I love my lungs, not just because they bring in oxygen and send
out CO2, but because they are working hard to keep me alive and to
repair themselves from the abuse I was subjecting them to.
It was never personal, I wasn’t setting out to hurt them, I just was.
They are serving me well and over the last few weeks I’ve been
clearing out a lot of stuff that I don’t recall breathing in. There’s no
way I would sit down and inhale this black stuff that I’ve been
coughing out if it presented itself to me as the black stuff in the
first place. But it presented itself as a feeling of decreased tension,
anxiety, stress, and the cessation of withdrawal symptoms; which are
easy to consider positives. Now, a few weeks out, it’s very clear that
there was NOTHING positive about them. Withdrawal from poison is a good
thing because it means you are healing.
It is kind of shocking though. Some report that you can be clearing
the nastiness for months, others claim that nothing ever came-out. I’m
somewhere in the middle. Most of my coughing has stopped, but when the
shower is really hot or I’m cooking a bunch of food and the humidity in
the kitchen is high, I get my cough on and lumps or strains of black
come out. I look at them and imagine what my lungs will look like in a
few months and years.
For someone who presented themselves as giving a crap about how they
looked, I sure didn’t pay much attention to keeping the lungs a nice
Last night, when I got home from teaching class, I saw that
Mariam Makhniashvili’s body had been identified and that the police
believe that she was not murdered. It appears that she feel to her death
from a hwy 401 overpass above Young street.
Mariam was a new Canadian who didn’t have a lot of friends and who
loved to read. She was a quiet 17 year old who mostly kept to herself.
She parted ways with her brother at their school on September 14th 2009
and wasn’t seen alive again.
I don’t know anything about her other than what is being reported,
but some of the information seems to resonate with me. Our family moved
to Canada when I was 9 and almost immediately I was an outsider. I did
make friends fairly quickly but found that many of the would turn on me
or simply just stop talking to me. As a young person you are
ill-equipped to make the call that their behavior says more about their
past than it did about my present so you internalize it. I was the
immigrant freak, who spoke funny and was the brunt of the jokes when the
class bully was feeling small from whatever living hell he was going
I thought about jumping, a lot.
I never did and instead felt anxious and sort of went into myself
finding the evidence to validate that I wasn’t the same as everyone
else. Again, a child will do these things when because their brain
doesn’t process information as effectively or in the same way as an
Children are important and they are worth being nice to. The waste of one life is too many.
Rest in peace Mariam.