Mono was a drug dealer. I used to buy heroin from him for my girlfriend back in the late 90's. I used to call him "the good-hearted drug dealer" because every time I visited him he would ask me to stay, have some lunch, watch TV, or what not. he was lonely. he was divorced. after years of heartache I think he resigned himself to living on that boat, with his dope and his money. once in a while I would see a girl there, never liked her, or trusted her, she seemed to be using him. she was a heroin addict too.
after a few years passed, me and my girlfriend broke up and one day I got a call, "Mono's dead" she told me. "what?" I asked. "Mono's dead" she said. she told me the cops picked him up and put him away. due to his extreme addiction and dependency on heroin the time in jail was too hard. he could not handle the withdrawals. his heart stopped beating and that was it. I pictured him there in that jail cell, probably scared to death like a caught animal, completely lost in life and probably within himself. those last moments must have been dreadful.
I always had hope for Mono. thought he would finally get out of it, get cleaned up. he talked about it continually as most drug addicts do. those glimpses of humanity that he showed towards me still stay with me to this day. the offering of lunch. the "Mike, feel free to stop by anytime just to talk." those simple things that came from this hardened criminal. it was odd. like seeing light shine out of a man hole. it is funny that I still think about him to this day. there is no truth at the end of this story. no light at the end of the tunnel. just a picture of a man.
Mono, I remember you.
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The fresh, clear honesty of the writing moved me. I even squirmed. The acceptance of people who are unsavory- and even missing them, is poignant. I have also been the "bad news" person that others have told me they missed. This story illuminates both sides, and grabbed me. Great short story.
I often find the most lost and perceived unsavoury characters are the ones who will reach out to you and give you their last £ or $ or listen when others turn away. Great poem Mike.
I've witnessed addiction consume so many good people. Gripping story, hits close to home.
Strong piece. I knew a guy a lot like Mono. Smalltime dealer, ended up killing himself. Probably screwed some people pretty good, but the only dealings I ever had with him- fixing the floor in a leaky bathroom- he kept his word, paid me more than we'd agreed on. Most of us aren't just one thing.
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