Good2begone

I'm not really here.

Month: July, 2012

No Frame (Time Frame Conclusion)


“So this is what square 1 looks like. What on Earth have I gotten myself into?”

The Time Frame Conclusion begins….

The proprietor of the halfway house arrived to pick me up. I was expecting a smiling, over zealous, get sober and be happy John Candy kind of guy driving a sports car or a Tahoe.

He was not what I expected…..

What I got was a grumpy, you got my up front rent money, non Hollywood guy driving a beat up Ford Ranger.

I had his rent money……only because my Mother was gracious enough to front it to me…Western Union…on the premise that I use it and get help or forget her number. My drinking and antics apparently affected more than just myself.

I gave him the rent. He then took me on a short tour of the town highlights.

-the Crack District
-Liquor stores
-bars
-the jail

Before I could protest on why I was being shown these areas, he told me.

“Listen city boy…..just because you are away from the bright lights and hustle n bustle of city life, it doesn’t mean that our country bumpkin redneck you don’t want to be here town doesn’t have the same party favors you are used to. If you want to change your life, you can. Follow the rules, do something different and you have a shot. But you have to abandon your reservations about living here and realize the reason you are here. You are out of life options at this point. I am offering you a life line. It is up to you what you do with it.”

With that, he pulled up to my new home. It was not new. Some would not call it a home. More like a shanty. I got my bag and went in.

The inside is clean. Everything has its place and is in order. I had 9 other housemates. I was able to get a room by myself. I dubbed it “The Mystery Machine Room”, because each wall had the colors of the Scooby Doo Van. I was still weary of the place, but no one said that at the end of the line there would be a Marriott.

The rules were basic.

-Attend a meeting every day AA or NA
-Check the calendar for your chore
-Sign in and out
-Curfew 11pm
-No females allowed on premises
-1meal a day would be provided Monday-Friday. Weekends I was in my own.

I was broke. It was Friday. It was going to be a long weekend. I had gone days without eating in my past, but, not without being mind blown.

Change happens quickly.

I chose to attend AA meetings. My reasons were simple. I did not have a vehicle. The meeting was 4 blocks away. There were 5 meetings a day. The biggest reason being that I had attended AA meetings in rehab and I already had their little meeting schpeel
down pat.

-prayer
-readings
-chips
-topic
-go around of speaking
-prayer
-out

I went to my first meeting that night. I picked up a chip. I really didn’t want one….but if I wanted to fit in, it is what I had to do. October 13, 2006.

I went back the next day
And the next
And the next
And the next

I went to probation to visit my P.O. I was requested to pee into “The Chalice of Consequence.” I did so, with confidence and without hesitation.

I went back two weeks later
And two weeks after
And two weeks after

Same result each time. No alcohol or illegal substances found…..because there was none.

I had a job that paid the rent and left a little money for myself. The sober life was alright but it was not easy…..

The halfway house I lived at had a “revolving door” for clients. In the 10 months that I was a resident, I witnessed 26 different addicts/alcoholics come and go. The reasons for being ejected from paradise varied-

-non payment of rent
-drunk
-shooting up
-selling drugs out of the house
-some just left
-some died
-some got arrested

I wondered if the term “halfway house” meant halfway to sane or halfway to crazy.

But I stayed.

I learned how to deal my addiction and how to live with it. I worked “the steps” and my life began to change.

After 10 months, I was ready to move out in my own. I made a choice…..a bad one.

A guy I worked with had a room to rent. It was 2 blocks away from AA. It was $100 a month. I jumped at it. Only to find out that I had moved into a crack house.

I lived there 3 months. I stayed clean. I stayed sober.

I picked up my 1 year sober chip while living at a crack house.

I upgraded to my own apartment next. Paid my bills. Bought my own food. Began to have a life.

At 38 years old.

A lot has changed since that first year in sobriety.

I no longer have to pee into a cup.
I no longer look over my shoulder
I no longer have the fear of prison
I no longer wonder what if?

I no longer place my life into a frame.

20120731-222751.jpg

Slumber Jolt


I opened my eyelids
The world had changed
Everything was the same
Just the colors rearranged.

I wandered around
Attempting to adjust to my new plight
I could figure out
What was wrong with my sight

From room to room I searched
For some shade that was familiar
There was none to be found
Not a one that was similar

I thought I was flipping out
As my mind went through flashes
I looked into the mirror for a reflection
And saw me in a pair of 3D glasses

20120730-235635.jpg

Beyond the Frame (Time Frame Part 4)


I shook his hand, and looked back out through the window frame into the world of what my never be again and thought,

“welcome home, indeed” and bowed my head and sighed.

Part 4 begins….

They wanted me to go to rehab, I said “No No No”if it will keep me out of prison, I will give it a shot.”

The rehab I attended was very structured.

-up at 6 am
-breakfast at 6:30 am
-treatment till noon
-lunch at 12:30 pm
-treatment till 6pm
-dinner till 6:30pm
-treatment till 10pm
-lights out

15 hours a day of treatment for the length of my stay, which was 45 days. For a guy whose normal treatment was being drunk and high for most of the day, I deemed this excessive.

But the last time I checked, I had never run or been near a treatment center in my life. So basically I knew squatola.

The 8 hours of sleep at night was a welcome change. Usually when dawn was coming around, I was crawling into whatever dark corner I could find to attempt rest, like a roach waiting for scraps.

I was a sponge for knowledge upon arrival. I felt safe….for once. I had no responsibilities outside the walls of the center and it was calming.

I learned about my addiction. I asked questions. I got plausible answers. I looked forward to facing my demons.

I got tested for the AIDS virus. Negative
I got tested for hepatitis. Negative
I did not get tested for attempting to fake my way through the rehab process. It would have been positive.

You see, after the first 2 weeks, the information was recycled. So I received the two week plan…3 times.

By the end of week 4, I was quite certain that I could counsel everyone who walked through the door of the center much better than the paid staff could. My head got so big that the other clients cleared a path for me to walk down the center of the corridors
to make room for my superiority.

My enormous hot air balloon of a head began to deflate when I got a new roommate. He had been in my situation before, and was back as a client because he left with a huge ego and no plan to change.

For the next 14 days he would become my “Drill Sergeant of Truth”. I would attempt to justify my reasoning and he would counter with plain facts about the similarities of our past…..and what would be my future without change.

These were some of his words-

“If you leave this rehab and return to your so called friends, you will either go to prison or you will die. No question. If you want a shot at something different, move down where I am going. At least then you won’t be totally alone and might stand a chance. I’m moving to a town in the middle of nowhere Texas. A guy runs a halfway house down there. He will give you a place to stay for a reasonable amount of rent money. He has been in recovery for years and this is how he gives back.”

I needed to think about it. My friends wouldn’t do me wrong. What business did I have going to a place I never heard of to live with a bunch of other trying to be sober ex junkies. I wasn’t like them……..

Yeah, ok, so I was like them and I needed to give it a try. I obtained a day pass the day before I was to leave for Nowheresville, Texas. I needed the very few things I still had left. I called my friend and asked him to pick me up at 8am. He and another buddy showed up but were so loaded on coke n booze that I insisted on driving.

My tried and true friends. I thought they would be behind me getting better…..

The next afternoon, I boarded a bus en route to my future. No more excuses. No more drugs. No more booze. Time to grow up and act like a man, not a wanna be teenager again who thinks he can party “like a man”.

During the 4 hour trip, I vowed to leave the past behind and start anew.

The bus stopped. The doors opened. I walked off the steps into a place where no one knew anything about me. I got my bags looked around for my ride and said,

“So, this is what square 1 looks like. What on Earth have I gotten myself into?”

20120729-144210.jpg

Confuscious Is Confused


The nonsense Song– For maximum effect of the following nonsense, please enjoy this 49 second video prior to reading.

;

The vacuum is fiiled with lint

There is dog hair rolling on the floor

I should have left “the furious 4” outside

But their company I do adore.

;

The daschund mix left me a present in the hall

The chihuahua chewed on a chair

The sheltie is old and needy

And the wolf just glares at me with a smile and a stare.

;

The laundry is not done

The dishes they are a plenty

The “4” are now outside

But what the hell is that scent(y)?

__________

I’m not a good rhymer

That bare wall could use some primer

The slow drain of my brain has begun.

;

Blues playing on the box

I’m not sly as a fox

This post will not be undone.

;

I must get off this computer

I wish I owned a scooter

Attila, I hear was a Hun.

;

20120729-111846.jpg

Window Frame (Time Frame Part 3)


And I did the only thing that a man in my particular situation could do.

Part 3 begins…..

Without a second thought about consequences, I instinctively took the beer from his hand and began to drink.
The more I swallowed, the less I cared about the possibility of returning to the slammer.

Besides, I didn’t have to report to my probation officer for about a month. I had time to get loose and reacquaint myself with the real world. A few beers couldn’t possibly hurt. Either would a few hits off a joint.

My stresses began to melt away…..

Within a few hours, phone calls were made and the new “old crew” was back together to celebrate my out-carceration. They were all happy to see me and wanted to hear about all my adventures from behind bars. The more I told, the more they asked, the more they asked….the more I asked to fulfill my appetite for the illegal pleasures of the mind. They naturally obliged. My capers of breaking the law and getting caught relieved them of focusing on themselves.

The overindulgent loser had returned.

Within a couple of weeks I got a job as a bartender/server at a Italian place. It served 3 crucial purposes in my life.

1- The ability to make money
2- the ability to eat for virtually free
3-the ability to drink throughout the day.

I was good at what I did and was able to pay for a cheap apartment (with 2 party buddies) and support my lifestyle. All in all, I thought I was doing pretty well.

I had meeting with probation on the horizon and was barely able to stay clean OR sober.

I’m going to cut to the chase.

Over the following 3 months I had 6 meetings with my P.O. at her office.

-Peed into the cup 5 times……times the results were satisfactory-ZERO

I was also supposed to attend AA meetings. 90 in 90 days is what they wanted, with verification by way of a signature from a member of AA.

At the end of the 90 days, I attended 1 meeting. She was not pleased.

Things in my “favor”

-I never missed a meeting with her
-I payed my fees in full and on time
-I was available for any and all home and work visits….and there were many.

These pro and con factoids were presented to me, by her, at my 6th and final meeting with her.

She said, and I quote, ” What the fuck is wrong with you. You make no attempt to stay sober, but we can find you any time we want. It’s like an invitation to send you back. Is that what you want?”

I just shrugged my shoulders.

“I am attempting to get you into a rehab. Stay near a phone. If I can get you in, then you go. If you don’t show, I will put a Blue Warrant out on you and your freedom will be done for. Understood?”

For the record, a Blue Warrant is the equivalent of a “police blue light special”. It goes on, they come and get you at a great discount.

She reminded me that I was obviously too stupid to run and they would put me away.

The call came to me at work, less than 24 hours later. I was to report to rehab the following morning by 9am…or else…”Blue Light Time”

I did the only thing that a man in my particular situation could do…..

I called everyone I knew and said I needed a “I’m going to rehab send away bash”

Come one come all. Bring your illegal substances and gallons of booze for the losers send off!!”

I finished off my last drink at 4 am that morning and made it to rehab with approximately 3 minutes to spare.

I make it through intake and get to what would be my living quarters for the next 45 days.

I sit down on my bunk and stare out of the window (that is nailed shut), and think…..

This is either the start of a new beginning….or the end of the line.

One of the other “clients” shuffled into my room. With glazed over eyes, he stuck out his hand and said,

“I’m David and I’m a pill head. Welcome home.”

I shook his hand, and looked back out through the window frame into the world of what my never be again and thought,

“welcome home, indeed” and bowed my head and sighed.

20120728-181524.jpg

Right Turn, Clyde


20120728-081941.jpg

A smoking monkey. An orangutan to be exact. He is a captive in a zoo in Indonesia. The zookeepers want him to stop. Good luck. Have you ever tried to stop a 200 pound primate from smoking……didn’t think so.

They have there story on how it happened. I have mine. Here it is……

Clint Eastwood once starred and directed a duo of movies back in the day.

“Every Which Way but Loose”

“Any Which Way You Can”

He played a trucker/brawler (Phillo Beddoe) that had a pet orangutan as a bodyguard/pet (Clyde). They were both pretty successful films in the late ’70’s early ’80’s.

After said movies were released, Clyde became quite the sensation. He was a regular in the club scene, at other animal related movie premieres and quite the monkeynizer as the story goes. Like many other actors in Hollywood, he got stuck on the “typecast zone”. There were only so many parts for bodyguard monkeys that had the quality scripts that he preferred.

Work dried up. His acting days were over. His once prized trailer became a mess of empty beer bottles and feces. It was time to go. As it turned out, a zoo in Indonesia, had a part he could play for years to come. Not surprising it was monkey business. It allowed him to return to a somewhat natural habitat and spend his waning days in the natural setting of his youth.

He was used to the pointing and staring. At least now he didn’t have to sign autographs on bananas. The one problem was he needed a habit to distract him from boredom. Booze was not allowed. But smoking was allowed on the compound. The other primates would scoff at his need. The goody too paws didn’t know what they were missing. Time to turn on the animal magnetism toward the humans.

He started out just hanging out at the front of the cage. And motion to passers by.

“Psst….hey you, gotta smoke you can spare for an acting legend?”

Of course, people weren’t used to a talking primate. They were intrigued, a bit miffed and scared but hey, who doesn’t want to see a monkey smoking?

“Indonesia’s Funniest Home Videos” had a new star.

In a world of YouTube and personal video cameras, they could not keep it a secret for long.

The wheezing monkey bit was running its course and a plan was needed to be put into effect to stop Clyde from smoking.

For all you reality TV junkies, check your local listings for “Celebrity Animal Rehab” with Dr. Doolittle on MTV, where the conclusion to this riveting drama will unfold.

Right turn, Clyde.

20120728-085056.jpg

Lovely Squared


I have been nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award”…..twice.

I have been sitting here at my wife’s computer trying to figure out how to correctly post this with the multiple links for approximately 4 days straight. No sleep. Just coffe and cigarettes. My dogs are preparing an intervention as I type. I have posted and deleted this freaking post twice in the last hour because after I publish it, I check it out to be sure it was right. Surprise, it is not. So I attempt it once again.

First I must thank the ones who nominated me.
fadedfairytale

bossymoksie

They both are impressive writers and am proud to be in their following.

Second I must write 7 things about myself that may not be known to the blog world.

1- I have a wolf as a pet
2- I am a serial index finger speed typer.
3- I normally only blog on my iphone. (refer to #2)
4- The previous owner of the truck I own was a bit paranoid. To avoid detection, he covered the factory paint job with dull black spraypaint…..The entire truck. Rims and all. I have no plans of repainting it.
5- I shave my head before attending funerals.
6- I have a nervous tick. I constantly twirl my wedding around my finger.
7- I’m not wearing pants.

Third. Nominate 15 blogs I follow to keep this thing moving. Link them. Let them know.

Subhan Zein

why am I here in a handbasket

Don’t Quote Lily

charliecounrtyboy

The Writer

PhillyGuy

Human In Recovery

cyclonered

kickingkourtney

misscompetitive

Fathead Follies

A Continuous Trainwreck

Sharon

KalamityK

Thank you again for the nomination.

I would have nominated every blog I follow. I truly read them all. But I have not the patience to put any more links. I am as frustrated as a blind man without arms in a stripclub, a man without lips in an asskissing contest, a colorblind painter….you get the point.

20120728-015106.jpg

Freeze Frame (Time Frame Part 2)


On the other side of the glass, my attorney opened up the folder that defined what my future was to be. He looked up at me, sighed, and pushed his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose.

And then he began to speak.

Part 2 begins here.

” Well, I have gone back and forth with the prosecution on this. This is your first major arrest. They believe that you have ties to organized crime. I do not think you are smart enough…..or dumb enough to be on that path. I think you are a junkie and were fortunate enough to get caught.”

I interjected,”There was never anything organized about my crimes. A junkie I may be, but fortunate….that could be put up for debate.”

He retorted, “Can we just get through this? You are not the only rocket scientist I have the pleasure to visit today.”

” Touché ”

“The best I can do for you is 5 years adjudicated probation.”

“What does that mean?”

“Don’t get your pink, county issued boxers in a bunch. I’m getting to that.
You follow the rules I am about to lay out for you and technically your record will be clean.”

I didn’t feel like getting into a debate over the word technically. I let him give me the rules. The ones I remember we’re as such-

-No consumption of alcohol
-no consumption of illegal drugs
-no hanging out with known drug users
-no guns
-restitution fees to be paid back $8000
-375 hours of community service
-comply with drug testing and scheduled meetings with a probation officer 2 times a month
-comply with visits at place of occupation and home with a probation officer.

All to be done for a period of 5 years. Beginning with my release, which would be within a couple of hours after signing.

I heard all the rules. I had a problem with just one of them. It happened to be the first one.

-no alcohol.

I stopped him from continuing his extremely eloquent speech.

” What is this about no alcohol? Neither of my charges were alcohol related. That’s kind of crappy to cut me off from something that I am LEGALLY able go do. What kind of racket are y’all running here?”

“It is a standard part of the conditions of probation. If you want to get out…and STAY out. You will comply. All you need to do is sign at the bottom. You will be out shortly after.”

He pushed the papers through the slot at the bottom of the window along with a pen.

A cheap pen, by the way. I would figure if I am signing a legally binding contract for my “freedom” I would get to use a Mont Blanc. But, nooooo, I get to sign with a chewed on Bic.

I put the pen to the contract. Paused, and stopped. I froze to reflect on what this really meant and what chance I had of completing these rules.

-I have been a daily abuser of cocaine for over 8 years.

-the only people I hang out with are drunks, drug users, drug dealers, pill poppers, after hours junkies….you know real high society types.

-and the topper…..I have been a daily, have to have a drink to function, leave me alone, I want to die without it, drunk for upwards of 20 years.

What chance did I realistically have of making it 5 years without it? If I didn’t make it, my probation would be revoked and I would be sent to prison to fulfill my requirements as a felony inmate. 2 charges. Each carrying a sentence of 2-20 years.

Bah….I could do it. 5 years isn’t that long. Just think of the fiesta that will be thrown after I jump through their hoops for 1825 days. It will be epic.

I confidently placed my name in the dotted line, and pushed them back through the slot. Looked him in he eye and said, “Thanks, when do I get out.”

He shook his head and replied, “In a couple of hours.” and walked away.

I returned to the cell. In under 2 hours my name was called. I got the few trivial things I had and got up and said c-ya to my cellies. I won’t be seeing them again….I got this.

Freedom awaits.

After release, I stepped into the Texas sunshine and smiled. I had a do over and I planned to make the best of it. I was tired of being a drunk junkie loser.

Follow the rules
Follow the rules
Follow the rules

I literally had no place to go. I had only been in this city for about 8 months. Four of those were just spent behind bars….you do the math.

It was live the life of the homeless or go back to my friend’s apartment until I got back on my feet.

I walked about 6 miles through downtown and under overpasses to reach my destination.

I knocked on the door.

His roommate answered.
“Hey! They let you out??”

“Yes, they did. Can I crash here.”

“Hell yeah, man. Come in and have a seat.”

I sat down. It began to set in that I was out. I heard no metal on metal cell doors shut. No bed checks. No cell chatter, no fear…..just peace. I exhaled deeply and closed my eyes.

I was awoken from my serenity by the sound of a bottle being opened.

Phssst….. I heard the air escape the pressurized container.

“Here bud, you could probably use this,”

He held out a freshly opened, ice cold, perspiration dripping down the side, frosty bottle of what happened to be my favorite brew.

My heart picked up its pace. My mouth started to water. I opened my eyes. I Looked up at the object in his hand.

And did the only thing that a man in my particular situation could have done.

20120727-211247.jpg

Time Frame


The fate of my future was in the hands of the man on the other side of the 3 inch thick tempered glass. He held the answer to the one question that consumed all my time over the last 4 months.

Was I going to prison or not?

The man was my court appointed attorney. He had been assigned to me after my arrest. He had visited me one other time to get the details of my incarceration and to parade me in front of the Judge.

He was the one in the suit. I was the one in the oversized white jumpsuit that said inmate on the back.

My reason for being in that particular situation is simple. I was guilty of breaking a few laws.

I was drunk and high and was in a place I should not have been and was subsequently stealing from them.

And….

I got caught.

Make no mistake. I was guilty. I knew it.

I was placed under arrest and charged with 2 felonies.

-drug possession over 4 grams but under 200 grams

– theft of property over $200 but under $20,000.

Both carry a sentence of 2-20 years in prison.

I was completely whacked out of my mind during this time. My actions landed me in the psyche ward of the county jail.

Apparently, trying to convince the officers that I was invisible and if they wanted to put me in that cell they would have to kill me first, was not a good idea.

That little stunt earned me 24 hour isolation for 30 days and a steady flow of Thorazine.

The jail psychiatrist called it a drug induced psychosis. To me it was just another day.

The next 3 months I spent in “general population”. It was here that I learned a few things.

-the crazy guy is easy pickings for fights

-commissary is gold

-thorazine is platinum

-chess pieces and dominos can be carved out of soap

-gambling debts will always be paid. Or else.

– I was the only guilty person in there.

After over 100 days, I was ready to face my fate.

I was escorted up to the glass. I took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

On the other side of the glass, my attorney opened up the folder that defined what my future was to be. He looked up at me, sighed, and pushed his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose.

And then began to speak.

20120726-174252.jpg

Soulhat


I thought it was about time I explained where my blog name came from….

Good to be Gone