B&E Brad

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These last few pages I’ll waste on you, Brad. You’ve fucked up every good chance you’ve had… but so have I, so I can’t say shit. But my supply ran dry and you fronted me hits, and you split your bags, and you shared your scripts, and you kept me from being sick. When I couldn’t find anything to sell you kept me well, and you let the favors stack up like shit house bricks.

I’d have nothing to pawn, no dough for the cause, no gas in the car to give you a ride, and you still got me high, over and over and over again when my pocket ran thin like it had – and that’s a move I’ll never forget, Brad. I remember the day that you left rehab, bound and determined to stab your vein. It was a game that you knew you would lose but you played anyway and now look at you: waiting on trays, throwing down spades and looking forward to commissary day.

And I hope you know, Brad, I’m not coming down on you. While you were shooting the shit, I was shooting it right next to you – I’m just saying.

Think of the conversation we had on the rehab bench, that last cigarette before you left. You smoked and said: “If I leave, I’m fucked.” But you knew you’d go. And oddly enough, we shared that same smoke three months prior on the courtroom steps, the day we met. I was smoking my last cigarette as a free man. And in a way I think it’s kind of funny that you came up and bummed one from me and I gave you the pack. Because that day in rehab you gave me one back and told me to talk you out of leaving… and then you didn’t even listen to me once. I gave you a whole pack of last cigarettes and you used them all up in less than three months.

And now it’s one room, four walls, an 8×9 coffin. A tin toilet and matching flush button. Sick nights in a sleepless rack, with a sweaty back and goose bumped skin. Now a lunch tray winning hand of spades is about the best you can hope for… or maybe that your shit-on-a-shingle is warm, or that you don’t spray diarrhea all over the toilet seat and piss off your Bunkie… because B&E Brad’s about to be one sick, sick junkie.

And Brad, I’m not pointing a finger; I’m just pointing it out. I’ve got no room to blame. We both played the same lame dope game so I feel like a hypocrite saying what I’m saying. But it’s true that we do what we do and nobody’s going to stop us. I just hope that somewhere down the line you find a reason to open your eyes every morning that doesn’t include dope, a needle and a spoon. Because there’s reason out there to suck air, believe it or not, that doesn’t embellish a freight train rush, or an excuse for a crutch, or a ten ton habit on your back. Or a paycheck drain on pain killing days, or running out of grocery stores with steaks down your pant-leg for a 20-dollar sack.

And I’m not trying to be some goodie good trampoline, bouncing back and forth from soap box to dope scene, saying, ‘hey, look at me, look at me, I got clean’… but, I’ve got an inner peace that can’t compete with running out of Wal-Mart with stolen TV’s or stealing security cameras right out of the aisle, or buying a dope pile with eyes wide on a vein ride that’ll kill the time between now and then. In fact that peace comes from knowing I don’t ever have to do that shit again. Kind of like how you felt relieved to be caught, and that finally all that insane shit was going to stop. And you no more would you have to face the day and everything it was going to take to scrape the change together to cop and get yourself well.

That bullshit will always be there will always be there if you want to go back to that hell.

But you’re young enough now that a few years locked down, won’t steal the youth that’s passing you by as you sit and shoot stolen shit to get high. So when you get out you can give that clean slate a try. Plus you’ve been to hell already and you made your way back, so if you’ve been to hell already why would you ever go back? And I know it was rough on you when you were a kid. But you made it up till now doing the shit that you did, and if you made it through that, you can make it through this.

They say peace of mind melts a wall of brick, and to make it through there’s going to take a mind trick.

So tell yourself, without a fucking doubt when those fucking judges let you out you’ll remember there’s a potential pause that exists before every action. One that either swells with air upon recognition like the sail of a boat in a strong wind… or one that cowers to the rise of temptation, the claws of addiction, the clenched and angry jaws of aggression or the repetitive spin of being strong to giving in.

It takes less than a second to think about it all.

So with the pause in effect you can then recall the rehab halls, the P.O.’s piss cup bathroom stalls, the prison yards and chow hall calls, the curfews, counselors, community service hours, and state imposed terms of motherfuckers in your face. Leaving the joint in chains on a bus with a cage and having to spread asshole wide to get back into the place. Or the penetrating claws of a chemical embrace. Staining your silverware with the heavy habits that consume the days of slaving to the churn of an urgency to earn.

But the pause only exists if you choose to see its face where it waits to be spotted and plotted upon. It is the gap that usually passes between ‘urge’ and ‘consume’. Like in those bullshit anger management classes we had to sit through. Where they tell you to count to ten and begin again. That moment exists at every instant. The chance to move at a right angle, or spin like a turn table for a back-of-your-heel ride, away from a bad decision that hasn’t yet been realized. The pause is pregnant and twice its size when it comes alive.

And brad, man I’m not trying to preach like I’ve got it all figured out. Like I been through it so I know what it’s all about, or like I’m some goody good boy scout or really in the position to give advice to anybody. I’m just reflecting what I learned and what works for me. I know you’re the same as any other junky… and it doesn’t matter what I say, you’re going to do what you want to anyway. As you should.

But you’re a smart kid with a strong will underneath your hood. So when deciding what you’re going to do, take the time to think before you act and you’ll be good.

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