No child is safe from adult hate
[Joseph had only one certainty in his life: That of all the things God may or not be, or could be or should be, or will do or won't do, he knew with absolute certainty God did not give a single, solitary shit about him.]
"Get in the corner you goddam piece of shit! You're the most useless piece of shit I've seen in my everlovin' life. Goddam, why do I have to have a pussy bitch like you for a son? "Queer bait, motherfucker". Is that what they called you? Maybe I ought to give them your address so you can't hide and get your goddam ass beat like you goddam deserve!
The alleged father paused to wipe the spit from his mouth.
"Keep your nose against the wall! I want everyone to see what a worthless piece of shit you really are. No girl is going to want you EVER. What did I do to deserve a failure like you? How am I supposed to face my friends when they hear about what a complete loser you are? Running your ass home hiding in the closet. Maybe you'd be better off dead. Maybe we'd both be better off with you dead!
"What's that? You trying to speak? Who the hell gave you goddam permission to speak, you little shit? Nothing that comes out of your mouth can possible have any value. Oh, look. Now he's going to cry! Cry like the little bitch you are. Goddam, I'm sick of you! You'll never amount to anything. You know why? Because you are nothing! Do you hear me, boy? NOTHING!"
Joseph never finished high school. He drifted in and out of fast food jobs, Walmart stocking, factory production work. He never could keep a job because someone was always "out to get me." Fear kept his chronic chase alive and he kept running. In his permanently rattled state, when he reached into the pantry to pull something out a can of beans fell on his foot. Joseph yelled at the can.
"Goddam you! I can't believe you did that! Stupid fucking shit can! Who the hell needs you?"
He grabbed it and slung it across the room of his tiny apartment. When he saw the dent it made in the wall, he cursed it again. "Asshole!"
Joseph lived up to everything his father said, fulfilling expectations. Every bone in his body wanted to die - deserved to die. His veins surged with a raging rage of frustrated emotion giving no quarter. To talk to someone was suicide: then they'd know who he is. They would yell at him all over again just like his father. To feel good alone was impossible. Then one day he found a friend.
There is nothing on this planet more euphoric than sticking a needle into my vein, watching the blood register like a snake slithering quietly before it strikes its prey, slowly pushing down on the plunger, feeling the warmth moving up into my shoulder, exploding into a head-to-toe rush the instant the white liquid hits my heart. It’s without a doubt, a hundred times more exhilarating than that millisecond right before you explode in a massive orgasm.
I’m in love. Nothing can stop me from getting heroin. I will rob you. I will manipulate you. If my mouth is moving, I am lying. I don’t care who you are or what kind of history we had together. You are nothing to me. Heroin is my god.
"I'm going to tell you how much I really care - right after second breakfast."
"What do mean there isn't any? There has to be, you motherfucker!" But no matter how hard Joseph begged, the heroin could not be made to magically appear. He'd been living for this moment, dying for the escape that sets him free. But it was not to be.
His apartment took the brunt of it. "Goddamit to hell! I did everything I was supposed to! I got the goddam money! Now be there for me!" He grabbed his pillow, screaming curses into it to muffle himself so the neighbors didn't pound on his door like before. But whatever he did in his life, it was not enough. Everything Joseph needed was beyond his control, helplessly eating him alive. No one had time for him. No one had room for him in their life. No one knew or cared he even existed. Goddam piece of shit, as expected.
Too terrified to ever get a driver's license, Joseph had no idea what he was doing when he jumped into the running car at the convenience store. All he thought about was trading it on his next fix. All he felt was uncontrollable rage at his life ruled by forces out of his control. All he cared about was stopping the pain. It didn't take long in his crazed, speeding outing to crash, T-boned into the driver's side door killing him. But before that he'd hit a pedestrian, so the deaths were two.
"I hope you're goddam happy, God!"
Standing with the parents of the dead pedestrian, the politician made hay under the blinding sun, salivating as he always did when able at last to appear morally superior. "We stand here today with three more victims of illicit drugs. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher grieve their innocent son killed by a crazed junkie. We must put an end to this if we are to be safe. We need harsher laws, harsher sentences if we are to remove this scourge from society. Once we make the penalties strong enough, they'll stop ingesting these hideous drugs, believe me. Let's take a stand together and lock up every user until none are left to roam our streets!"