Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Prose Poem: "Past Lives" by Jeremy Void

Past Lives
Jeremy Void

I knew this woman in AA. She was a friend. She liked me a lot because, I assume, I was trying to better myself. She took me out to lunch, gave me rides to meetings. I was trying to get sober.
Her own son was trying to stay high. He was a junkie, like me, only he was still out using drugs—heroin to be exact.
Eventually he started to go to meetings himself and he and I really hit it off. We were the same age and we went and saw movies together, drank coffee, went to meetings.
Until he met a girl and he stopped going to meetings.
I hadn’t seen him for quite some time and his mom would still give me rides.
How’s Todd doing? I would ask her in the car.
He’s doing good, she would tell me as she drove me to the meeting.
Still sober?
Still sober. He just moved in with his girlfriend.
That’s great, I would say.
Years later I saw him again and he was depressed.
He shared at the meeting that he was going through a rough time. He needed friends. He and his girlfriend had broken up.
After the meeting I said: Let’s go to a movie tonight, just the two of us.
He said okay.
I told him I’d call him later.
But when I did, there was no answer
The following day I learned that he had died that night—a heroin overdose.
I went to his funeral.
His mom was never the same. She started getting agitated, and then she started yelling at her friends, at meetings, because nobody knew him like she did. This should not have happened. Everyone was heartbroken, not just her. Everybody loved Todd.
Soon she stopped going to meetings, after she stormed out one day, angry at everyone.
Years later I ran into her at Walmart. She was buying over 50 items at the express checkout counter.
I said hi.
She looked at me, like she didn’t recognize me. Like I was a stranger from a past life.

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