As I stated in my proposal entry, the original inspiration for this project was the untimely death of my friend Sam. I’ll never forget the night it happened. I had fallen asleep on my couch, and I got a text from her phone number well after midnight. It was from her girlfriend, telling me what happened.
In a text message. I didn’t take it well.
After she assured me that this was not, in fact, some piss-poor attempt at a birthday joke (did I ever mention that? Yeah. Sam’s car accident was on my birthday), I called her. We’d never spoken on the phone before, but I knew she was crying before she said anything, and I knew that it was true.
Sam’s girlfriend, A (she wishes to remain anonymous) went through a lot with her. She went through her addiction, she went through her mood swings, she went through everything. With that in mind, I reasoned that she would be an excellent resource for this project, and asked if she’d agree to an interview on the grounds of anonymity.
Because she’s since moved out of the area, we decided the best way to conduct the interview would be via email. Though the medium does have its limitations (Postmodern Interviewing points out that email often allows no way to provide emphasis, and it is also dependent on the interviewee’s skill as a writer; as well, the interviewee may often provide too much or too little information, or provide an answer that has little to nothing to do with the question asked — see Chapter 5, “Internet Interviewing,” by Chris Mann and Fiona Stewart), it is by far the most convenient method for A. And because this is such a touchy subject, I wanted to make this as easy as possible for her.
A day ago, I sent the following list of questions to her:
1. Where and how did you meet Sam?
2. How long did you know her before she told you about her diagnosis?
3. Did Sam often talk about her time in Iraq? She briefly mentioned an incident to me regarding an informant being wrongly executed. Did she mention any other traumatic incidents to you?
4. Sam spent several stays in psychiatric facilities and rehab centers, and was a member of Narcotics Anonymous. How did these stays affect you? Did it help that these stays were voluntary?
5. When and how did you first discover that Sam was addicted to heroin?
6. You two shared an apartment for a bit. What was she like at home? How was her behavior? Was her sleeping restful, or did she have nightmares?
7. You were steadfast and loyal to the very end. Beyond just answering “love,” what made you stay? Sam was volatile and self-destructive; that couldn’t have been an easy choice.
We’ve talked a few times since Sam’s death, but nothing substantial. These are questions that I’ve wanted to ask for a long time, but never knew how. Now, A. assures me that I’ll have the answers in a day or two.
Besides helping me with my project, I’m hoping the answers will afford me a bit of understanding as to how I lost my friend so young and so quickly.