The day began with the sound of rain-swollen Makaleha Stream roaring, as mist floated up from the pastures and white tendrils draped themselves around the mountain peaks now visible from my house.
Heading down the hill, on dawn patrol with the dogs, the world was all soft grays, with just an edging of pink tracing the tip of one cumulus cloud and boobies heading out for a day of fishing in the placid waters that soon enveloped me.
I'm in the process of moving, which brings the usual disruptions, fatigue and chaos, but also the joy of settling in to a new place that is so far superior to the old in every way. As a friend who is also a perennial renter agreed, every move gets better. And so it seems does life -- or at least, my life.
I was talking to a man the other day who is having a rough time with his 17-year-old son, who got addicted to OxyContin and is now taking another drug to help wean him from the pain pills.
"They're worse than ice," he said, "because they're even easier to get and the kids think they can't get hooked."
But they do, and when the try to quit they suffer the gut wrenching nausea of withdrawals, which sends them back to the drug for relief.
He said he gave the cops his son's cell phone, which held the numbers of at least 10 dealers. The cops told him the information confirmed what they already knew, and they moved to arrest at least some of the dealers.
"That slowed things down a little bit, but all it really did was push the price up," he said. "Now they're selling for twenty, twenty-five dollars each. You can imagine, the guys who are getting prescriptions for 200, 300 of these every month, how much money they're making. We're talking thousands.
"Our kids are getting addicted, and some people are getting arrested, but what about the doctors who are writing these prescriptions? Shouldn't they be held accountable, too? Because some people, you know,they're going to two or three doctors, and nobody's checking, and the doctors are writing prescriptions for hundreds at a time. It just makes it too easy to sell them."
He'd found there really wasn't much help available for his son, saying "it seems like everything's geared to kids who get arrested." But he'd finally found a doctor who was willing to help. It worried him to give his son one drug to wean him off another, but he couldn't bear to see him suffer.
And then he looked at me and asked, "Can't you help get the word out, through the newspaper or whatever outlets you have? Let people know oxies are the big problem now. It's not ice, it's oxies. They're everywhere."