Sometimes a really good story is only good for some of the characters. Sometimes a happy ending is only happy for some of the characters. Sometimes the hero of the story is a terrible role model. And sometimes the story doesn’t ever get told.
There are a good deal of stories you can read about me, most of them come from my mouth, or in this case my blog, and many of them have a strong backstory. A moral of some kind. A purpose. But in being open, I mean really open, there will come times when there isn’t a moral, at least not directly. Times when the story is just a window into a bad choice. Maybe you’ve made that choice as well. Maybe you’ve been in a story just like the one I’m about to tell, or any of the one’s I’ve told already. It’s uncanny how similar we all are, even in all of our differences.
Anyway without getting too much more poetic on you, I’d like to open one of those windows I just mentioned. And if you look through it, you’ll see a 13 year old boy who looks very much like me, making a choice.
It was a Tuesday. I think. Actually no, it was a Monday. At least for a few minutes anyway. 13 year old me had gotten home from school, drunk a bit too much vodka, took a bit too much candy through the nose and collapsed on his bed. Before totally blacking out though, he managed to get a phone call out to his best friend. He called him his best friend because they shared the same love for illegal substances, and because he was ok with stealing a car to go joyriding, or just to pick him up and bring him around. It wasn’t so much a friendship as it was a lesser willed boy doing whatever the stronger willed boy wanted to.
True friendship isn’t really the point here though, is it? I certainly didn’t care to think about how I was treating the kid. He never complained and I got to do basically what I wanted. It was perfect. Sad, but perfect.
So when teenage Adam came to, he found himself at his friend’s house sleeping against a TV blaring the Tuesday night newscast. His mom must have thought he was at a sleep over. In a way I suppose owe was. With drunken parents passed out in one room, a drunken roommate upstairs, and the very friend who must have taken him there sprawled out on the couch, eyes half closed and drool glistening around the rim of his lower lip. Being that it seemed as he was the only conscious member of the household (not for his lack of trying), he decided it was time to explore. The parents door was locked but the roommate’s was not. The boy was pleasantly surprised to find a wad of twenties on the bedside table. There had to be at least a thousand bucks there but that wasn’t the most valuable thing in the vicinity. In the drawer of that table was a huge bag of weed, sitting next to an equally large bag of cocaine. The irony was he would never have looked in the drawer if not for the pile of empty dime bags on the floor. After all, that amount of money can buy all the drugs you could ask for. But why buy it if its right there in front of you to take?
He had hit the lottery. Free beer and booze in the kitchen downstairs. A dealer too drunk to notice what he was about to lose upstairs, and a lot of free time to decide what to do first. But he needed to have a plan if he was really gonna get the best of this gift he’d discovered. He needed to figure out how much to steal for later and how much to take now. No choice in his life thus far had ever been so exciting, so easy, and so fun at the same time, as this one. He felt so alive that he stepped back and danced with himself in celebration.
It’s the little things in life that make it worth it.
I should mention that I’m a terrible dancer now, and I was then too. Especially when surrounded by laundry, magazines, and shoes. Graceful as I was, I tripped right onto the bed.
That was going to be it. That 13 year life was over. And yet even with falling onto the bed and onto the leg of the passed out roommate, nothing changed. The snoring remained the same. The whining noise the ceiling fan made as it spun still remained. The warm fuzzy excitement that the simple teenage mind was feeling for having made this discovery hadn’t dwindled even a little bit. In fact, with having cheated death just now, the excitement had risen to a truly biblical level.
He was having a spiritual awakening. As if he fell asleep in his house and awakened in addict heaven. He slide down onto the floor, one foot now spread across a few dirty shirts, the other foot having pushed over the tower of porn magazines that had made him trip in the first place.
Gathering the treasures from the table and laying them around his legs, he suddenly knew what he was going to do with it all. It came in a wave all at once. He wondered whether it was a hallucination or a vision. And really at the end of the day, weren’t the two things one and the same.
He split the coke into quarters. One for him. One mixed into the weed he was gonna take all of. The remaining half would remain so as not to be discovered when the dealer woke up in the morning. Especially since by then he’d have done a good deal of those drugs, hidden the rest of it for himself to find later on and then passed out. And after screwing over a guy holding that many drugs and that much money, being discovered probably meant never waking up.
After he made the “deal” he took his first hit of the coke out of the bag he was going to leave behind and fell back on the floor to enjoy the moment. And what a moment it was. The cocaine went straight to his head. This was so much better than anything that the fridge could supply him downstairs. Not that it would stop him from opening that fridge anyway and downing whatever it was that was in there.
But before he went back downstairs, there was still the matter of the pile of money on the table. He figured that if he grabbed a handful it would probably yield at least $500 bucks and still go unnoticed. Ultimately though he decided he wanted all of the dough and that his friend (who was drooling all over himself asleep on the couch) would take the blame. A real friend would do that for him.
And if the dealer woke up and in a rage pummeled the brains out of him, he would not be alive to enjoy what he’d just stolen, so sacrifices had to be made. Blame had to be placed for the greater good. And there would be no sleep lost if the friend got beaten because they didn’t really hang out that often and the sleepover was only because a call was placed, while both drunk and high, to a friend who happened to have a way to transport a heavy, passed out 13 year old and a willingness to do so. Like a booty call, only without sex. Actually that’s an awful comparison. Let’s call it more like a drunk dial. That sounds better.
Satisfied with himself, he drew himself another line of coke, also from the supply he wasn’t keeping (because why do your own drugs when you can do someone else’s), went to the kitchen to eat the remains of a McDonald’s value meal, throw back the rest of a bottle of whiskey, a third of a cup of flat CocaCola and a half a tub of ice cream, and passed out right there on the tile.
I’m not really sure how I made it out of there if I’m honest. I woke up in a pile of my own vomit, in my own bed, still holding on to the phone. Naturally you’re thinking, all of that probably never happened. Which is what I’d thought too. But it did leave a very interesting question lingering in my head.
If it wasn’t real. I mean, If I hadn’t really done all the things I was sure I’d done. Then why did my vomit smell like chicken nuggets.