he was named after a western state

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June 16, 2016 by August Rain



I was sitting there at my table in the methadone clinic with my water bottles, pens, flash drives, career development packets—big pull-up banner behind me, promoting all the things our department can provide such as resume help, job search assistance, etc…

He was sitting next to me and was showing interest. We started talking. He seemed visibly high on something.

But he was there — had stopped on the way to making a call. He’s a plumber. He was waiting for his brother to come out of one of the rooms. But he talked to me–a lot. He had been in Afghanistan for 8 years. Had jumped out of planes and hurt his back. They gave him percoset but then he was able to get heroin which made him feel happy. He said that became a physical thing. He has four kids and a wonderful wife. She is so wonderful, he said. His oldest son has autism. He referred to him as a “sports savant.” He’s very tall and is a genius. Ray decided he had to make changes when he started having kids—and his dad was up front and honest with him and told him something wasn’t right–that he could sense it and those are the reasons he was there-at the clinic getting help.

We discussed my son for a minute or two. He gave me some advice.

He was handsome. Had a tattoo on his arm. Wore an actual blue-collar shirt with his name, “Ray” on it. He was tall. Had strawberry blonde, short cropped hair and blue eyes with a ruddy complexion. A nice face. He thought he might want to get out of plumbing and go into nursing.


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