Once Upon a Line
Once upon a line it seemed that no matter how much I had – I still wanted more.
Once upon a line I heard that I didn’t need anyone to feel all alone.
There was a time where I had to wait in lines.
Lines at the bank or the gas station – even when young there were lines in the school cafeteria just for some food.
All in the name of fun I would wait in line – sitting around the bar table looking at people that I didn’t know waiting for the barkeep to bring me my next drink.
Looking at my reflection in the mirror staring back at me.
Walking on that fine thin line of insanity and sane.
Having small glimpses of reality come through my head on what to do next.
There always was a line somewhere.
The line to stand in when I was going to that new club.
Starting out looking so cool to being so washed up by the end of the night.
Flushing the toilet with the tips of my boots, just to be sitting there backwards making lines till 2:00 am.
Like most fairy tales this one starts off just the same with one exception: it’s real.
As we start our story we come upon a young man waiting in the line at the bank.
As he starts getting closer to the teller thinking just give me my money, he starts feeling the overpowering thoughts of when he gets out of this line, what it’s going to take to get to his dealer’s house to get his fix.
The power of using is starting to run through his veins like he was already high.
As the bank teller counts out his money he thinks just for a moment that rent is due, never stopping and thinking that he still owes his dealer for that last fix he got the other day. Not once thinking that there’s still no heat in the apartment or any food.
Why would he.
Once the thought of using enters his mind he’s off and running.
Never stopping to think what’s wrong with this.
At that time – nothing is wrong.
After he sees his dealer and pays him off, just to be fronted some more he heads home. Sneaking by his landlord’s open door to that stairway with that one creaking step.
Opening his door ever so slowly to not hear it squeak.
Over to lighting a candle for some ambience and maybe some heat.
Looking around his small room for the things that he needs.
Never stopping to see the destruction he is making as his head comes closer to that first line.
Sitting back and wondering how he’s going to get more.
Blowing out his candle he sees his breath in the air. No heat will do that.
Opening his door ever so slowly to peek down the hall. Listening in vain for any sound coming up from downstairs.
Over that one creaking step and heading outside.
When did it become day time he thinks to himself – what day is it anyway.
Down the street to try to score some more.
Asking passerbys if they have any loose change or a few bucks to spare, to seeing an old man sitting down in the shade by the side of a building holding a sign that reads will work for food.
Looking down to say, “I’ll never be him – man, that’s got to stink – there’s got to be help for that guy somewhere.
He’s just got to stand in the right line.
Get some help and move on with his life.”
As the old man looks up too tired to try – saying to our young passerby –
“I was just like you once, never stopping to see the destruction I made to myself or to others who cared.
I had a purpose in life too – ‘til I started down this road so many years ago.
I was just like you, always looking for more and look where it got me, all washed up and poor.”
“Yah, you.” “He says as our man just keeps walking down the road.”
As the old man lowers and shakes his head.
I could hear him say.
“I had a life too.”
“I was just like you – Once Upon a Line.”…