Mike Berger 




He's Dying



Chris reeks of urine. Bleeding needle marks turned his arms blue.

His eyes are glazed and he shows no emotion. Heroin has taken

its toll. He's unaware that I'm there.


He's dying.


Dying slowly dose by dose. He begins to shake and quiver. He

needs another fix. The methadone will stop the shakes but it is

as bad as the real stuff. I inject a syringe full. Serenity returns

in just a few seconds. Eyes closed and he smiles; not realizing


He's dying.


Usually we try to wean the user off-detoxify. Not Chris. He's burned

out his brain and his kidneys are failing. He looks ghastly pale and

his eyes are yellow. He doesn't respond to sound or light. He sits

like an amorphous lump of clay waiting to be returned to the earth.


He's dying


Once a businessman whose partner stole him blind. He never

recovered. He has robbed, stolen, begged and borrowed. He's

burned every bridge in town. He lived in a fleabag hotel and

survived on an SS I check. His family disowned him. His wife has

remarried. He is now too far gone to cry. The deep tragedy is

that nobody cares


He's dying.




Mike Berger © 2009