marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

The Cupboards Were Bare

Memoir Excerpt:
“When I called Angie in Richmond, she said they were in the middle of moving to a better apartment and not to come down right away. I guess that bought her a couple of weeks. Short of being in China, she knew she’d have to face me sooner or later.I drove down to see them when school was out: hardly any furniture in this new place. Moving toward a closed door across the room, Angie warned me,

“Don’t go in the bedroom!”

OK, I thought to myself, what’s she hiding now? So I changed the subject.

“I’m starving, Angie, what’s to eat?” I asked.

There was nothing to eat in the whole house. I drove two hours to see her, and after twenty minutes of being polite, she went to vomit in the bathroom and asked me to leave because she was feeling really sick. Uh-huh. Now I was remembering like a bad dream that lost half hour when Angie disappeared in Miami six months earlier. Now I could see with my own eyes what was eating her alive like a nasty virus. Heroin addicts don’t always die from overdoses. Many die from starvation.

I said goodbye, I love you, take care of yourselves. I’d gotten very good at bravely moving forward with my life, doing the next right thing for myself, leaving her to manage by herself, even though I knew she was on a suicide mission. Five years in the Program were starting to sink in. But not fast enough. I would have to grow a lot more hair on my chest before I would be able to let go of trying to save her and surrender to the all-powerful disease that was consuming her.”

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