He left home the summer prior to his senior year; not because of bad grades, but because of bad friends. It was the music that stitched them together, his guitar in particular; his long fingers born to create magic.
Pot was his first date, then uppers became his steady. But it was his marriage to heroin that got under his skin.
Two years later, on a grey January morning, our dog moaned by the bedroom door. I pushed away bed-covers and followed him to the basement door. I flicked the light switch, grabbed the railing and tread slow-steps toward my expectation: the boy, our long gone son, had broken in and returned to his early music spot. Propped against the wall, he looked ragged and used up, the needle still in his arm.
Close by, leaning against a chair, was his guitar, the only thing he'd valued more than life.
Nancy Purcell's publications include RiverSedge, The MacGuffin, Pangolin Papers, Troika, LongStoryShort, The Square Table, DiverseVoicesQuarterly, among others. Her work has been included in anthologies and on the "Writers' Radio Show" station WAWL, Chattanooga, TN. She served as a NC Writers Network/Elizabeth Squire Daniels Writer-in-Residence, Peace College, Raleigh, NC under the direction of Doris Betts. She facilitates a Creative Writing adult education program at Brevard College, Brevard, NC. and quick-coaches aspiring writers. Nancy also served 7 years as Transylvania County's representative for North Carolina Writers Network.