Sunday, August 16, 2009

To Neil Busis,

I unfortunately hadn't known Anne very long. I met her through my friend Sol. As long as I have known him Sol has been a user of serious drugs and my understanding was that he met Anne through drug acquaintances. They began seeing each other and using together for a few months. At that I had just begun taking steps towards sobriety, but I had used a few times with both Sol and Anne. About a month before her death I had gotten clean, but Sol, Anne and myself would still hang out frequently. We had a number of thought provoking political discussions, which even now stick with me. She was very opinionated and intelligent. She seemed pretty happy most of the time, though towards the end it seemed as if she was carrying a weight; something that was bothering her that I wasn't privy to. She started to use more quantitatively and with greater frequency. I remember it mostly because the spike in how much she was using happened very rapidly. There were a few times Sol had told her to be careful, which seems a harbinger for the events that followed in hindsight. Sol used heavily and has always used heavily as long as I knew him, so for him to tell somebody to be careful he would really have to be concerned. I wish I could provide you the insight as to why things occurred as they did, but it haunts me that I myself don't know. She was one of the nicest people I'd met in my time in San Francisco and it always seemed that she had plans to do more with her life before it was cut short. She was not without ambition, but I guess it seemed to me that she was on a mission to be high in her last days.
I was with her the night before she died, we had been hanging out at the beach during the day and then Anne, Sol and myself proceeded to her apartment where Sol stayed the night. I lived only a few blocks away at 34th and Quintara at the time. At about 7:30 or 8 in the morning I got a call from Sol. I had contemplated not picking up and going back to sleep, but I decided that he probably wouldn't call me in the morning unless something was wrong. He explained to me that Anne was still breathing, but he couldn't get her to regain consciousness. I told him to call an ambulance and I would be over as soon as I could get there. He was reluctant to call because he was afraid she would get in trouble, but we ultimately decided that it would be better that she have the opportunity to get in trouble than not wake up again. I got on my skateboard and went directly to her house as fast as I could. Sol was still on the phone with the dispatcher when I got there. They told him not to panic and they were sending an ambulance. Shortly after I arrived and while Sol was still on the phone Anne stopped breathing. Sol began to panic and frankly so did I. I had no idea what to expect, though my Father who was a doctor always taught me that remaining calm is the best thing you can do. While Sol was panicking I took the phone and the dispatcher attempted to instruct me on administering CPR. Sol gave her mouth to mouth and I compressed her chest, but we couldn't get her breathing. The ambulance arrived quickly and they took over. At one point they revived her breathing for a short moment, but by the time Sol and I had gotten to the hospital she was pronounced dead.
I felt extremely inadequate and ill prepared to deal with the loss. I still wish there was more I could have done. I had lost my best friend to a heroin overdose the year before and its a hard thing to go through. Some of my current best friends use and I always feel that I have to cherish the little time we get with them because they won't be here forever. I'd hoped to have been a little older and wiser before I had to deal with these things.
Anne's death hit Sol particularly hard. I let him stay at my house as long as I could afterward, but he began using more heavily and he started using Meth again shortly there after. He hadn't done so since it landed him in the hospital a year before. He is currently homeless and he no longer seems to have a drive to get a job or an apartment of his own.
It hit me hard as well, I began drinking again and I've had a few relapses with opiate pain pills since. I never had a lot of good friends, so loosing somebody I consider a good person is particularly painful. I miss her as I am sure you do as well. I wish I could find some words for you that could bring you some solace, though the idea of loosing a child seems overwhelming. I'm not a parent, but as an adopted child I've always been particularly conscious of the bond between a mother and her child. I am sure the bond you had as her father is no less significant.
If there is anything you would like me to be more specific about I will do my best to be as articulate as you need. You can also call me, if you want. My number is 610-657-****. I am terribly sorry for your loss

Roger Nelson

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