Something big under the sheet

I described a little bit in my last post about how my dad was cooking meth for distribution in our farm’s basement, and how he changed when he started using the meth himself, although I was too young to realize that’s what he was doing at the time.

I don’t like thinking or talking about how my dad changed during that time. It was awful. He was no longer the quiet, strong, sensitive, sweet man who had raised me all on his own. He had become a nervous, angry, and sometimes scary man who never ate or slept. He wasn’t the same dad anymore, and although he never hurt me, I was sometimes afraid of him.

Like when he would close all the blinds, lock all the doors, and even nail boards across the windows and doors so “no one could see inside.” We were on an isolated farm with few nice caws, miles, and miles away from our nearest neighbor. He was completely paranoid, and I didn’t understand it.

One day, I got up to do my schoolwork as usual at the kitchen table. Dad was already in the basement working, or possibly was still there form the day before and had never gone to bed. I was used to this by now and just worked quietly so as not to disturb him.

It was the day of the week that the scary man came. He knocked on the door, and when my dad didn’t run upstairs, as usual, to let him in, I slid off my chair and opened the door.

The man smiled his creepy toothless smile at me, patting my head; then he went down in the basement.

I heard him swear loudly. After a moment he started carrying dad’s equipment up the stairs and out to his truck. He told me to go up to my room and stay there, and that he was leaving but that some other nice people were coming. He told me not to go into the basement, and he told me not to tell the nice people about him, otherwise, he would be in trouble and would have to come back and punish me for lying to him. I promised him I wouldn’t say anything.

The man left, and the police and an ambulance arrived. They went into the basement and took out a stretcher with a sheet over it. It looked like there was something big under the sheet.

It was my dad. He had died of an overdose in the basement sometime in the night.

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