Shadows and Dust

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Guest Writers
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Sal Pavone, “Shadows and Dust.”

Sunny was thrown out of his house again. This time he knew she meant business. “You were smoking crack in front of you child!!!” His soon to be ex screamed as she told him to get the fuck out. It was a long time coming. Sunny’s drug use was escalating to proportions that would kill any normal person. There was one person he always knew he could turn to in times of crises and that was his aunt.

Even as a child his Aunt Nora would protect him from any harm that would come his way. He began to take the four mile walk to her house. She lived in a two bedroom apartment in the town of Asbury Park N.J. with her daughter Terry. All he needed was a couch to sleep on. He was a couch sleeper from way back. Sunny slept his ass on the couches of people for the better part of his twenty-seven year old life.

Two weeks passed by and Sunny almost had enough money to get his own apartment right underneath the apartment his aunt lived in. All he had to do was see his doctor and get his refills for his painkillers. Although he had many addictions of his ; he had a very lucrative pill business. Pills were big business and he knew they would be gone in a matter of day.

There was a good reason for Sunny to want to move out of Aunt Noras. It wasn’t because she wanted him to leave or because he was a burden, it was because him and his aunt were using buddies. She partied with the best of them and her longevity was legendary., She turned Sunny on to his first back of heroin at the age of fourteen. She never told him no and had no problems supplying her nephew with whatever he was in the mood for at the time. She knew he was more than generous with his drugs and had no problems spending real money so they could party all night long.

Sunny finally had enough money to get his own place and even had enough to have a celebration with his aunt. He knew his cousin would be out all night do they didn’t have to hide what they were doing. Sunny told his aunt what he wanted and she was on the phone placing his order. “ Are you sure you have the money for this honey?” his aunt asked him. He assured her he did and gave her a wink. “This is going to be a night to remember” he told his aunt.

About twenty minute passed by and the phone rang. It was the dealer and he was down stairs with the goods. A brick of heroin and a half-ounce of cocaine. Nora walked down with the money and came upstairs with a smile on her face. They both let out a chuckled as she emptied her pockets on the table.

Nora had much more discipline when it came to her drug use. She knew how to make them stretch. She liked to do a little at a time and enjoy herself. Not Sunny though. He partied like there was no tomorrow. His friends even nicknamed him “The Machine”, because of the amount he was able to do in such little amount of time.

They were about two hours into there party when Sunny noticed his aunt slowing down. He asked her what was wrong and she gave him a smile and told him she wanted to take it easy and sit on the couch to watch television. “Oh c’mon Aunt Nora, just do a little more wit me. I don’t want to do it by myself.” “Honey please give me a couple minutes. I’ll do one more hit and then you have to give me an hour or so to chill out sweetheart.” She told him. Sunny agreed to the terms and after the hit they both sat on the couches in the living room.

Nora loved the show “The Golden Girls” and told Sunny there was a marathon on. Sunny didn’t care what was on really so he laid down on the little couch and closed his eyes to enjoy the journey.

To this day no one knows what exactly happened or how it happened or why it happened.
Sunny was suddenly awakened by the screams of his cousin Terry. He shot up on the
couch and looked around to see what the commotion was. He looked to his right
rubbed his eyes because he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Laying on her side with her arms stretched out and her eyes half open was his Aunt Nora. Her arms stretched out as if she was reaching out for her passed out nephew to help her out. When Sunny and Terry touched her she was still warm. They took her from the couch to the floor and called 911.

When the ambulance arrived she was unresponsive. They took her to the hospital and put
her on life support. Sunny had the job of calling family members to inform them about
them. After she was gone the family left the room. All but Sunny. He stayed in the room
and held his aunts hand until he was asked to leave by the nurse. He was informed they
needed the room for another patient and they had to take Nora downstairs to the morgue.

It’s been eleven years and there was not a day that went by that he didn’t think of her. He still at times believes it was his fault. If he didn’t pass out maybe he would have been able to do more. Maybe he could have saved her. He will never know.

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