Charles was found dead in an apartment on Monument Avenue.
The most coveted street in Richmond–a gorgeous avenue lined with million dollar row houses and manicured little yards on cobblestone streets. There is an apartment building there where he died that is seedy and unkept. But from the outside? It looks normal, almost stately.
I’ve never been there. Will I ever go? I can’t say.
All I know is that it’s not far from the Golden Goat, the pawn shop where Charles sold his bike and computer, his last possessions. I still remember what he said after, “Mom, I have nothing,” and the awful feeling of despair I had when he said it.
He pawned the items on Tuesday and he called me on a Thursday. After he died, I had the receipt from the backpack and I went back for those items. I was still numb from shock as it was just days after he killed himself.
The apartment was a place where a lot of those with addiction go. A lot of them came to Charles’ memorial service and my husband and I thanked them for coming. Dirty mattresses were strewn about and it was a dirty, gloomy, dingy place where despair, depression and worthlessness oozed from the walls. That’s what I was told and I heard Charles loathed it. A place for society’s throwaways.
The despair at that place wrapped my son like a blanket. I heard it leaking from his voice. I felt it in my heart when he called. My beautiful, youngest child deserved better than to die in that hell hole.