I was 26 years old the first time I ever stopped using junk. There was this old junky who used to hang around the liquor store near where I was staying on Fairview Street. He said he knew my mom and my uncle from back in the day. He could have been lying for all I knew but I still enjoyed his company or maybe I just felt more comfortable with him than I did in normal society. I told him once that I stopped getting high for six months now. He said that was good, that’s real good and he had been thinking about stopping himself. Who knew that I had opened the door to that good old ghetto public humiliation that I did. I could be clear across the street and he would yell out, “You still clean?”
I would yell back, “Ya.”
Then he would yell, “Good! Don’t be fucking around now!”
It was all love though.
I don’t know how it came to pass that one day he ended up in my house sleeping on the floor of my living room. All I know is that he left this piece of paper on the floor and I have kept it ever since. It reminds me of what was and what can always be.


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