Mary Jane

April 7, 2012
I imagine. I close my eyes and create a picture in my head of Death. I think. Any waking second I could die. Now I stop and consider. Any waking second my best friend could die. I stop again and consider. Any waking second anybody existing on this planet could kick the bucket, disappear without a trace, meet their maker. Whatever makes you happy. Now I consider this. My best friend has cancer. Yes, my 15 year old best friend has cancer. He has kidney cancer. My best friend has the same cancer that destroyed my beloved grandmother from the inside out. The same thing that stole her from me could steal away my best friend in the blink of an eye. My best friend could die. My best friend could die before I have a chance to say goodbye.
Every time I text him, I’m forced to sit and wait as my message travels through cyberspace to his phone. Now I’m forced to consider the fact he might not reply. I’m forced to sit and consider the fact that he could be anywhere. He could have over dosed. His cancer could have come back. He could be lying in a hospital somewhere, unable to speak. I close my eyes again and create the picture in my head. My best friend is lying on the floor and the faint scent of smoke lingers in the air. His eyes are white and glassy. A used joint dangles from his fingers, its contents slowly disappearing into the air. I imagine his chest, stone-cold and stoic. I’m forced to think of him, just a shell of his former self, depleted of all the life that used to be in him. I consider what the dead body of my best friend would look like. The thought scares me.
It nearly kills me every time I hear him say ‘I just can’t be happy.’ It nearly kills me every time he says ‘I wish you were here.’ It nearly kills me when he can’t form a complete sentence because he got himself so high. Mary Jane made him this way. Mary Jane gave him cancer. Mary Jane made him insane. I hate Mary Jane. Now I stop and turn my iPod on. I turn my iPod on to Green Day, American Idiot, Track 2. My best friend is the Jesus of Suburbia incarnate, skipping school to sit on his crucifix and deal to the poison that invited his cancer in. He feeds off drugs like they are water. He’s addicted to drugs. He’s addicted, he is insane. Now I sit and remember.
I remember those summer nights, lying on our backs, side by side in the grass by the river. We would look up at the beautiful Texas stars and dream of what we wish could be. The laughing of our friends beside us would disappear, the roaring bonfire would dull to an insignificant flame and we would lose ourselves in the vastness of the night sky. Nothing else mattered except us. Now I wonder. Is there something I could have done to save him? Is there something I could have done to stop him? He survived Round One in his fight against drugs. I don’t know if he can survive Round Two. I sit and wonder. What can I do? I’m a thousand miles away and utterly hopeless. I sit and realize. I sit and realize that I might never get to spend another night under the stars with him. I might never get to spend another glorious summer afternoon with him, laughing until we can’t breathe. I might never get to give him one last hug before he goes. My phone and Facebook are my only connections to his world. Now, I sit and realize my greatest fear. I might learn my best friend just died on Facebook.

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