It was the end of the work shift and I was outside, hiding in my car, having a smoke, looking through my beat-to-shit iPhone at the wall of walls called Facebook when I thought I saw something. A picture of an ex-coworker who I like to think of as a friend, too. I scrolled my way back up to find my suspicions confirmed: it was Doris in a hospital bed beside two smiling faces.
It’s been awhile since I have talked with her and I wondered what had happened. I didn’t bother reading the comments below the photo, I just messaged her and asked what had happened, why she was in a hospital bed, and she responded back in, well, rather garbled fashion.
Was it because they had her drugged? Or was it just her poor spelling? I felt like an ass for asking myself that question, but there you have it. Poor spelling is better than the maze of verbal chaos that autocorrect delivers, so in any case, it could be worse.
Throughout a series of messages back and fourth I learned that she had overdosed on the heroine she had evidently taken up using since she had broken up with her girlfriend, died twice on the table and was currently in recovery. I told her that I was glad she was alive, to please be strong and get better, that she should take better care of herself because she’s fucking worth it, and all the other lame things you find yourself saying through text to somebody regarding some horribly fucked up circumstance they have just been through.
And I glossed over when she explained to me that there “had to be a reason” — a reason that she had died twice and was still alive, that is. I glossed over it in a single message. That was all it took.
Perhaps coincidentally and for no real reason at all, that was precisely the point when she stopped returning messages. Or perhaps she remembered I was an atheist and knew I had intentionally dodged her roundabout suggestion that she was still alive because “god has a plan” for her.
What did she expect, and what else could I have done? I’m not going to lie to her but I respect her enough to not try and vigorously rub the truth in her face given what is likely to be her still-fragile emotional condition.
I still think that getting off drugs and “finding god” is not the accomplishment so many seem to think it is. It’s just a lullaby they tell themselves to sleep through life.
But she’s alive.