It Coulda Been Me

That could be me...

Whatever you do, don't look him in the eyes. He could get a job if he wanted, he's probably not really a vet. I heard they make like $200 a day holding that sign. He's probably going to spend it on meth anyway. He's just lazy.

His older brother was the football star and did everything dad wanted him to. His older brother stayed in the family business. His older brother married his high school sweetheart. Its tough growing up like that. Especially when you were born in the early 60s. Especially when dad showed love by being hard on you. Life was tough for dad too. He grew up in a farming family during the depression. And fought depression; but what's depression to that generation? They worked hard and expected their boys to do the same thing. 

But he found his niche. When his brother started using drugs, so did he. Now he felt so much closer to him. His brother didn't know he knew about the drugs. But he was always watching; he idolized him. He watched everything he did. And he heard about it at school. I mean, it WAS the 60s and lots of people were doing it. When you're the 4th of 4 kids, its easy to get away with a lot. He just wanted to make people happy and it hurt when he disappointed everyone. He seemed to never please dad. Its tough for a 14 year old kid no matter what, but its great to find a little escape from disappointing everyone.. 

Dad wasn't disappointed. Dad loved him, he just didn't know how to show him. Real men don't show emotions. 

He was never lazy, he always worked hard. There was that one day when dad told him that he works faster than anyone else that works thereDad said he was proud of him. Too bad dad didn't really know that its because of the different drugs he's been taking. But whatever. He was making more money because he worked faster. And he's grown now. And married. She knows about it, and she bugs him sometimes about taking them, but she's coming around. And she's so beautiful and they really love each other. 

He really screwed things up. He's a little short this week but can't do without. He'll work some overtime next week and it'll be ok if the rent's late a week. or two. 

She's really mad, or embarrassed, or disappointed. It doesn't really matter what she is- all that matters is that its his fault. She said they came by to kick them out of the apartment. She didn't know the rent was three months behind. 

"Why didn't you tell me?!" 
"What are we going to do?" 
"What's wrong with you?" 

"Goodbye."

And she left. The only good thing that he ever had going for him, and now she's gone. He got straightened out a little, but she still won't talk to him. And now, he can't find her. 

Dad would be so embarrassed if he saw him crying like this. But Dad's been gone for years. 

And that's life. 20 years later, he's figured out how to survive like this. Some years he uses less. Some years he uses more. He still sees his brother and sisters. They say they're worried about him. He tells them he's fine. They don't understand anyway. Everything's perfect for them. They're still married. They have their families. They have their normal lives and couldn't understand how hard it is on him. 

They took his house. And the car. He left the rest of the stuff because it doesn't matter anyway and he walked away.

He heard those guys make like $200 a day. He could get a fix if he just had $40. 

But Dad wouldn't be embarrassed. Dad would have given anything to help him. His brother and sisters would do the same. But no one knows how to help. When they gave him money, he just blew it. They buy him clothes every once in a while. They pick him up and bring him over for dinner. 

He's just a burden on the rest of the family. He's an embarrassment to them. He's ashamed of how he ended up. How did he end up like this?

He's decided. He's finally going to do something right.

And he did.

They haven't seen him in a few days. 
Weeks. 
Its been months now. 

Life's tough for everyone. Don't judge.