He’s in a bar reeking of spilled whiskey, stale cigarettes, urine in the hallway;
the stool next to his hosts a woman intent on scoring; she’s lonely.
Fumbling in his pocket for coins to use in the phone hanging on the wall,
he rehearses the lie he’ll tell to his wife when she answers the ringing,
he knows that she’ll know it’s yet another call from the depths of their hell.
The woman in the black mini-skirt and stiletto heels searches longingly;
her husband is on his 3rd business trip this month and she also is lonely.
All she wants is a man to appreciate her, caress her, hold her tenderly,
let her know that someone in this night will look on her approvingly
and then send her back to her life and the depths of her hell.
The young woman holding down the street corner outside glances at her watch;
just one more john and she’ll go home for the rest of the night.
She fumbles in her coat pocket for the small flask; a swig of scotch,
a swallow of numbness to help her through her addiction.
Upscale and posh, she doesn’t need the money. No one knows about her hell.
Nearby, a teenaged boy is rummaging through his parents’ things;
they’re out of town and he needs cash to pay his debt to the man at the door.
Desperately searching he discovers grandmother’s rings;
having paid the price, he grabs his next fix, sighs with anticipation.
This 14 year old funds his habit hustling older men; he hates his hell.
Across town the respectable business associate and father comes home at three;
he’s been drinking all night, brooding over a business deal gone wrong.
Pouring shots of whiskey, then glasses of whiskey; another bottle is empty,
in a blackout he mistakenly finds his daughter’s bed.
The incest and molestation are just the beginning of this man’s hell.
At the local casino a woman is having the day of her life winning big;
“one more time,” she says, rolls the dice again, loses this time.
Loses again and again and again, “the game’s rigged”,
and reaches for her secret stash in her boot.
Money, home, job, husband are history because of her hell.
The screen in front of him is alive with writhing bodies embraced;
fornicating, copulating for his voyeuristic pleasures.
He remembers the porn shop where he had his first taste,
exciting, enticing, luring, provocative and fulfilling.
Today it’s just another filthy trip through his stench-filled hell.
Addiction does not discriminate. It allows all races, all creeds, all colors, all genders, all orientations, all nationalities, wealthy and poor. It wines and dines, then goes in for the kill. It is tenacious and would rather see you dead than allow you to leave. From the days of drunkenness described in the Bible to the online porn sites of today, it has one goal. That goal is to destroy souls and bring separation between man and God. It wants to see you in hell.
The only sure cure for addiction is, ironically, death. But, by the grace of our Lord, one can experience complete remission. One can defeat the powers of addiction. May it be so for you today.