Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sometimes You Can't Help, You Can Just Be

Last night I went to a local poetry reading with another poet friend of mine. I ran into a friend of mine who was instrumental in my early recovery. She encouraged me to write and edited quite a few of my poems. She's a very talented poet and a very loving woman. I was still wild, barely in the rooms with one foot still in the streets, and she loved me unconditionally. 

She had a daughter who was a stripper, she confided in me back then when she learned my history via my poetry. We never talked much about it, but when I saw her last night, she looked very different than she did almost 30 years ago. She seemed surrounded by a bubble of pain.

Her husband took me aside and told me her daughter had died, drowning in the bathtub with a lot of drugs in her system. Whether she'll ever talk to me about her pain or not is irrelevant; she knows I understand at least some of it. My friend told me before she left the reading that she would call me, but I'm not so sure she will. It may be too painful for her.

Here is the poem I was going to read at the reading, but didn't out of respect for her. I read a few others, instead. This is the story of one of my road dogs. Sadly, it's true.

To Cash, Dead in Atlanta, 21

"You're gonna wake up dead one day" I tell Cash.

She heads out the door with a laugh.

"I just love them light-skinned men, Nadine,” she calls over her shoulder.

That was the last time I saw her.

Green-eyed pimp threw her out a window. 

So why didn't my life end like that? Today I have a different life, one I never could have imagined. A man who loves me, and who I trust enough to marry soon; a career; a house; a summer home; dogs;  a car. All I wanted back in the day was to have a somewhat normal life and I could never achieve it, despite psychiatrists and pills and psychodrama. Only the rooms and the 12 Steps saved me from a life that was beyond terrible. 

I can't figure that I did anything different than many others who didn't stay clean did; I just chose not to use and got more gifts than I ever thought possible.

Yes, at some level I understand my friend's pain, but never having been a mother, no I cannot fathom it. I do today feel the Grace I was given; I feel it keenly. Thank you, God, and thank you my 12-Step friends who have walked me through.

1 comment:

Shadow said...

yeah, it's all about choices... how i sometimes wish i could make them for another...