here is an email to my friend Peter (name changed)
we have a mutual friend
he is a well liked guy, this mutal friend has been in this town forever
and the word about town is that he has a monkey on his back
a monkey the size of KING KONG, heroin


it was new year;s eve
had the dogs in the stretch of woods behind bancroft
it was the usual chance meeting
there was Whitey (again the name changed to protect the innocent)
i was walking roscoe and brutus (actual names)
at a distance I recognized Whitey (still fake name)
but was not sure who was walking him till we got closer
was it the haircut or the thin frame that caused me not to recognize Sabastian (again with a name change)
he is thin....shockingly thin
but it was him
here was the chance

we waved and exchanged hellos
I had been unsure that it was Sabastian (same guy, same fake name)
but it was clearly him, even with his thin frame

I made mention of how his name had been in a variety of conversations as of late
his name echoing up and down the coast
this was prefaced that people are concerned
not about trying to gossip or spread rumors
he listened
then I jumped right into the topic of drugs, addiction, and the fears of his friends

we talked about the fears that had gone about
he looked a little shaken
but he dispelled it all
his answers were all lined up
as if he knew the route of the gossip column
how people could make these false yet logical leaps

this is the breakdown
his girlfriend is currently in rehab/treatment for an old habit
this same women use to date his old boss
his old boss is engaged to his old girlfriend
there is a bit of a (Jerry) Springer feel to this web that life as weaved for him

long story short
he says that these worries are unfounded

I warned him that he may receive other calls
accept them as friends being concerned

we talked about a mutal friend who had commited suicide
how he slipped away cause no one took his condition seriously
or more over how everyone was young and no one understood

also made mention that I had spoke to people on this issue before
and they looked me straight in the eye and lied about being clean

he made conscious eye contact
we shook hands
I apologized for any accusations
wished him the best
and hoped he was telling the truth

the hand shake
the eye contact
none of that convinced me either way
there is no knowing unless I saw him with a needle in his arm
I was just following the words of others
and their thoughts were based on hear say
so I guess his word is enough
and hopefully he is as he says...clean

it is not entirely my concern
I know him, but he is not my closest friend
so I will not kick down his door and try to muscle the truth out of him
even then there is no knowing

for me I have been lied to and played before by people in this same situation
so I can never give into the answer
what did I expect
he gave me the only answers he could give

I wish him luck
and now I should put my energies into my life
and my concerns into my problems

joel (again real name)