The familiar fragrance of burnt coffee intertwined with mildew and hundred-year old stale air most likely awaits me in the basement of Saint Whatever’s church I’m in attendance for that particular evening. Being subjected to that environment is probably taking at least a few years off my life, but it’s a far better option than killing myself with this pesky alcoholism situation I’m dealing with – and let me get one thing straight right off the bat; In fact, it’s an item teetering on the fence in regards to making it on my fourth step resentments list. I’d like to officially go on record proclaiming that, without hesitation, I will always, one-hundred percent of the time choose the scent of that grungy, infested basement with its old people smell and mildew ridden carpet over walking past a Hollister or an Abercrombie & Fitch; heinously pumping their fumes out into malls all across America. I mean, come on – is that really necessary to force upon the innocent and unsuspecting casual shopper? The answer is undeniably no, it’s not; it serves no purpose other than bringing about an instant headache; the doses of deadly gas and that atrocious “music” which immediately induces heart palpitations should be considered a public nuisance; so, with all that being said, I rest my case – for God sake judge and jury, please make them cut that shit out already; my entire wardrobe consists of Target’s Mossimo brand because of the ridiculous, arguably offensive business model they’ve come up with.
Okay, moving right along…At every one of these gatherings of the fellowship, I eagerly anticipate or at the very least fantasize about the fire company showing up due to a neighbor, random pedestrian, or driver filing a report of an immense amount of smoke coming from the vicinity; it’s as if we are amongst the morning mist while the dew slowly burns off by the fresh rays of sunlight, or trying to see through a heavy fog that recently rolled in off the ocean. What can I say? That’s just how we roll. As the smoke settles, the posse of my people from every age, race, creed, gender, societal status, and sexual orientation start to migrate towards the door and inside to the meeting, which involves a sort of daunting task of descending down a questionably sturdy staircase; we act and obey like cattle being rounded up and put away for the evening. To add to the excitement, the line for a tiny cup of awful coffee has become longer than the soup kitchens on Thanksgiving; I guess that’s what those lunatics experience while camping out for seventeen days on the street; all so they can feel better about filling their own empty void of a life by being the first idiot to get the latest generation of iPhone, which is virtually no different than the generation preceding it; wow, the camera has two-hundred more mega-pixels – “my selfies are going to look soooo much better”, let’s camp out next to the Apple store so we can feel special for five minutes. Go ahead tech-geeks, bring on your criticism and dislike for me, tell me all about the “awesome” differences and upgrades – I will warn you, however, you might as well be speaking Chinese to me; and listen up all you Chinese folks roaming the planet, I really enjoy your food, although it is kind of odd that it’s packaged and ready to go before I’m even done ordering. I generally chalk it up to superb customer service, and my hat’s off to you – keep up the great work; on the other hand, I haven’t seen Mittens in a few days…I hope she wasn’t transformed into a delicious dish of “Orange Chicken”; hmmmm…but regardless of what may or may not have happened to Mittens, your language confuses the shit out of me; hence why I have no time or energy to appease or listen to some tech guru talking nonsensical jibber jabber into my face and attempting to convince me how it’s “so much better, dude…the flange capacitator runs on a dual-core integrated circuit which totally boosts the ISA, IRQ, and most importantly the Molex connectors, it’s really rad stuff bro – you should tote’s buy it” – Listen up, and listen good, I’m not your bro, I don’t say “rad”, and I especially don’t respond well to anybody who says “totes”. I’m still Jersey raised through and through, even though I currently reside in California; furthermore, I have no clue what any of that shit you just spouted out at me even means; the phone I have now works just fine and suits all my needs, so go tell your bullshit to somebody who actually gives a shit – thanks and, in the respect of all the Chinese around the world, Chow.
As far as treatment centers go, I’ve been fortunate enough to land in what is essentially the five-star hotel of treatment centers – It doesn’t really get much more accommodating or comfortable in regards to rehabs unless of course your rich or famous enough to get admitted into Passages Malibu; although on the flip side, that place is more of a vacation resort or spa, rather than any real sort of actual treatment center, AND, they’re big claim to fame is that they can cure your addiction altogether; like literally take the disease out of your brain; when you leave, they undeniably tell you that you are cured and you’ll never drink or drug again – doesn’t matter if you spent thirty days there or a year (if you happen not to believe me, check out this article on the LA Weekly website: LA Weekly: Passages Malibu I would gather that most of us have seen the commercial on television by now where CEO, Pax Prentiss, states that he was once an addict and now he’s not, placing a large emphasis on the fact that their facility is not a twelve step program; perhaps they have magical fairy dust, who knows – the rest of us, who exist the real world, understand that once an addict, always an addict; we’re never cured of this disease – it’s just the way we are wired and it comes down to pushing it into remission through treating it just like any other disease. Diabetes = Insulin shots, Cancer = chemo or radiation therapy; drugs and alcohol = the fellowships of AA, NA, therapy and working some type of program towards recovery, not towards relapse. That’s our medicine, and when folks want to stay healthy, it’s important to take your meds. Anyway, the treatment program that I’m involved in does a relatively good job at providing comfort and stressing the importance of not only a mentally and spiritually healthy life, but a physically healthy lifestyle as well, such as going to the gym regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
(I’m fairly certain the face on that little fella is one of confusion)
My Rehab, among offering a variety of relatively healthy snacks, also provides popsicles; and who doesn’t love a good popsicle from time to time; seems rather harmless right? Wrong! Now let me explain why. These particular popsicles have two, (yes I can count, and I shall repeat), two of those wooden stick handles protruding from the bottom of one, that’s right – one mass of frozen, deliciousness. First of all, I don’t even know which one I’m supposed to hold on to while enjoying this delicious treat, or if maybe this is supposed to be some sort of a two-handed ordeal. Second, at some point during the enjoyment of said delicious, frozen treat, the popsicle begins to melt a bit and breaks apart, spilling out both tiny and large pieces of ice all over the floor, your clothes and anything else that is in the general vicinity, all the while, you just stand or sit there looking stupid with two wooden sticks in your hands – with the red ones, I feel like I’m obligated to call in a forensic crime team to analyze what appears like blood splatter, or better yet, give Dexter a holler. The whole idea of two sticks on one popsicle really threw me for a loop and genuinely confused me. I’m admittedly the last person who has a desire to get the annoying, “Special Interest” groups involved in anything, but where are all the damn tree huggers when there’s actually something legitimate to protest – the pointless wasting and misuse of popsicle sticks all over America.
Obviously, it would appear I’m going through a bit of an irritable stage right now; a vast emotional roller coaster if you will – the most random and stupid things seem like cataclysmic life events. The head and brain doctor’s say it’s normal so that’s good, right? I mean I imagine they didn’t spend all those years in medical school collaborating as to the reasoning behind two-handled popsicles; plus, it’s not like this is my first rodeo – I know how it goes, although each time coming back from ever increasingly horrific benders, the mood swings and frustration seem to intensify a bit. So there you have it ladies and gentlemen – that’s where I’m at with five sober days under my belt.