The blue Ford F-150 like an anchor was heling drown him in debt. An ache in his belly was real enough, though not nearly as deadly as it felt. With no prospect change, he was driven by only one thing, getting the sick off. Heroin being a stern task master would be served, and there was no substitute, excepting dilaudid. Each were dear, in both cost and desire.
Lee had always found puzzles entertaining, but this puzzle was tiresome in its routine. Finding money, perhaps the hardest, was but the first piece. Once forty dollars was managed, the price of a paper or a dilaudid, connecting was the next. Having picked up, getting fixed was near immediate and euphoric. The respite in getting fixed was, while brief at best, faciliatory to effective next steps in a meager existence. It allowed clarity of thought and grand planning. This temporal lucidity was by its nature short lived, but nonetheless nurturing. In this ephemeral state, Lee was able to effect circumstances towards actions that proceeded to the next fix. So was his life consumed by this repeated pattern, with no prospect of change.
It was in this state that Lee was drawn to an ATM location that he had been casing for some days. Having never before in his life stolen anything, today he was contemplating the only avenue seemingly left to him for acquiring the cash needed to next get the sick off. Having taken a parking place well suited for surveilling patrons as they extracted cash, he set to his task. The task at hand was to steal money for some unsuspecting easy touch of a victim. As the parade of patrons passed, his resolve and conviction to his plan ebbed. The guttural shame of what he was about became oppressive. The picture of the consequences of his actions were inescapable. The shame he would bring to his family, the accompanying scorn, the likelihood of jail, the consequence to his victim, none of these were of sufficient detriment to stop him. What stopped him dead in his tracks? He was too self-aware to be a thief. He was a son, a brother, a child of God. He was by nature a gentle loving human being and being overtly hurtful was simply not in his make-up. His emotions in that moment were emasculating. He felt a total failure. He felt incapable of successful actions, whether wholesome or crooked. So by, he became defeated by self-infliction.
It would take some years more before Lee became a sane and productive member of society, and this was but a brief moment in his life. It was however one that left its mark. For the entirety of his remaining years, this moment in time would be a beacon of hope for him, bringing light into an otherwise dark outlook for prospects. At least he could say he not a thief. While he might have caused untold damage in the lives of many, he either paid his way, or made up for it. When you have nothing, maybe because you nothing, even this is something.