Dang. The old Books-A-Million store in my town sure didn't sit empty long before something else completely moved in . . . a really weird store known as Ollie's - which is sort of like if Big Lots were run like slums.
Back when my family visited my mom’s hometown in West Virginia (pre-COVID), we stayed at a hotel with a strip mall directly behind it. That strip mall contained an Ollie’s, and going there was one of our traditions of those trips (along with visiting my mom’s relatives, going to Bonnie Belle’s Bakery, and shopping at a sadly-defunct craft store called A. C. Moore).
As incredibly informative as this video about Richard Hunt was, the section where he discuss the Mudwell episode of Fraggle Rock hit me hard.
Before I saw the video, I was unaware that such an episode even existed. Hearing about the plot along with how Richard Hunt used personal experience as the inspiration to write it reminded me of something that I personally went through.
About 7 years ago, there was this woman that I was very close friends with. To be honest, I secretly liked her as more than just a friend. She never showed any signs of liking me back so I never told her about my feelings, I just didn't want things to become awkward between us like the situation between Chris-Chan and Megan Schroeder. But anyway, our friendship took a turn for the worst when she started doing drugs.
Thankfully she didn't actually die like what Richard experienced with his friend but I still felt like I lost her in more ways than one. The drugs changed her personality and the woman I once knew basically no longer existed. She even ended up going to jail and still remains there to this very day. This problem has more or less changed the entire rest of her life for the worst with no signs of slowing down whatsoever.
For about a couple months after that first happened, I went through the deepest, darkest, depression of my life because of it. Not only did losing my friend make me depressed but I also became paranoid that something similar could to happen to other people I know and love. That experience showed me just how easy it really is for good people to get into bad things, a harsh truth I had underestimated up to that point.
That's also why an iconic quote from The Walking Dead character, Morgan Jones resonated so much with me when I first heard it. The quote was,
"When I lose people, I lose myself!"
There really couldn't have been a way to describe that point in my life more accurately. Witnessing a close friend ruining their life and eventually going to jail over something so dangerous caused a wave of sadness, anger, fear, and paranoia to wash over me.
Saw dad today, and it was kind a pitiful sight . . . he was so heavily medicated on things like morphine and the like that he was pretty much almost completely out of it when I saw him today - and the fact that he hadn't been shaved or groomed in a while, he almost looked like a hobo lying in his bed.