all photos by cheyanne
My heart feels immense sorrow today over junkie friend on his way to the bottom. Yesterday I didn't call him my friend, but today I do. He's somebody in my world I care about. He stays in the front of my mind, heart feeling sorrow for his suffering that is evidently unbearable. Mama put an appeal to prayer in facebook for her son. Justin told me something about himself yesterday I did not know, though could have imagined easily. In his early 20s he spent three months on crack, cell phone one of The first things to go, a bill so high he couldn't pay it and couldn't use the phone anymore, so he threw it on the ground and stomped it with his heel. Then he lost his trailer his grandmother had given him. Everything went away. Mother and her new husband wouldn't let him in the house, his sister wouldn't have anything to do with him. This was in his wild-thang time when I didn't see him for three or four years. I didn't want to know what he was going through, knowing it was far beyond any realm of my interest. I told him when he was 17 that he had about five years of mayhem ahead, running like a dog unchained. He came close to prison, came close to getting killed several times, carried a "nine" all the time. His closest friend in that time ended up dead. He went to Indiana, knew somebody in the drug world there, and nobody ever heard of him again. I asked one of his friends here if she'd heard anything of him. No. Any ideas what happened? She said, "He probably shit somebody there like he did everybody here." It was easy to see. That's what he did. Again, he was a great guy, big heart, and fun to be around with good sense of humor. He was what I call "good people," but he had addiction issues far beyond what he could handle. At the time he disappeared, both is mother and dad were in prison, both for selling stolen oxytocin. Here, it's called oxy-codeine.
At the same time my heart is dampened by sorrow, I feel such an overwhelming joy my eyes are wet much of the time from being on the verge of tears with love energy flowing. I know not why, but there it is. I took carrots to the donkeys this morning feeling like crying the whole time from the love I was feeling, looking at their eyes, feeling my affection for them. At this moment, at the outside corner of each eye rests a tear waiting for a chance to run down my cheek. This is constant today. And it's tears of joy. I don't know where the joy is coming from. I'm guessing it comes from the immense compassion I'm feeling, the joy accompanying the compassion. A tear just now took a ride down my cheek. The other one is about to go. And it's joy I'm feeling. During the time my friend Jr Maxwell was fading into death, toward the end I was stressed, feeling tremendous sorrow, and felt overwhelming joy all the time. It came to the place joy and sorrow had woven together such that I could not tell them apart, it was one feeling. As time went by, they came together such that I couldn't pick one from the other. It was like they were two sides of the same coin flipping in the air so fast it was a blur. The day Jr left the body, I felt joy all day with the sorrow of losing someone I respected way up high. Eventually, the feelings separated unto themselves again, and today they are back together where they become indistinguishable. Both eyes are running now. Out the window I see it is running time of day for the donkeys. They were grazing and Jack had a fit of wanting to run. He looked at Jenny to see if she wanted to run. No, she'd rather graze. He grazed a little, looking at her waiting to see if she wanted to run. He took off running and she followed. They are running around and around in the meadow, they have a circle they run, taking turns in the lead, ears up, having a ball.
I'm remembering Justin's 21st birthday, ten years ago. He'd been on his own in his wild-thang time a few years. I said, "Its your day. Whatever you want." He wanted to go to Winston-Salem to see Insane Clown Posse playing at Ziggy's. I thought: Oh God! Why did I ask? Why couldn't I just buy him a present? Ok, that's what we'll do. I ordered tickets online. It came time to go. He wanted to go to Laurel Springs, a bit of a drive, to get some crack. We drove to Laurel Springs where he picked up a white woman living in a trailer in a small Mexican trailer park community, living with a very dangerous man. She needed to go to town to get it. We drove her to town to a suburban neighborhood where she wanted to be let out on a corner and us to go away and return in twenty minutes. She was there in twenty minutes. They took care of their transaction and we drove her back to Laurel Springs. Then he wanted to go to my place to smoke some crack. I thought: Oh shit! I told myself this is Justin's day. I sat and watched him "chasing the high," as they call it. I watched time go by. Four bands were playing and it was an hour and a half drive. When it came time for the show to start, I told him the show started. I told him when the second band started. He didn't care. He offered me a hit and I declined. He said he knew I would decline, but wanted to give the courtesy of offering. Eventually, he reached the place he wanted to be. We left soon after the third band started. Insane Clown Posse was the last band. We arrived in the middle of their show. On the way back, it was around 2am, he showed me how he could drive up what we call 21 mountain, 21 being the highway, with 27 curves, in less than four minutes. He used the entire road, was seldom under 60. I sat fixed on a little word on the dash that said, airbag. I did not get in a car with him for several years after that experience.
Justin lit into our addict friend day before yesterday, giving him the lecture of his life. He said, You can pull yourself together! He said, I've been on the bottom, hit hard with a crash, had nothing, alienated everybody. He said, I pulled myself together and you can do it too. Justin's wife, Crystal, extended herself, ending up giving friend an hour and half talk in his face. She told him to think about what he's doing to his mother. He said he didn't care, she doesn't have much longer anyway. It ran all over Crystal. Justin said later, "If he said that to me, I'd have put him on the ground, I don't care, you don't talk like that about your mama." Crystal had to pull back her concern. She told his mother that she'd been through it with her first husband who OD'd. She said too much was coming up for her to deal with any further involvement. Her first husband was Justin's friend all the time growing up. Justin and Crystal bonded in their grief and they fell in love. This was in the time Justin had left my world. I believe he intuited I did not want him around. Guns and the drug world made me nervous. I met Crystal about a year after they'd married. First thing I said to her, "You're a brave woman." She said, Why? I said, You just are. I believed throughout Justin's wild-thang time that he would come back from it, knowing it is a pattern of kids raised by severely abusive daddies. I had my own wild-thang time, just experienced differently. I love Justin as though he were my own, even better, because we don't have father-son tension. I love Crystal the same, so much it brings the tears up again. I have a great respect for the man Justin has become. His intelligence and his heart blow my mind every time I'm around him. I'm happy to see him with a good life, fabulous kids and a good woman. His number one goal in his life is to be a good daddy. He's the kind of daddy his kids will love like crazy all their lives. The tears are flowing again. It's been like this all day.