Tuesday, July 8, 2014


"Hi, I'm Jake, and I'm a crashaholic."

"Hi Jake," the dozen or so folks responded more or less in unison. We all had the same problem: Crash. Sometimes called the big KO, Cliff Dive, or Caddy, Crash was the newest synthetic to hit the streets since Snooze. And hit it did.

I surveyed the group, gathering the courage to speak in front of this contingent of cuts and bruises, bloodshot eyes staring me down. - no one knew how long you had to be clean before the effects went away. I didn't look any better, which I suppose was part of the problem: I never thought I'd end up associating with a group of addicts, let alone be one.

"We're here for you, brother," one of them spoke up, both in encouragement and in admonishment for my continued silence. I clenched my fists to keep away tears. I wanted to run. I wanted to sit down. I also wanted to stay sane, and there's something about sharing your story that pulls you out of your life and others into it. Still though, some things are just too painful.

"It killed her," I sobbed, relenting to the tears. "It killed my baby girl."

The group murmured their support - I knew a couple had suffered a similar loss. Cat, seated next to me, went to take my hand, but I waved her off.

"It was a couple months ago, but I still haven't accepted it yet. I know - KNOW - she's gone, but I keep imagining that I'll wake up in my bedroom to see her smiling face ready to play some dumb game or tell me some nonsense story.

"I don't entirely remember it - I was crashing at the time - but I remember her coming up and trying to find out what was 'making daddy hurt.' The next thing I remember is finding her body - crashed - in front of the toilet. I don't remember calling emergency services, but they came nonetheless. Then it was a different blur - jail, courts, all of it.

"They...." I choked up. "They told me she tried to flush it, but it aerosolized and she OD'd. I didn't even get to go to her funeral. I didn't get to say goodbye."

I collapsed into my chair.

The other inmates at Good Shepard Rehabilitation murmured their comforts, but I was too caught up in my own sorrows to hear.

I killed her.

I killed her and I am going to suffer for a lot longer than I'll be here.

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