Letter to a Friend, on the Occasion of Spending His 32nd Birthday in Jail

Dear Chris,

Happy Birthday.

Q. What do they do in jail for your birthday? A. Not heroin.

Hahahaha, you like that?

Part of me says GET IN THE SHOWER instead of write this, because the past five years were so draining on account of you acting like a royal fck-up. After the last stunt/relapse/lie, I decided not to write you this stint in jail. Over a year has passed. But it is your 32nd birthday, and I came across our prom photo in my closet.

Cant believe I’m posting this.

Ah, 1998. Amazing what 14 years can do. Seeing you so fresh and untouched by your demons, makes me sick for the old you. The you who didn’t lie, cheat, and steal for drugs. The you who always had a job. The you who detailed his vehicles to perfection instead of crashing them into guardrails.


So happy birthday, Chris. I hope this time you learn something about yourself. But don’t tell me you’re doing so good, because staying clean while in jail is the same kinda milestone as “quitting drugs” when you run out.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Beth, it must’ve been so painful and yet cathartic to write this. To remember him as he was then, and to see him as he is now, and with so little hope in sight.

  2. Lila says:


    Sigh. That’s moving. I’m glad you shared this on my blog, it’s so courageous of you. I can understand why you’d be reminded of this letter after reading that last post. And posting this picture too? Even I felt the frustration from this that you felt.

    A wise blogger who commented on my post reminded me to forgive her, and that’s all I can say to add anything of value to the discussion.

    I’m glad you wrote this.

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