A Crooked Path

Well, how was he here? How?

He’d been feeling really good, like AAA bond good, a comparison that he’d picked up from his late stepfather (stepfather, yes, but the only person who’d ever successfully plugged in as a father). (Don’t even get him started on the two previous impostors, which included his biological father.) (He was still getting over his stepfather’s death (from brain cancer after a long illness) two years ago.)

First, he’d finally got out of debt, which was good. His veteran’s disability amply covered his nut. Moving closer to Mom helped, too. He’d hooked up with a good support group and therapist, and was on the right meds. Things were so looking up. He’d found a nice little apartment for him and his cat (Sam, just Sam, a sweet young black cat) (not far from Mom’s house, where he could go do his laundry). (And socialize!) (And eat, yeah.)

Where had the hole come from, then?

Yeah, the shower, yeah.

The shower clogged. He’d told his landlady ’bout it, but she was eighty, and forgot. He waited, though, but he couldn’t use the shower, so he couldn’t shower, so he didn’t shower, waiting for it to be fixed. He was just going through clothes, though. Changing clothes every day (he’s not a friggin’ animal), he wasn’t able to go over to Mom’s house to do his laundry because he’d not been able to take showers, and now he smelled bad (geez, his hair was getting matted) (and his beard was a mess).

Without being able to shower (and do laundry) and without clean clothes, he’d quit going out. He missed his support group meetings and then had run out of meds. He couldn’t get out to get more meds because he was filthy and embarrassed. (And he was running out of food and household goods, and losing weight.)

Christ, it’d taken just two months, two months from being triple A good to being in a shithole of despair.

What was that whole thing about, for the want of a nail?


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