Chris M.

It’s foggy and starting to get warm. I’m craving caffeine; my hands are shaking slightly. They remind me of a girl I met once whose problems were much greater than mine. I travel in time and she is sitting beside me, and her hands are the ones in front of me, trembling.

“Look,” she says. “Look what they’re doing to me by keeping me here.” She was 16 and an alcoholic. She was also a heavy smoker, but they didn’t let her smoke, and they wouldn’t give her the patch. I met her when she was just starting to get withdrawal symptoms from the alcoholism.

I travel forward in time and realize that she is probably still out there somewhere. She probably made it—most do. I wonder if her hands still shake like that.

Peter is out west, visiting the college he’s almost certainly going to attend in the fall. I try not to miss him, because a few days is nothing compared to what it will be like when it’s months at a time.

I shake at the thought.

I’m already feeling withdrawal symptoms. ♦