Narcotics Anonymous, Part 1: "That's Just Life on Life's Terms"
I hadn’t seen him in 25 years when he walked into the bar - & would’ve continued through life never knowing the difference, if our childhood friend hadn’t died.
Life’s unforeseen turns are funny like that, the constant struggle of paradoxes pulling us in opposing directions & landing us here in the middle, in what we call reality… Beginnings that inevitably bring endings, & endings that always bring new beginnings… Light that makes us able to recognize dark, & then dark that makes us acknowledge goodness, & so on.
I knew our late friend Micah on one side – the one that says, “She’s your Dad’s childhood best friend’s daughter, your childhood best friend’s little sister, & your little sister’s childhood best friend – act accordingly.” It was never said, & luckily with our families’ upbringings, never needed saying, because as I would come to find out after his death, Micah had many sides - & apparently the biggest cock anyone I spoke to who had seen it had ever crossed paths with.
I was aware that a decade before he had overcome his heroine addiction – they couldn’t hide it’s reality anymore when he was sent away to prison while his pregnant girlfriend handled what I can only imagine she never hoped to, alone. He’d cleaned his life up, was making great money running a handful of successful businesses & was a proud, involved father… Until a freak accident landed him in the basket of an emergency coast guard helicopter on the way to the closest hospital.
His eyeball was ripped from its socket in the middle of the night in a freak boat accident off The Channel Islands where we had all grown up bouncing between as blessed California kids. Unbeknownst to his saviors, they would become his executers, because the worst thing for a recovering heroine addict, is to be administered a synthetic heroine painkiller. He was addicted again & this time the weight was too heavy to carry.
Scott was always kind-hearted, charismatic & attractive… Still is. But I was clueless to the fact that the past 2 decades had also made him into a recovering addict, father to 3 & husband to none, which, in all honesty, caught me off guard. “I never injected like Micah – it just wasn’t my get-down,” he told me, as if I knew the nuances, let alone differences between addictions.
We exchanged numbers – as I think everyone was expecting - & with our equal rawness, became close friends quickly. As the hours of conversations continued over the weeks, he answered me many times with, “That’s just life on life’s terms, Babe.” I found it so insightful that I wrote it down; little did I know it’s a mantra in 12-step recovery programs.
You played the game, though it’s unfair – they’re all the same, like it compares? First you lose trust, then you get worried…