It's been ten years.
The other day, I walked into a downtown Wendy's to kill 20 minutes and try and relax.
I looked forward and almost missed him. His back was arched and his arms were too skinny. His face was gaunt and his eyes were shifting everywhere. He had shoved himself flush with the wall. He was hiding in plain sight. Whenever I would lower my eyes, I could hear him talking. I couldn't hear him, but I knew he was talking to me.
I know that it costs about $3 for a spice joint.
He asked me for $2 for the bus.
I bought him a frosty and some chicken nuggets.
I was violently composed in the restaurant.
I fell a part in the car and let the sobs break through my composure.
Ten years ago, my brother died in Salt Lake City after overdosing on heroin.
Ten years ago, my brother was that man.
The only comfort I have right now is that at least he's dead.
I know that's a horrible thing to say, but there are worse things than death.
But after ten years, what could have been? Could he be better now? Could he have overcome his demons and gone on to live a fulfilling life? That's what breaks my heart. Life offers all of us redemption, sunrises, cleansing rain. But he's dead.
What have I done in ten years? It's been ten years. How have I honored the privilege of redemption, the hope of sunrise, the joy of cleansing rain? Where are the rest of us now?
I've done a lot, met a world of people, been a lot of places--but it feels like nothing today. It just feels like I'm the same sad girl who lost her brother ten years ago.
Anniversaries suck sometimes.
Today I'm grateful for life. I am grateful for the opportunity to be better at it than I have been. I'm grateful that I have tomorrow to start being better. Today, I am just going to breathe, remember, cry, and try and take advantage of the privilege of living.
I promise I'll write something less depressing about Jack on his birthday in a few weeks.