Volume 34, Number 4

Some Things Are Bigger than Me

I never felt more helpless than when
I watched a handsome young man, trembling
as if he had palsy, buying needles
at a local drug store. How far could he
have been from the overdose that would
put him in his grave? Please, can I help you?
May I bring you to an AA meeting?
You can defeat your addiction if you try!
But what did I know? Anything I said
would have been noise to a person in
the grip of such hunger. I kept my place.
Who would have thought that so much
of the human race would be struck down
by substances designed to make us happy?
Or that other humans would work so hard
to make them ever more potent?

—Caleb Murdock