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Collaring a Junkie



Rise above.

Reach farther.

These were the things Jerry kept repeating in his head, mantras to fight off the evil cloud hanging over him.  He had been having the worst kind of luck, and he was planning on trying a new positive kick.  He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been either sober or not high, and the last girlfriend he’d had ran off when he wouldn’t stop hitting her.

He had called in to work for the fifth time in three weeks and his boss had given Jerry the ultimatum that if he didn’t start showing up he’d be fired.  His head was on fire and pounding as if the four horsemen themselves were riding down the door, and he was too weak to get up and find the aspirin.  However, he had no trouble getting up for the doorbell, he knew it was his dealer and it was time for his weekly delivery of what ailed him.

Jerry gazed out his window at the tall buildings, marveling at the snow falling from the sky and dripping off the gutters high above the ground.  The needle in his arm didn’t have anything left in it, and he was considering pushing the plunger in one more time, this time injecting his veins with air.  Why not end his existence when he was happiest, flying high with the birds that circled dead animals on the street.  He could see himself looking down at the people walking on the sidewalks, hurrying to their destinations with hope in their eyes and love in their hearts and he wanted to be one of them.

The tears splashing on his wrist woke him up, and he took the needle out of his arm, tossing it down onto the kitchen counter.  He ran into his bathroom, and looked in the mirror at the reflection that told him the story of every other junkie who had a temper problem.  The tear tracks on his cheeks, the mussed hair and if he looked lower, he could see the red trails in the crook of his arm.

Jerry decided to go for a walk to try to clear his head.  He was bumping into people and stumbling into parking meters, simply trying to put one foot in front of the other.  He finally couldn’t find the strength within to go on anymore.  The steps he sat down on were tall and seemed to go on forever and he quit trying to see the top of them.  He lay down and let the snow fall into his eyes, crying for the lost life that he had pissed away the last 3 years.

He managed to get his eyes closed and lay on the concrete, wishing that a mugger would come by and kill him.  He was lamenting his past when a voice entered his hopeless sobbing, “Son, do you need a hand?”

Jerry sat up and opened his eyes, staring at the hand that was offered, and then looking up at the black top with the white collar.  He reached up and took the hand, and knew deep inside that he would be ok from now on.


From → Shorts

  1. So, naturally, i choose a story that has the word “collaring” in the title. This is wonderful, inspiring, and yet heart wrenching. i enjoyed, shed a tear, and smiled in the end.

    • grizyeti permalink

      I’m touched. Thank you for the kind words. I’m also happy that you “get it”
      Thanks also for visiting, the follow, and commenting on one of my stories.

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