My mother was being difficult, as usual, so after spending the day at A’s apartment on King Street, I met up with [insert name here] and we walked all the way up King Street to his apartment. It was located in the bad part of town, but a brick wall surrounded the apartments, that was actually fairly safe. We went into Apartment E and just hung out. I ended up sleeping over for 2 days before my mom had actually come to pick me up. Back then, he worked at a restaurant on Broad Street. I didn’t realize until later on that he had worked across the street from the family business, Read & Read. He had seen my Uncle and my Aunt and my grandfather on occasion. It was amazing that we both knew that my grandfather liked Mustard on his PB & J’s and sometimes bananas, too. He only seldom went to the restaurant, but when he did, all my Pop Pop asked for was a specialized PB & J.
About a week later, [insert name here] called me and I went up king street to see him for a few days. We mostly just hung out. The best way to describe what we did had a lot to do with this song:
Jack Johnson-Banana Pancakes
We stayed inside a lot and just closed the curtains and enjoyed each other’s company-and I enjoyed being able to get away from the world outside for a while. Then we’d usually take a nap or walk over to the Chinese place-it was right across the street from his apartment, which smelled amazing just to go outside to smoke a cigarette or something-and got some amazing food. Then he would head off to work, or we’d get a ride on Saturdays and Wednesdays to Saffron’s so [insert name here] could play and sing for the outside crowd.
After a few weeks, of the usual closing the curtains and just being happy, my grandfather died. So I was with my family a lot of the time. Instead of being with him a few days every week. And eventually, [insert name here] overdosed. For a while, I believed it was my fault, since we couldn’t see each other as often. It seemed as if every time we didn’t get to see each other for a few weeks, he overdosed.
In January, I had to go live with a friend in North Charleston- related to problems with my mother. I saw him twice while living in North Chuck. He seemed skinnier than normal, but at the time I hadn’t understood why. Eventually I found out this was because he was shooting up-and doing it way more often. Once I moved back with my mother after a while, I saw him more often-he had put back on the weight he lost when I started seeing him again.
This is when I realized it was because of me. I thought it was my fault that he had gotten worse – because I wasn’t there to help him forget the world. We hung out a lot, but I couldn’t stand the thought by then. I wouldn’t be able to stand myself, if I left him, and he got bad again. I thought it would have been my fault if he overdosed again. I thought that for a while. Then, I started to think about this so much, I let myself get anxious and had to go to Fourth St. Jude- to get myself better. I had uncontrolled movements and just trying to stand up was hard. Half of my body wouldn’t cooperate with my brain. I was restrained for just trying to grab the door frame-because whenever I tried to hold it, my hand would go into a fist and hold on as best it could and I would try my best to reassure the nurses I was not trying to hurt them- but they took it as a threat and restrained me. While restrained, I still couldn’t stop moving my arm. It made its way out of the restraint many times-and I would tell the nurses when it came free, but they took this as a threat. I didn’t mean it as one. They gave me Thorazine- a medicine that is shot into your arm on the muscle. And they began to think I was allergic to Adivan, but somehow the doctors didn’t this information to the nurses, so they gave me a shot of Adivan and a shot of Thorazine in my arms, even though I told them I would take the pill. One day, the med nurse held a pillow over my face, just to put the shots in my arms. I told them over and over I would take the pill, but for some reason, no one listened, I was transferred to Lighthouse somewhere near Florence, because I told them that I’d rather be anywhere, but there. They were originally supposed to transfer me to Palmetto, but for some strange reason, they decided it was full right after I said I would go voluntarily.
There were currently three spots at Palmetto, but I wasn’t allowed to be in one of them. Thorazine is a medicine that says on the bottle in giant letters “Do not be exposed to sunlight for long periods of time!” They transferred me in the back of a cop car. There was AC, but it never reached the back of the car-plus I was shackled the whole ride there. I still don’t get why, because I said I’d go voluntarily. The seats were made of plastic and it was hot as hell. Just being in sunlight on that medicine made me feel as if every pore on my body was exploding, but being in the car for 3 and a half hours, it felt like I was being tortured. When I got to Lighthouse, they told me, even though I was allowed to smoke at Fourth St. Jude, that this Lighthouse place was a smoke free campus.
I got over that quickly, because when I was admitted, I learned that the only restraints they had there were hugs. I stayed there for a week, then when my uncontrolled movements slowing began to decrease, they let me go home. I had to wait an extra day, though, because my mom had to drive three and a half hours, just so they could discharge me, and get me back home.
The whole time we were on the way back, I was hoping and praying that [insert name here] was okay. I finally got into my bed and fell asleep, once home. I called him when I was back. [insert name here] told me he was in Florence. All I wanted was to talk to him, to see him. Then when he got back he got a job at a different restaurant and eventually had to work the graveyard shift. So, we saw each other even less than before, but on the days that he didn’t work-usually Tuesdays or Thursdays-we would see each other. He was gaining his weight back, yet again.
When he got home from work- it was around 5 or 6 am, when we were apart, he would message me on Facebook at around 7 am and I eventually began to wake up around this time, so we could message back and forth. One day when we were messaging-it was June 24, and we were messaging longer than usual. He said randomly at the end of one of his messages, “Love you baby”. I asked if he really meant it. And assumed that the first part of the message is what I meant. After explaining the first part of it, I said I meant the second part. It was amazing what he said following that
“Thats why i’m with you even though i have to sneak to your house b/c of Sarah and all that
yea i mean it ……if i lived by myself i would just have you stay with me”
I got butterflies in my stomach- it was the best feeling in the world.