Your voice comes through deep and broken by drink, drugs and static from thousands of miles away and i feel my guts turning over and twisted as i struggle with what to say.
Those people, the ones who tell you that a heart can actually ache? i always thought it was so much romantic bullshit.
But when i see your face in my mind, four years-old and smiling, waving blue balloons and chasing me down the street in front of our old apartment – as that incongruous image mixes in my head with the sound of your fucked-up, drug-addled, painfully sad voice – i feel it.
I’m afraid you’re going to die.
You, with your pale-gold hair and beautifully difficult poetry, your nimble fingers on the guitar strings, your half-smile and arched-eyebrow (which you got from me)…
Every time my phone rings and that area code comes up, ‘415’, my stomach tightens and i reach for my cigarettes.
The conversation is always a variation on a theme – a sort of Mobius-Loop of addiction-violence-jail-regret-detox-addiction.
You got into a fight. You’ve been arrested. You’ve been burned in a deal. You need money.
When you hang up, i go to the bathroom to splash my face with water, so nobody sees i’ve been crying, and am shocked at the sudden bloom of dark, purple circles beneath my eyes.
Which i deserve, beyond any shadow of a doubt.
You are my child, and i failed to protect you.
I failed you.
And now, the only saviour left is you, sweet boy. I don’t know how to love you anymore – every word i say, every letter written, every dollar sent – it simply vanishes with the voracious appetite of your addiction.
It’s devoured our family – and i feel like an insect sucked dry of all its meat.
I can only imagine how you must feel.
And i still love you. For all the good it does…
What can i say?
I love you.
I miss you.
I want you to come home.
But i don’t know where you have gone. You aren’t you anymore.
And me? I don’t even know who i am anymore.
And i don’t know if i’ll ever find either of us again.