, in our case; the curious need to feel something which is so high and out of this world, like a systematic heaven, or a high so ongoing that literally millions of people die this way is not a deterrent. And off we go as moths to the flame.
No one goes in not knowing what can happen.
We all know.
We might not want to believe it. We might think we can beat it. We might think that the laws might not apply to us but ah, the devil knows us better than we know ourselves. So we go in (somehow) believing that we can take a taste and that for the moment, we’ll be fine.
Nothing’s gonna happen.
No one talks about this part. We talk about the standardized methods of creating awareness. We talk about statistics. We look and we point and we judge and we submit our thoughts to one another as if we can call ourselves an authority.
And I get it. No one wants to hear about this, let alone spend time reading about the so-called junkies and the so-called sick or the drunks or the need to call this substance or alcohol “Use” disorder to remove shame.
I laugh at this because shame comes in all forms.
Don’t believe me?
Ask a person who was slaved to their habits and see what they had to endure.
Just to stay alive, so to speak.
No one wants to hear this.
I was told this by an old friend. I was told this by new friends. I was told this by the so-called corporate types who say this subject has no place in their world; yet meanwhile, there is an unprecedented rise in overdoses (especially during the pandemic) and somehow, people are shocked.
Something is missing here.
Can’t anyone see?
With all of our attempts to improve treatment methods and with all of the news from the media and with all of the details and the haunting stories; and plus, with all the warning labels, all the disclaimers, and with all the so-called righteous people who say “Not in my backyard,” if the details are so ominous – then how come the number of overdoses are going up? Not down.
See what I mean?
Something is missing.
We need to address the “Need” and the reasons behind the choices.
There is a saying that guns don’t kill people. People kill people. This means a gun cannot aim or shoot without the mechanical control of the hand.
Therefore, there’s a person to person issue. There’s a need to address the stability of our mental health. And dig it – there are people who think by banning guns, there will be less murders.
Okay so, let’s say this is true.
However, I would offer there is more than one way to commit this crime.
But wait, I digress.
This is not about politics or the need for more (or less) gun laws. No, this is more of an analogy. This is more about the need to address the reasons behind our actions; in which, if we understand the “whys” then perhaps we can understand different ways to prevent another otherwise preventable death.
It’s hard sometimes. The phone calls I mean.
I can hear them but just barely. I can hear the pain and the shame and the absolute disgust as well as the “fuck it” mentalities.
It’s hard to hear the lostness of good people who are literally unaware of their own incredible values. It’s hard to listen to the so-called professionals with their lab coats and clipboards and their labels and judgments.
It’s hard to listen to the people who promise, “This is the last time,” yet, something inside knows the only reason this is the last time is because the next time ends their life.
I think of Tommy. I think of Joe on Christmas Day. I think about Richie Tats. I think about Mike the Rocket. I think about Jimmy. I think about Chris. I think about Eric. I think about Reid. I think about a young man who was already dead upon my arrival and the nurse who looked at me, almost matter-of-factly and said, “I don’t know why they called you out of bed for this. He’s gone.”
I remember Flo. I remember a call on Thanksgiving Day about Elexis. In fact, it would be unfair of me to name anyone else or to un-name those who I’ve told you about because the list is too long.
Do I see hope?
In fairness, I do.
I know you might be lost right now. I know you want “Out” but I also know that should you choose to come out from where you are, there are people who are begging to help. Just because they care.
And me, I want to help too.
Just because I love you.