Staying Clean (Well, As Clean as I Get)

I want heroin but don’t feel like throwing up in a trash can and waking up with bruises all over my legs.

Instead of calling one of my dealers I walk across the street to Home Depot and buy another tropical house plant.  I’m looking for a small garden shovel and trying to text my mom when I drop the miniature palm. One of the seven pills I take to get out of bed each morning makes me drop things. I just wanted to ask my mom what my dad used to spray on the plants in the atrium to make them shine.

A man in an orange vest runs over to help me and I start crying.

“It’s ok buddy, no harm done” he whispers as he sweeps up the dirt with his hands.

“I just really miss my mom”

I blow the remnants of tears on the inside of my t-shirt and head for the self-checkout. I put the fifteen dollar plant in a three dollar pot and scan it. I really shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself.

I call the Real Estate Tycoon in the entrance way to see if my credit cards arrived at his new house yet. I’m tired of using cash because the smell reminds of heroin. I always used twenties to suck the opiates into my needy brain, and I gag every time the musty odor of used paper reaches my nostrils.

“Yeah they are here…I’ll leave them in the mailbox. I’m seeing a shy young boy from Catholic University tonight, or I’d invite you over for a drink”

“Wouldn’t want to scare your latest conquest back into his parent’s basement”

“Are you crying?”

“I miss my family…”

“Aren’t you seeing them next week?”

“Yeah, but I always feel like such a failure. My sister is a surgeon and my brother is in Law School”

“Good for them, you are writing a book”

“No one’s going to read it”

“I will. Usually I hate drug memoirs, but there’s no redemption at the end of your story”

The parking lot is enormous, and I don’t feel like carrying my newest child, so I grab a cart and ride it like a skateboard down the ramp. There’s a collection of carts in the alley outside my luxury apartment complex. Once again, I’m paying too much, but unlike before I’m living way below my means. The pool, 12-foot ceilings, and roof top deck distract me from the weekly existential crisis.

At least I didn’t take a car back from the plant emporium. I added up the Uber and Lyft charges from last month the other night and presented the evidence to my girlfriend. We really shouldn’t be spending two grand on ride services every 30 days. We left her new BMW in a parking lot on my birthday. She was tired of making the payments and trying to find parking in the city.

Back inside 70-degree affluence, I open my laptop and an email from the leasing office pops up. They want me to stop digging mulch out of the planters for my pots.

Can’t they see I’m trying.


  1. I need there to be redemption. This can’t be a life snuffed slowly by being cliche or ordinary The redemption has to be as curiously planned and as meticulously impulsive as the man.

      1. I hope no death is in the horizon. You must experience the juxtaposition of growing old and realising that you just don’t have the energy to get in your own way I need to keep reading you speaking your truth.

        I hope you are well. I think of you and second step you daily.

        1. I thought you were someone else until you mentioned 12 steps, which was unfortunate. The idea of no redemption comes from the fact that I still do what I want and have as much fun along the way, which is really it’s own form of redemption, just probably not in a 12 step perspective. My life today is a gorgeous chaotic fairytale. I live with someone I love in a beautiful city, and I finally found something that makes me happy other than chemicals. Please don’t ever wish sanity on me because it sounds awfully dreary. Not sure who you are, but thanks for reading and the well wishes!

          1. You are probably right on your guess. I didn’t wish sanity on you. Just some of slowness that will ultimately happen if you let yourself grow older….. I know 12 steps and you are not friends. I hope you are loving you. I wanted you to know I read your blog and get it sent to me. Sometimes I worry because I’m not sure if the reflection in the narrative is of the present or past. I wanted to let you know that you are thought of often and not in an “I’ll mail him a big book to save him…. Kind of way”. The second step reference was for me…. And a clue….

            1. Also I thought you were Real Estate Tycoon at first but he is definitely not sober…judging from your email address it looks like you are a fan of Donnie Darko which is my favorite movie of all time ❤

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