The pills came on early that night, twenty years ago, in the queue outside Nexus. The nervous energy they fueled in me made you laugh and we connected.
That night the music set our souls on fire. Just like it did every Friday. Every Sunday in End Street. At every Slippery When Wet on Oxford.
You remember that music, right? It gets you right there, in the hairs on your forearm. It kicks up through the floor and into your head. It sets your mind on fire.
We connected in the music and the drugs. We became mates. Friends in more than just the weekly rush to get wasted. You and my friend started dating. A perfect match. Plus me. The Three Musketeers.
For years we managed life, jobs, relationships while we indulged our every whim for loud beats and too many drugs. We did life as a way to play with chemicals.
That night I died in your house when I thought I was bigger than the heroin, when I died because too much was never enough, it was you who got the ambulance that started my heart again.
That night was not the only time we came close to death. Both you and I played ‘last man standing’ more often than I can count. There was always room for more.
Life moved on. Marriage. Kids. You cleaned yourself up. I chose crystal meth. I chose to shut you and her out my life when you tried to do an intervention.
I walked away.
I hit rock bottom.
More years passed.
And you came back. We’ve reconnected, the three of us. The cold years apart are forgotten. I’ve met your beautiful daughters. I’ve witnessed your love for each other; your prosperity, while I revel in my own reignition. My own redo from start.
Three weeks ago, I celebrated five years off drugs and alcohol.
Tonight I called to wish you for your 40th birthday. I’ve known you for half your life. Half your fucken life! Do you know how incredible that is?
Of course you know. You said as much. How incredible – how miraculous it is – that either of us is alive today to have this conversation. We survived. Against all the odds and machinations of our wild drug binges, we survived. Thank fuck we survived.
Happy birthday, buddy. I am so proud of you. Proud of all of us, for making it out of the chaos, alive.
© Dave Luis 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Image © Tim Marshall at Unsplash Free Images
It’s never too late to take that first step and ask for help. If the drugs have become too much, call Narcotics Anonymous and get help. Choose to live. Call 083 900 6962