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.