One thing I knew for sure: my young 30ish-years-old neighbor had a self-esteem problem. I kept buying him a small gift every month (like a nice T-shirt or a pair of black socks): I thought it would help. In time.About a month ago, my neighbor came once more to borrow some gas (I usually let him get the gallon I keep for mowing). He looked high and had pin-head pupils, which made me mad, so I thought it was time for me to stop pretending I did not know he was on drugs. I said:
"It seems to me you are very close to the bottom. You ruined your parents, you lost your job, you lost your girlfriend, you lost the custody of your kids, you lost most of your teeth, I bet you don't have a sex life anymore. How low can you go? The bottom is next. Maybe you should think about rehab."
He was shocked that I was so direct, then he mumbled: "Maybe you are right." and he was gone.
As of last week, he is in jail for attempting to build a meth lab. There is at least ten years of prison for that in Georgia, and a 200,000 dollars fine.
I never thought he was a seller: I thought he was too disorganized, too hazy for it. I am certainly happy the Narcs caught him: I would not want to blow up because the guy next door is not a chemist: I would not trust him to boil water. In a less selfish way, the idea that he would push other young people like him into that free fall where self-preservation does not matter is repulsive. So, it is good thing he got caught.
I am also very sorry. Free fall is a terrible thing to watch. And how on earth do you stop it?