Rock bottom, what a strange name for the place he found himself in now. Rock bottom implies a hard surface on which to regain your footing, a place where you can go no lower. He, on the other hand experienced it quite differently. It was soft, instead of a surface to bounce off of and skyrocket towards recovery, he felt it more like quicksand, sucking him down to a place where all is lost, no hope for recovery or redemption. Rock bottom to him was that unrelenting panic one might experience just prior to ones death. Unfortunately for him, he welcomed death with calm resolve, it wasn’t until after he had clinically died that the panic set in. The panic of losing his very last chance to rectify his life’s purpose. To make things right with Sarah. Sarah, who had not left his side in weeks. Sarah who had saved his life and given it value. She was there, sleeping on the floor, exhausted. A soft snore escaping her soft wet lips. Lips he had kissed. Lips that had been pressed to his when his lungs had given up their will to breath.
For the first time in years, maybe a decade or more, he felt desire for more then the oblivion of the drug induced comatose void. Death, no longer his life’s goal, he had narrowly escaped. Most likely suffering brain damage in the process. All that didn’t matter. Sarah was still there. For some strange reason, she still cares.
Rock bottom, the sucking pit of despair. The moment of truth, to fight, or succumb. To give up, give in, and let the pit consume you, or, begin the hardest struggle of his life. To live. To crawl out of the pit with every bit of might and willpower he could muster, and overcome. Willpower. Something he had never possessed. He saw Sarah lying unmoving, the snores had stopped, and in the silence he could imagine her lifeless. Lost. Gone. Where he lacked the willpower to save his own life, the will to save her, protect her, and give her happiness was strong. An unusual experience for him. The desire to go on.
The empty drawer still lie on the floor. It once contained death. Now that it was empty, it was time to fill it with life. That was when he saw it. Her hand was clutching an object, only the chain wrapped around her pinky revealed its presence. Even before he walked unsteadily and stumbling towards her, he knew what the object was concealed within her clenched fist. The memory brought him back to the time he was happy. They were happy. It was a locket, with a photo, a photo of the two of them at the beach. Yes, outside, in public, and happy. It had been a very long time since he was outside, except to replenish the contents of the drawer.
He knew that locket gave her comfort as he puked, and died, and puked and died again. Now he was certain that period was in the past, he pried it from her fingers and placed it gently in the drawer, which he replaced in its proper location, in his bedside table. Life’s drawer. Repurposed.
She awoke, and said in a surprised tone. “You’re up?” To which he responded. “You have no idea, dear. There was nowhere else to go but up, or be lost to you forever.”
He was up, he was back. He was him again.