Note: If you read this earlier today, I added an addendum this afternoon.
On the last day of this second most difficult winter in my life, I discovered that my son is on crack.
It happened after midnight today that I stumbled upon his stash. I had taken a nap earlier and had a lot of physical energy to burn. I decided to wash the blankets and put many of them away since the days have been warming up. I grabbed the ones in his room, along with several bath towels. One was on an open shelf.
Under it was a little container shaped like a vampire's casket. I remembered seeing it last Halloween when it had held a pair of costume vampire teeth.
The last time I saw it, it was empty and on his floor. Thinking it was now trash, I reached for it to throw it away. I shook it first and heard it rattle. I opened it.
Inside was a small amount of drugs and paraphernalia, but probably enough to get him ten years in a federal prison. There were little amber-colored, pebble-shaped crack rocks. Several white miniature things that looked like funnels. A round thingy that is small enough to hide in your hand, and when opened revealed a wax-like substance that smelled horrible.
Initially I wasn't sure of what I was seeing because I thought crack rocks were white. I googled. No, they're more often amber in color. I googled more to figure out what the other stuff was for. The picture revealed those things could be related to meth.
I returned to my laundry, then sat in the living room a long time, thinking a mother's thoughts. Meanwhile, my son watched mixed martial art videos on the computer, clueless that I had discovered his secret life and the probable source of his off 'n on batshit crazy behavior since November.
If I flushed them, I thought, and he's only selling it, he wouldn't be able to pay his dealer and could or would likely end up getting shot or killed.
If I called the police, with even what looked to my eyes like a small amount of drugs and paraphernalia, he'd likely end up getting sentenced five to ten years in prison.
Damn. If only the laws were designed to treat, not punish, individuals with non-violent and otherwise non-criminal histories, I'd have called the police nine hours ago and happily watched him escorted to a long term rehab. I mean, wouldn't it be cheaper (and better for society) to keep people like him in rehab for 18 months rather than jail for five or ten years? Well, not for the privatized, corporate, neo-slave plantations that get free labor.
I kept thinking. Memories less than a month old filled my mind of him putting a loaded gun to his head and daring me to dare him to pull the trigger when I told him he needed to look for a job. Damn, talk about a missed opportunity!
As I sat after midnight, I worried that he'd flip out again if I now confronted him with threats of kicking him out or demands he go into rehab. The gun is gone, but he's not above deliberately walking into a fast moving car on a busy street; done that, been there.
Rehab is iffy anyway; he has no health insurance, and there's always a waiting list for the few free ones. Knowing him like I do, he'd be lying that he was "only selling" and not using, and if a bed became available in a week, by that time he'd be claiming he was cured, and frankly I don't think I could deal with his hostility if I pushed the issue. On the other hand, I wonder if I could deal with his funeral, but then I wouldn't have a choice.
It's been a really long winter.
My last post of substance was two weeks ago. I've written two since then but published neither. The first was good but too long, and despite it's length, something is still missing from it. The other topic was passionate, but maybe too opinionated. I hate being preachy.
I've toyed with both posts when not job searching, but I've had little ability to concentrate on writing. I'm constantly wondering if one of the last two jobs I interviewed for will come through - so that I can have enough money to move the heck out of here with my 14 year old daughter. A full time job will be our escape hatch, but it pains me that my son refuses to find or accept one for himself.
And finally, the symbolism of what he hid his drugs in is not lost on me: a Halloween toy casket. This is an intersection of childhood playfulness and death, with nothing in between except vampirism. The undead. The not alive. No wonder he begged me for permission to kill himself.
The thing is, I'm not even angry with my son. I am profoundly sad for him. If he's smoking crack, that's horrible enough, but if he's also using meth, he is done. Finished.
And only 21 years old.
Addendum, 1:40 pm
He awakened at noon and approached me where I sat in the living room chair. It is green leather and a hand me down from my late mother.
"Ma, lemme use your computer," he said.
"Sit down first, please, we need to talk."
Men must learn as boys that when a woman says this, the shit is serious and all about them. Face in a frown, he sat.
"I found the crack."
I told him where and when, and lil' nigga went off.
"I am not a crackhead!", he yelled.
"I also saw the meth paraphernalia."
"Meth? I am so tired of you thinking I'm a drug addict! I AM NOT LIKE MY BIRTH MOTHER!"
"I saw, Xavier."
"Show me!", he screamed.
His fists were clenched and he looked sooo angry.
"Uh, I don't know if it's safe right now," I said. "You look pretty mad."
"Arrrgh!" he replied, and stormed into my daughter's bedroom to keep a distance between us.
"Go ahead," he screamed, "Get it! Show it to me!"
I went to his room, but then he came in, shadowing me. I looked on the shelf where I left it. He pointed. "There it is! Open it!"
I expected the drugs to be gone. They weren't.
"They're all here," I said, looking at him apprehensively.
"Those aren't drugs," he said with clenched teeth. "Damn you make me crazy!"
"It's looks just like the pictures of crack."
The word made him flinch.
"Crack doesn't look like that. See? This is kind of transparent."
My father was from Show Me state, so I went to the computer. The stuff does look an awful lot like crack, but not 100%.
He lit his lighter to a booger-sized "rock". It stank.
"Well what the hell is it?"
"Glue, like in the little container," he answered. "It's from where it got too hard when I was applying it to the [vampire] teeth and I rolled it up into little balls 'cause I didn't want to throw them on the floor... no trashcan."
"Can I take this to the police?"
"Be my guest."
I smiled my first smile of today. The only reason I didn't feel stupid is because I felt relieved.
"Xavier, I'm sorry."
"Ma, I keep telling you, I'll NEVER get on hard drugs. Weed and booze is bad enough. I've tried cocaine and you know this, but that was a long time ago and I'll never go back to that or mess with crack, meth, heroin, any of that..."
Then his face looked sad. He said, "You keep thinking I'll end up like my mother but I won't."
"That's not true. She has nothing to do with my worrying about you. Hell, three weeks ago you had a gun to your head. In December you were raising hell and overdosed on your meds when I got mad at you. I still haven't recovered from any of that."
"Ma, I wouldn't have shot myself," he said. His voice and face had some uncertainty. This was the first time he talked - really talked - about that day with me.
"Mom," he continued, "I thought about that. My blood all over the walls and floors and me dead. Your brain would have been fried. I couldn't do that to you. You'd have never recovered if I did."
"That's true," I said.
"I'm sorry I put you through that, but please, know that I'll never get into that hard shit. Guys get so bad they end up loosing their teeth, sucking dick for drugs or doing hard time. That's not the life for me. I know this, and you taught me better than that. So trust me, please."
And with those words on this last day of this season, I am freeing my mind and our relationship of the chains of the past... the baggage from his birth family, his hell-raising, gang-banging, and drinking and drug abuse, off and on for the past eight years.
"Spring will be here tomorrow," I said, looking out the window. "With it, you and I are starting over fresh. It's very hard to not judge someone by their many past actions, and just as hard being judged, but I am going to let it go and trust you to be a man, and do the things a man has to do."
Xavier looked so relieved.
"Thank you," he said.
For him, like me, it's been long, hard winter. I think we are both ready for the spring.
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven...
and a time for every matter under heaven...