Two months ago I woke up and I was destitute, evicted, car repossessed, homeless, body wracked with flesh-eating cellulitis, two teeth left in my mouth and chronically addicted to meth and smoking heroin at the age of 59…all but dead…spent…hopeless. The only people who would take me in was a band of criminals whom shall remain nameless as they treated me with great kindness, dignity, respect, and empathy like no group or individual ever has and gave me a place to sleep and fed me and allowed me to sit in a chair in the corner of their living room and figure shit out and for that I will forever be in their debt. As I sat in that chair in the corner of their living room and watched the constant parade of characters come and go at all hours of the night and day one thing became vividly evident to both myself and to them and that was…I was way off course…out of my element…not of their world…far more lost than they ever would or could be. I witnessed a great strength in them as they woke up every afternoon to the same struggle for existence that would crush the normal person yet they got up and just did what they had to do to survive…business as usual…doing what they had to do to get through that day against insurmountable odds.
At first, I was able to contribute in a number of ways…run to the store to put money on the electric box to get the power put back on or zip to Little Ceasars and get a few $5.00 hot & ready pizzas to feed the clan…loan a roommate a few hundred to get a car out of impound…clean up the back alley…do the never-ending pile of dishes in the sink…front “re-up” drug money to keep the ball in the air as well as all our heads…be the doorman looking through the peephole and letting in regular customers 24/7…loan my car out to the clan…for a while it worked for all involved and things worked for us all like a highly dysfunctional, drug induced yet well-oiled machine of felonious activity.
Then my last money ran out and others started getting busted for this or that and I didn’t get reimbursed for impound fees and things started to get really edgy with little things getting blown way out of proportion and secret alliances between different factions like on Survivor or Lord of the Flies or some shit. Conversations would stop when I entered a room and my car keys were not given back to me after letting one of them borrow it and my supply of free dope dribbled down to nothing…the writing was on the wall in big neon letters. I had turned into a liability and no longer served a purpose and I wasn’t going to find out how I was going to be dealt with…and I blind man could see it was coming soon…very soon. It’s not a personal thing just a survival of the fittest thing and I understand. If you aren’t contributing to the common good then you’re a drain and must be eliminated.