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drugs stopped

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The last place you want to go after the drugs stopped.

The drugs stopped working at a mom and pop funeral parlor where the owners lived upstairs.

A shiny metal coffin sat in the chapel with a beautiful young woman inside. She wore a conservative suit, the sort of clothes that get people hired at job interviews.

Her four year old son ran up and down the aisle, stopping when his name was called by an aunt or an uncle.

The young woman, a Catherine Zeta-Jones look alike, had been off drugs for six months, about the same time she’d been out of jail since her last arrest.

She had a job, an apartment, and saw her son more often than she did when she was in the life. But it wasn’t enough.

Then it was over.

Her life was marked by the ups and downs of methamphetamine use.

She went from arrest, to rehab, to living with her parents over and over.

They never gave up on her though, even when she re-entered the life and told her new drug friends about her father’s car.

Not just any car, but a restored Chevy from the mid-60’s with the best sound system on the market installed in the trunk. The car ended up stolen and recovered a few weeks later, stripped clean in a parking lot.

Then came the law.

I wasn’t home the day the DEA agents came to her parent’s door looking for her.

Agents jumped the fence between our houses, figuring her for a runner, even though she wasn’t home.

They ignored the neighbor gate we installed to visit back and forth.

Her father came through the gate that evening and said his daughter had a warrant for her arrest describing her as a fugitive. He convinced her to turn herself in when she called, and she did.

What happened next had happened before: She met a new boyfriend in jail.

The drugs stopped but not the life.

After she came out clean and sober and moved back home, she felt ready to begin the next phase of her new life.

New boyfriend followed soon after.

Her father didn’t know the boyfriend made collections for whole sale drug dealers, that he collected debts when the money owed didn’t come in on time.

As an enforcer, the boyfriend knew what happened to minor dealers who burned their suppliers. He beat sense into them.

One night he carried a pile of meth in his car when a policeman lit him up.

Instead of pulling over like the rest of us, he floored his TransAm.

He didn’t slow down for the stop sign, went air born over a cross street, before slamming down and careening toward the railroad tracks with a police car following.

I heard a long, loud, scream of rubber against cement and the siren. The next morning I walked to the school bus stop and saw the long, black, marks on the pavement.

The enforcer and the girl disappeared that night, but not for long.

He ran from the police, remembering to take the drugs out of his car, but forgot his wallet. He got picked up and sent to jail, while the authorities searched for the girl.

In the meantime, her father looked into the room they had shared at his house and found it full of expensive automotive electronics and burglary tools.

The drugs stopped, then started over.

The beautiful young woman looked like a poster girl for the rehabilitative powers of the legal system.

She had everything to live for when she got out of jail the last time, from worn out addict in sunglasses to the true vibrancy of her age. With her life together and promises to everyone who mattered she would keep it that way, she succeeded.

In the end, none of it kept her interest.

Working long shifts to pay rent and buy a bus pass paled in comparison to the excitement of the outlaw life she’d lived.

She grew lonely.

Guys her age working their way through college didn’t appeal to her. The future looked like minimum wage jobs in noisy drive-thru windows.

Yes, she lived clean and sober, but also drained of hope, and no one saw that.

With her fearful demons at bay for a good six months, she make amends with those who loved her.

She didn’t die addicted, but drugs pushed her.

About David Gillaspie
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