An Outside Perspective
I was on the bus earlier today and sat behind this guy who had a can of alcohol that he was sipping from. I didn’t think much of it except how much cheaper alcohol is than dope and that I wouldn’t mind a nice, fat shot of some afghan brown or china white. The guy then gets up to stand in front of the doors so he can get off at the stop we’re approaching when all of a sudden he turns around and lunges towards the window and spews projectile vomit at the cars passing us. Everybody’s staring and I’m so happy I moved down to the seat on the other end of the bus before he sprayed alcohol and stomach juices at everything in front of him. When he’s done, he slams the window closed in frustration and maybe even despair and the second he turns around to walk off the bus and light a cigarette, I realize I know him.
He was this guy I spoke to at my last detox about a year ago. He had scars on his arm from the years he spent self harming and was trying to cleanse himself of alcohol and heroin before it was too late. He acted tough and like he didn’t give a fuck about anything but chilling and having fun with some bottles and blunts. But that was a lie or else he wouldn’t have been in there with me. We never spoke or saw each other again after those few grueling days, but I thought about him every now and again. Not because he was cute or charming or anything like that, but just because he stuck out in my memories. He was different but pretended to be the same.
And when I saw him on that bus, I felt this deep sadness in my chest. Like how awful it must be to be him, to be broken and alone and still so addicted. I remember those feelings and how awful they were. The days and nights I spent dope sick, either rejected from detox or just went AMA, throwing up on trains and buses - just like him, homeless and hurting. It’s been a year and he’s still in the same spot, most likely worse than before.
And me? I’ve been clean for almost a year and I am so grateful for that because living that kind of life isn’t really living at all, it’s just existing with this constant pain and despair. I didn’t want that big shot of dope anymore because nostalgia is a liar. There’s not much good with using dope, it’s mostly just fucked up experiences and vicious cycles that get you nowhere but dead.