When I was younger, like most people, I lived very differently than I do now. I guess for me you could say I lived very very very differently. Partying isn't a word that could apply to the desperation that drove me to seek continued oblivion through drugs and alcohol like I did. Of course it didn't really start like that but that's where it ended up. In fact I remember exactly where I was the day I realized that I couldn't pretend that it was about having fun anymore. That I had to try and feed something that could never get full. It started like a party though and that's around the time that I met Jim. (Jim isn't really Jim's name. I'm just using the name Jim cause his real name isn't really anybody's business.) Jim and I got along well at that time. We both were coming out of some very difficult times in our early teens and were both finding a solution to life through chemistry. And we did… we did a lot and as often as possible. Jim was funny as hell, very smart and liked to do very dangerous things for attention and adrenalin. I had several close using friends over those next few years but Jim was the one that I had the most in common with. And at the end of those days we were in very similar circumstances. Fast forward four years or so. Neither of us can hold down a job, we both are on a daily bases trying to find a way to cop and then find a place to sleep. Hopefully someones couch. It was in that time that I found a way to get out of that life and so far I haven't been back.
When I moved back to Chattanooga, after being gone for 11 years, I got a call from Jim. He was homeless and in a wheelchair because one of his legs had been removed. He wanted money, He told me god had told him to call me. He wanted money for dope. I told him that I wouldn't give him any money but I would be glad to bring him food and blankets. Stuff he could use. And he didn't want any of it. It was a conflicted night for me and in retrospect I really wish I had gone to see him that night. Not that I think it would have helped him. It would have just given me the opportunity to see him one last time.
I did hear from him for a long time, well, since then. Recently I started thinking about Jim and had an uneasy feeling. I was pretty sure of what I would learn if I looked him up. I found his brother on facebook and from him got the news. Jim had died in 2007, apparently very soon after the call. He had O.D.ed in a hospital on meds he had gotten a hold of while there. He was there for infections that resulted from him shooting up with tap water.
I found out about this tonight. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings mixing around and I am terribly sad about it. I loved Jim very much and i have always known of all the people I used with we were the most alike. and I have known that his path very well could have been my path. It is a haunting feeling seeing
Jim's brother has worked all over the world, with a truly amazing set of life experiences. He as taken Jim's ashes with him through all his travels and left a little of Jim all over the world.