The Camera

An excerpt…

Twenty odd years before and that truck was there for best friend. Pete. When I say I truly loved him, it means just that. I truly loved him. We was like brothers without the blood. Used to set up all night writing and singing songs and dreaming about being the next rock and roll Beethoven’s. That night so far away but I can remember it like it was my wedding day. A party of sorts. Lots of other people around.

Me and Pete was smoking heroin. Chasing the dragon’s tail around on bits of tin foil with a straw. Drinking. Having a laugh about just about anything there was to laugh about. Pete’s a bigger person than me with a big voice to match. His long chestnut hair and his beard scraggly but somehow still attractive. One of them people you just like it when he’s around.

I was the last person to see him alive.

Me and him riding our bikes to cop the heroin for the second time that night.

“Fuck Pete,” I said. “You sure we really need any more? It’s almost one thirty.”

“I already called,” Pete said. “She’s meeting us at the Safeway. You don’t have to come if you don’t want.”

I suppose you could say I went with him out of chivalry. Out of the concern to keep him safe.

And maybe that was a part of it.

But I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to smoke another hit.

And me, to this day, sitting here having to tell about that. Well, let’s just say, I usually tend to leave that part of the story out.

This nonfiction piece appears in our Fall 2013 issue (Vol. 60.1).

Bradley K. Rosen was awarded a Bachelor of Music from the University of Oregon in 1998 and plays Timpani with two orchestras in the Portland area. His first novel, The Bunkie Spills, is currently in one of those places where novels seem to have to go before they become fully awake. He is currently working on his second novel, which involves a taxidermied cat, a carry on luggage full of socks full of quarters, and a Vietnam Vet. His work may be found in the anthology The Frozen Moment from Publication Studio.