The Five-Year Sentence

I ran into an old friend of mine along my travels. We caught up on the small things–life, family, work. The last time I had run into this guy, he was on the verge of all-out drug addiction, rarely talked to anyone, and made everything seem like such a chore. But his good spirit at this chance meeting filled me with an indescribable curiosity, so I just had to ask.

‘What the hell was up with you a few years ago?’

‘Oh, that… yeah, I was punishing myself for something I did.’

Apparently, my good friend had a darker past in his earlier years. He had broken up a marriage by sneaking around with another man’s wife. My immediate thought is how lucky he was to still be alive. If something like this had happened to ol’ Bathrushia… well, I would end up in real prison for murder! And I would have gladly taken twenty-five to life, too!

However, after the event, this friend of mine spent the next five years of his life in solitude. He wouldn’t let anyone get close to him, physically or emotionally. It was the punishment he prescribed for himself since no one else seemed to care at all about his crime. But in his solitude, he became over-dependent on a new source of relief: drugs. And none of that weak stuff, either. He was habitually using drugs that have always been and will always be illegal.

I guess his sentence ‘ended’ a couple of years back, and his resurgence into society has been slow to say the least. But it got me to thinking: How many people do I pass every day who are locked inside their own personal prison? Why are they in there? When will they be out?

Oh well… till next time, dear friends…


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