Faces of Carson

Sometimes I count doors. It’s one of my things. The door to the bus. The entryway door. The door to the Carson Center waiting room. The door to the office. When I sleep, I still hear the doors to the cell clanging shut. I tell myself before I even open my eyes that I am not in jail anymore; I’m staying with people who are helping me out, just until I can get my own place. But the cell doors still slide and slam in my head at night. It’s a metal sound. A “Nobody Coming For You” sound.  “It’s a Come Down to This” sound.

There are some doors that should stay shut, as always my thinking. Like what happened to me—ain’t nobody need to know all about that, I thought. Or especially in jail; you got to just shut yourself down to get through.

And I had to watch my back all the time when I was inside. Nothing good was going to happen. Now my Carson doc says I got some paranoia on my back. I thought this was how everybody felt. Don’t trust nobody. I got the right meds now. I got somebody talking me through it. She don’t push on no doors –she lets me open them up when I am ready.

I had a hundred pounds on me of Don’t Trust Nobody. My body was that prison, too and the door was shut inside me. I could eat and eat and I wasn’t feeling it, you, you know? I was chewing and not feeling. I was acting and not knowing. Back then, the street drugs got me put inside, and really after awhile, they didn’t’ help either. I could use and use and I wasn’t feeling that either. That was a door to nowhere. A door to prison. I got that one shut now, though. The Carson Center people are helping me out. We tried to get me into the GED, but I tested below what they got classes for. So they helped me set up some tutoring. I am getting to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and I’m clean and sober. I am on the waitlist for a place of my own. I walk everywhere  I got to go. I left hundred pounds on the sidewalks moving my life forward. If you see them, don’t pick them up.

By JAC Patrissi

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