It's cold in this room. I have a window open with a box fan blowing. The cool, early morning air wafts in and chills my very bones. I always was so cold natured. My father often remarks how warm I keep my house. "You're not running a fever, are you?" he asked me last night. I let him feel my forehead to reassure him that I am well. My grandmother was like that. She would have the heat on in July which always alarmed me as a child. It just seemed so odd, but I now know how she felt as I am about to turn the heat on to eighty degrees to warm it up in here.
Me and my father took a ride to Fat Albert's together late last night. I needed some cigars and diet cokes. He wanted to get several copies of the local newspaper that has a write up about my overly ambitious sister. He had just spent four hours at a birthday party for Charlie's son. Randall turned 36, a year older than me. He was very tired.
"You could have been a doctor as well," he said as we spoke of my sister's latest achievements.
"No I couldn't," I replied. "I would be writing myself prescriptions and taking controlled substances."
My father chuckled and said, "I didn't think about that. That is what killed Bucky Etherton, the dentist. He overdosed on nitrous and pain pills writing himself prescriptions."
I remember Bucky well. He was a likable fellow and an incredible dentist. I didn't know he had died in such a way.
"Oh yeah," my father then said. "It was a big scandal and shocked everyone. It turned out, he was writing everyone frivolous prescriptions for pain medications. I saw them all the time in the pharmacy."
Addiction knows no bounds or social class and standing, I thought. It can touch anyone of us. Bucky needed someone like my father to step in and help. His family turned a blind eye not wanting to face his demons. It killed him. That's the hard thing about intervention as it can almost be as painful for the addict and the family as the addiction itself. But time heals wounds and breeds a new vigor for life and relationships.
"I would be exactly like Bucky," I told my father as we pulled into my driveway. "You would find me dead, hooked up to the laughing gas, from overdose."
My father shuddered.
"Just stick to being a writer," he said as we said our goodbyes.
I smiled, shook his hand, and told him I was going to make Stephen King envious one day. It is good to have grand dreams. Hell, it is just good to have a dream, period. For the longest time I wandered aimlessly through life.