It has been an interesting week in Muskrat Flats. I've been running hard and staying ahead of ahead of the hail storm. I haven't been home in about 5 days. I stopped in the other day for a few minutes to check on the hamsters and make sure they had plenty of water, food and bedding. All seemed to be adequate. My guitar is there. I miss that. I need that. there are a few songs kicking around my head. Two are covers I just want to play because they are cool tunes. One is a tune that I wrote a few verses to and need a guitar in hand to get the others ones out. I'll probably go home tomorrow. the heat is fixed and hopefully my bathroom has once again "grown a wall" which disappeared as a result of the lack of heat. Seems like the wall was built in such a way that it prevented the HVAC guy from removing the service panel for the furnace. These French carpenters, Sacre Blue!
I got a call from my ex-wife, the Lawyer, early in the week. And the most amazing thing happened. Something that I prayed for actually happened. Now don't get me wrong. I wasn't just idly standing around and letting my thoughts roam only to happen upon the thought, I wish that I could have this or I wish that would happen. This was a situation that was weighing very heavily on my mind. A financial situation, of course. The worst kind of distraction in my opinion. I owed the Commonwealth (an oxymoron is you ask me) of Massachusetts Department of Revenue meals taxes I had collected when I was in the process of closing a dying business. I paid a majority of the bill a few years ago, and actually received a refund from that transaction. Now this is the part where it gets weird. It is also the part where I must confront one of my flaws in character.
I theoretically owed $600 dollars after I had paid, and before I received a refund of $900. Then I had not heard from the DOR for two years so I assumed we were all set. I should have questioned the remaining bill and the refund when I had the check in my hand.
When I received another bill 9 months ago stating that I still owed taxes plus penalties and interest, I should have called them immediately to rectify the situation and probably could have gotten the bill either lowered or expunged completely. I owed .01 in one period. the penalties and interest were $350. The total bill was 2,000. But I did not do this. I was paralyzed I made a few feeble attempts at calling these people but never followed through. It felt better and easier to just ignore the problem, while fully realizing that the interest and penalties just weren't going to go away.
This is a situation I had discussed with my sponsor. He suggested that I start thinking about making arrangements to pay the folks or at least call them to find out what the situation was. But first he told me to pray on it. And I did. I got on my knees. I asked God for help. I asked for his guidance and wisdom. I gave God my will and begged to be shown the way to live. I prostrated myself. I humbled myself and worked to be more compassionate, and understanding. I worked to be an example to others, I weathered situations which I previously would not have tolerated when I was caught up in the grips of the disease of addiction and was at my most selfish and self-centered worst. I did this every morning and sought guidance and compassion from my higher power.
I finally got up the nerve to call my wife one day and explain the situation to her. In all fairness, the situation could have adversely affected her, financially. We had a good conversation. Then she began o tell me about a "huge" bonus she had gotten as well as a substantial raise based on her performance. I was happy for her. I didn't get jealous. But one thing I did not do was to ask her for help with the tax burden. It didn't feel right to bring it up in the conversation we were having. I also resisted my disease telling me to try manipulate the money out of her. I put the rest of the conversation on hold, determined to let her know what was happening within the next week. I continued to pray every morning. I bought a lottery ticket one day and in my prayers, I said, "Look - I know I bought this ticket. I am not asking to win the lottery, just help me out with this situation even if it is only to give me the courage to confront it and be a man about it.
She called me on Monday about five days after the previous conversation. I know she had her own reasons for doing this but she asked me "What about that tax situation? Have you dealt with it yet?" I was honest with her and told her no and why. The next thing blew me away. The last thing I expected to hear was..."Find out how much it is, I will pay it for you."
That freaked me out. It definitely brought me to the next level spiritually. What a relief. The lesson I learned was to be more diligent and confront my financial worries. For the most part I am doing it and getting better every day. But I really learned to trust in this higher power of mine
"Trailer Life is Good enough For Me" -
I went to a new meeting this week met some new people. I shared the above story in that meeting. Something funny but annoying happened after the meeting. I was given a ride to the meeting by an addict who also gave a ride to another couple of addicts. On the way back from the meeting there was a lively conversation. We spoke of candy cigarettes and how it is mind boggling that they are still produced. I suggested packaging little rocks of crystallized sugar with a clear plastic tube so the kids can pretend to smoke crack, just like mommy and her boyfriend of the week. Not much spirituality in that statement, but it got a laugh. The conversation turned to dogs. They were talking about their dogs. The female addict asked the driver,
"what kind of dog food do you use?"
"I feed them, Iams" She gasped.
"Don't do that, I saw on the PETA website that Iams does cruel testing on animals."
"Oh, wow, I'm gonna have to check that out. I won't buy it if it is true. What kind of dog food do you use?"
"I buy a 55 pound bag of Ol' Roy at Wal-Mart." I am thinking to myself "WTF?!" No, not World Trade Federation, the other thing...
I couldn't help myself...I had to ask. "You won't use Iams because of animal testing, but It doesn't bother you to buy food from a place that has a history of treating their workers poorly and buying products produced in sweatshops?"
"Wal-Mart is cheap."
"Of course it is cheap, that food was probably made by a 12 year old in Honduras who makes 50 cents a day and owes the factory 45 cents a day for the privilege of sleeping on a straw mat on the floor in a room with 20 of her coworkers."
She seriously replied she doesn't care about that. I mean seriously. How could anyone not care. On top of that I looked up the ingredients in Ol' Roy dog food. The food has been recalled in the past because it was tainted with salmonella. Second, feeding your dog Ol' Roy dog food is like feeding your child exclusively Fruit Loops. Corn is the first ingredient and it pretty much has no nutritional value other than providing your dog with empty calories.
Check out the ingredients Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, ground whole wheat, corn syrup, poultry fat, Meat and bone meal (Animal Fat Preserved with BHA and Citric Acid), The rest are a bunch of chemicals and vitamins including B-12. No wonder Fluffy is so energetic. Between the B-12 and the corn syrup, you might as well buy her a bean taco and wash it down with a Red Bull. And , furthermore, BHA is a carcinogen.
But it is cheap...It is funny how we addicts can be. I would spend $60-$100 dollars a day on drugs. But now that I'm clean, I am incapable of spending $4 dollars to park in a garage simply because there is free parking...out there...somewhere. I don't think that's what they mean when they say, "Keep it Simple."
I had a using dream last night. It wasn't a dream really, It was one of those super lucid, Technicolor jobbers where you wake up tired because you might as well have been fucked up and walking around Northampton looking for you car, all night.
I dreamed I was at home. James and Rachel stopped by unannounced. I felt an urge to cook for them so I made an eggplant casserole. But then I left to go do something else, abandoning them in my basement. I somehow ended up in Northampton, I was in the Iron Horse with Steve Sanderspoon and we we're watching Freddy Freedom perform. I was drinking a beer and then I had some wine. I could taste it, I could see the legs running down the side of the glass as I swirled it and sucked in its delicate bouquet. I know a lot about wine. A skill I have more or less turned my back upon since I no longer drink. Freddy who is also sober, left right after the show. I was concerned that he was pissed that I was drinking. Then I ran into James and Rachel who were pissed because I was drinking and had abandoned them in my basement. I left with Steve and we spent the rest of the night walking past houses engulfed in fire and very vividly lit police traffic stops all the while, looking for Freddy, who was probably pissed that i was drinking, as well. I hoped he wasn't. I was walking down the streets of Northampton in a t-shirt and tighty whiteys. And I had a gun. At least it wasn't warm and I wasn't wearing a slip and make up. Remember that guy? What a dream..dammit! A+ for content F for actually feeling refreshed for the day.
I'm going to ignore the fact that the lawn across the street was littered with about 75 of those huge ass blackbirds as I drove home this afternoon. Creepy.
Oh well, enough of that psycho-babble. I should probably go to a meeting at Some point tomorrow.
Until We meet again. I think I may slow down a little bit but I'm still going to be...
Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.