Mike Berger 

He's Dying

Chris reeks of urine. Bleeding needle marks turned his arms blue.
His eyes are glazed and he shows no emotion. Heroin has taken
its toll. He's unaware that I'm there.

He's dying.

Dying slowly dose by dose. He begins to shake and quiver. He
needs another fix. The methadone will stop the shakes but it is
as bad as the real stuff. I inject a syringe full. Serenity returns
in just a few seconds. Eyes closed and he smiles; not realizing

He's dying.

Usually we try to wean the user off-detoxify. Not Chris. He's burned
out his brain and his kidneys are failing. He looks ghastly pale and
his eyes are yellow. He doesn't respond to sound or light. He sits
like an amorphous lump of clay waiting to be returned to the earth.

He's dying

Once a businessman whose partner stole him blind. He never
recovered. He has robbed, stolen, begged and borrowed. He's
burned every bridge in town. He lived in a fleabag hotel and
survived on an SS I check. His family disowned him. His wife has
remarried. He is now too far gone to cry. The deep tragedy is
that nobody cares

He's dying.

Mike Berger © 2009