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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Addiction and Recovery

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Methamphetamine For Dummies

Whiffing something straight up your nose into your brain seems a violation of human dignity, and crank looks nasty, like ant poison and pulverized glass all chopped up on that mirror. It tastes even worse. I try not to cry, the burning pain is so terrible. I am certain I will sneeze blood all over the curtains, that I’ve done permanent damage. But then comes the drip, drip, drip, that bitter, alkaloid savor the meth user learns to associate with pleasure, and I wander around grinding my teeth and feeling like Bruce Lee grafted onto Aldous Huxley for about twelve hours.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Anniversary

I learned many things from my parents. They taught me the subjectivity of truth; they made it impossible for me to arrive at a single, definitive version of any story. They showed me the traps minds make for themselves, and how the early wounds can calcify and warp, weaken and deform the eager, ardent child brides and grooms in all of us.

Fiction

Free As Mr. B.

Dell is sitting at the nurses’ desk trying to read Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, an assignment for her playwriting class. She can get away with this because the head honchos have all gone home, and evening has settled its lazy, sticky lassitude over the psychiatric unit.

Quotations

Sunbeams

The family seems to have two predominant functions: to provide warmth and love in time of need and to drive each other insane.

Donald G. Smith

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

One Cigarette A Day

We are bouncing over a rough ocean, on a boat packed with twenty or so fishermen, and I am breathing the smoke from my grandfather’s cigarettes. In the darkness of early morning the captain collects money for a gambling pool. “First and heaviest, thirty-seventy split,” he yells, and when he gets to us, my grandfather hands over a fistful of bills. As the captain moves on, my grandfather winks at me and says, “You will win.”