Real Life


I close my eyes and pluck away at the keyboard.

My heart is broken, I feel nervous and shaky and tired. I want to go to sleep and dream. I want to see lovely things when I close my eyes. But I don’t. Instead I see crack houses and heroin dens with overgrown yards and boarded up windows and doors,  watchmen peeking through slats looking out for the police, dirt and smoke and filth and guns, and men. Disgusting men, repulsive and abusive, taking sex for drugs. And Kimmy.

I was almost 10 when she was born, the perfect age to play house with a real live baby doll. She was the little girl that loved to dance and sing. Constantly singing, Skinnamarink a dink a dink, skinnamarink a doo, I love you. The one that was crazy about puppies and picking flowers. The toddler that wore her Minnie Mouse dress every single day. She would cry when my mom made her take it off to be washed. I see her long ringlet curls hanging down her back, bouncing as she ran across the yard chasing the dog.  I hear her telling stories with her little lisp, and I hear our family, whole and together, laughing at her constant entertainment.

The phone rings and I think I might vomit.

It would be a relief to get a phone call saying that she’s dead. Dear God, what a terrible thing that is to say. It’s a million times worse to actually feel it about someone that you love. What kind of person have I become? This disease has stolen my heart. I justify the feeling because that phone call would free me from constantly wondering whether or not she’s alive. It would free her from this misery she has created for herself.

It’s not her. I go on waiting. I get her son ready for bed. I kiss his cheek and rub his head and remind him how much he is loved. I tell him I think he’s the most beautiful boy ever. He giggles and tells me I’m silly. He says that he’s handsome and not beautiful. He tells me that I’m beautiful.

Her son calls me mommy and her Kimmy. He asked me today if she was coming to visit and I had to say no. He asks me tonight if she is coming tomorrow. I smile and tell a lie. “Maybe”, I say. She’s been visiting once a week for awhile now. Might not sound like much, but to us it’s a big deal. He loves to see her. There’s definitely a mother/child bond that even addiction can’t break. He loves her. I think she loves him. It’s hard to tell. If actions speak louder than words than the answer would be no. But still, I think she might. How could she not? He’s adorable and hilarious. He makes everyone around him smile.

I don’t feel hope at this moment. I know I should, but I don’t. Right now I’m walking this invisible line somewhere between peace and desperation. It takes everything in me to not go find her and bring her to my house. But what then? She could steal from me, go pawn my belongings to satisfy her craving. Again. No, thank you.

I don’t know this mix of emotions. I want to name it. Anger, disappointment, frustration. What am I? Sad. I think that’s it. I’m sad for every person that lives like this. I’m sad that there’s no cure. I’m sad that there is so much evil in the world and that sometimes that evil gets ahold of the people that we love and it doesn’t let them go.

But even in this sadness, I trust that there is a God that loves Kimmy even more than I do. And though I don’t understand His ways and probably never will, I will continue to place my trust in the one who is far greater and wiser than I will ever be.



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