Like Judas

Weeks of running, chasing the tail of crack and smack, the hateful demon siblings.
Dodging police, each narrow miss another weight on him.
Paranoia, like a fever, seizing him, flinging him into prickly thorns;
chasing him across lines of fast traffic, forcing  him to scale walls,
skin his shins, fall, leading him to muddy puddles, dunking him in deep seas.

If the police didn’t get him
he’d grow too weak to swim.
He would sink.

I made his last supper and like Judas, I waited, smiling while he tasted, chewed,
passed compliments on the food. I assessed his pitiful condition —
flesh cut and bruised, ripped jeans stained where the blood had seeped through,
eyes hooded beneath brows not designed by me,
pupils working overtime; taking in the room, flicking to the draped window,
his screaming mind picturing police in the street.

Judas did it with a kiss, but in this age of technology I did it with a click.
My text sent, its single word a simple request activating a chain of events
that brought a tense knot of uniforms to my door.

As the handle turned, my heart churned, altering the shape of my fear,
but offering no relief.

a
six
year
prison
sentence
was expected.
it felt like
eons,
like
f
o
r
e
v
e
r

The police were kind; they gave him time to say goodbye.
I looked into his face and recognised the child I’d raised
who’d filled my soul with love and pride. I’d thought that child had died,
and yet, as if he’d been baptized, arrest had cleansed him of his sins,
rinsed away the years of filth the drugs had left behind.
The feeling of grief and loss redoubled, splintering behind my ribs.
Pity dripped into my soul. I struggled to hide my tears:
crying wouldn’t ease his journey to the cells. When they took him away,
a brave smile fought to find my twitching lips.

My eyes stayed dry;
I didn’t shake; I didn’t hit the floor –
until I heard that final sound –
the slamming
of the
door.

My son was imprisoned in March 2014. He received a thirty month prison sentence – far less than was expected, and has since been released on licence on three occasions, only to be returned each time for infringing his licence agreement. He left prison a free man in September 2016, having finally completed his sentence.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Author: janebasilblog

Jane sits around and writes a bit, then she does some other stuff, then she sits around and writes a bit more, then she eats something. Sometimes, at night, she goes to bed.

23 thoughts on “Like Judas”

      1. I just clicked on that link, and got “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”
        This is my general facebook account. https://www.facebook.com/jane.basil.9?fref=ts
        I also have a facebook writing page, linked to WP but it’s out of action at the moment. It’s a WP fault, but there’s no point in asking them to fix it – they’ll either ignore me or say they’ve fixed it when they haven’t.

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  1. You know I suppose that should have been shocking or something, but more than that I found it intensely interesting when I thought of the stamina it took for you to feed him and then let the evening take its course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s a slow eater. I waited until he was half-way through the meal, then texted the word “Now” to someone who put through an emergency call to the police for me – I set it up just before he arrived. I’d couldn’t make the call, as he may have become suspicious if I left the room, but it was easy to press send. It was hard to act casual when all I wanted to do was hug him.
      I wish I hadn’t had to involve a third party. She was still in trauma long after I’d got over it, though she knew it was the best thing to do – for Paul and for our family.
      It was horrible, but now it’s history – it’s a shame history has a habit of repeating itself. I hope I don’t have to do it a third time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first time he was arrested it was down to me. The second time he was treated unfairly, and I was furious about his arrest. I was away at the time. The third time they picked him up at my place, but it was nothing to do with me, and he had been asked to be recalled to prison, for his own good. Last time – three weeks ago – I called the cops on him because he was on the run again, and was going the same way as he had before his first arrest. He nearly drowned a couple of nights before I did it, and it was getting scary. He knows it was me, and he’s not angry.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It may be easier for your son than for you. He’s getting used to the way of life, finding it’s not so bad. Have you visited him yet? If not, I suggest you arrange a visit soon. It won’t make everything fine, but it could help.

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      1. Yes Jane – I have sent my application forms (visitor) in for approval. Our family dynamics are difficult – my husband is not willing to be sympathetic or forgiving of his son; he is very centred on how ‘his son’s actions’ have affected him. Layers of issues – I suppose that is a common theme within families like ours. Thank you for your wisdom.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – I feel not only like Judas, but I feel that I showed my son that I no longer had faith in him. Did my action of lodging the Missing Person Report instigate his further drug demise? Or was he already his own train wreck? Either way my sanity and soul are running on empty at the moment!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I seem to be missing something – surely filing your son as a Missing Person shows concern for his welfare. It’s a normal thing to do when someone you love has disappeared.
        He was using crack. Crack is a monster that strips the user of all humanity – but the effects are reversable. If he gets clean he’ll go back to being himself. I don’t know where you live – in the UK, he’d be unlikely to access crack in prison, but I don’t think you’re in the UK…

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    1. I can’t say I know how you feel – nobody can ever know how another person is feeling – but I do know that you’re suffering is beyond words.For a long time I thought the agony and grief would kill me, but it didn’t. Each time there was a new crisis I’d think I couldn’t take any more. Sometimes I’d curl up on the floor, expecting – even hoping – to die, then I’d stand up and get on with my life, such as it was. People told me they didn’t know how I kept going, but I’m no hero. It happens, it’s horrible, and you have no choice but to keep going forward. You will survive this.
      I don’t know if this link is any use to you – it’s worth taking a look. I go to a group in my area, but I don’t do the 12 step programme: http://www.familiesanonymous.org/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you – I truely appreciate your wise words. I should try and connect with people in my proximity – I am an intrinsically shy and private person, so talking ‘face to face’ with others would be a big step for me.
        However, just reading your words of ‘going forward’ and ‘surviving’ has helped.
        I also enjoy reading your blogs!

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