I looked to my left then to my right and I didn’t have a place to go so I got into my car and drove West toward Avondale.
Self-pity began to weight heavy on my sleeves as I tried to keep my emotion guarded by thinking of ways to get more drugs.
The check engine light glowed brighter with every step on the gas paddle.
Its been on for weeks but it never made my “things to do list.”
I never had the time to put gas in my car let along take it to the shop.
As I drove over the Walnut Hills bridge I thought about what my mother had told me when I first started drinking at twelve years old.
I was leaving the house after clearing my dresser of all its spare change she said with tears in her eyes if I ever find her baby Vernon would I please bring him home.
I didn’t understand what she meant at the time.
I left the house to get drunk.
My Lincoln sputtered and jerked on Gilbert Ave. bringing me out of my trance.
It ran out of gas…again.
I stepped out and started walking across Martin Luther King Dr. I was half way across the bridge when I heard someone call my name.
It was Slick pumping gas in Biggie’s Cadillac at the Marathon on the corner.
I owed him money but I knew my credit was still good so I picked up my pace and started running toward him.
When I reached Slick I was tired and out of breath.
“What up Slick?” I asked excitedly thinking about another hit.
Slick had a cold stare of his face. I couldn’t guess where it might had come from.
I told him I would pay him next Friday on payday.
It was only Wednesday so why was he tripping I thought.
“I don’t know nigga you tell me,” he said walking towards me.
“I heard you had been walking around telling people you can whip our ass one on one if we we’re packing.”
Biggie, Slick, and a couple of other dudes they controlled had always disrespected addicts.
I seen them smacking people around and making them wash their cars for little or no dope.
I didn’t like that.
I also knew they were known for jumping on people so I looked around first and seen Slick was by himself before speaking.
“Yeah I said it!”
I had found the courage that my drugs use had suppressed for years.
Slick looked surprised then started to laugh.
He pulled out a Black & Mild unwrap it while looking behind me with a smile and said, “You all take care of my lightweight for me.”
I turned around and all his boys were standing behind me.
Me and Moms enjoyed each others’ conversation over a cup of coffee.
I could see the cancer was getting the best of her.
I pulled her another cup and sat down at the kitchen table to join her.
Last week she gathered the family to let us know she wasn’t going to treat it this time.
She plan to ride the cancer out.
“Boy you act like you paid for this coffee.”
We both laugh knowing she referring to how much coffee I had given her.
After losing everything to my drug addiction I moved back in with her.
It was hard for me at first but she waited for me to get over myself and my pride.
I shared with her all my resentments I had towards her growing up.
I found freedom and learned most of my resentments towards her wasn’t based in the truth.
We gotten closer talking about recovery and Christ every day.
I had 5 years clean.
Of all her children I never thought I would be one of them who would be caring for her.
An addict like myself.
Who couldn’t stop smoking crack in her basement.
“Can I share?”
“Yes Moms you can share the floor is open,” I said while sipping my coffee.
“I thank God every day for allowing me to see you clean and become the man you are.”
She reached out and held my hand then continued.
“But son I want to thank you for finding my Vernon and bringing him home.”
“Moms you remember telling me that?” I asked in shock.
“Of course I remember,” she said after coughing and spitting in a paper towel.
My eyes were filled with tears.
She pulled my head onto her shoulder and whispered in my ear.
“You will see me again. Moms just going to sleep.”
She knew why I had started crying.
If you have any resentments towards your mother please make amends while you still can.
It’s the best thing I ever done for myself and my family.