by Chris de Serres

We had a cup of coffee.  She looked like a decaying person.  The open sores on her skin.  The teeth.

The hardest part was hearing the hope in her voice.  She was tired. She suffered from a form of self-extinction.  I don’t know where it came from.  Her genes?  Her predisposition?  One thing I knew was that she was destroying herself.  A particular debilitation where it felt like her very life essence was washing away.  A living zombie.

Heroin opened her up.  It shines this intense light, blinding her from every single meaningful thing in her life.  All consuming.  Ever brightening.  It’s like the greatest feeling in the world.  When you experience it, you will search for it for the rest of your life.  It’s like seeing God.  You will abandon your children for it.  She had, many times over.

This made it hard to hear the quiver in her voice.  The will to live.  It was alive at least in this moment.  She just used.  She has five hard days of withdrawal agony before she could begin the Naltrexone.  She had tried this before.  Many attempts.  Many failures.  Yet, all she needed was one success.

Just one.

For now, all she could do is wait,withdraw, and hold onto her thin strand.  It felt ever brightening.  At least in this moment.