Today we're going to talk a little about addiction. I'm going to tell you a personal story which some of you already know. I'll make it short, I promise.
When I heard about Amy Winehouse I automatically thought of Pierre. I met him decades ago when I was 13 years old. He was 18 at that time. He had his own Greek band and played the bouzouki as you can see in the photo. Five years difference in age is not that much but when you are 13 and the guy is 18, especially back in the 60's it seemed like a lifetime.
I know it's strange to say "love at first sight" at that age but it was. There was that instant connection that just could not be denied. Once I met him I made sure to go to any picnic, festival and event in which he was performing. I would attend all of these events with my cousin and her family. It didn't matter the event, I would just sit there and watch him perform. At that young age, a simple Hi! from him would have my heart fluttering for weeks.
When I was about 16 and he was 21 I heard he got married. Of course my heart broke and I stopped going to the events in which he performed. A few years after he married, they were divorced. Fast forward, 15 years later I went to a Greek festival not knowing he would be there. He performed with his band and all those feelings I had for him came rushing back to me. I remember my Mom telling me to go talk to him and my telling her "why? he'll never remember me." She edged me on and during his break I went up to talk to him. He through his arms around me, hugged me and we sat there drinking ouzo and eating baklava for hours.
We began seeing each other from that night on and dated for quite a long time. If there is a heaven, that was it, I was living it. The down side was he was heavily into drugs. He took drugs day in and day out. I never joined him and he was fine with that because he always said "drugs will ruin your life," yet he kept taking them. I hated that he took them but I was so in love with him and so worried that if I said something he would leave me, that I lived with it.
He spent many times in jail and one long bout back through part of 1999. In July 1999 to the day I am writing this he was being transferred from a prison in Southern California to Pleasanton, CA when on the bus with other prisoners, he became sick and started turning blue. The prisoners kept alerting the bus driver that he wasn't breathing but the driver would not stop. When they reached Pleasanton he had already died. The drugs just ate away at every part of his body until he finally gave up. I was completely devastated. I also felt guilty that I never asked him to stop the drugs. I think in some ways my addiction was him. He was the love of my life. I know there will never be another like him. I wrote the following poem after he died which some of you have read. My two questions this week will appear after the poem.
My heart summoned you
at an early age not yet knowing love.
Sensual whispers, warm rains
shower my body and soul with your being.
When you spoke, I could not speak
for words escaped me.
strumming blood tears on your bouzouki
year after year lost in Rebetiko.
Yet life your muse,
music your passion.
I could only listen;
rhythms burning my very core.
Your melancholy eyes hypnotized my essence
a captive trance,
years later realized.
Now a woman
we shared love,
Boundless infinity together
a moment in time.
Soon thereafter you were gone.
Suddenly your last breath stolen away,
gone too soon.
I now see those melancholy eyes
within the wind
amongst the trees
along the shore
within my soul;
I love you still,
1. Have you or a loved one ever been addicted to anything?
2. If so, how did you handle it?
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