Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Today at my internship, things started out as well as expected. I wrote earlier today about my struggle to make it through. My supervisor came in and said to me how much Pete made him want to be a better person and leave the legacy that he did. I tried not to, but the tears started flowing when I compared my experience with Pete was comparable to winning the lottery, having an endless supply of money but then ending up back at McDonald's, making $8/hr. I feel like Pete showed me so much happiness and warmth, and left me with a boring life now.
In the whispers since Pete's death, I'd heard a coworker say that another employee, John, had been a part of the same AA/NA program as Pete and had gotten to know him well. I promised myself that when I saw John again, I'd make him sit down with me and tell me his Pete stories. I expected the light, fluffy stories that could only come with my fallen comrade. John started out light, saying how Pete and the guys would often sit around at night, discussing their days.
John went on to say that he did not believe that Pete had a good relationship with his mother, and he spoke briefly about the fact that Pete's exwife is remarried. As I dug deeper, John told me about how Pete was found in his room and how he (John) had to come in to the job and tell people that Pete had died. John also delivered to me that there was a strong chance that Pete died of an OD. To be clear, there is no definite answer here, but the fact is that the toxicology reports take a while to get back and the fact is also that his family may choose to hide the results. But it looks suspect. To be fair, no drug paraphernalia was found on him, nor were any needle marks found. But the facts are what they are. It doesn't look good. The final nail in the coffin (no pun intended here) was that an associate of Pete's made a really suspect remark (for the sake of legalities, I'll leave this vague) which leaves us to believe that she may have had something to do with things (if he did, in fact, OD).
I was floored. I've known Pete as my angel from the beginning. That funny guy with the big smile who always took a minute to stop and goof off with me, was the Pete I knew. The more I heard from John, the more I learned that the Pete I knew was only a part of his picture. Apparently a very small part. I felt torn. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. At the same time, the more I learned, the more in disbelief I became. Who the hell is Pete? Did drugs really cause him to become THIS much of a different person? Like I'm legitimately perplexed as to who this other Pete was?
I wanted to talk to someone that had more experience with addiction than I did, so I called an expert. My father, a man with 30 years of working in addiction, plus his own history of drug usage. My dad, while trying to be apologetic, said point blank that an otherwise seemingly healthy male with a history of drug usage and relapses simply does not drop dead of a "heart attack" at the age of 47. My dad also explained that its quite possible that Pete's relationship with his mother could have just been damaged behind 30 years of drug abuse. But either way, he more than likely ODed. It sucks, but its true. So I don't know. I think that with this, I'll move on. Whatever I hear, I'll process and keep it rocking. Pete told me early on after his death that he didn't want me focusing on how he died, even though at the time I was sure it was just a heart attack. My thought is that he still doesn't want me focusing on it.
I've had to process this whole thing in so many different ways. The good thing is that we didn't fall to shit like other casual relationships I've had, but it also didn't get to grow to be as good as others. With enough time, who knows how things could have gone. So in a way, things are open to interpretation. I like to think that in the end, I got him at his best. Clearly he left a path of destruction with a lot of people in his past. I never saw his dark side. In my mind, I like to think that's because he wanted me to see him at his best. And I'm lucky that is what he left with me. Thank you, Pete.