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Addictions and Desperately Dirty Deeds: The Real Story Behind a Need for a Savior

Updated on December 30, 2011

SPECKS AND PLANKS 'Originally written for Christmas, the story has been extended...'


It was a frightfully cold yet early winters eve, so cold it was impossible to snow. There in the alley he sat upright, stiff and ice-cold. His back rested against the brick wall. Legs sprawled straight-out before him on the frosty cement ground. Clenched in his right hand was a half-full bottle of premium bourbon, and a homemade Christmas card with a picture of a pretty little red head in his left. She couldn't have been over twenty-five; maybe she was his daughter? He might have been written off as just another drunk overcome by exposure to the unforgiving chill of winter, but his shoes gave him away. Buffed to a high patent leather gloss. His suit was dirty and smelled of old alcohol and filth, however it was easy to see it once was an expensive designer original.


The lead detective shook his head sadly, taking one last drag from a Marlboro light cigarette, then coughed into his sleeve. “Nasty cough you've got there, you should get that looked at” said the coroner sipping away at her venti house coffee with a quad shot of espresso, just the thing to stay awake and alert on Christmas Eve; this was the third for the eve and it was only 430pm. “Naw, it's just a cold”. The detective assumed it was a homicide, but the coroner explained it was probably an overdose brought on by a mixture of alcohol and drugs, judging by the booze in one hand and the empty pill bottle in his shirt pocket.

They both shook their heads at the pitiful sight as the detective coughed again, much harder this time, “what a shame, it’s the same old scenario, an addict wastes away his life, how can people be so weak?” He coughed again, this time the metallic taste of blood was in the back of his throat. “maybe she’s right, I better get this cold looked at”. Little did he know this was a warning sign of tiny microscopic cells that were turning cancerous in his lungs, too early for even a doctor to recognize yet.


He was grateful the doc would see him at 6:00pm on a holiday. "You've got bronchitis, stop by the pharmacy and get these filled on your way home, then he shook his head and said, " one last thing, you’re still smoking, and that's not helping matters. You need to quit, it's a terribly habit! It can literally kill you, man.” The doctor was a tall, fit forty-something year old man who hated the very idea of smoking, or any addiction at all. He always encouraged the detective to give up that bad habit every chance he could. “You've got to change this behavior before it’s too late!” The detective proudly explained that he finally worked his way down to one pack a day, and was only smoking ‘light cigarettes’.

Now the doctor was pleased. Someone had finally taken his advice. When he finished with this one last patient it was time to head home and spend Christmas eve with his family. He wanted to leave earlier but he just couldn't. A self proclaimed work-a-holic, just like his father was. The extra efforts were paying off; his nagging was finally helping the detective leave behind his dirty habit and he was one of the most affluent MD's in the city. It was no trouble for him to live an extravagant lifestyle that afforded him nearly anything his heart desired, and his heart desired a pretty red head. It was both Christmas eve and the end of the week, so he decided to take the long way home. That's what he would usually tell his wife. The long way allowed enough time to stop by a special ‘gentlemens’ club where she worked. It was well known for being discrete. Any credit card bills would simply list ‘grocery store item’ to prevent curious wives and meddling eyes from discovering what was done privately.


His wife just shook her head when she noticed he was late again. She had an idea of what he was doing, but could not prove it just yet. She knew he was unhappy with her. She had gained over 90lbs since they had married. She couldn’t seem to stop eating. Happy, she ate, sad, she’d eat more. When her husband came home late, too tired to talk, she’d turn to her closest friend, food. He never said a word though, never nagged about the extra pounds, but they both knew it was a serious love affair with food, quite possibly an addiction. He would never divorce her. He was too grateful for all she had done; putting him through med school, bearing three children. Divorce was out of the question, their prenuptial agreement would award her too much anyway. Instead, he'd keep her like a kindhearted roommate for life; happy with her cooking shows and hidden bags of sweets, him with his long drives home at the end of the week. Tonight was special though, it's 7:00pm and Christmas eve, so he’d only stay a little while, limiting himself to no more than $300 dollars at the club. It was becoming more difficult to explain the frequent charges for ‘grocery store’ items to his wife anyway. He felt a little guilty, but they're all adults. Plus, he worked hard for his money and would do as he pleased. Especially when it came to his favorite girl, the beautiful young red head with the biggest brightest of smiles.


She smiled all of the time, but little did he and the other customers know she shook her head at them in disgust; all but one man. Her smile covered the fact that she felt they were all idiots. They had no idea how repulsed she was by them. Especially the tall forty-something doctor with the wedding ring indent on his hand; it was obvious he takes it off before he enters the doors. And there he was again, but it wasn't him she wanted to see. She hated everything about them, but needed their money, and the tall doctor who came in at the end of the week, like clock work, gave her the most. Smiling, but looking right past the doctor, she searched for his face and shoes.

One day soon she would be free from this lifestyle. She did attempt other jobs, but it was never enough to cover life's necessities her four children. Each one had a different father. She did not have a lot of men, however she had a habit of choosing the same types each time. It always started off with a steamy romance, then turn violent, usually after telling them she was pregnant. But this time it was different, and it was Christmas eve. She knew he would show up tonight. He was generous and kind, but he had a problem, a terrible habit; he was frequently drunk or high. She had not seen him for a few days. So each night she'd searched the faces of the crowd for him and their shoes too. He had a funny little habit of always making sure his shoes were buffed to a high glossy sheen. She had something to tell him this Christmas eve.

I consider the reason for Christmas and Easter, and I wonder if 'good' Christian people feel a burden to reach those caught in desperately 'dirty' deeds?

Jesus said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17)

...So, what did we think He came for???


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    • steffsings profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thank you Bethperry. Stop by anytime!

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      6 years ago from Tennesee

      Oh, I like this :)


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