Category: Personal Essays

  • Can’t go home-but why would I?

    But why would I want to return to what was never a home in the first place?  Today I have a home.  I live with a family, my wife Mary Esther and her mother, and they love and nurture me in ways I can depend on. My birth parents brought me into the world, took […]

  • How I Learned To Be A Racist

    I grew up in a white factory town until I was 10-years-old. My father had a small grocery store in Newark, New Jersey and his customers were all black people. My parents had a term that they referred to Black people while they were in the house: Schvartzes, pronounced Schvat-Suh. They claimed not to be […]

  • Dispatch From a Clinician

    “I just need to talk to somebody,” he said, slumping into the seat across from me. He was tall and thin and wore a tattered winter jacket though it was unseasonably warm and humid outside. His long hair was pulled back in a ponytail and his eyes were wide and tired. He looked down at […]

  • Clean and Sober: Recovery After Suboxone

    The opioid trail is a long difficult road. I appreciated Felice Freyer’s article in the Aug. 19 edition of the Boston Globe, which was about getting help for opioid addiction in Massachusetts. I am a person with a Substance Use Disorder in “remission.”   It took me a long time to get where I am. I’m 72 […]

  • A Lesson In Impermanence

    My wife worked hard almost all of her life, except for a ten year period where she was very sick, and she decided, about 9 months ago to treat herself to her final car.  She’s never had a really nice car before and she sprung for a 2017 Toyota Camry. It was beautiful and I […]

  • In The World Of The Addict

    Upon my return from a wonderful weekend praying and meditating at a retreat center in Vermont I check my phone messages. One of the messages is from a friend in Gloucester, which is where I currently live, telling me that another friend of ours who was in recovery has relapsed and died of an overdose. […]

  • The Ruins of Pahokee

    Suddenly the dreams come.  For a second there is the face of Ar Lain Ta laughing and then I am back in Pahokee, Fla., with my wife.  She stares at me with her giant eyes, the corners of her full lips are turned down, she is dark with the bite of the tropical sun as […]

  • Free From Heroin: A Daily Fight

    I have been drug and alcohol free now for almost 15 years. Does the heroin still call to me? To be honest, at times it does. As a matter of fact, after almost four years clean, I relapsed and used heroin for another year and two months. An eternity in hell. How did that happen? […]

  • Let Her Rock

    Let Her Rock

      She was leaning over the railing at the luggage conveyor. That was the first time I had seen my mother in over two years. I had my luggage in my hand and came around her from behind. Surprised that she hadn’t seen me yet. Wondering why she hadn’t seen me waiting for the luggage […]

  • Bitter Sleep: An Incident at the Boston Public Library

    Bitter Sleep: An Incident at the Boston Public Library

    On Wednesday Dec. 27 the National Weather Service has issued its first wind chill advisory in Boston where temperatures are expected to range between five above zero to twenty below zero degrees. Frostbite conditions like this can kill people, and at the Boston Central Library on that day a man was tossed out into them […]