Sick Thoughts

Back before
legalization
or soft
decriminalization,
I dabbled a bit
and tested
positive for THC.

So on the journey
to fix what was
broken in me,
they added
group therapy
with a
drug counselor.

She was
old and
strangely crass.
Very flat
and blah.
She revealed
to the group
one poor girl’s
sexual exploits.
We complained
to her superiors,
but nothing
was ever done.

She told me
that if she
saw me
in 20 years,
that I’d
definitely
still be on drugs.

Knowing everything,
I beamed
and told her
she didn’t know
a damn thing.

I’d be clean.
No doubt in my mind.

Just like every
addict in denial.

Lying in bed
that night,
I realized
she had put me
in an unwinnable
contest.

Either I show up
a junkie,
and she would beam
and say she told me so.
She knows a lost cause
when she sees it.

Or I show up sober
and she would beam
and say she saw
what made me tick
(the snarling
contrariness
of my youth)
and used it against me.

Either way,
she’s a genius.

I was proud of myself
for seeing the matrix
on that one,
but it still didn’t
solve the problem.

Then I had
one of those
magically dark thoughts
that lead to drug use
and smiled.

“She’s old.
She’ll probably
be dead in 20 years.”

And for the record?
It’s been 20 years,
I am sober,
and she probably
is dead.

So I guess
I won
that little exchange.

-GD Butler

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