Excerpt From Chapter 4 Altered State page 76

Published March 31, 2019

Dark Daze
I was in a bad place, in my head, for the rest of that summer. I
withdrew from my family and friends even more. I spent hours alone
in my room or on long walks when not working. My brother, Junior,
wasn’t around during this turmoil. Junior went through his own acting-
out episodes after daddy moved out; he was more outwardly
rebellious than me. Because his juvenile antics were beyond control,
he was sent away to a reformatory called Junior Republic. I remember
daddy taking us to visit him one summer Sunday afternoon. Junior
showed us around the compound with one of his arms in a cast. It was
strange visiting him there. Though he and I weren’t as close as we
could have been, we missed being together.

My dark moods troubled me, but I was helpless. They
 descended on me like fog. I could see parts of myself that were like
my mother. These traits were reflected in my loquaciousness,
friendly banter, and dry wit that left people surprised and laughing.
Though I knew my mother’s mood swings could be sudden and
treacherous, I was also dealing with a part of myself that I didn’t
understand.

My mother said that my father was a moody loner who had died
from a drug overdose. That fact was all I had. I was afraid to ask for
more information. Once in a while, I’d catch myself wondering what
he was like. How did he sound and move? How personable and
engaging was he? Then, I’d get a chill when I thought of the demons
that must have tormented him. He died of a drug overdose! Wasn’t
that really suicide? What if he gave in to the impulse to stop the tormentors
and escape his demons with a little extra dose of whatever he
was using? What if those same demons were here for me?