Monday, April 30, 2012

A sober birthday.  The first one in how long?  Eight years?  Is that the right number?  The right amount of time?  How much of my life have I blurred with drugs?

    Well, it passes well enough.  The day is gorgeous.  Blue skies with those big, white, fluffy clouds.  The temperature calms in the sixties.  It’s perfect.

    We gather at a friend’s.  We make pizza, once again.  I learn how to roll and pull the dough for the crust.  I smear on roasted garlic and olive oil.  Drop on caramelized onions.  Strategically place slices of goat cheese and apple.  And sprinkle on fresh thyme.  I even get to slide the whole thing off the pizza peel into the 1200 degree hearth outside, as friends lean over and marvel with interest.

It’s good fun.  The time goes.

I speak with the Mother while we stand by the koi pond.  She throws nuggets of fish food in.  We talk of depression.  We talk of the battles.  The darkness.  The weight.  Her Son.  

Her lost Son.  

My lost friend.  

And it’s encouraging but also so despairing.  It leaves me rugged.  It leaves me limping and bare.

We all leave shortly after.  When the sun goes down.

I drive home with a friend and tell her how nights are the hardest.  How these nights, these nights, tear me apart.  She places her hand on my shoulder and I try to feel something besides defeat.

But I can’t.

So I just drive the car in silence. 

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