Zygimantas Dukauskas

reflections from the underground, part 2

Addiction; Predator and Prey

When an eagle seizes a salmon too heavy to carry yet its talons cannot release it, they both plummet. The predator becomes prey of the sea.

My dearest friend lost her 39 year old son in this epidemic of poisonings with the contaminant Fentanyl. He was addicted to heroin; with compulsions, lack of control, negative consequences, tolerance leading to higher dosing and avoidance of brutal withdrawal symptoms. 

He often made use of rehab, recovering for years at a time; Narcotics Anonymous, clean needles and longer acting narcotics. Tragically he was not using pure medical heroin, or his own supply at a safe injection site the day he relapsed. 

At supervised sites the use of contaminated drugs resulting in overdoses are recognized and treated. I carry the antidote Nalaxone wherever I go, as do many friends of those in the grip. 

In his mother’s words:

“A tormented path to destruction….. the horrendous loss and grief hits hard, crashing in from no where and sinking like a boulder.”

Bridge of Sighs

My 13 years of sobriety still applaud any means by which self-consciousness and contemplation are furthered. The timing is sanguine for me. 

I had just walked across a bridge where decades ago I saved a man’s life; before I was recovered, before I was an alcoholic and before bars now prevent someone jumping off. 

Gary was inebriated and had left an envelope on the sidewalk. I pulled him off the railings and held him in my arms until the ambulance took him to the hospital. Looking back on my long journey of denial inching towards truth, perhaps in this moment I cradled my future broken self. A promise that life will prevail for me, just for this while.


No one wrote in a grade 5 essay that they wanted to grow up to live on the streets punctured by sharps.

Compassion found the window open and left 3 eggs; faith, hope and love, promising to return.

“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great”

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