I dreamt a poem
As I awoke it
A number of years ago I had been sober for a time, then relapsed. I had just got a rather large bag of rock cocaine…I had an awesome dealer (I thought he was awesome), he had consistent product, strong, and he always answered his phone…and I was driving home to get fucked up.
Driving up my road I saw three of my sober friends standing on the road in front of my home. Fuck! I was loaded, drugs in pocket, and the only reason for those three to be together and at my house was to do an intervention. Now if you don’t know what in intervention is, it is where friends or family and sometimes even a professional confronts an addict and tries to get them to give up, get sober, to live. Jeff, Red, Mike, all standing there waiting for me. As soon as I saw them I thought about just driving past and going somewhere else, but my street is not big and they would know I did that. I loved all three of them, they were good friends, so I decided to stop and talk to them.
I parked the car and got out…picture this, it is dark, the street lamp lighting us just enough to make out each other’s faces, I was all fucked up, they were sober…and walked over to them. Now unless you have ever done an intervention you wouldn’t know how strange they actually are. Everyone knows each other well, usually, but no one is comfortable. The sober parties are apprehensive because even though they know the addict they don’t know what they are walking into; addicts aren’t known for rational behavior (I laughed as I wrote that; the truth is that addicts are insane). The addict will be uncomfortable for a host of reasons. Hell those sober people may try to stop them from getting loaded.
None of those guys really knew what to say, I think Jeff said something like “how you doing, you getting fucked up?” I laughed, no shit was I getting fucked up, “yes.” “Ok, do you have drugs on you?” “Yes.” “Why don’t you give them to us and come hang out.” “Nope.” “So you are going to do the drugs, and not come with us?” “yup.” “Are you planning to do anymore driving while you are all fucked up…will you give me your keys?” “Sure,” knowing that I had a spare set, “here take them.” “Are you sure you won’t give us the drugs and come with us?” “Yes I am sure, I am going to get good and fucked up, but I will get sober tomorrow. I’ll give you a call tomorrow.” I said as I was walking away from them to go inside. There was more, but like I said I was fucked up so that is the gist of the conversation.
They all talked, they all tried to talk me out of going inside with the drugs. They did all they could.
I proceeded to smoke the coke all night long, leaving at one point to get some more, and got all fucked up. The entire time I was getting high I was in my bedroom. In some ways I probably resembled Gollum if not on the outside, for sure on the inside. I was consumed by the drug, feeling euphoria not obtainable any other way. And being consumed mind body and soul.
I smoked like six hundred dollars’ worth of rock that night, and it was good. But inevitably the drugs ran out, and I started coming down. I still had money, but I told Jeff I would get sober that next day, so I called him.
I can’t remember if Jeff picked me up, (and to tell you the truth, I think it was the next day, it might have been a week later…drugs will do that to you, a day turns into a month pretty easy) or if I drove over to his place. At that time Jeff lived with Rick, another friend of mine who was in recovery as well.
Rick let me detox in his spare room. Detox from Rock Cocaine is tame when compared to alcohol, or heroin, or benzos. Mostly you feel like shit, I mean really like shit! Coke eats up all the endorphins in your body and inhibits its production. So in reality you can’t feel good without more coke, or time. I slept for a couple of days, smoked cigarettes, and talked to Rick and Jeff. I have no idea what they said. I’m sure I can guess though, they talked about recovery. I do remember that Rick took me to a meeting at the Grotto in NE Portland.
That was many years ago, and I stayed sober for a few years because of the things those four men did.
About two months ago Jeff gave me a call…Rick was drunk and not doing well. Jeff and I went to Rick’s house, Jeff having moved out quite a while ago, to do an intervention on Rick. We got there after the ambulance and fire truck. When the police found out we were sober and in recovery they let us deal with Rick. His wife was drunk and balling. His daughter was drunk and trying to tell Rick what he needed to do.
All Jeff and I could do was have the same conversation with Rick that was tried on me. “Why don’t you come with us.” “Nope.” “Why don’t you give us the booze.” “Nope.” “You are going to keep drinking?” “Yup, but I’ll get sober tomorrow.” As I left Rick got up and gave me a hug, “you’re a good man Chris, I love you.” “I love you too Rick”
Two Days ago Jeff called me to talk about his granddaughter, and a book cover he is designing for me. Towards the end of the conversation Jeff told me why he really called. In the background this stupid fucking show called The Amish Mafia was droning on, I hadn’t turned it off when he called. “On a sadder note, Rick drank himself to death. He was found this morning in bed dead.”
A good man died, was sentenced to death, and his only crime was that he couldn’t quit drinking.
See you again
With tears in my eyes
Tremor in my voice
I say good bye to a good man
A loved one
Sleep well my friend
Rest with peace
And when I go
I hope to see you again
Chris McQueeney 12/14/12
Rest in peace
To the families of those lost today my thoughts and prayers go out to you, which may be of small comfort, but it is all I can give. Please if you comment leave the argument about guns for a more appropriate time and place, show some respect for the dead and wait at least a few days.