Eventually the paramedics deemed me well enough to walk out to the ambulance. They did not feel it was necessary to allow me to put on a shirt and a belt, so while walking out it was imperative that a paramedic held an IV bag, while they asked me to keep the oxygen over my mouth. My pants were constantly falling down on the walk to the ambulance and I was without a belt because I had used it as a tourniquet earlier to do my deadly deed. A deadly deed indeed.
I must say that I’m not amused by the fact that I was charged for the œcost of the oxygen, as well as the ambulance ride, and the diddly squat that the doctor did for me. In the hospital they asked me for a urine sample, they ran a few tests, took a X-ray of my chest (all of those tasks were completed by nurses) then handed me a bill. The largest sum on that bill was for the doctor that did not do a thing for me, besides give me an earful of reprimands.
I forget what the purpose was, but for some reason my mother had left about fifteen minutes before I was released from the hospital. But without any desire to stay there I began to walk in the direction of home. I still had no shirt, or a belt, but I had acquired those glue stains you get when you wear a band aid for a long period of time. And these stains occurred in the shape of a square, located above my nipples on my chest. I rather enjoyed the appearance these stains created on my chest, so I had no intention of cleaning them off any time soon. It was as if those little sticky squares represented the stickiness with which I cling to life. That’s right death! You cannot have me yet! I still have a purpose to fulfill, and no one shall stop me, unless I deem so fit.
As I stood outside on the side of the road I looked to the sky and drank in the sweetness of the noon air. A new sense of optimism over took me, but the reality of the impending dark phase of my life had to have a spot in the back of my mind. I had died today, and on some tombstone somewhere in the back of my mind the words: œBranman RIP May 19, 1985 “ June 19, 2006 are etched deeply. But at the same time there is a new birth certificate for Branman. The heroin addict had died this morning, and for the sake of my soul, this addict must stay dead. And with the death of this addict, the recovering addict could be born. Thus, my addiction has been inflicted with a cancer that will run its course and, with luck, soon my nemesis will be completely defeated.
I am not one to think little of big opportunities, and I am one to take opportunities when they come. This opportunity was created by my brother, because he had been the one to resuscitate me before the paramedics arrived. I am grateful that he had the courage to act and to do me a favor, a favor which I would return at the end of the year. I’ve learned from this experience that life throws two things at you, opportunities and obstacles. The opportunities come after one overcomes the initial onslaught of the obstacle. The cylindrical shape of the obstacle allows it to roll down the hill of existence. Since human beings are either walking, running or skipping up the hill, or the human being is dead, some obstacles are easily diverted because they are small and one can easily jump over it. But other obstacles are so large that they possess a gravity which manifests the inevitability of its approach. This was the case for me, my experience could be seen coming from a mile away, it shook the hill and darkened the sky. This obstacle overtook me and dragged me halfway down the hill. I barely emerged intact on the other side of my overdose, but the reward was immense. The reward was my survival! I have another chance, another opportunity. I couldn’t roll with this punch on my own, but in the same sense I had to have my own perseverance.
Yes, there is a point, and we have just arrived to it. So hold on tight to your chair and brace for impact. The information I’m about to feed you does not digest on its own. It’s up to you to let this morsel burn in the acids of your soul and let its nutrients be distributed throughout the experience of your existence. Obstacles come everyday and it’s everyday that one must find the strength to overcome them. And the strength you need cannot be found outside of you. Drugs or other addictive behaviors don’t give you strength, the strength can be found in the divinity of the present moment. And it’s important that you reach deep everyday for this strength because you never know when you’ll die. Don’t half ass life, because the lack of will and strength today might make today’s date the date that appears on your tombstone.