Bobby stood guard while Jared and I buried Boba Fett in a shallow grave.
I rubbed the dirt off on my shorts as the creek, which had slowed to a trickle from the long summer days, washed away most everything else. The plastic figure was soon forgotten, lost among the afternoons sitting on the rocks, a fishing pole in one hand, a fresh-off-the-tree apple in the other. We were kids, our forevers ahead of us.
I don’t know what happened to those days or even to those boys. Life pulls us in many directions, some into pits from which escape seems impossible. I guess sometimes it is. Impossible, I mean. No matter how hard you try.
Those boys, once so much a part of my life, are now living shadows.
They’re not alone.
The battles of addiction are heavy, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched from it in some way. Maybe it’s a friend, a dad, a mom, a sister, a brother, a co-worker. It doesn’t matter who – it’s out there, it’s someone and it’s someone who is loved.
I share this because tomorrow (and every other Friday from 1:30-4 p.m.) my workplace is offering a needle-exchange program. It’s completely free (and, importantly, anonymous and confidential), and we’re doing it to fight the spread of HIV and hepatitis, two communicable diseases frequently spread through shared needles.
If you need us, please come see us. You will be treated with respect. You will be treated with dignity. You will be treated with compassion.
You will be treated.
We do not want your name. We do not want your information. We only want your dirty needles. If you want to be tested for the diseases, we will have that available. If you want to get counseling or additional help to fight your addiction, we will provide information on that.
We just want to help.
I’m proud to be a part of this service. I might never find that Boba Fett, but here’s hoping someone else doesn’t lose theirs.