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i HaVe memoRieS oF SiTTing on mY dad’S LaP aS a YoUng giRL wHiLe He PaSSed THe commUnaL BUd on To THe neXT PeRSon,

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leetwood Mac playing in the background. Roach clips — metal, scissor-like instruments used to hold joints so they don’t burn your lips and fingers once the papers singe down — were a common sight in our home. I thought they were beautiful accessories with their attached feathers and beads. I’d clip them in my hair and traipse around our tiny house. My childhood nickname, partially in response, was “Ashley Roachclip.” It was bestowed upon me by my Uncle Billy, whom everyone lovingly called “OneLegged-Billy” because, well, he only had one leg. The name stuck because when

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my mom would hang up the telephone and say, “Shit, your maw-maws coming over,” I’d promptly jump up and collect all the marijuana buds from the ashtrays to hide. The grown-ups were amused; I was their little human roach clip. Weed wasn’t the only recreational drug I saw growing up. I’d watch my parents do cocaine and slip into a senseless state for long periods of time. As my siblings and I grew up, my parents became more aware of our presence and would try to hide their drug use, but we knew what was going on and the effects it had on the adults in our life. My mom eventually realized that it was impossible to

be both a good parent and a drug addict. She kicked the habit over 20 years ago as testament to the desire to watch her kids grow up. While that decision changed the course of our lives, it didn’t exorcise all drugs from it. My dad became sneakier about his use with drug-induced, lackluster hiding places. I’d find pain pills hidden in his nightstand, a baggie in his jean pockets while doing laundry or drug-related paraphernalia in his truck’s glove compartment. Of course, we could also tell by his moods. I’d have to remind myself this was the same man who cried watching me sing my first church solo.

Profile for Eide Magazine

THE CURIOUS ISSUE  

Spring 2014: Behind the scenes of Chrisley Knows Best, offstage with Young the Giant, the slow fashion movement, industrial design, Sophia W...

THE CURIOUS ISSUE  

Spring 2014: Behind the scenes of Chrisley Knows Best, offstage with Young the Giant, the slow fashion movement, industrial design, Sophia W...

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