I could sleep in a bed. And I could do it with the knowledge that it was my bed, and my bed alone. The old man bought it for me and he drove my brother and me over to pick it up. He also got me a bicycle to get around and drove me out to renew my license when that was an option again. Out of nowhere, driving back to the basement apartment, I realized I now saw colors the way you sometimes see absence, or fear. Striated leavening ideologies you’re not quite ready to trust.
I’d gotten clean, met a girl and Bill found me a dog to adopt. Territory had been traversed. But before that bed, before that basement apartment, back in the summer, I was living in a half way house. Of the ten guys there, only my roommate and I stayed clean. He didn’t want to go back to jail and I didn’t want to ruin my liver anymore than I already had. And I didn’t want to go back to jail either.
by Hank Cherry