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(In Loving Memory of Colin)

Conscious and Unconscious in Varying Degrees of Time
(In loving memory of Colin)

They called me when I was sitting staring out the window (and wondering about proliferation)
Could have knocked me down with a feather (or anything handy).
‘But that’s absurd’, I said, unmoved, unemotional.
‘He’s in the best of health’, I said.
‘I would have known’, I said, arrogant (presumptuous).
I said, ‘I’m his best friend.’

I walk to find 106 and I am still unbelieving (and thinking about the oddity of it all)
That face on the pillow doesn’t look like the one I know (and love).
And yet! I saw you only on Sunday, we were together.
‘You have an addiction, they say’, I whisper.
My throat is dry, I might lose you (so selfish).
‘Why didn’t you tell me? I’m in pain, I’m angry.’

I take the limp hand and sit down, unreal, this is just a dream (and I will soon wake)
Your eyes are glazed (you don’t know me).
‘Look what you’ve done’, I said, hysterical, suicidal.
‘You’re going to die, you’re going to leave me.’
‘You should have told me’, I said, sobbing (guilty).
‘Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t I see?’

I lay my head on your chest, conscious and unconscious
In varying degrees of time.
‘I love you and you’re going to get through this.’
‘Fight it, please, do it for me’, I’m hoarse, desperate.
‘And then we’ll talk about this and hold each other;
We’ll do lunch, hang out, have a drink, we will chill.’

I make the trek to your tomb, your grave, your resting place (at least once a week)
‘Nobody made me laugh as much as you did,’ (and instinctively I whisper here).
‘Colin, I just want to tell you, it wasn’t that dark that you couldn’t be seen;
it wasn’t that loud that you couldn’t be heard;
I wasn’t covered in fairy dust and I saw you,
naked, with the needlemarks on your arms.’

A. Vardaraj — All Rights Reserved


  • lundunlass 20th April 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Raw. Beautiful. Intense.

  • MoiMeMoi ~ Kat 21st April 2012 at 12:11 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Addiction is terrible. My story is similar but different. Similar that we both lost a great friend and different that I was too busy getting loaded to spend time with a friend and he died from poor health. I couldn’t believe it because I found out on a Monday but spoke to him the Friday before. The guilt I lived with for years but today I’m at peace and I hope one day you are as well.

    • Awanthi Vardaraj 21st April 2012 at 12:47 am

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. That must have been incredibly painful. I’m glad you have managed to heal. That is important and valuable to know.

      With Colin, I thought I didn’t see him and I thought I didn’t know, but it was only after he died that I realised that I did see what was happening. I’m seriously square about drugs and have never done them, and I’m not sure why I didn’t do more for him. I wish I had.

      Have a wonderful rest of the day, and thank you so much for stopping by.

  • Emma 21st April 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Unfortunately there is not much one can do about another’s addiction… It is a disease and one that often frightens others, even more so when needles are involved. But the way you tell the story is beautiful and I feel your pain.
    Continue writing you have the gift.

    • Awanthi Vardaraj 21st April 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you so much Emma, for stopping by and reading my post, and for your comment. I appreciate your kindness and your encouragement.

      I often wonder why I never spoke up more or said more, and I think it was twofold. First, I was very young, and in a difficult place in my own life. Secondly, I suppose I didn’t want it to be true, even though it was. It’s always difficult and unfathomable when someone is on that road; even more so, I think, when they had so much to lose. Colin was an intelligent and very talented young man – he was also compassionate and hugely interested not only in people but also in the planet. It was – and still is – an enormous loss.

  • Linda Maloly 23rd April 2012 at 8:54 am

    My friend, I am so very sorry for the pain Colin’s death has caused you. Emma is so very right…addiction is miserably difficult to treat, even for the experts and very often there’s little that friends and family can do. All too often failure is the ultimate outcome and sadly, some pay the ultimate price. I just finished reading an article about addiction and its frequent impact on those who are extremely sensitive and compassionate. It’s that very sensitivity that sometimes makes them more vulnerable to addiction as a means to escape the anxiety and pain they quietly endure because of their sensitivity. Hugs & love…


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